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.
1. Dallas County Commissioners make $154,200
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.
2. It’s for the children
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.
3. Killer California pensions
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.
4. Subway janitor cleans up
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.
5. Utilities dispatcher strikes gold
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.
6. Small county in Oregon has over 240 employees earning six figures
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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