A familiar and tiring refrain from the governing class is that what they do is a “public service.” It is often followed up with, “We aren’t in this for the money.” On this Labor Day, here are some eye-popping local public official salaries that will make your eyes pop and your wallet deflate.
In Texas, the Dallas County Commissioners last year voted to increase their pay by six percent, which means their pay is now $154,200. According to the Dallas Morning News, that rate “doesn’t include a $9,200 car allowance.” The workload for that money? According to the Dallas County Commissioners Court webpage: “The Dallas County Commissioners Court meets twice a month on the first and third Tuesday, at 9:00 AM.” Not bad for two days per month of work.
For 10 months of work in a year, the AVERAGE salary in the Central Islip Public Schools, on Long Island, New York, is $121,261, before benefits. According to the Blaze, benefits and retirement contributions add an extra $40, 193 to that total. That’s a compensation package of over $160,000.
If you’ve ever wondered why California finds itself in a continual financial crisis, look no further than public pensions. According to Forbes, there are 10 people receiving a pension of $279,720 or higher from CalPERS, the California public employ pension system. That’s not all. Forbes reports that there are 21,862 former public employees in California making $100,000 or more in pension payments per year.
In 2015, a BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) janitor made a whopping $235,000 in direct compensation, according to the San Jose Mercury News. That included a staggering $162,000 in overtime pay. Liang Zhao Zhang’s total compensation package after benefits was over $270,000. From 2013 to 2015, the Mercury News reports he raked in a combined $682,000 in compensation.
California really is a target-rich environment. In 2016, a City of Riverside public utilities dispatcher dug up $257,000 in overtime pay alone. The Press Enterprise reports his total pay was $373,235. That means his base pay as a dispatcher was already over $100,000.
These are just a few outrageous examples of public-sector compensation. They highlight a growing problem where the difference between the haves and have-nots is not between business owners and their employees; rather, it is between public-sector and private-sector employees.
When all benefits are taken into account, public-sector employees on average earn considerably higher wages than their private-sector counterparts. The CBO recently showed that “federal employee pay, benefits [were] ahead of private sector on average,” according to the Washington Post.
As you enjoy the Labor Day weekend, remember: To truly be rich, get yourself a government job.
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Robert Eno is the director of research for Conservative Review. He is a conservative from deep blue Massachusetts but now lives in Greenville, SC.