Economics

Laid Off? The Federal Government is Hiring!

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Over at CBS's Econowatch, Reason contributor Declan McCullagh notes:

At a time when the official unemployment rate is nearing double digits, and 6.35 million people are receiving unemployment benefits, the U.S. government is on a hiring binge.

Executive branch employment—1.98 million in 2009, excluding the Postal Service and the Defense Department—is set to increase by 15.6 percent for the 2010 fiscal year. Most of that is thanks to the Census Bureau hiring 102,000 temporary workers, but not counting them still yields a net increase of 2 percent in one year.

There's little belt-tightening in evidence in Washington, D.C.: Counting benefits, the average pay per federal worker will leap from $72,800 in 2008 to $75,419 next year….

Some of the Feds' hiring increases have been stunning. If you look at the four-year period from 2006 to 2010, the number of Homeland Security employees has grown by 22 percent, the Justice Department has increased by 15 percent, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission can claim 25 percent more employees. (These figures assume that Congress adopts Mr. Obama's 2010 budget without significant changes.)

Whole story here.

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  1. Someone said a while back on these boards that the IRS will come after you for taxes if you live and earn in another country. Can anyone confirm this? I mean it’s shit like this article that makes me want to take my family out of here. But I know any other country will tax me. I just don’t want to be hit with double.

  2. … Nuclear Regulatory Commission can claim 25 percent more employees.

    Completely understandable when you factor in all of the new fission plants coming online coupled with all of the Chernobylesque accidents that have been occuring with unprecented frequency.

  3. Can’t any president ever cut spending and federal employment, not even by 5%?

    It’s bad enough we have to pay the inflated salaries for these unnecessary leeches, but then we have to pay their exorbitant pensions as well.

  4. “Someone said a while back on these boards that the IRS will come after you for taxes if you live and earn in another country.”

    I don’t think that’s true. An old friend of mine retains his US citizenship, but over the last decade or so has worked in Spain, Nigeria, Angola, and now Yemen, overseeing the construction of energy infrastructure. He pays no US taxes.

  5. “But I know any other country will tax me.”

    Yemen won’t.

  6. Someone said a while back on these boards that the IRS will come after you for taxes if you live and earn in another country.

    Don’t pay. The worst that can happen is they’ll make you Secretary of the treasury.

  7. Executive branch employment-1.98 million in 2009, excluding the Postal Service and the Defense Department…

    Holy shit!

    2 million minions at the Obamacy’s beckon?

  8. The AP suggests that pressure from environmental groups might have been an issue:

    WASHINGTON – A top official with Mothers Against Drunk Driving who was chosen to oversee a federal highway safety agency has withdrawn his name for the post, the White House said Tuesday.

    The Obama administration said in April it intended to nominate Chuck Hurley to become the administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Hurley, who was not formally nominated, is a longtime safety advocate and has served as MADD’s chief executive officer since 2005.

    Some environmental groups had questioned Hurley’s commitment to tougher fuel efficiency requirements and his ties to automakers. MADD has received funding from several auto companies, including General Motors Corp., Toyota Motor Corp., Ford Motor Co. and others.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090512/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/highway_safety;_ylt=AjDUBQwwM5YcaqGFgSFx3IOs0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTJndnB1dGI4BGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMDkwNTEyL2hpZ2h3YXlfc2FmZXR5BGNwb3MDNwRwb3MDMTQEc2VjA3luX3RvcF9zdG9yeQRzbGsDb2JhbWFwaWNrZm9y

  9. “the number of Homeland Security employees has grown by 22 percent,”

    So how long until we can stop calling it Homeland Security and start calling it the USSP, United States Secret Police?

  10. Nuclear Regulatory Commission can claim 25 percent more employees.

    WTF? Doing what, exactly?

    Remember- expanding AFSCME’s membership is an investment in the future.

    Obama’s political future.

    [Should have capitalized “Treasury” in my previous comment: stupid keyboard]

  11. How many are they hiring for the giant friggin’ laser project?

  12. Open question: what jobs in government would libertarians find ethically acceptable? A state needs staff, however small.

  13. SxCx,

    Defense and some of the other enumerated powers is the type of l I r.

  14. Now I understand what Obama is talking about when he talks about “our economy”.

  15. “MADD has received funding from several auto companies, including General Motors Corp., Toyota Motor Corp., Ford Motor Co. and others.”

    I’d like to know who the other car manufacturers were. So I will know to never buy a vehicle from them again.

  16. what jobs in government would libertarians find ethically acceptable?

    I would like to see a “Chief Headcount Reduction Officer.” He would, of course, need a small crew to maintain and operate the guillotine.

  17. Look on the bright side. They are hiring the people that can’t have been laid off. By default they are getting the less productive less capable people in most cases. This is a good thing for us. When the ship is run by retards it’s easier to do what you want or mutiny!!

    what jobs in government would libertarians find ethically acceptable?

    The STFU officer.

    A more proactive branch of the Sergeant at Arms with broader powers and a tazer. The primary responsibility would be to taz politicians when they say something stupid or questionable. If the positive reinforcement side of operant condition isn’t working with with lifetime benefits and other perks maybe a little wood to the ass will.

  18. Nick,

    I’m an accountant and do expat/foreign tax stuff. If you are a US citizen or green card holder, the US gov’t can tax your worldwide income. There are “foreign-earned income exlusions” and foreign tax credits that can all but eliminate double taxation in many cases, but unless you give up that US cit.*, you technically have a filing obligation.

