Government Spending

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Rizzo!

Incredible, unsurprising story from the L.A. Times:

Bell, one of the poorest cities in Los Angeles County, pays its top officials some of the highest salaries in the nation, including nearly $800,000 annually for its city manager, according to documents reviewed by The Times.

In addition to the $787,637 salary of Chief Administrative Officer Robert Rizzo, Bell pays Police Chief Randy Adams $457,000 a year, about 50% more than Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck or Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca and more than double New York City's police commissioner. Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia makes $376,288 annually, more than most city managers.

Top officials have routinely received hefty annual raises in recent years. Rizzo's contract calls for 12% raises each July, the same as his top deputy […]

Rizzo, who has run Bell's day-to-day civic affairs since 1993, was unapologetic about his salary.

"If that's a number people choke on, maybe I'm in the wrong business," he said. "I could go into private business and make that money. This council has compensated me for the job I've done."

Whole thing here; link via the Twitter feed of Kevin Drum.

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  1. I could go into private business and make that money.

    I’m certain you could.

    1. I know a way to find out.

    2. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

    3. I am certain he couldn’t. Only CEOS or very top executives make that kind of money. No way does a small town city manager land one of those jobs.

      1. bell isn’t exactly a small town.

  2. Wow, that’s almost as bad as the inflated CEO salaries in the private sector. Talk about taking lessons from Enron!

    1. Yeah, except that they’re being paid with money people are forced to give to the city of Bell.

    2. Enron forces you to give them money? Have you called the police?

      1. Enron effectively stole the money from its employees.

        1. Re: Max,

          Enron effectively stole the money from its employees.

          Liar.

        2. LOL

          Trust me, I speak from experience. Enron didn’t “steal” from employees.

          Enron “stole” from its lenders by paying a bunch of cash bonuses based on non-cash earnings.

          Fuck, you are an ignorant twat.

    3. You’re right Max, it’s pretty much exactly the same. Because if you don’t like the salary the CEO of company X is getting, you can stop doing business with them, but if you live in Bell and don’t like these salaries, you can, uh, well, I guess you can get the hell out of Bell.

      Yeah, almost exactly the same.

      1. Goddammit, brevity wins again!! I shake my tiny fist in your direction.

    4. Re: Max,

      Wow, that’s almost as bad as the inflated CEO salaries in the private sector.

      No, Max: It’s worse. The inflated salaries of those tax-fed leeches come from money taken at bayonet point by other tax-fed leeches (which are called with a very sick sense of humor: “tax collectors”), whereas CEOs are paid by their customers who use their money.

      1. This is certainly a big distinction, but one that gets blurrier every time another taxpayer bailout is done.

      2. Max may unfortunately have a point, with things like subsidies and tax breaks and competition-strangling regulations that I’m sure help most corporations’ bottom lines. Those CEOs’ enormous salaries are maybe 30% evil, compared to the 100% evil of Bell’s public employees’ salaries.

        1. Max does not have a point because Max supports a large, powerful government unlike most of the rest of us. Large, powerful governments can take from taxpayers to give to their corporate friends while a libertarian government would not tax people to give welfare to ANYONE. It is Max and people like him that perpetuate what even he doesn’t like. In other words, he’s an idiot.

          1. Re: Nick,

            Max does not have a point because Max supports a large, powerful government unlike most of the rest of us.

            Be careful not to commit non-sequiturs when arguing. Just because Max is an obvious and unbridled authoritarian with absolutely no sense of morallity or ethics, with a frightening disdain for personal liberty almost reaching the sociopathic, does not ipso facto invalidate his point.

            1. does not ipso facto invalidate his point

              But that’s the way to bet.

    5. Max: “Wow, that’s almost as bad as the inflated CEO salaries in the private sector.”

      So…your point would be…two wrongs make a right ? Fucking brilliant.

    6. So, you’re saying they should put this guy in jail? That’s a little extreme, I think firing him would be fine.

  3. Can I get a Reader’s Digest condensed books version of how/why that city is paying those people so much?

    1. How the FUCK can they justify those fucking salaries?!? How do the people of the town not freak the fuck out?

  4. This is just a straight taxpayer shakedown with no middlemen. The only surprise is that it doesn’t happen more often.

    1. “The only surprise is that it doesn’t happen more often.”

      What?

      1. because voters, in general, are idiots.

      2. Usually there are more layers of obfuscation between the victims and the thieves.

  5. He wouldn’t be paid that salary if the good taxpayers of Bell didn’t think he was worth it. So if the taxpayers fall short and Bell faces insolvency, then I will be happy to extend to them Federal dollars to make up the shortfall in Mr. Rizzo’s salary.

    Ditto for public sector employees across the entire state of California including CALPERS retirees.

    I would not be able to make that decision had voters not elected me so this is obviously what the country wants.

    1. Is that you MNG?

    1. DOOOOM cock!

      1. Didn’t figure we had that many Preacher fans out there.

        1. Yeah, I do love that series.

  6. Can I get a Reader’s Digest condensed books version of how/why that city is paying those people so much?

    People are idiots.

  7. Bell, one of the poorest cities in Los Angeles County…”I could go into private business and make that money”

    I’m sure Bernie Madoff could give you a few pointers.

