Why hiring a government employee does nothing to stimulate the economy.
We will assume that everyone mentioned is single and pays their full tax rate and takes the standard deduction for simplicity.
Let's say we have a government employee who makes $50,000 a year (roughly a GS-9 step 1). Their taxable income is $44,050 and they are just into the 25% bracket and will end up paying $6,172.50 in taxes. Because money is fungible that means that they are really costing the government $43,727.50 to pay them because their taxes return to the same pile that's paying them.
So, how many $50,000 jobs does it take before we've collected enough taxes to pay one government employee the same salary? Simple math. They pay $6,172.50 each, so $43,727.50 / $6,172.50 = 7.1 (rounded).
7.1 * $50,000 = $355,022.28 in private sector income to pay enough straight taxes to make one government employee's SALARY.
Just for laughs, you have to be making $238,198.49 for a single person to be paying enough taxes to pay for one $50,000 government salary.
None of this counts the taxes the employer is paying nor the overhead costs of the government employee. The rule of thumb is that it costs three times as much as the salary for every employee. So we'd need to triple the number of workers to support each government wage. And the businesses hiring our tax payers need to have triple their salaries to pay THEIR overhead too.
So to pay one government employee it takes $3,195,200.49 in revenue that will go entirely to salary. In reality it's going to be much more since a business will also need to buy non-overhead items and will expect to make a profit.
Pretty staggering, huh?
How many 35 hour a week minimum wage ($7.67/hr) workers does it take to pay one $50k a year government salary? 50.261 straight up, 150.78 to account for overhead.
That's a $13,959.40 annual income, $8,009.40 taxable; $800.94 paid in taxes.
That's a lot of people flipping burgers, isn't it?
Not a penny of these taxes mentioned is going towards buying anything, like paving roads, delivering mail, arming troops or launching ships.