    *And even if you do, if your net worth is high enough, they can now slap a huge exit tax on the value of all your assets, whether or not you liquidate them when you leave the US. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

    (Also, just for good measure: Yo, fuck the IRS.)

  19. So in principle, there’s nothing wrong with an Army job, provided that Army isn’t doing too much?

    Not attacking, just trying to establish a few things.

  20. Nick | May 12, 2009, 12:57pm

    Yes and no. US citizens are supposed to file a 1040 but income earned outside of the US is excempt (up to 80K, IIANM, might be higher now). It is unlikely the IRS will wory if you make less and don’t file since your tax liability would be nil.

    And if you leave the US for good, it is unlikely the IRS will take any interest in you at all. Even if you retain your citizenship (and IMO anyone who renounces US citizenship is crazy).

    The IRS is not omnipotent. They really can’t keep track of everyone.

    I never filed a US tax return any of the years I lived in Canada. I’ve never had the slightest anxiety about it.

  21. Suitcases and charter plane. It’s bad when you have to smuggle money and wealth out like you would smuggle pot in.

    WAIT A SECOND…

  22. “When the ship is run by retards it’s easier to do what you want or mutiny!!”

    No way.

  23. I never filed a US tax return any of the years I lived in Canada. I’ve never had the slightest anxiety about it.

    That is until they rape you. It’s all fun and games until you get audited. Then it’s all Astroglide and grunting.

  24. Thanks everyone for the info. Out of curiosity, Isaac, why would someone be crazy to renounce US citizenship? Does it carry more benefits than say, Dutch or Irish citizenship?

  25. So in principle, there’s nothing wrong with an Army job, provided that Army isn’t doing too much?

    Nothing wrong with a job in defense period. The civilians who are in charge of it are the ones who need to be watched.

  26. Issac Bartram-

    I knew it all along-you are a tax protester!
    Congrats.

  27. Issac-

    Why, IYO, is one crazy for giving up one’s US citizenship?

  28. Nothing wrong with a job in defense period. The civilians who are in charge of it are the ones who need to be watched.

    Nothing wrong with serving, but the military is too large for our defense needs. We could trim 20% and not affect the nations security

    I’m assuming that we won’t have our troops spending lives and treasure planting democracy in soil that won’t support it.

  29. For what it’s worth, I had not tax liability any of those years.

    Renouncing US citizenship usually involves far more disadvantages than advantages. Again, my opinion (opinions are like assholes, everyone has one and most of them stink). 🙂

    Almost everyone that I know or that I have heard about who has lost or has renounced their citizenship has regretted it to some degree or another.

    But further, getting naturalized in another country may not involve losing your US citizenship. Citizenship must be either renounced or revoked for cause by due process. Taking citizenship elsewhere is nor automatically grounds for revocation.

  30. NRC hiring is due to spate of Design Certification and License Applications for next generation Nuke plants, supporting fuel-related facilities, and for continuing license renewals and power uprates of existing fleet over last decade.

    NRC is still understaffed for supporting industry needs although economic downturn may slow things up enough that they won’t be for long.

    Not saying all the hiring is warranted (WAY MORE info goes into a application these days) but there is a reason.

  31. Not making a profit is immoral. Anyone who works for the government is immoral.

    Now one may argue that you need a little immorality now and then. That’s the same argument in the torture debate as well. Occasionally lower-order evils are necessary for higher-order goods.

    1. People should recognize the inherent immorality in government and in torture.

    2. libertarians should argue immorality should be limited. Force is like a nuclear weapon and should be rarely used.

  32. Why, IYO, is one crazy for giving up one’s US citizenship?

    In addition to the general answer above:

    There may be a lot wrong with the USA but it really doesn’t suck nearly as much as most of the rest of the world does.

    Creating the possibility that you may never be able to come back here is a real dumb move in my very humble (and possibly stinky) opinion.

    YMMV

  33. “Why, IYO, is one crazy for giving up one’s US citizenship?”

    Because if you get arresrted in China or Iran, US citizenship carries a lot more political leverage than Peruvian citizenship.

  34. That too! 🙂

  35. Renouncing US citizenship usually involves far more disadvantages than advantages.

    Last time I checked, it was virtually impossible to renounce your US citizenship, because the gubmint assumes (probably correctly) that you’re doing it as a tax dodge. You have to do something pretty bad to lose your citizenship.

  36. When a company fires people, it’s because the greedy, fat cat owners want to make more profit. So, I guess it’s the same for firing public employees. You don’t want to be called a greedy, fat cat do you? How dare you demand that your money be spent the way you want? Think of all those poor children of public employee!

  37. My next question: are many libertarians simply closet anarchists? Because while the state is easy to begrudge, somebody still has to run it. And I’m just wondering who they are and what they’ll be doing.

    If we’re still libertarians, of course.

  38. Here’s an idea. Take a few minutes and look around this site. Head on over to a few other sites. Hit up the dreaded wiki, maybe hit up a local LP booth at an event or ask for information on the state LP party. Then form your very own opinion instead of fishing for ideas and answers here.

    It’s safe to say most libertarians value self reliance and self education on topics.

    As mean as that sounds you will get a lot more information on your own by reading rather than asking questions over and over while looking like a troll.

  39. I don’t get it. I’m a troll because I’m not patting everyone on the back? You’re against conversation? Can’t opinions be informed by feedback? I’m curious about the soft spots in libertarianism — would I not ask them directly?

  40. A guy walks in here, sympathetic to your ideas, and the best you can do is call him a pest? What the fuck is that?

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