For nearly four years, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy has been warning policymakers of the growing costs of public-sector workers’ salaries and pensions.

Now, it has become a popular tune.

MIRS News reported this week that the House Fiscal Agency has released a report highlighting the problems of rising public sector compensation.

The HFA report states that although the number of state employees dropped 18.2 percent since 2002, total compensation for these fewer employees has jumped from $3.9 billion in 2001 to $4.8 billion in 2010.

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Donald Grimes, a University of Michigan economist, told The Detroit News: "Our private sector workers have just been killed — that's what everyone should keep in mind. The private sector just can't afford the public sector as it's structured. In 2000, they could."

In December of 2010, Mackinac Center fiscal policy analyst James Hohman wrote, “Michigan governments would save $5.7 billion if the employment benefits of Michigan’s state and local government workers were set at private sector averages.”

Michael LaFaive, director of the Mackinac Center’s Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative, brought up the issue of the rising price of state and local government in a February 2007 report.

“We are delighted that other scholars and observers are pointing out what we made public,” LaFaive said.

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See also:

Cutting state spending requires going where the money is: K-12 education

Structural Overspending in Michigan’s State Budget: One Way to Fix It

Michigan Teacher Pay 16.5 Percent Higher Than Indiana

Michigan Spends More on Teacher Benefits Than Most Other States

What Can $5.7 Billion Get You in Michigan?

Saving $5.7 in Public Employee Benefit Savings - Is it Real?

How Does Michigan Teacher Pay Really Stack Up Against Private Sector and Teachers in Other States?

The School Employee Concession Myth

Michigan Falls to Bottom 10 in Key Economic Measure

Schools Buying Bigger Pension Payouts for Employees

Government Unions: The Real Wealth in American Politics

MichCapCon Snyder Interview, Part 1

MichCapCon Snyder Interview, Part 2

Michigan Department of Education Miscalculates Average Teacher Salary

Recaps of New Teachers Union Contracts

Analysis: Detroit Students Hostages to the Union

A Union Pension Bailout During the Lame Duck Season in Congress?

School Pensions Sucking Up Per Pupil Cash

School Pension Reform Stalls in Senate

Breaking News: House Vote Would Force Charter Schools Into Underfunded Pension System

Legislators Link Common-Sense Reforms to Tax Hikes

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