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Private Sector Works Harder, Makes Less? Navy Official Disagrees

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Americans believe government employees receive better pay for less work, according to a Rasmussen poll released Monday.

Some 70 percent of 1,000 adults surveyed said private-sector employees work more than their government counterparts, and 54 percent believe government employees earn more than those in the private sector, the poll found.

Government workers surveyed generally agreed, with 55 percent believing the private sector works harder than they do and half saying that government workers earned more annually.

Not everyone in the government feels that way, however. Robert Work, undersecretary of the Navy, disagreed with these sentiments on Tuesday at a panel sponsored by Government Executive.

"There seems to be this feeling that government workers are overpaid and underworked. I will tell you right now it is bullshit. You can quote me on that," Work said. "These guys are terrific. Every man and woman that I have met in the department of the Navy has the same goal that I do. They are dedicated professionals and patriots and they are going to help us get through this thing."

Caitlin Fairchild joined Government Executive in summer 2011 as an editorial fellow, after graduating from the College of William & Mary, where she spent four years writing for the student newspaper, The Flat Hat. In March 2012, she was hired full time as a web producer. She has completed internships at Washingtonian Magazine and at the public affairs office of Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas.

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