What people fail to realize about contractors is that the government doesn’t pay their salaries. The company does. The government negotiates a price for products and or services based on standard accepted cost models. The company then decides how many workers, with what skills, and experience are needed and pays them within the bounds of the total contract.
I’ve also been a contractor and a civilian employee. The government has no business setting contractor saleries. Want cheaper salaries, review the contractural cost standards that drive them.
I love my contractor buddies! We in the Defense Department can’t live without them; and I mean that literally.