Monday, April 26, 2010

Excessive Government Pay?

The best part is the S.F. deputy police chief saying he's helped reduce the deficit because of the taxes he paid on his half million dollars salary. (Rachel Gordon, April 26, 2010, SF Chronicle)

Oh, the arrogance and self-dealing.


Marissa said...

Ay ay ay...

Though he's certainly not well spoken, he's got a point that he didn't articulate very well. When one employee who has accrued sick time actually takes the sick time, in addition to paying that employee, the employer pays the person who has to fill that position (provided it's public safety) time and a half. Essentially, it's the same work at 3.5x pay. It's more cost-efficient to cash out the employee who doesn't use their sick time on all accounts. It just sucks that they do it all at once, taxwise for the employee and costwise for the employer.

One thing that my employer has implemented is tiered benefits-sick time cashout being one of them. I and other employees that were hired after a certain date in the 1980's aren't eligible for cashout of our sick time. "Use it or lose it."

Marissa said...

Where did you get that information? My dad's retired from the City of San Jose, and though he made a killing on his cashout-it was a one time thing. His retirement salary wasn't affected. I promise you. The same goes for my retirement system (PERS). It's based on your base salary the last year, plus any specialties.

For instance, I've known several dispatchers and officers who've definitely got enough seniority to take cushy dayshift positions in their last year but opt to work graveyard shift because it'll get them $100 a month extra (depending on their Union's shift differential rate) for the rest of their lives. It definitely doesn't include the least with the two retirement agencies I'm familiar with.

p.s. We're taxpayers too.

K_Yew said...

@Marissa: good points--check out this link for more info:

You are right, though--the link doesn't specifically address whether pension payouts are affected by cashouts, but it's 3AM, and I am too tired to do any real research :-)

When you say that police officers and public safety workers are "taxpayers too," you are technically correct. However, each and every government employee is a net loss, because their salary comes directly from other taxpayers.

For example, a hotel owner and worker earn money from many different sources--international, out of state, domestic, etc. The hotel worker and owner pay more to the government than they collect--even if every single person staying at the hotel is a local resident.

In contrast, every single gov worker takes more from the gov than what s/he pays b/c the gov pays the salary. This distinction between public vs. private enterprise is something schools fail to teach.

Remember: private enterprise has to create something valuable in order to survive and to earn revenue. That's not the case with most gov workers.

The question is whether we are being cost-effective in hiring and retaining government employees.