A couple of days ago, my colleague Lorie forwarded me a link to this story about just how Massachusetts is handling its budget. It wasn’t anything new to me; just adding details to stuff I already knew, so I didn’t bother doing anything with it.
But it lingered in the back of my mind.
Then, today, I noticed that the Boston Herald had yet another story that spelled out just how horribly messed up the Bay State is.
I have no problem with paying police officers (and, for that matter, teachers) well. But I think that it should be spelled out, clearly and up front. This business of “details,” “stipends,” and whatnot is simply a way of paying off public employees quietly, not in ways that might raise red flags.
But do Boston cops do such a great job that over a third of them take home over $100,000 a year? That of the 125 highest paid city employees, 124 are Boston’s Finest?
I seriously doubt it.
The real story here is not the police, but their unions. The city desperately wants to keep the unions happy, and the easiest way to do that is to throw money at them. After all, it’s not their money; it’s taxpayer money, from the city, state, and Washington. And if they can do it in less than obvious ways, like all these extras and perks and benefits, it doesn’t show up at a casual glance.
In the meantime, we hear how the city is in horrid financial shape, that the state is running a seven-figure deficit, and they need to raise taxes and get more aid.
Is it too late to offer Massachusetts back to the British?