My late husband started to work for the government in 1966. At that time we were promised that his salary would keep up with the salaries paid for similar private sector jobs. Didn't happen. The way to attract good workers is to pay them a good salary. No one should have to live in poverty because they work for the government. Also - congress certainly hasn't held back in giving its members raises but appears to want the salaried workers to work for peanuts.