By Wayne Allyn Root
How would you like to retire with $6 million? $8 million? $10 million? All you have to do is become a government employee to hit the jackpot.
You don’t believe me? Do the math. I recently talked with a retired New York City toll taker. His salary averaged about $70,000 per year over 20 years. But in his last few years he worked loads of overtime and added in accumulated sick days to get his salary in those final years up to $150,000. His pension is based on his final years’ salary. This is a common pension-padding ploy.
This retired toll taker will now get a taxpayer funded pension of $120,000 a year for the rest of his life. He’s only 50 years old. The average 50-year old male has a life expectancy of almost 80. With automatic cost of living increases, that’s a bill to taxpayers of $5 Million for the next 30 years- for not working. THREE TIMES WHAT HE EARNED WHILE WORKING.
But here’s a frightening question- what if he lives to 90? Or 100? His pension could rise to $6 or $8 million or higher.
Multiply this times 21 million government employees (on the federal, state and local level) and you now get a sense of one of the biggest spending problems bankrupting America. Obama constantly boasts that he has “saved” government employee jobs. Well that’s not a positive. It’s a negative. Every government job you saved costs taxpayers millions in bloated salary, obscene pension, and free healthcare for life.
Are these stories the exception, rather than the rule?
Over 77,000 federal government employees earned more than the Governor of their state (http://www.washingtontimes.
On the federal level, it was just reported by USA Today that the average federal civil servant compensation is $123,049 per year (http://www.usatoday.com/
Since 2000, federal government employee compensation has grown by 36.9% versus 8.8% for private sector employees.
But it’s at the state and local level that the worst problem exists.
In Las Vegas (Clark County) the average firefighter earns $199,678 per year (http://www.lasvegassun.com/
Now I agree that policemen and firefighters are heroes. But should all heroes retire on 6-figure pensions, paid by taxpayers? It would be nice if they could, but it’s unaffordable. It will bankrupt a nation. Ask Greece. Or ask California.
But the reality is that police and firemen make up a small portion of government employees. Recent studies prove the average janitor that works for government makes over $600,000 more in his career than a private sector janitor. Are janitors heroes too? This goes on at every level of government.
The Las Vegas Review Journal had three stories in one day recently that sums up this national outrage.
Let’s start with the Las Vegas teachers union. It was reported that more than a third of the union’s entire $4.1 million annual budget went to pay just nine union leaders (http://www.lvrj.com/news/
Article number two was about those highly paid Las Vegas firefighters. It turns out they weren’t satisfied with making almost $200,000 per year. They also abused sick leave, rigged work schedules to pump up their pensions, and appear to have engaged in widespread disability fraud (http://www.lvrj.com/opinion/
Article number three was about a now retired Las Vegas homicide detective and possible police brutality (http://www.lvrj.com/news/
These aren’t CEO types. These are average government employees retiring with the equivalent of $5 to $10 million. Do you know any small business owners who retire with $5 to $10 million? They are few and far between. But that’s exactly what a private sector employee would need in the bank on the day of his or her retirement to match the $100,000 per year pensions (plus health care benefits and cost of living increases) of government employees paid out over 30 to 50 years. Keep in mind that government employees never risk a dollar of their own money. They have lifetime job security. And they rarely work beyond 9 to 5, let alone weekends or holidays.
Yet government employees are paid millions by taxpayers to retire early, often on pensions fattened by gaming the corrupt system. This is a national disgrace that is bankrupting America.
This is the scandal that makes Bernie Madoff look like a small-time crook.
Wayne Allyn Root is a former Libertarian Vice Presidential nominee. He now serves as Chairman of the Libertarian National Congressional Committee. He is the best-selling author of “The Conscience of a Libertarian: Empowering the Citizen Revolution with God, Guns, Gold & Tax Cuts.” His web site: www.ROOTforAmerica.com