The senator from another planet

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“It’s very clear that private-sector jobs have been doing just fine.”

– Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Pluto

Forgive us if we misidentify the Senate majority leader. We just can’t tell which planet he’s from.

The thing is, Reid and people like him inside the Washington bubble may actually believe the private sector is “doing just fine.” If they ever worked in the private sector, it’s been years.

Of course, it helps that the public-sector unions Reid is worried so much about propping up are such loyal supporters of the Democratic Party.

Back on Earth, over in the private sector, things have rarely been worse. CBS News reported in June, “About 6.2 million Americans, 45.1 percent of all unemployed workers in this country, have been jobless for more than six months – a higher percentage than during the Great Depression.” CNBC reported the same month, “The housing crisis that began in 2006, and has recently entered a double dip, is now worse than the Great Depression. Prices have fallen some 33 percent since the market began its collapse, greater than the 31 percent fall that began in the late 1920s and culminated in the early 1930s, according to Case-Shiller data.”

And as for Reid’s contention that it’s really the public sector that’s suffering, USA Today reported in 2010, “Federal employees earn higher average salaries than private-sector workers in more than eight out of 10 occupations.”

Worse yet, the newspaper reported that, “At a time when workers’ pay and benefits have stagnated, federal employees’ average compensation has grown to more than double what private sector workers earn. ... Federal civil servants earned average pay and benefits of $123,049 in 2009 while private workers made $61,051 in total compensation, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.”

The same year, the Heritage Foundation’s James Sherk reported that the federal government:

• Pays hourly wages 22 percent above that of comparable private sector workers;

• Provides more generous health care and pension plans;

• Provides total compensation on the order of 30 percent to 40 percent above similarly skilled private sector workers; and

• Offers near-total job security and insulates federal employees from recessions.

And this week it was reported that the nation’s richest area is Washington, D.C. – whose median income of $84,523 far outpaces the national median of $50,046, and even Silicon Valley’s $83,944.

By every measure, Harry Reid is from another galaxy.

But you know it anecdotally, too. The private sector began downsizing years ago, and if you work in it you’re probably doing the jobs of two or three people now. Nor is it likely your income was raised when you got extra duties; fact is, many private-sector workers have had their pay cut, even as they’ve taken on additional work.

When a restructuring occurred belatedly in Augusta government, raises were handed out to over 40 folks assuming additional tasks. Nice for them, rare for the private sector these days.

Unemployment at near 10 percent? Lower pay for more work? Very little job security? Lower pay and benefits, with higher health-care premiums and smaller retirement plans than their public-sector friends? All of that is “doing just fine”?

It really makes you wonder why Nevada – 13.4 percent unemployment and the worst foreclosure rate in the nation – sent this guy back to the Senate rather than to the private sector, where he could be doing fine without our tax dollars helping out.

It’s amazing the amount of lunacy Americans are willing to put up with.

Comments (62)

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faithson
4601
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faithson 10/24/11 - 12:10 am
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Heritage Foundation’s James

Heritage Foundation’s James Sherk reported, pray tell you please use a more non-partisan reference as good journalism would demand.

wtinney
0
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wtinney 10/24/11 - 12:30 am
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They did. They started with

They did. They started with USA Today reporting, the Bureau of Economic Analysis and Case-Schiller data. Still, the Heritage Foundation's data collection is usually quite sound - it is the interpretation of that data that may have faithson a tad irritated.

Overall, what the AC editorial provides is accurate and has been for over five years now. Amazingly, though, with Reid, you can follow the smell of money to understand his comments. That money is of several different sources:

1) Reid still owes for some very serious ballot box stuffing work the Unions did to get him re-elected (when he was polling 6% behind Sharon Angle). They did their work and did it well.

2) Reid is also a big government Democrat (as is a number of Republicans). He knows that it is important to his base to grow the influence of government as well as keep those service union jobs from actually decreasing (which is what would happen with government spending cuts).

Reid might be off the reservation with his remarks but he is certainly not from another planet. We understand his motives all to well. He is bought and paid for with the Democratic political machine. Now he has to do his best to deliver "to that machine" - Navadans be damned.

One thing of interest that still has not been brought up enough is Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Facility. Folks, the federal government spent in the tens of billions of dollars in researching, building and preparing that site for waste disposal. Of course, Reid had no problem with those federal tax dollars entering his state in the building process (going to construction groups - unionized, of course). But, when it came close to the delivery of the waste goods, so-to-speak, he all the sudden was Yucca's staunchest opponent. This was theivery of the highest order - through the political process. All the tax payers lost in the process. Unbelievable (oh wait, given what this horrible government has done over the past decades...it really isn't, is it?)!

