How Statism Requires Self-Righteousness

Without self-righteousness, propped up by delusions, how could any government worker live with himself?

I had to remind myself yesterday that CNS News is not a satire site. This really happened:

The headline refers to people who come to the government for a job: “Rep. Cummings: People ‘Come to Government To Feed Their Souls’

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D–Md.) says, “so many people come to government knowing that they are not going to make the kind of money they would make in the private sector but they come to government to feed their souls.”

Cummings was speaking in Washington D.C. at the Legislative Conference of the National Treasury Employees Union on February 4thwhen he made the comments.

And he burrowed further into the mass delusion. Promising to help his constituents  as if they were being deprived:


The Maryland Democrat also told union members that getting federal workers a raise higher than the one proposed in President Obama’s budget is among his priorities.

“So what are my priorities? What’s my reason for being here?” Cummings said. “My ardent priority is to do whatever I can to help federal workers obtain fair compensation and meaningful pay raises.”

“President Obama’s budget for the next year recommends a 1.3% pay raise for federal employees I believe this is too low. I love the president but I believe this is far too low, far too low.”

“That’s why I co-sponsored with Representative (Gerry) Connelly (D-Va.) the FAIR Act.  Which would raise pay up to 3.8% – even that’s too low.”

The claims that Cummings made are verifiably false. People get government jobs in order to feed their wallets. In December, the Cato Institute released a report that compared rates of pay for government and in the private sector.

“In 2013 federal civilian workers had an average wage of $81,076, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. By comparison, the average wage of the nation’s 107 million private-sector workers was $55,424.”

When benefits like health care and pensions are included, “federal worker compensation averaged $115,524, or 74 percent more than the private-sector average of $66,357.”

Cato is a libertarian outfit of some kind. So maybe their findings will be dismissed as biased. But the previous year the Congressional Budget Office found that Federal employees made, on average, sixteen percent more than private sector workers.

So when Cummings said that people work for the Federal Government as a way “to feed their souls,” he really meant they desire such jobs in order to dine on taxpayers.