Wednesday, December 08, 2010

One Chart To Rule Us All

Using data from the Office of Personnel Management, I generated the following graph that depicts the number of federal employees, year by year, since 1940. I purposely omitted the Department of Defense, which it turns out is actually a legitimate function of the federal government.

Some striking observations:

• The raw growth in bureaucrats during Barack Obama's first year in office appears to be the largest since WWII.

• How did we ever survive before the Department of Transportation was created in the sixties?

• Are there really 100,000 Agriculture Department employees and, if so, what the hell are they doing?

• It would appear that we now have about 175,000 Homeland Security employees, yet we can't seem to secure the border with Mexico.

• Is anyone else curious about the roughly 300,000 employees marked "Other"?

A federal employee, fully loaded, runs about $100,000 annually -- more in the DC area. In rough terms, every 100,000 federal bureaucrats excised from the federal trough would cut $100 billion annually from the deficit. As Martin Lawrence used to say: "get to steppin'".

It's time to slash and privatize large swaths of this unaccountable bureaucracy that grows uncontrollably in good times and bad.

7 comments:

Publius said...

" It would appear that we now have about 175,000 Homeland Security employees, yet we can't seem to secure the border with Mexico."

Of course a lot of the growth here is all TSA.

Anonymous said...

clinton and newt cut 125,000! thats part of how he balanced the budget.

Also don't forget the pay we give them is small change compared to what each employee spends (it costs 12K per year to put some one through college and 60 to put him in jail - why jail = it is because the guy does 25o k damge if not in jail

Carl said...

I'd love to see the workforce cut in half or more.

That said, you need to normalize your graph for it to be a meaningful measure of progress/regress. Divide the number of federal workers by the population (which has gone up quite a bit over this period!)

Agriculture has so many employees because they run the Food Stamp program -- or at least they did last I checked, which was some years ago. Virtually every county in the country has some people on Food Stamps.

lanceball said...

I disagree about cutting the workforce in half, but I too noticed that your data isn't normalized for the overall US population. So I did that. http://cl.ly/3Yks

d said...

"It would appear that we now have about 175,000 Homeland Security employees, yet we can't seem to secure the border with Mexico."

That's enough people to provide three shifts of guards with each person only needing to watch 180 feet of the Mexican border.

Anonymous said...

The chart only goes to 2008, when scrub was the man, Goddamn,and tried to rule us all.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that when I used the same data from ww.opm.gov/feddata/HistoricalTables/ExecutiveBranchSince1940.asp, my chart looks entirely different than yours? I should explain that I'm an Test Engineer who is constantly doing data plots so I believe what I see.

I encourage everyone to just plot the data onto a spreadsheet and see that while it's true that last year there was a jump in employees. Check the data for every 10 years, you'll see the same jump, Census.

Since 2000, when the number was the lowest 3.584million. The number has been increasing every year. 2007-3.776Mil; 2008-3.919Mil; 2009-4.188Mil.

The last time it was this high was 1994 with 4.170Mil. So numbers can be fudged and it looks like in this chart they're fantasy! Go ahead check for yourself, all you need are the first 4 columns since the fourth column is the total of the last 9 columns.

Nice try but pure fantasy my blogger.