From the article:
When it comes to wages and benefits, those government workers have unions to thank for their good fortune. The CBO notes that around 21 percent of the federal workforce is unionized, as opposed to the 8 percent of the private sector that enjoys union protections. Longtime organizer and senior fellow at the Citizen Engagement Lab Matt Browner-Hamlin pointed out to AlterNet that the private sector labor movement has been decimated by decades of concerted attacks, and indeed in the last year we've seen moves both successful and unsuccessful (Scott Walker in Wisconsin, John Kasich in Ohio) to curtail the power of public sector unions on the state level.
And yet the pundit class seems entirely to miss the point. The Atlantic's Jordan Weissman delivered a typically glib read of the study, writing “The upshot: Federal pay might be too high overall, and it's probably not getting us a better government.” This, he said, is “more or less” the finding of the CBO study. That's actually a massive overstatement, and in the case of the “better government,” almost entirely an ideological read.
Browner-Hamlin said, “Pitting private sector workers against public sector workers is straight class warfare. Rather than helping lift private sector workers up to the salary and benefits public workers have, the effort is to pull public workers down to the depressed levels of their non-unionized, underpaid and un-benefited private sector peers.”
He continued, “It's much more beneficial for elites to have the 99% fight against itself for scraps than look at the source of their problems above them.”
The rabid RW assault on labor continues. For the people to have a bad sentiment against unions, and then expecting them to function, is like cutting your own throat and waiting for the other person to die. Like said above, it's easier for the 1% to control the 99% when the 99% is fighting itself.