It’s always an adventure when you print the facts:
“North Carolina’s top-paid legislator in 2009 earned 48 percent more than the average state government employee earned in the same year, and 54 percent more than the average private sector employee. The top-paid legislator was Senate President Pro Tempore Marc Basnight, D-Dare, who collected $86,211.48. The top-paid legislators also hold the highest offices in the state General Assembly. Among the 25 legislators collecting the highest compensation in 2009, the vast majority were Democrats; only six were Republicans.”
According to NC Policy Watch, a Leftist think tank, the “distorted” legislative pay that is at issue was calculated by General Assembly Financial Services Controller Wesley Taylor. Taylor might be one more person to include in NC Policy Watch’s retort, particularly this statement, “It is the latest ridiculous misrepresentation by the think tanks on the Right in their ongoing assault on government and everything associated with it.”
The next response from NC Policy Watch might be that the respective sentence is being taken out of context, so pretty much what you just did in response to said article. We at Civitas and John Locke are presenting the facts. We did not ask for mostly Democrats to be in office and “receive” more than the average public and private employees in 2009.
That said, with the short session over and the long session on deck, is now the time to start thinking about increasing compensation for our leaders when unemployment has remained in double digits for months? Do legislators need to be working as many hours to take care of state business? For example, do legislators need to be making u-turns back to the state Capitol to sit on a study committee to decide whether to regulate beauty pageants when session has ended and 9.9 percent of North Carolinian residents are not working?
And in terms of the money, is being taxed at $13,951 the same as being taxed at $45,000? Legislators often do not work on Fridays too. As said in the NC Policy Watch article, “But lawmakers don’t make $45,000 a year. That’s how much they receive. The comparison to other state employees or private sector workers is absurd.”
“Rank and file members of the General Assembly earn an annual salary of $13,951 for a job that keeps them in Raleigh for roughly six months for long sessions held in odd numbered years and three months for the short session that convenes in May of even-numbered years.”
Who said legislators shouldn’t be compensated? But are the hours they spend legislating and the amount of money they earn accurately reported? Then again, asking NC Policy Watch to make compensation rates an apples to apples comparison is often a flat-line request, considering their interests align with promoting a far-Left agenda.