A new searchable map of government bloat shows there are almost as many federal government employees in Illinois as there are state employees and their benefits are generous.
OpenTheBooks.com’s latest project, “Mapping The Swamp: A Study of the Administrative State,” allows visitors to search their ZIP code to find out how many federal employees are in their backyard.
Open The Books founder and CEO Adam Andrzejewski said Illinois’ findings are eye opening.
“There are 57,000 federal workers employed by different federal agencies including the post office,” Andrzejewski said. “That number rivals the number of state employees in Illinois.”
Illinois state government employs around 63,000 workers. The largest private employer in the state is Allstate Insurance with 13,000.
Andrzejewski said 9,000 of those federal employees in Illinois make more than $100,000 a year.
Across the country after three years on the job federal bureaucrats get 43 paid days off in sick time, vacation days and holidays.
“And just that little benefit costs taxpayers $23 billion a year,” Andrzejewski said.
The report says the federal government paid its employees more than $1 million per minute, overall.
Andrzejewski said there are a couple of ways to shore up costs like eliminating bonuses.
“With these high salaries, many people don’t feel a federal worker also needs a bonus but [in 2016] just that line item cost the American taxpayer $1.5 billion,” Andrzejewski said.
He also suggested cutting “the federal in-house spin machine, the [public relations] officers. There’s 3,600 PR officers employed in the federal agencies. That line item costs the American taxpayer a half a billion dollars a year.”
“So if you do both of those things, bonuses and trim back the PR corp, there’s $2 billion on the table,” Andrzejewski said.
U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., said he was successful in opening up the House’s books with online reports of expenses required every quarter.
“That doesn’t happen for the U.S. Senate,” Davis said. “That doesn’t happen in the executive branch, and it frankly doesn't happen in the judicial branch, which I think it should.”
Davis, a Taylorville Republican, said he does what he can to control costs within his own office and members of Congress are already limited by law how large their individual budgets can be and how many employees they can hire.
You can view the entire report here