Generally, I know when I’ve had a good show if I get hate mail and angry calls from bureaucrats about it. By that standard, today was a monumental success.
You see, here in Lexington our mayor put together a commission and the commission came up with a plan and the plan is to make another office of government dedicated to helping the homeless. Because, you know, with 70 percent of the homeless being drug addicts and 30 percent being mentally ill, certainly all they need is another collection of government employees getting paid fantastic amounts to oversee them. That’ll solve everything! But there’s a problem. In order to make another agency and hire more public employees who will make handsome wages and collect exorbitant benefits we’re going to need to “raise” more money. Hmmm. How should the government go about doing that? A bake sale? Car wash? 5K fundraiser? No. Oh wait, they’ve got the answer! Just take more from the tax payer!
So the mayor’s commission “suggested” raising fees on insurance. All insurance except health. But it’s not a tax, you see, it’s a “fee”. There’s a difference. Like, they’re different words which clearly indicates a drastically different concept. Either way, whether it’s a fee or a tax, the government has decided to take more.
But today I had enough of it. I came up with my own plan. If the mayor wants to fund his Department of Homeless Security I think there’s a way he can do it without putting his hands in my damn pocket. So I went to the database of Lexington public employees. There are 3,000 of them. 3,000 people running a city of only 300,000. Efficiency at it’s finest. After perusing for a while I discovered that there are many people working for this small city and getting paid enormously well. Enormously well, as in TWO OR THREE TIMES THE LOCAL AVERAGE INCOME. The mayor pays himself 120 grand. The Commissioner of Finance brings home 115 grand. The Public Safety Administrator brings home a whopping 120 thousand. The Director of Budgeting rakes in 85 thousand, which is 20 thousand more than the national average for a private sector accountant. The Director of Water Quality helps himself to over 100 thousand. And the list goes on and on. Of course this says nothing of their lavish benefits which are helping to bankrupt the town, but that’s another subject entirely. If the mayor is serious about wanting to help the homeless he can cut all the local bureaucrats pay, including his own, down to a respectable 60 thousand. That’s still 20 thousand more than the local average. That’s still more than most of these people could hope to make in private industry (they’ll tell you otherwise but they’re lying, they don’t know anything about private industry). Can anyone launch a salient argument in defense of the public SERVANTS of a financially struggling small city making significantly more than the national income average, and double the local average?
But this sordid tale has a horrific twist. In my research I discovered that the mayor has FOUR “senior administrative assistants” (aka secretaries) who rake in 83 GRAND A PIECE. He’s paying over a quarter million a year in tax money for ASSISTANTS. Oh but it gets worse, my friends. One of the mayor’s assistants called me live on the air to accuse me of lying. Lying because I called them secretaries when, in fact, they are “aides”. I asked her to explain the difference between a secretary and an aide. She couldn’t. I asked her to justify her 83 thousand dollar salary. She couldn’t. She told me her pay is consistent with what she’d make in the private sector. I asked her for an example. She told me about the guy who does a job like hers at the University of Kentucky. Uh, excuse me Ma’am, but THAT’S NOT THE PRIVATE SECTOR.
I’ve been doing a talk show in this city for 8 months. The mayor’s office has never once reached out to me. The first time I hear from them is to play a game of semantics about the difference between an aide and a secretary. Nurses save lives and work 14 hour shifts and they make significantly less than the mayor’s “aides”. We have firemen and cops in this town who are bringing home substantially less than the mayor’s PR people. This is not just. This is not OK. This is indefensible. I’m tired of the government being a gravy train for hacks and self entitled shills.
This is a scam and it ought to be exposed. And I’ll try to do that as much as I can. Before I end up blindfolded on a mule being banished into the desert.
Because there are deserts in Kentucky, fyi.