Here we have an emblematic example of the bogus overpaid-public-employee-horror-story brought to you by, who else, a Republican state Senator. Here’s how Greg Sargent rolls it out in his Plum Line column:
…Wisconsin GOP state senator Randy Hopper — a top target of the Dems’ recall drive — is running a new ad that slams public employees by decrying a “union bus driver in Madison making $160,000 a year.” The driver has been widely presented as the archetypal overpaid and overstuffed public employee — and a number of you seemed very interested in his case — so I thought I’d look into it a bit more.
Turns out that a little digging proves beyond doubt that pointing to this as evidence that public employees are overpaid is entirely bogus.
Sargent goes on to point out that the guy made his dough by working lots of o.t. at time-and-a-half above his hourly base ($26 per hour) — which he earned as a result of his nearly 40 years on the job. And when employees rack up large amounts of overtime, that often results from a manpower shortage caused by ill-considered r.i.f.s and layoffs.