Craig Spinks
817
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Craig Spinks 10/24/11 - 03:23 am
0
0

For how much longer will the

For how much longer will the American electorates at the local, state and federal levels acquiesce in the magnitude of the corruptions which taint our political system? Will we be more acquiescent than north African and Levantine Arabs who tolerated widespread and deeply penetrating political and attendant corruptions for generations? Are we too busy watching TV to notice or to care?

Rhetor
862
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Rhetor 10/24/11 - 06:22 am
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1. The public sector job

1. The public sector job salaries are skewed upwards by the VA physicians. Once you remove them from the analysis, the figures are much more as one would expect. 2. The ACES has, in the past few years, published editorials and an op-ed sympathizing with the birthers. If I were them, I'd be cautious about using the term "lunacy." Have a great morning.

Techfan
6461
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Techfan 10/24/11 - 06:50 am
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It would be a good service to

It would be a good service to the readers to include a link for reference when providing quotes and info from other sources. How about it AC?

hotsaucemom
164
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hotsaucemom 10/24/11 - 07:13 am
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The news media all across

The news media all across this great nation are trying to mislead naive voters by blaming President Obama and Sen. Harry Reid for our nation's high unempolyment rate but it will fall on deaf ears in 2012. The people know the Republican leaders in the House and Senate are trying to suffocate the economy with their job - killing strategy in return they hope this will make President Obama a one - term president. Incompetent House Leader John Boehner has not brought the President Obama's job bill to the floor for a vote, yet. House Republicans are in for a big suprise in 2012. They refused to work with the president when it comes to creating jobs and the public eyes are watching and waiting how long will the Party of NO refuse to put Americans back to work. This job stalling tactics by Republicans will cost them their jobs in the upcoming election in 2012.

Iwannakno
1533
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Iwannakno 10/24/11 - 07:34 am
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Some people lol

Unpublished

Some people lol

copperhead
1035
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copperhead 10/24/11 - 08:07 am
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Techfan,so you think the

Techfan,so you think the private sector is and has "done just fine"? Please tell us your and reid's definition of "fine".

Swampman
46
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Swampman 10/24/11 - 08:10 am
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In the interests of

In the interests of intellectual honesty (a concept absent from much political discourse), it should be noted that the membership of most public sector unions are state and local civil servants, whose pay and benefits tend to be more modest, not federal employees.

And among field-level federal employees - you know, the ones who do most of the actual work - only the most senior administrators make anything like the "average" salaries cited. If these figures are correct, then regional and national offices must be larded with over-compensated paper pushers and meetings specialists who skew the curve.

Riverman1
71005
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Riverman1 10/24/11 - 08:20 am
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Rhetor, are you saying VA

Rhetor, are you saying VA physicians make more than physicians in the private sector? Hardly. Federal workers are overpaid and underworked with few controls over their performance.

Privatization, privatization, privatization is the way to go. It's been proven on the international setting and at every federal, state and local government in this country. There is no debate.

Riverman1
71005
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Riverman1 10/24/11 - 08:30 am
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By the way, that's a great

By the way, that's a great title...funny as an OWS protestor who thinks he's protesting aliens at Area 51 controlling the finances of the world. But, come to think of it, aliens might leave Reid alone though, thinking he was one of them.

onlysane1left
212
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onlysane1left 10/24/11 - 08:44 am
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If the Chronicle thinks that

If the Chronicle thinks that only Reid (one of their favorite targets) is the only senator or congressman form another planet, they really haven't paid attention to Michelle Bachman's speeches while she was on the floors. Oh, wait, no one else has been listening to her either, that is why her numbers are currently so low. Maybe it is a Washington thing, not just a Harry Reid thing, but that reporting will always go unnoticed by the ACES.......

southernguy08
415
Points
southernguy08 10/24/11 - 08:52 am
0
0

HOTSAUCE, have you seen the

Unpublished

HOTSAUCE, have you seen the latest polls? Obama's approval is sinking faster than the Titanic. If you really believe that Obama and the Dems controlling the senate will survive the 2012 elections, I've got some oceanfront property in Nebraska I'll sell ya...CHEAP!

allhans
21992
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allhans 10/24/11 - 08:56 am
0
0

Poor, poor Harry Reid. He

Poor, poor Harry Reid. He just cannot keep his exaggerated foot out of his mouth.
What a prize we have for a ..gasp..VP of the US.

allhans
21992
Points
allhans 10/24/11 - 09:01 am
0
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onlysaneone..Most..almost

onlysaneone..Most..almost all, presidential candidates fall by the wayside. Some like John Edwards have been found guilty of criminal acts.

Techfan
6461
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Techfan 10/24/11 - 09:12 am
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Apples and oranges

Apples and oranges comparision. Many of the low level jobs in the fed have been contracted. You're left with professionals (possible with multi degrees)being compared with the guy handing you a tray in the cafeteria.

