In his Nov. 4 Newsmax column blaming public-sector employees for "why we are suffering the Obama Great Depression," Wayne Allyn Root cites one example: "According to USA Today and the New York Post, Firemen in Las Vegas average just under $200,000 per year."
We couldn't find any instance in which either USA Today and the New York Post made that claim -- perhaps because even if they had, it would be false.
What actually happened, according to a Las Vegas TV station, is that some fire department employees in another city in Nevada -- not Las Vegas -- were making more than $200,000 a year by racking up overtime. Not an "average," not by salary alone.The fire chief in that town said it was cheaper to pay someone overtime than to hire and train additional personnel.
In fact, Las Vegas firefighters recently signed a new labor deal in which they will not receive a cost-of-living raise for the third year in a row and see their health insurance costs increase. A Las Vegas councilman said that the city "didn’t have the same problems" with overtime as other cities did.
Not having his facts straight, however, doesn't keep Root from ranting anyway:
When Obama creates new government jobs, he’s just created a massive new obligation for taxpayers. Not just an expense for this year, but an expense for 50 or more years (until the day each government employee dies). In somecases, it’s even worse. When a government employee dies, their bloated pension is paid to the surviving spouse until they die.
So Obama isn’t helping us by creating government jobs. He’s killing us. For every new government job he’s putting taxpayers on the hook for $100,000 a year for the next 20 to 30 years, plus $100,000 a year for 30 or more years after they retire, plus free healthcare for life.
Why is America broke? It’s the bloated number of government employees. It’s their wages (salaries 40 percent to 70 percent above the private sector) and their pensions that are destroying the U.S. economy and creating a lifetime of unsustainable debt for future generations.
Actually, there isn't a "bloated number of government employees." The number of executive-branch employees per capita in the U.S. population has been steadily decreasing over the last 50 years.