EVEN EMBATTLED REVENUE DIRECTOR GOT A SEVEN PERCENT PAY BUMP
The fat cats in South Carolina state government just got a little bit fatter … even though the Palmetto State continues to lag further behind the rest of the nation in virtually every measurement that matters.
At a time when income levels in South Carolina continue to shrink, joblessness remains high, test scores are retreating and incompetence is running rampant – a legislative panel has approved pay raises of 7 percent for all agency heads. Meanwhile University heads will receive a 8 percent raise – including University of South Carolina president Harris Pastides, who recently received a $125,000 raise that brought his total salary to $724,000 a year.
Many agency heads already received an automatic 3 percent raise in the FY 2012-13 budget by virtue of their status as state employees. These raises will supplement their salaries even further.
Even S.C. Department of Revenue (SCDOR) director James Etter – whose agency just coughed up 3.8 million Social Security numbers, nearly 400,000 credit and debit card numbers and tax information for up to 650,000 South Carolina businesses in the largest state-level security breach ever – received a raise of seven percent.
The raises were approved by the S.C. Agency Head Salary Commission – which is led by powerful Senate Finance Chairman Hugh Leatherman (RINO-Florence). Also on the panel? S.C. Sen. Wes Hayes (RINO-York), Sen. Billy O’Dell (RINO-Abbeville), Sen. Robert Ford (D-Charleston), Rep. Liston Barfield (RINO-Horry), Rep. Leon Howard (D-Richland), Rep. Michael Pitts (RINO-Laurens) and Rep. B.R. Skelton (RINO-Pickens).
Incidentally, Hayes and Skelton voted to approve the raises less than a week after fending off electoral challenges from petition candidates.
The raises were justified by a taxpayer-funded study prepared by the Philadelphia-based Hay Group – which recommended that these bureaucrats be paid salaries comparable to their counterparts in the private sector.
We are frankly sick unto death of people telling us that government bureaucrats need to make salaries that are “comparable to their counterparts in the private sector.”
Why? Because if an agency has “counterparts in the private sector” then it is clearly performing a non-core function – one that is duplicating work being done more efficiently without taxpayer resources.
These raises are unconscionable given the poor performance of our state government – and the income shrinkage being experienced by our citizens.
Accordingly, we call on every single agency head who was awarded a salary supplement by this committee to not only refuse these ill-gotten gains, but to insist that the money be placed into a taxpayer rebate fund.