Riverman1
71005
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Riverman1 10/24/11 - 09:14 am
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Techfan said, "Many of the

Techfan said, "Many of the low level jobs in the fed have been contracted."

I wonder why they did that.

wtinney
0
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wtinney 10/24/11 - 09:31 am
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Sounds like a lot of the

Sounds like a lot of the commentors here are on another planet too, Try visiting USAJobs.gov and look up law enforcement, entry-level park rangers, administrative staff, even locals getting into jobs in rural South Dakota, lower-state South Carolina, northern Tennessee have salary starting considerations that are 35% higher than their state government counterparts.

Techfan
6461
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Techfan 10/24/11 - 09:33 am
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So a few could make a lot of

So a few could make a lot of money instead of having a viable working class.

Riverman1
71005
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Riverman1 10/24/11 - 09:39 am
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I saw the statistics on TV.

I saw the statistics on TV. Wtinney is right. The sectors were studied by comparable jobs.

Techfan, but that shows the private sector simply does it cheaper and probably better than having federal workers doing those jobs. I know you sincerely want a viable, strong work force, but private enterprise providing lowering paying jobs helps the people and economy also.

Techfan
6461
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Techfan 10/24/11 - 09:39 am
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I made WAY less as a nurse at

I made WAY less as a nurse at the VA than in a private hospital. I did have good benefits, but pay went up over $6.00 an hour (more counting shift diffs) when I left.

Techfan
6461
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Techfan 10/24/11 - 09:41 am
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Not cheaper, just so a buddy

Not cheaper, just so a buddy who happens to be in the business (or campaign donor) can get the contract and make all the bucks.

Riverman1
71005
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Riverman1 10/24/11 - 09:46 am
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Techfan, you work in a

Techfan, you work in a "private" hospital now? I know many nurses and everyone I know will tell you they will take the security, benefits and working conditions of the VA, Eisenhower and MCG over Doctor's and University Hospital anytime. I'm not knocking these nurses, but it shows Doctors-UH will turn a profit, get the most from the workers and adapt quickly to the economics which government can't do.

justthefacts
18096
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justthefacts 10/24/11 - 09:49 am
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So Techfan, do you think

So Techfan, do you think countries where the gov't has control, there is a viable working class? Like China for instance? Is that what you really want?

harley_52
19579
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harley_52 10/24/11 - 09:54 am
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What? Reid is from Pluto? I

What? Reid is from Pluto?

I thought he came from Uranus.

bjphysics
36
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bjphysics 10/24/11 - 09:56 am
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“– Senate Majority Leader

“– Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Pluto”

From what I have seen this description is true; however, the problem is the description below is also true.

– Senate Candidate Sharon Angle, R-Red Lectroid from Planet 10 by way of the 8th Dimension

http://lowdenplan.com/

FalseHopeLooseChange
5
Points
FalseHopeLooseChange 10/24/11 - 09:58 am
0
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Too many taxpayers don't

Too many taxpayers don't connect with the reality of waste that goes on in Washington. Cronyism, lobbyist influence, and outright political corruption are rampant, but the majority of Americans believe their representatives and political party are only fighting diligently for their voters entitlement rights/tax loopholes. People simply ignore the waste, fraud and abuse of power that goes on because they incorrectly believe it doesn't directly effect them and/or they just don't care.

The current two party system is corrupt, the voters are uninformed and getting more and more herdable. Too many people simply don't care about the truth, or what will happen to America as long as they are told, and believe they won't lose their entitlements or be required to accept personal responsibility for their actions.

These consequences of not caring about the future of America will come home to roost one day. Too bad the voters and politicians who ignored the truth and kicked the can down the road probably won't be around to be scorned or suffer the consequences.

Techfan
6461
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Techfan 10/24/11 - 10:01 am
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And the government hospitals

And the government hospitals offer treatment cheaper since they're not there to make a profit. Just: I wouldn't consider a garbageman who works for the city vs one who works for a private company as an example of the government has control. The government should offer the services needed by it's people. It's not there for a private company to get rich from its taxpayers. I'd far rather have a good civil service than contracts for hire to campaign donors.

justthefacts
18096
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justthefacts 10/24/11 - 10:09 am
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I thought we were talking

I thought we were talking about federal jobs. But, whatever. I have never seen you say a positive thing about Business in general. Always corrupt and out to get the little guy. Gov't is demonstrably more corrupt.

JRC2024
6987
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JRC2024 10/24/11 - 10:17 am
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0

Techfan, the government is

Techfan, the government is now trying to offer too many services to too many people that don't pay any taxes and get the money from those that produce. Maybe you could give them a little more of yours. I give enough already.

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