Laura Ingraham Show: Mapping The Swamp - our prime-time Interview 45_fox_news_ingraham

December 27, 2017 12:01 PM

OpenTheBooks CEO Adam Andrzejewski

with guest host Katie Pavlich

Prime-time interview launching our report

PAVLICH: The economy is much improved for blue-collar workers under President Trump's leadership, but another group that continues to do astonishingly well are employees of the federal government. According to a new report by the watchdog group Open the Books, the federal government pays its workers $1 million per minute, $66 million per hour, and $524 million per day. Great paycheck. And at 78 federal government agencies, the average employee compensation exceeded $100,000 in 2016. All of that is being paid for with your tax dollars.

So for more, let's bring in from Chicago the CEO and founder of Open the Books, Adam Andrzejewski. Right, Adam Andrzejewski, is that your name?
PAVLICH: All right, so let's go through these numbers one more time. Astonishing, by the minute how much are we paying federal employees for their time?
ANDRZEJEWSKI: Well, federal employees, the bureaucracy, is paid $1 million a minute. And you're exactly right, it's a half billion dollars a day. But we also found, when we not only opened those books, but we audit them, our team of auditors found that there are 30,000 federal bureaucrats that out earn every governor of the 50 states at $190,000 a year. That is their salary. We also found that if you are a highly compensated federal bureaucrat, and we define that as over $200,000 a year of salary and bonus, the number of federal employees have increased over the course of six years by 165 percent.
PAVLICH: So what about that? The president has been criticized for not filling all the positions in the federal government. Can the federal government function without filling all these positions, and would it actually make it more beneficial for taxpayers?
ANDRZEJEWSKI: So the president has led on this with his own payroll at the White House. He is running a leaner payroll than at the same point as during the Obama administration. He is down 100 positions and we forecast that would save taxpayers $20 million over the course of his four years.
The first lady is also leading on this. She has a payroll of five employees versus 24 employees as former first lady Michelle Obama had. But here's the point, Katie. Everybody watching the program here tonight needs to come to We have mapped the 2 million federal bureaucrats by zip code so everyone can see in their own zip code a small piece of the swamp, a small piece of the federal bureaucracy. All of us need to give it oversight, and when we get that oversight we need to have the transparency impact. We have to ask our member of Congress what they are doing to squeeze out the bloat in the federal bureaucracy.
PAVLICH: So it's not just inside the beltway, it bleeds itself out into the rest of the country as well. You talk about oversight and transparency. The numbers on bonuses are absolutely incredible -- 330,000 bonuses for $351 million, total federal bonuses $1.5 billion. And none of that is disclosed, essentially, or a very small portion.
ANDRZEJEWSKI: Right, only one-third of the total bonuses are actually disclosed. And that is a real problem. It's a transparency problem. Because the unions, the federal unions, negotiated into their contract that the performance bonuses, that's $1.1 billion worth of performance bonuses, aren't disclosed. They aren't disclosed to we, the people, in who gets what in terms of performance bonus.
And we show that small federal agencies, there is an agency out in San Francisco, California, they only employ 300 people, but three out of the four largest bonuses last year, they had three of them. These are not rocket scientists. They are not curing cancer. They are a land management organization, and the top bonus in the entire federal system went to their human resource manager. It was $141,000.
PAVLICH: How is that? How is it that this is negotiated at such a high rate? As we said at the beginning of this segment, many of these bureaucrats are being paid as much or more than elected senators. I mean, how does that process work and how did they get to those numbers?
ANDRZEJEWSKI: Well, it's not only the compensation on salary and bonuses but it's also other perquisites, like paid time off. So if you are federal bureaucrat and if you hit your three year anniversary, you stand in line to get eight and a half weeks of paid time off. It's 10 holidays, 13 sick days, 20 vacation days, 43 days a year of paid time off. That is a perk that costs taxpayers every single year $22 billion.
PAVLICH: It sounds like European-style living and working to me inside the beltway and outside, as you have pointed out. The 2018 elections are coming up. Republicans have been running for years on cutting spending. Spending cuts are always very difficult, but if you could advise politicians and congressmen on Capitol Hill who are worried about this issue, what would you say to them in terms of how to make sure that taxpayer dollars aren't being abused in this way?
ANDRZEJEWSKI: Two cuts for $2 billion, really quickly. End the bonus program. It's $1.5 billion. Then, Katie, and this is bipartisan, federal P.R. officers. There is 3,500 of them. The line item in the budget every single year as a half a billion dollars on salary and total cost, and that should be cut, as well.
PAVLICH: OK, well, Adam, thank you so much for your expertise. We have a lot of work to do. Have a good one page
ANDRZEJEWSKI: Thank you for our interest in our work.
PAVLICH: Thank you.
Read our full oversight report, Mapping the Swamp
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