IG of the Day: Federal Contract Jobs

Map credit: Mercatus Center

Map credit: Mercatus Center

More than one in ten Virginians working in the Commonwealth is a private sector employee working under federal contract, according to data published by the Mercatus Center. That’s the highest percentage of any state in the country… by far. The comparable figure for Maryland is only 7.7%.

Add government jobs to federally funded private jobs, and the Virginia percentage increases to 28.8% — higher than any other state but New Mexico. The flip side of those numbers, the percentage of private sector employees in the workforce, is 70.2%.

No wonder Virginia is turning into a blue state.

– JAB

17 Responses to IG of the Day: Federal Contract Jobs

  1. How do we explain the other “blue” places that DON’T have Govt jobs?

    folks might find this interesting:

    US Cities With Bigger Economies Than Entire Countries -

    http://goo.gl/5wvyK

    and please note how many of those cities are “blue” without the Feds!

    this is the parable of the half-full or half-empty glass

    and these days on the conservative side of things the glass is always – just empty!

    govt is evil. govt is bad. govt is incompetent. govt is corrupt.

    Central planning is evil… corrupt…etc…etc..

    I expect soon, Virginia will add a license plate to that effect to be a matching twin to their Tea Party license plate.

  2. Virginia is addicted to federal money.

    Very few addictions work out well for the addict in the long run.

    Diversification should be the #1 priority of our inept state government.

    Next – figure out what percentage of total wages (not jobs) is provided by the federal government. I’ll wager that it’s over 50%.

  3. Government jobs don’t turn people into Democrats, government benefits do! Government jobs are….jobs. In this, mostly middle class and upper middle class jobs. Homeowners, taxpayers — not a bad thing.

    I’m not sure why this concerns you Jim but the vast majority of that is 1) defense related and 2) proximity to DeeCee. Should we ask the shipyard to move it’s 20, 000 jobs somewhere else? Advocate to close down Langley, Norfolk Naval Base, CIA Headquarters? Virginia always makes noises about seeking to diversify its economy, to lower its dependence on federal spending, but I don’t see a push on to end what we have. It paves the roads and pays the teachers…

  4. Regardless of the varied points of view on the subject, thank you for sharing this.

    It’s something that almost never gets discussion when we talk about federal government employment, yet it is paying people with federal tax dollars, even though their paychecks do not say U.S. Government.

  5. My wife and I attended 2 lectures given by Bob Holsworth at the VHS following the election . Two points emerged .Firstly demographics were very important. He even suggested a drive on RT 1 in Northern Virginia to see the vast influence of the immigrant community, Secondly,the”Cooch” won married women by 8% he lost single women by nearly 50%. If the Republican continue to ignore these demographic trends they will continue to lose.

  6. DC/NoVa is the Federal Govt HQ for virtually all agencies and that’s not going to change.

    but to get a proper view of what the jobs are – take a look at the discretionary budget (subtract out FICA/SS) – and you get about 2.4Trillion in spending.
    take out the trillion or so that is transfer payments/entitlements – about a trillion.

    that leaves you with about 1.4 Trillion of which well over a trillion is “National Defense” which is the military PLUS all the other things we spend on “defense” like Homeland Security, etc.

    that leaves about 400 billion for the rest of govt – like the Department of Interior, Commerce, Energy, Labor, etc.

    Now come back and look at the DeeCee area in terms of things like the Defense Mapping Agency, the NSA, the David Taylor facility, the Pentagon, the CIA, Quantico, Fort Belvoir, Fort Meade, Patuxent River , Fort Detrick, Naval Surface Warfare Center, the Navy Yard, Walter Reed, etc

    http://www.yourathometeam.com/military-relocation-area-base-map.php

    and what you’ll see is that well over half, perhaps more of the “govt” is the military and “national defense”..

    I’m not advocating anything in particular here other than recognizing that
    Va is not only dependent on the “govt” – but it’s PRIMARILY the military and national defense – which I have pointed out before, consumes about a trillion dollars of the 1.3trillion that we take in – in income taxes.

    this is the reality that the GOP will not confront when they say we are spending too much. We are – indeed. I do not dispute that at all – but a huge part of our spending is “national defense” and it is what tremendously benefits Virginia…

    we spend way too much for entitlements – and we spend way too much for “national defense”… that’s the truth – but we cannot come to grips with the fact that we need to cut BOTH.

    • A lot of the activity that goes on at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Frederick County, Maryland is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Not all of it, and it is still an Army base, but a substantial part of the workforce there is NIH.

    • Actually many congressional Republicans are surprisingly stubborn about sequestration, which is hitting military spending out of proportion. They don’t have the courage to make directed, intelligent cuts in the military (like base closings, or trimming retiree benefits) but seem very happy to let the brass make the difficult choices. Give the sequestration process a couple more years and you’ll see a difference in Virginia.

