You’ll be glad to know!

As any reader of my posts can discern, I am concerned that my tax dollars are frivolously squandered. But, lo and behold. I must be wrong!

In any large organization, employee salaries typically represent the largest expenditure (that is, as an “after tax” expenditure). But, of course, only you and I need to worry about taxes. The federal government only needs to collect them; not pay them. So it is good to know that the federal government only hires top-of-the-line employees.

[Source: Government Rates 99% of Federal Employees ‘Fully Successful’ or Higher, by Rachel Greszler]

According to a recent study by the Government Accountability Office, virtually all federal employees are above average. (Are we lucky, or what?)

In a five-scale rating system, 74 percent of federal employees were given the highest two ratings of “exceeds fully successful” and “outstanding.” Including the middle category of “fully successful” encompasses more than 99 percent of federal employees, leaving less than one-half of one percent as either “minimally successful” or “unacceptable.”

If one understands even a modicum of statistics then one is familiar with the bell curve.




A bell curve tells us that there should be an “unacceptable” employee for every “exceeds fully successful” employee. The ratings for federal employees is what is known as a “skewed” distribution.


I couldn’t find any illustration with a “skew” remotely close to that of federal employee job performance but the illustration to the left gives you the idea. The federal government is so good at hiring successful employees that for every really bad employee there are 386 that are outstanding! I feel so much better about all those tax dollars I mail in every year.

I fully realize that many private firms would overrate their employees, as well. However, private firms will, at least, fire the losers. The federal government’s annual rate for firing employees is only 0.46 percent – not even one-third of the private sector rate.

When one looks at the “incentive” for ranking federal employees as “fully successful” one finds and interesting observation. [From the Greszler article] Federal managers who rate their employees as either “minimally successful” or “unacceptable” must develop extensive and time-consuming performance improvement plans for those employees. And employees who receive less than favorable ratings can appeal those decisions through either a union grievance or to the Merit Systems Protection Board, and most do. Defending that decision can cost an agency tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Forget that it costs us taxpayers millions if not billions of dollars! We certainly do not want to inconvenience our federal managers and cause them to spend “tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars” from their bloated budgets. After all, they are very busy spending trillions of dollars. It not easy spending $4.5 trillion. One needs to really get their motor running to complete the task every year.

If you spent $1000 per day, you would need to start your spending at the formation of our planet, four and one half billion years ago, to get the job done by year’s end!

Roy Filly



About Roy Filly

Please read my first blog in which I describe myself and my goals.
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