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Heritage Foundation: Cut feds’ pay by $47B

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The Heritage Foundation today released a report on federal compensation which calls for drastic cuts in most federal salaries. Heritage concluded that when benefits are factored in, feds earn 30 percent to 40 percent more on average than their private-sector counterparts. Bringing federal salaries in line with market rates would save $47 billion in 2011 alone, Heritage said in its report, “Inflated Federal Pay: How Americans Are Overtaxed to Overpay the Civil Service.”

Heritage also calls for abolishing the General Schedule, with its longevity-based raises, and establishing a pay-for-performance system with broad pay bands, cutting leave and other generous federal benefits, hiring more contractors, and making it easier for managers to fire underperforming workers.

But Heritage said Congress should not implement across-the-board cuts for all federal employees. Highly skilled federal workers such as lawyers and engineers are underpaid when compared to the private sector, the report said.

The report is sure to throw more fuel on the fire of this ongoing debate, which the Republican Party is eager to revisit in an election year that is becoming a referendum on the size and role of the government.

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