  7. Cutting military bases and associated jobs is not in the GOPs DNA…

    I’d have tremendous respect for Ryan and company if when they do a budget they address BOTH entitlements AND national defense spending.

    I just have no respect for them as a party when they talk incessantly about the US having a “spending” problem and their “cuts” are primarily entitlements, the Dept of Energy/Education (which are budgetary “noise” AND won’t come close to balancing the budget) – and they propose supply-side tax cuts to “pay” for national defense.

    so.. if we can have a “BRAC” for military why not a BRAC for the other 1/2 National Defense spending or a BRAC for entitlement spending?

    or – if we are going to have Congressmen advocating cuts for entitlements why not also advocate cuts for national defense?

    We cannot fix the spending just by cutting entitlements.

    • Larry, I don’t disagree that we need to take a hard look at “defense.” There is as much pork there as in any part of the budget. Happy Thanksgiving to all the outstandingly good people on BR!

  8. Keep in mind Larry that Joseph Califano complained about the creation and continuation of the Department of Education as inappropriate and was done simply to please the NEA. And then Al Gore’s reinventing government team proposed huge cost savings by mailing SS checks throughout the month. The union complained about the loss of jobs, and Gore deep-sixed the proposal. Featherbedding.

  9. TMT – do you know what Title funding is? You might want to read up on it because in many schools in the US – the primary source of funding for at-risk kids is not the State and not the locality but the Feds.

    but your complains about Gore, etc.. are just examples of the kind of people and govt that you don’t hew to – with the understanding that if we took a poll of everyone – each one of us would have such a list but they would not be the same list for all of us.

    I have no problem with what Gore proposed nor the unions response , even if actually true but I did not realize that unions were involved in printing SS checks in the first place and from what I know they ARE generated throughout the month but why does this really matter in the first place as I’m sure I could just as easily go find some aspect of how the govt does business that I do not like and I could personalize it to some person I do not care for – why do we do that to start with?

    I could go find similar egregious things to complain about – like subsidized crop or flood insurance (which is far more important as a policy than the minutia associated with mailing SS checks), but I would not argue it on a personalities basis.

    I just find the blame game and the personality or institution blame game not germane… to the actual issues…. nor proportional to the significance of the issues.

    complaining about when SS checks are mailed sounds just too much like a lot of the right wings – long litany of complaints they have about govt and “liberals” and “unions”.

    No disrespect here.. just giving my side of it.

  10. Larry, my point is many Democrats (and some Republicans) view taxpayer dollars as their own to pay off labor unions for campaign contributions. I would say the same about many Republicans (and some Democrats) on defense contractors. Don’t taxpayers have a right to efficient and effective government? If not, why not? As I recall, mailing SS checks throughout the month would have saved $25 M or more in 1990s dollars. Or was reinventing government just a charade?

    Title 1 was around since 1965 and was administered under HEW. So why couldn’t that continue? How many more executive positions were added once DoE was created? Do we have better results with at-risk children since HEW was split up?

    A good example can be found in Fairfax County. Both the County and the Schools run separate programs for helping pre-school children with speech problems. I think helping pre-schoolers with speech problems is a good use of tax dollars. But why two programs? If there were but a single one, the County could help more children with the same dollars or the same number of children with less money. But with two programs, there are two directors, etc. Jobs for the professional caring class. Too H with the kids. To H with the taxpayers.

    Another example, FCPS licensed software to plan school bus routes. But the employees did not use it. We effectively paid twice for the necessary task of planning school bus routes. This was willfully ignored by management for years. At the same time, management complained it did not have enough resources to educate children. Fixing this problem would NOT solve all of FCPS’ budget issues. But if the goal is to provide the best education for children, wouldn’t one expect this or similar problems to be addressed by management? If one has a goal, shouldn’t one direct his behavior to achieve that goal?

    I think government employees should be treated fairly and be given reasonable compensation. And no entity, private or public can be expected to operate at 100% efficiency. But taxpayers have a right to expect government to work towards greater efficiency.

    Similarly, if the goal of DoD is to protect America and its interests, why does Congress foist unwanted planes and tanks on the Military?

    I have no problem with Congress revisiting crop or flood insurance. I support changing the rules with a new Congress that would require 60% majority to pass a budget. This would allow liberals to check conservatives and vice versa. We’d wind up spending a lot less money and then on programs where there was consensus.

    When I managed people, I was constantly pushed to walk my talk and manage in a manner that was consistent with company goals. One of my company’s goals was a diverse work force. To me that meant making sure that any list of recommended candidates was not all white and all male. If I did not identify women and minorities on may list, I failed at my job. It also meant recommending the right candidates for the right position. I did not fail at my job.

    Similarly, I expect government officials to look for ways to operate government more efficiently. I expect government officials to raise questions of subsidies. I don’t expect a perfect government. I do expect one that believes in constant improvement.

  11. “Larry, my point is many Democrats (and some Republicans) view taxpayer dollars as their own to pay off labor unions for campaign contributions. I would say the same about many Republicans (and some Democrats) on defense contractors.”

