The real class warfare in this country isn’t rich vs. poor, it’s government employees vs. we, the taxpayers, who pay their salaries.
Working for the government is supposed to be a trade-off: You can’t be fired and don’t have to exert yourself, but you will receive smaller remuneration than in the private sector, where layoffs are common (especially in the Obama economy!). Instead, government jobs are safe, secure, pressure-free — and now, amazingly lucrative!
Whether it’s in Wisconsin, Illinois, California or the nation’s capital, today’s public sector workers expect to do little or no work (I’m not counting partying in Las Vegas as “work”), and then be lavishly compensated. Often, the only heavy lifting they do all week is picking up their paychecks.
When government employees mobbed the state capitol in Wisconsin last year, the upside was: They got to bully people. The downside: Voters finally found out what these public servants were being paid.
Their compensation included not only straight salary, but also lavish overtime benefits, pensions, health care plans, sick days and vacation time (most of which they spent protesting).
The unions thought they could fight back against Gov. Scott Walker’s tiny rollbacks without anyone finding out the details. Most people saw what public employees were getting and assumed it was a misprint.
Two years ago, seven bus drivers in Madison, Wis., made more than $100,000 a year.
A few years before that, we found out that the city manager of little Bell, Calif. — per capita annual income $24,800 — was making $787,637, or including benefits: $1.5 million a year. The chief of police was getting $457,000 a year — $770,046 counting benefits — making him the first chief of police to commit highway robbery on the job. The assistant city manager was taking home $376,288 per year, for a total compensation package of $845,960.
All were Democrats, the party of big government.
Speaking of which — whatever happened to that investigation Gov. Jerry Brown was launching into these thieving public servants drawing million-dollar pensions from California taxpayers? The Bell scandal broke during the California gubernatorial race between Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown, who was then state attorney general. Brown vowed a no-holds-barred inquiry.
Anyone seen his report yet?
Jerry Brown will demand to see Obama’s birth certificate before he will call for a rollback of these undeserved, million-dollar government pensions.
Less than 20 percent of private sector employees get pensions. Most people save their own money for retirement — for example, through 401(k)s. By contrast, government employees expect to be paid by us for the rest of their lives.
Former representative and amateur home pornographer Anthony Weiner was a member of Congress until he resigned last June in order to spend more time with his hard drive. He will probably end up collecting about a million dollars from his 80 percent taxpayer-funded government pension.
These are the “1 percent” deserving of the public’s wrath: We’re paying their salaries. We weren’t taxed to pay Mitt Romney’s salary at Bain Capital. We aren’t taxed to pay the salaries of Jamie Dimon or Alex Rodriguez. Anthony Weiner? Him, we pay for.
Government employees expect to live like something out of the czar’s court — and then have us admire them as if they’re Rosa Parks.
At the 2008 Democratic National Convention, Barack and Michelle Obama both paid heartfelt tributes to themselves for passing up money-grubbing private sector jobs to work in “public service.”
In her speech, Michelle boasted that she had “tried to give back to this country.”
“… That’s why I left a job at a law firm for a career in public service, working to empower young people to volunteer in their communities.”
She was hired by the University of Chicago hospital as soon as her husband became a state senator. When he was elected to the U.S. Senate, her salary nearly tripled, from $121,910 to $316,962 — and the junior senator from Illinois returned the favor by sending taxpayer dollars the hospital’s way.
By Obama’s second year in the U.S. Senate, in 2006, Michelle Obama’s compensation from “public service” was approximately $375,000 a year — more than triple the average salary for a lawyer in the United States with 20 years’ experience.
(America to the Obamas: “You two have sacrificed enough. Please retire and kick back a little!”)
Vice President Joe Biden, long touted as the poorest U.S. senator, took home $248,459 in household income in 2006, including his public school teacher wife’s salary, also paid by taxpayers. In 2007, these working poor made $319,853. This puts the couple nearly into the top 1 percent of all earners in the U.S., where the median household income was $48,201 in 2006 and $50,233 in 2007.
A career in “public service” pays well.
Ann Coulter is an author and political commentator.