White House Deficit Commission Won’t Say If Federal Salaries Should Be Cut

By Nicholas Ballasy | December 1, 2010 | 3:44 PM EST

U.S. Capitol. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(CNSNews.com) -- Former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wy.) and former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles, co-chairs of the White House deficit commission, said they support “at least” a freeze of federal employees’ salaries but declined to say whether they support a cut in federal salaries.  

Data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis for the year 2009 show that federal worker compensation including benefits averaged $123,049, which was more than double the private sector average (with benefits) of $61,051.

CNSNews.com cited these statistics in a question on Tuesday to Simpson and Bowles, who head President Obama’s  National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, asking them if they support cuts to federal workers’ pay, not just a freeze.

“I think you'll see what our recommendation is tomorrow but we definitely believe there at least ought to be a freeze,”  said Bowles.

Sen. Simpson then added, “Including my pension and other government pensions, all of them.”

The Bureau of Economic Analysis also reports that the average salary for federal employees excluding benefits was $81,258 in 2009 and $50,462 for workers in the private sector, excluding benefits.