    TMT – but why specifically demonize unions and not the counter-groups on the other side that the GOP favors for their special interest payoffs?

    I see both sides doing it and selectively demonizing one side seems partisan.

    “Don’t taxpayers have a right to efficient and effective government? If not, why not? As I recall, mailing SS checks throughout the month would have saved $25 M or more in 1990s dollars. Or was reinventing government just a charade?”

    I agree with you but the SS issue is selective micro-managing that I’m not even sure is true to start with – it sounds very much like these cherry-picked anecdotal narratives.. that are popular in partisan issues. I worked for DOD and I can
    give you much worse horror stories that were at the hand of the GOP.

    “Title 1 was around since 1965 and was administered under HEW. So why couldn’t that continue? How many more executive positions were added once DoE was created? Do we have better results with at-risk children since HEW was split up?”

    I don’t know but why do we selectively approve of Title 1 and hammer SS? Both probably have issues that need improvement I suspect.

    more important, why is it okay for the Feds to fund at-risk kids because the States and localities will not ? that’ show Title 1 came to be… it was an idea of how to
    help at-risk kids and this also could be viewed through a partisan lens and of course I ask why the Feds have to do this to begin with and we know the answer already.

    “A good example can be found in Fairfax County. Both the County and the Schools run separate programs for helping pre-school children with speech problems. I think helping pre-schoolers with speech problems is a good use of tax dollars. But why two programs? If there were but a single one, the County could help more children with the same dollars or the same number of children with less money. But with two programs, there are two directors, etc. Jobs for the professional caring class. Too H with the kids. To H with the taxpayers.”

    and I TOTALLY AGREE with you ESPECIALLY since it is the ISSUE and not the partisan blame game.

    “Another example, FCPS licensed software to plan school bus routes. But the employees did not use it. We effectively paid twice for the necessary task of planning school bus routes. This was willfully ignored by management for years. At the same time, management complained it did not have enough resources to educate children. Fixing this problem would NOT solve all of FCPS’ budget issues. But if the goal is to provide the best education for children, wouldn’t one expect this or similar problems to be addressed by management? If one has a goal, shouldn’t one direct his behavior to achieve that goal?”

    No disagreements here at all.. Of all the places where waste has immediate and serious consequences – it is schools – that never seem to have enough resources and
    need every penny spent for a good purpose not a duplicative or wasteful one.

    but humans and institutions are inherently flawed – it’s a human condition…and govt is little more than flawed humans working on specific tasks.

    “I think government employees should be treated fairly and be given reasonable compensation. And no entity, private or public can be expected to operate at 100% efficiency. But taxpayers have a right to expect government to work towards greater efficiency.”

    yes.

    “Similarly, if the goal of DoD is to protect America and its interests, why does Congress foist unwanted planes and tanks on the Military?”

    you will not find me in disagreement and I think focusing on the issue is the right approach rather than attributing it to politics or “bad” institutions or people.

    “I have no problem with Congress revisiting crop or flood insurance. I support changing the rules with a new Congress that would require 60% majority to pass a budget. This would allow liberals to check conservatives and vice versa. We’d wind up spending a lot less money and then on programs where there was consensus.”

    I think flood insurance is a scandal of subsidies for people of means… as well as the mortgage interest deductions and – MedicAid itself being used as a wealth preservation program for elderly with assets.

    “When I managed people, I was constantly pushed to walk my talk and manage in a manner that was consistent with company goals. One of my company’s goals was a diverse work force. To me that meant making sure that any list of recommended candidates was not all white and all male. If I did not identify women and minorities on may list, I failed at my job. It also meant recommending the right candidates for the right position. I did not fail at my job.”

    but I bet this – I bet that you surely saw things done that were costly and wasteful, duplicative, etc.. correct? Anyone who has managed knows this and what do you do about it? Do you start talking about getting rid of bad actors or do you try to convince the team that issues need to be addressed?

    “Similarly, I expect government officials to look for ways to operate government more efficiently. I expect government officials to raise questions of subsidies. I don’t expect a perfect government. I do expect one that believes in constant improvement.”

    we probably agree more than we disagree and I admit to being partisan also – although I try not to start off with issues being partisan but once partisan is brought into it – I’ll defend and try to show the other side.

    Partisan does not solve problems. It creates polarization and partisan pushing matches… inevitably – but we’ve now gotten to the point – where we cannot address even simple issues because no issue can proceed any more without a partisan aspect to it.

    We do not have to have health care be such a partisan divide but then we did not need job-creating infrastructure programs to help us out of the recession to be partisan either – they were not before…but now they are…

    and I’ll leave you with homework.

    if you want to see a really bad health care disaster done by a Republican:

    Lesson Is Seen in Failure of 1989 Law on Medicare

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/101206706

    I’m not providing this as “proof” the GOP utterly failed at something – only that
    you don’t need to be a Dem to be “the worst POTUS ever”.

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