The Barbershop Bailout

The Senate barbershop in DC used by some in Congress had a $300,000 operating deficit last year which prompted the Senate to give it some extra cash to sustain its operations. One former senator blames the shop’s federal employees for its financial problems.

The Senate barbershop in DC used by some in Congress had a $300,000 operating deficit last year. According to news Web site The Daily, that apparently was seen as a problem by some of the patrons since the shop got a taxpayer bailout from Senate funds.

According to the article, some senators were unaware that the money was paid out and weren’t too happy about it, and at least one senator is blaming the shop’s federal employees for the fiscal shortfall.

Former Senator Peter Fitzgerald (R-IL) said that the federal employees who work there are overpaid when compared to comparable private sector employees.

“They are using union labor, and so their benefits and wages are higher than those of many jobs,” Fitzgerald said.

When compared to a nearby private sector barbershop, the stylists there made between $22,000 and $30,000 with no benefits whereas the employees at the Senate barbershop made between $54,761 and $81,641 and also have generous benefits. Fitzgerald cited this discrepancy as a basis for supporting his argument as to the source of the barbershop’s financial problems.

Many senators still think highly of the barbershop despite its recent fiscal woes.

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.