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Mon Jan 23, 2012, 11:18 AM

Scott Brown’s phony concern for public servants

Scott Brown’s phony concern for public servants

By Steve Benen

If it seems as if Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) frequently struggles with the basics, it’s because he does.

Brown also took on President Barack Obama for proposing tax hikes on families who earn more than $250,000 per year, saying that would hurt “teachers, firefighters, policemen, folks who work two jobs.”

Asked which public servants earn that much money, Brown said it is common for police officers to earn well over $100,000 annually when overtime is factored into their pay.

“You throw in a teacher who’s working, plus a summer job, it adds up pretty quickly,” he said. “There’s quite a few of them.”

This is just a mess. I’ll concede that there are probably some law-enforcement personnel who, with extensive overtime, can earn six-figure salaries, but (a) it’s a very small number; (b) thanks to marginal tax rates, a tax increase on income above $250,000 would hardly affect these folks at all; and (c) if they’re bringing in over a quarter-million a year, shielding these folks from modest tax increases to strengthen the country overall shouldn’t be politicians’ top priority.

Besides, as Benjy Sarlin noted, “It doesn’t sound like there’s an epidemic of high-income public servants based on the available data for the area. According to Salary.com, which tracks average pay across various professions, 90% of Boston police patrol officers made a base salary below $75,307 last year and 90% of Lowell patrol officers made a base salary below $70,857. 90% of firefighters in Boston make under $68,793, and below $64,729 in Lowell. The average teacher in Lowell makes about $80,841 a year, according to the Massachusetts Department of Education, higher than the statewide average of $68,781.”

But even if we put all of that aside, what really rankles here is the notion that Scott Brown is eager to look out for teachers and first responders.

- more -

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal/2012_01/scott_browns_phony_concern_for034921.php



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Reply Scott Brown’s phony concern for public servants (Original post)
ProSense Jan 2012 OP
ProSense Jan 2012 #1
karynnj Jan 2012 #2

Response to ProSense (Original post)

Mon Jan 23, 2012, 11:35 AM

1. Kick! n/t

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Mon Jan 23, 2012, 11:52 AM

2. If there is a cop/teacher couple, who both $100,000 with the

teacher earning an addition $50,000 in the three months of summer - which is pretty impressive as that would be a $200,000 job if it could be done full time, they would still JUST get to $250,000. If that is all their income, they are still impacted. If you assume they are both at $105,000, that would mean the marginal income on that last $10,000 is impacted.

So, this poor couple, earning $260,000 a year, would have to pay an addition about $300. if that rate were raised 3%. I think they could handle that pretty well.

I assume there are a few teachers here who want Brown's list of where teachers can aspire to make that much.

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