The federal government has continued to post job openings for such non-essential positions as “recreation specialists,” “social media management service,” and full-time Air Force painters, even while administration officials repeat dire warnings about furloughs and layoffs.
Sen. Tom Coburn drew attention to these openings with a letter to the Office of Management and Budget today, the latest in a series of letters to the administration about spending that contradicts its message on the sequester.
“A bleak picture has been painted of the effect of sequestration on the daily lives of taxpayers,” Coburn wrote. “According to these dire predictions, the public is being subjected to longer security lines, unsafe food, and a plethora of other perils due to this 2.3% cut to federal spending, even though the government will still spend more money this year than last. There are many ways that these agencies, if they make smart budget decisions, can deal with sequestration without affecting their mission.”
Some of the 606 new positions listed on usajobs.gov were posted on Monday, after sequestration took effect. Others are older positions that have been left open.
According to OMB, the average annual salary for a government employee is around $76,000, but some jobs offer significantly more. Law librarians at the Department of Justice, for instance, would make p to $115,742. A librarian for the U.S. Department of Agriculture is hiring a librarian at a salary of between $74,872 and $97,333.
Assuming an average salary of $76,000, one new hire equates to a one-week furlough for 52 current government employees, Coburn said.
“While the Air Force may need leadership for its museums and history programs, and the USDA may need to keep its literature in order, those needs should take a back seat to the dire threat to public health and safety that some have claimed will result from sequestration,” he wrote.