Main Street USA pays for a substantial amount of goods and services to our federal, state and local agencies (herein referred to as government) through taxes of one sort or another. A few of the taxes, fees and surcharges I can think of off the top of my head are: federal and state income taxes, corporate tax, inheritance/estate tax, property tax, sales tax, consumption taxes, poll tax, retirement tax, transfer tax, cigarette tax, hotel occupany tax, utility tax, beer and liquor excise tax, airfare excise tax…
It starts at the top where we elect officials and then they create (and Main Street USA funds), these goods and services we need that they deem should be in the public and not private sector.
That is how government grows.
With the financial stress that our country is in, I decided to look around and see where our money goes. In perusing several sites on the web I ended up looking at what public employees (those that get paid by Main Street USA) earn.
Here is a sampling of tidbits that I discovered:
The Associate Dean NRE at the U of Massachusetts earned $613,065.44 during 2008 (the highest paid state employee). Of the top 100 paid state employees in MA, all earning in excess of $225,000, 98 of them are in the field of education.
The top government employee in Clark County, NV, is the Director of Aviation with total earnings of $266,562.85. Meanwhile a Psychiatric Nurse for the State of Nevada had a salary of $76,820.08 yet earned $98,652.68 in overtime for total compensation of $182,196.63.
The President/CEO of the Tennessee Education Lottery System had a salary for 2008 of $410,811 and earned incentives of $44,444 for a total take of $455,254.
In Arkansas, the Head Football Coach for U of A Fayetteville will receive, in 2009, $1,900.000, while the Director of Athletics will make $450,000.
The Delaware Technical & Community College President makes $360,000 plus $90,000 in bonuses.
In Virginia, for the fiscal year 2008-09, about 500 local government and school division employees receive annual salaries and other compensation of $100,000 or more per year. The Henrico County Manager tops the VA list at $261,166.
The President of the University of North Carolina earned $477,148, while a Professor and Senior Associate Vice Chancellor at East Carolina University made a whopping $1,019,601.
The Mayor of Miami earns $150,000.
In New York, the VP Hospital Affairs at State University of New York has an annual salary of $723,010, while a Professor at SUNY has a 10-month calendar salary of $695,810. In fact, 24 of the top 25 NYS top earners are from SUNY, each earning in excess of $375,000.
In Texas the Chief Investment Officer of the Teacher Retirement System had a 2007 salary of $530,595.24, topping the list of state employees, while coming in a distant second was a psychiatrist for Health Services who made $354,901.12. As a note 20 of the top 30 paid positions in Texas (all earning in excess of $200,000) are psychiatrists.
In New Jersey, there are 4,517 state employees earning in excess of $100,000 during 2009.
In Illinois, the Nile West High School District Superintendent earned $411,511, while the Head Football Coach at the University of Illinois – Champaign earned just shy of one mil, $958,324 and Chicago superintendent of police, chief emergency officer, earned $309,996.
The Maricopa County Manager in AZ earns $216,382.
The Director of the PA School Employee’s Retirement Fund earns $261,542, while the Governor earns $174,435.
And of course our POTUS makes $400,000 plus the WH, Camp David, Air Force One, Marine One, etc., etc.
I did more looking at California than any other state, as that state has some incredibly bad budget problems.
In 2004, the Oakland Webmaster had a salary of $85,000 but with overtime made over $187,000.
The UCLA Chancellor earns at least $416,000 as reported in 2006 when he was hired. There are 27,000 undergraduate and 11,500 graduate students at UCLA. Meanwhile, the President at CSU Sonoma, with 8,900 students, earns $357,607.
The Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District earns $300,000 (plus a $3,000 monthly housing allowance)
An officer of the California Highway Patrol earned over $182,000 in 2006, with $108,000 of that total in overtime, while the Captain of the CHP currently earns $291,761.
A Department of Corrections physician and surgeon at San Quentin earns $517,025 (much of that in overtime).
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Chief Executive Officer received a little more than $350,000 in salary and benefits in 2004 while a total of 114 employees earned over $100,000.
The General Manager of Bay Area Rapid Transit in Oakland received a base of $334,857 and other compensation of $40,865 for a total of $334,857.
The General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, earns more than $320,000.
The Head Coach of Intercollegiate Athletics at UC Berkeley has an incredible salary of $2,342,315.00, while the head Coach at UCLA earns $2,058.475 (and their top professor rakes in $1,776,404).
It might surprise people how many Professors and Coaches in the UC system earn in excess of $500,000 each year. (In addition to salaries in UC, the total pay includes overtime, bonuses, housing allowances, relocation allowances, administrative stipends, revenue sharing and more than a dozen other types of cash compensation.)
The former Chief Investment Officer for the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS), earned $678,665, including $269,483 in performance bonuses.
In California, 5,115 retired government workers receive pensions in excess of $100,000 from CalPERS. Tops is a retiree from Vernon with a retirement of $499,674.84 per year.
The lists, obviously go on and on and on…
Where am I headed with this…I am not sure.
What I do know is the government employees, who are paid, in one way or another, by Main Street USA, are paid well. And, in some cases, they are compensated overly well for the job that they perform, compared to the private sector. PLUS, they have better benefits and pension plans than probably most all of the workers in the private sector.
On top of that there is a disparity of responsibility and pay.
I will take one for instance, from California, which I would think is probably typical for other states. I did not use the pay for any coaches in this example, as it is a comparative of management responsibility.
The CEO of Los Angeles County was hired for a salary of $310,000 in 2007. The LA County budget is $22.8 Billion. The county is home to about one-fourth of all California residents, over 9.8 million, per estimates from the US Census Bureau.
Compare that to the Governor’s office, where the annual salary is $206,500, though the Governator does not accept it. The estimated population is between 36.5 million (US Census Bureau) and 38.2 (CA estimate) with an estimated budget (for what that is worth right now) of $134 Billion.
Not sure why the County CEO earns fifty percent more than the Governor. But so do most University Presidents and many School District Superintendents, not to mention these millionaire Professors.
Suffice it to say that Main Street USA certainly has allowed the creation of BIG GOVERNMENT.
Please keep in mind the words of Patrick Henry: “The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government – lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.”
Over For Now,
Main Street One