  8. Bernie Madoff. Was he a civil servant?

    1. Re: Max,

      Bernie Madoff. Was he a civil servant?

      Tim Geitner – was he a . . . Never mind.

    2. No, but he owned a few.

    3. Of course not. When civil servants commit fraud, they get away with it.

    4. Bernie Madoff would now be Chairman of the FTC had he been a Civil Servant.

    5. Right, no civil servant has ever administered a Ponzi Scheme.

  9. Obviously, I chose the wrong path in life. I should have aspired to be a city manager.

  10. I want a position on one of those other boards or councils that meet for one minute each year, and pay six figures…that’s where the real money is.

  11. Bell has fewer than 40,000 inhabitants, yet its city manager makes twice as much as the president.

  12. If the citizenry of Bell wants to be wholesale retarded, let them.

  13. Some Bell factoids:

    Bell has a pop of 37,000 and median income per household of $29,946. An $800,000 salary is ~$21 for every man, woman, child. A family of 4 pays $84 every year to have their 2.6 sq mile town managed… a town roughly 1500 acres.

    Bell’s pop is 90.90% Hispanic or Latino of any race who apparently love being RIPPED THE FUCK OFF.

    1. Ah, so it’s protection money.

      1. For better or for worse, that’s what most taxes boil down to.

    2. Wow, more than three quarters of a million dollar salary for a town of 37,000 people?

      Is that right?

      Does the guy who makes this salary give free blowjobs on request or something? What could possibly justify this salary?

    3. “””Bell’s pop is 90.90% Hispanic or Latino of any race who apparently love being RIPPED THE FUCK OFF.””

      The city council is 100% Hispanic so its just a bit of Mexico in the USA

      http://www.cityofbell.org/city_message.php

    4. “A family of 4 pays $84 every year to have their 2.6 sq mile town managed.”

      Not to mention the $40 a year to have the town assistant-managed or the $48 a year for the police to have a chief. And I assume there are more than just three people on the city payroll. Good god.

  14. “If that’s a number people choke on, maybe I’m in the wrong business,” he said. “I could go into private business and make that money.

    Bullshit. He’d be the manager of a local rent-a-cop company making $72,000 a year with partial dental.

  15. Here’s the President’s compensation:

    The president earns a $400,000 annual salary, along with a $50,000 annual expense account, a $100,000 non-taxable travel account and $19,000 for entertainment.[26][27] The most recent raise in salary was approved by Congress and President Bill Clinton in 1999 and went into effect in 2001

    From Wikipedia. Mr. Rizzo makes almost twice as much as the President.

    1. Who do you think has a tougher job?

      1. It’s a toss-up.

    2. Yes but Obama plays five times more Golf than Rizzo. Plus Rizzo doesn’t get the cool plane to fly around in. Poor Rizzo.

  16. I think the solution to Bell’s problems is making it easier for the city council to raise taxes and spend more money.

    Why stop at a simple majority? Maybe all you should need is, say, 1 out of 3!

  17. “If that’s a number people choke on, maybe I’m in the wrong business.”

    You’re not “in business,” douchebag.

  18. The Mayor of Chicago only makes $170k per year.

    1. I wouldn’t vote for a Chicago candidate too stupid to supplement his salary with kickbacks and bribes.

    2. Over the table, that is.

  19. That’s nothing.

    In NY they apparently pay people to stake out garbage to catch and fine dumpster divers. It’s a pretty lucrative business.

    A 73-year-old Queens woman whose family was slapped with $4,000 in fines for taking an abandoned AC unit celebrated Wednesday after a city judge tossed out the violations.

    Margaret Colavita was hit with a $2,000 citation after her nephew borrowed her car and then broke one of the city’s most peculiar laws: He scooped up an air conditioner dumped on a Middle Village sidewalk.

    …..

    Under city law, once a resident puts out an AC unit or other large recyclable appliance for pickup, it’s illegal for someone to use a vehicle to haul it away. Colavita was issued half the fine because Lawrence used her car.

    Wednesday, sanitation officer Freddy Caceres told Judge Dolores Balsamo he was just doing his job.

    “My job was to sit and watch and conduct surveillance to see if anyone would come out to take it unauthorized,” Caceres said

    Here is a report about the arrest before the case was tossed

    1. Wanted to add that it only seems to be illegal if you take away the stuff in some kind of automobile.

      If the guy would have picked it up and carried it away on his back, it’s possible he wouldn’t have been in any trouble.

      Oh and they impunded the car too.

      1. What a bizarre law, but NYC has a few of those. Are garbage disposals still illegal there? At least for a long time they were, due to opposition by the sanitation worker’s union.

  20. max : “Bernie Madoff. Was he a civil servant?”

    No , but the civil servants who should have been keeping up on his little endeavor were obviously asleep at the switch and therefore way overpaid.

  21. 90% Hispanic huh? Well then, learn this: un politico pobre es un pobre politco. (A politican who is poor is a poor politician.) AND
    No me des, pero ponme donde hay. (Don’t give me anything, just show me where it is.)
    Learn this: “I believe that all government is evil, and that trying to improve it is a waste of time.” – H.L.Mencken

  22. Man, Stockard Channing was a babe back then.

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