Inside Financial Services

What Makes Public Sector Workers So Special?

Connecticut’s senior Senator comes up with a really bad idea

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What is it about the private sector that evokes such disdain from the people in government? Wednesday brought word that federal banking regulators are planning a new onslaught in their war on the banks. Now my home-state senator wants expand a program that would provide even more new perks for government bureaucrats:

[Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal] proposed a new law this week that would generously forgive the student loans of government workers and employees at qualifying nonprofits.

Teachers, police officers, public health workers and other public servants should be applauded and supported — and not drowned in debt to pay for the degrees many such jobs require,” Blumenthal declared in a press release . . . .

Under the Democrat’s plan, government and qualifying nonprofit operatives would only need to work two years to get a 15 percent discount off their student loans. Two years later, they would get another 15 percent discount. After just six years of work, these special workers would have fully half of their student loans written off. After eight years, it would be 70 percent. After 10 years, government workers and 501(c)(3) employees would owe nothing on their student loans. [Emph. added]

Oh, please. Why government workers deserve a sweeter deal on their student loans than private sector workers do eludes me. Blumenthal, who appears to have never worked a non-government-related day in his life, almost surely can’t explain. He alludes to “teachers, police officers, and public health workers” as being especially virtuous and deserving. In fact, Blumenthal’s scheme would mainly benefit government hive-dwellers like assistant diversity administrators and agency clerks who’ve perfected the art of wasting time. (Come to think of it, teachers, police officers, and public health workers aren’t all saints, either.)  Regardless, what do they do that’s so vital that they deserve a student-loan break not available to private-sector workers? So, for instance, a nurse who works at a VA hospital gets in on the deal, but a nurse who works for HCA doesn’t. That’s nuts. And who gets to pay for Blumenthal’s public-sector-only giveaway? Private-sector workers! For the record, that’s nuts too.

This proposal of Blumenthal’s is one more piece of evidence—a minor one, but telling—that the governing class in Washington no longer sees “public service” as, well, public service, but instead as an excuse for feathering its own nest at every opportunity and securing perks and privileges not available to the great unwashed. It is no coincidence that the D.C. metro area now has by far the highest per-capita income of any metro area in the country. In a non-dysfunctional republic, that wouldn’t be allowed to happen. But for the Richard Blumenthals of the world, federal workers’ towering (and taxpayer-financed) wealth still isn’t enough. No. The grasping for more is endless. Now we have to pay their college tuitions too. Outrageous.

What do you think? Let me know!

7 Responses to “What Makes Public Sector Workers So Special?”

  1. Howard Lichstrahl

    Teachers, yes (truly need to attract better people to that profession). Police and fire, maybe. Congressmen and Senators, definitely not! That is the same mentality that we have to blame for the Congressional pension plan, Congressional health plan, A gerrymandered, non productive Congress, etc.

  2. Morgan's Mom

    Senator Blumenthal should be ashamed. How about sponsoring a piece of legislation to help bring down tuition costs for all Americans and while he’s at it, why not eliminatate some of the perks associated with our congress and senate. Also how about they work a more normal schedule, i.e. around 40 hours a week for atleast 210 days (most workers average 240 days per year), not the 133 days scheduled for this year or take a pay cut, (better yet!)

  3. Steve

    One other thought, what about the people who did not take out student loans (there are a few of them left), who worked their way through schools or whose parents saved for 18 years to put them through school? I guess that was a stupid thing to do.

  4. Peter

    At one time, government workers earned less than their counterparts in the private sector. That is no longer true. Add on the rich retirement benefits and they, in fact, earn more than the private sector. Even teachers have a sweetheart deal – they earn a full year’s salary for ten month’s of work, plus every holiday, plus winter and spring recess – and don’t forget the snow days!

    • Peter A.

      And another favorite perk the teachers in my local school system recieve: In service days. This Columbus Day weekend turned into a four day hiatus in my school district as kids did not go to school on Friday as well as tomorrow, Monday. Friday is one of a number of days and half days off for teachers to attend workshops and other dithering to “improve” their craft…How about working in the classroom at teaching in order to get better at …..teaching?! So far in this oh so strenuous school year, teachers have had two of these days with many more to come!

      forgive loans, how about not taking out loans if you cannot to pay for them??!

  5. F. Sopron

    Why are these loans carrying such high interest rates? Are they not the safest type of loan, you can’t even avoid them by filing bankruptcy.

  6. eto

    These people are always pandering. In less than a month we have the opportunity to throw out the entire Congress and about a third of the Senate. Why don’t we?

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