Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Fiscal Prudence for Thee But Not for Me

Those of you who watch television news may remember seeing that Governor Phil Bredesen only have 2% raises for "state employees" this year. His definition of state workers seems to be a bit convoluted:
You've heard of Speakers Jimmy Naifeh and John Wilder; but you may not be as familiar with their right-hand men. Burney Durham is Naifeh's chief of staff and chief clerk of the House.

In 2003, Durham made around $115,000. Now, he makes more than $145,000 -- a 26% increase from three years ago.

Russell Humphrey is Wilder's chief of staff in the Senate. His salary increased from $104,000 to $134,000 -- 28% in three years.

"Are you worth that much money?" asked Amons.

"I love my job. I'd do it no matter what they paid me," said Humphrey.

Last year alone, Humphrey and Durham got 12% raises -- six times what Governor Phil Bredesen budgeted for everyone else. At Governor Bredesen's state of the state address, he had announced, "we're proposing a total of 2% in raises for our employees."

Channel 4's I-Team tracked the salaries of every state employee over the last three-years. In the legislature, we found the ten staffers who make more than $100,000 a year each averaged a 20% increase from 2003 to 2006. That's more than TWICE what the average state worker got during the same time period -- 9%.
Sounds a lot like our Mayor Herenton and his cushy crew, doesn't it? The police and fire department and other first responders have to make do with no raise, but Herenton's political appointees and his office staff are quite well paid.

On your dime.

I thought America was a represetative democracy where the bureacracy were "public servants." Since when did we become a monarchy with an aristocracy?

Link via Say Uncle.

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