The Feds are paying for salary, benefits, overhead, and profit. They are also paying for corporate management and all the other processes that keep these organizations working.
Sure, some federal contractors earn more per hour than their federal employee counterparts, but remember most contract employees survive contract to contract.
No contract=no work.
There is little certainty that their employer will win the next contract award and they are typically laid off, although they do exemplary work, because their employer lost a low cost competition with companies that offer lower salaries, no benefits and less capable staff.
IMHO, if the federal government has long term work they will always save money by hiring staff. They will also have to accept the risk of having excess staff if that work ends.
I have spent ~ 12 years as a federal employee and ~11 as a federal contractor. Contractors have their place and most provide excellent support, often performing work that the federal government can;t accomplish in a timely, cost effective way. Federal employees also have a huge role to play. Many are dedicated individuals who do good work, often at a pay rate lower than they could get on the open market. They are dedicated to what they do and feel the work contributes in a positive way to the country as a whole.
We need to find the right balance between federal employees and contractor support. Anyone who claims that one side is better than the other in all situations is a liar.
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