Ali Meyer‘s latest report for the Washington Free Beacon pokes holes in that fable.

Government employees earn roughly 17 percent more in total compensation than private-sector workers in similar jobs, according to a report from the Congressional Budget Office.

Including both wages and benefits, the budget office compared the total compensation of similar workers who work for the federal government and those working in the private sector.

Workers who have a high school diploma or did not graduate at all earn 53 percent more in the federal government than they do in the private sector. Those individuals with a bachelor’s degree earn a total compensation that is 21 percent higher in the federal government than in the private sector.

The federal government, however, does not compensate workers with professional or doctorate degrees more. In fact, the budget office finds that the federal government pays these workers 18 percent less on average than private-sector employees with similar characteristics.

“For workers with a bachelor’s degree or less, the cost of total compensation averaged about $60 per hour worked for federal employees, compared with about $46 per hour worked for employees in the private sector with certain similar observable characteristics,” the budget office said.

“Overall, total compensation was about 17 percent higher, on average, for federal workers than for similar private-sector workers, indicating that the government spent about 17 percent more on total compensation than it would have if it provided its employees compensation equal to that of their private-sector counterparts,” they said.