News Story

One of America's 'Most Governed' States

A recent USA Today story showed the growth of pay for federal workers. It noted that those making more than $150,000 had increased ten-fold over the last five years, and doubled during just the first two years of the Obama Administration. But James Hohman, policy analyst for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, said the salaries and benefits of state and local governments should be more of an issue for Michigan taxpayers.

"Michigan residents should look much closer to home," Hohman wrote in an e-mail. " Federal workers represent relatively little of total government costs while state and local government workers are much more expensive when considering how many there are."

There are 52,600 federal workers in Michigan compared to 177,100 state employees and 400,100 local government employees, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

State Sen. Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, called Michigan the second-most governed state in the nation. He said there are 40 chiefs of police in Wayne County.

"I don't think people think of 'big government' when they think of local government," Richardville said. "Where do you think your tax dollars go?"

Richardville will soon be the Majority Leader in the Michigan Senate.

Federal employees are higher paid on average in Michigan, earning $61,647 according to BLS 2009 data. State employees earned $55,032 and local government workers earned $43,546.

Michigan Capitol Confidential has done several stories involving salaries of state and local government workers.

The salary history of a Michigan public school teacher:

The six figure cops of Sterling Heights:

Thirty-one MEDC salaries top $100,000:

The 600-student district with the $300,000 superintendent:

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.