Police Pay and Benefits Higher Than More Dangerous Jobs

View as PDF
CHICAGO—Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics do not support the perception that police officers have very high-risk jobs, or that there is a “war on cops,” according to Jim Tobin, President of Taxpayers United of America.
“Police-organization bureaucrats repeatedly state that there is a ‘war on cops’ in order to justify police salaries and the ability in some municipalities for cops to retire at an unusually young age, often in their fifties,” said Tobin. “By retiring earlier than most workers, police officers can literally rake in millions of dollars in pension benefits over a normal lifetime.”
“In fact, the number of on-the-job police fatalities has dropped nearly 50 percent in the last 20 years, even as the total number of cops has doubled. And, by the way, the leading cause of death for cops is car accidents, not violence.”
“Figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics prove that police work is not one of the top five or even top ten most hazardous jobs. Police officer fatalities and reported injuries place them at number 12. Eleven jobs are more hazardous, number one being Fishermen, with 129 fatalities per 100,000 workers. The average annual salary of a fisherman is only $27,950 and does not include a pension. The second most hazardous job is that of logger, with 116 fatalities per 100,000 workers. The average annual salary of a logger is $30,360 with no pension benefits. Farmers and ranchers have 40 fatalities per 100,000 workers and earn about $49,140 per year. Sanitation workers have 37 fatalities per 100,000 workers and earn $32,790 per year. Number 12 on the list is police officers, with 16 fatalities per 100,000 workers. The national average annual wage for police is $51,410.”
“Not only are police officers paid well to work, but they are paid extremely well not to work! Retiring in their fifties with as much as 80% of their pay and COLA (cost of living adjustment), they make more after about 10 years of retirement than they did when they were actively working. Their annual pension actually doubles after 24 years of a 3% compounded COLA.”
“Another false justification of excessive pension benefits is that police officers die at a much younger age. The fact is that police officers live as long as non-police officers according to CALPERS (California Public Employee Retirement System) actuarial data.”
“Police protection is vital to a safe society, and we should be happy that is has become so much safer in the past 20 years. But at the same time, taxpayers should not be bombarded by false data from police-organization bureaucrats with emotion-based propaganda in order to justify higher-than-justified salaries or pension policies that include unusually early retirement.”
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Reason, Apr. 26, 2011

95% of Illinois Taxpayers Held Hostage by State Pension Cartel

View as PDF
Chicago –Pension reform could be easy if there were no government-union bosses — and the votes they deliver — according to Taxpayers United of America (TUA).
“The entire State of Illinois has been brought to its knees by about 5% of its population,” said Rae Ann McNeilly, TUA executive director.
“The debt to accommodate this 5% has grown to 200% of the state’s annual budget. Using liberal actuarial standards, Illinois’ pension debt hits the $100 billion mark sometime this month, and that debt is created by the pension funds that serve only 5% of the state’s total population.”
“How is it that this 5% of the population has such total control over the entire state? Government unions. Government-union bosses deliver the votes to keep politicians in power. The state of Illinois is being held hostage by cowardly legislators who are so worried about the votes of the rank and file that they are willing to steal massive amounts of wealth from the rest of the state’s population to prop up a system that is a proven failure.”
“Pension reform could be relatively easy if we didn’t have government unions. We have reached the point where government unions have outlived their usefulness and are actually a threat to the entire state’s economy and general welfare.”
“There should be no Constitutional protection for union thugs who pillage the state’s coffers for the benefit of a few and the legislators who kowtow to their demands. There should be no more laws that protect this corrupt system of election quid pro quo.”
“None of the proposed pension reform bills even attempt to address the cause and effect that has brought the state to its knees. The current pension system places tremendous amounts of money in the hands of government bureaucrats who have never demonstrated responsibility with such assets.”
“Pensions, as we know them, rely on steady growth and prediction of the future. All across the country, these systems have failed. Pension reform that does not permanently eliminate the possibility of unfunded liabilities by replacing them with defined contribution retirement savings is a smokescreen and shows disregard for 95% of the state’s population.”
“The ‘Madigan bill’, being touted by Chicago machine boss and Ill. House Speaker Michael Madigan (D), not only falls short of eliminating unfunded liabilities, but worse, it guarantees that no matter how outrageous the pension debt gets, taxpayers must pay the pension bill before all others. This bill actually affords even more protection to the 5% at the cost of the 95%.”
“The ‘Cullerton bill’, which Senate leader John Cullerton purports will provide ‘real and substantial reform for a generation to come’, falls short on nearly every level and relies on the employees making the choices between COLAs and hospitalization. Both need to be cut if we intend to stay afloat.”
“Neither of the proposed bills is a panacea or even provides a margin of relief to taxpayers. It’s time for lawmakers to do their job and fix this problem as though there were no government union bosses to appease. Pension reform can be that simple. Pass the laws necessary to do the job and pass a bill that gets a state constitutional amendment on the ballot that makes it legal to do what is in the best interest of 95% of the state.”
“Real pension reform must: 1. End pensions for new hires and implement a 401k type retirement savings program with no guarantees that hold taxpayers hostage. 2. Increase current employee pension contributions to reflect private sector levels. 3. End COLA’s entirely. 4. Raise the retirement age to 67 and continue to raise it as life expectancy increase. 5. Require all government employees and retirees to contribute 50% to their healthcare premiums.”
“And while we are at it, maybe we should ban government unions and Constitutional protections to special interest groups.”

Illinois State Police Pensions Get Media Attention They Deserve

View as PDF
CHICAGO—Taxpayers United of America (TUA) released Illinois State Police Pensions and garnered major media attention.
Click here to read the release where we publish the ISP pension study and Jim Tobin calls on Gov. Quinn to freeze hiring until comprehensive pension reforms are passed.
CBS 2 in Chicago secured an exclusive release of the TUA study on Illinois State Police pensions before it was released to the rest of the IL media. Click here to see the great story by their investigative reporter, Pam Zekman.
Fox 32 in Chicago reported on the apparent lifestyles of the rich and not-so-famous ISP.
Since Illinois has the worst government pension problem in the country, even MyFoxPhoenix published our ISP pension study!
Whiteout Press was sure to take the story to its online readers.
Conservative blog, Illinois Review published the CBS 2 coverage of our ISP study.
Click here to read the follow-up story just released on how much it will cost IL taxpayers if Gov. Quinn hires nearly 200 additional state troopers.
Thanks for your continued support – Remember to Give Freely Now, so you still have some freedom later!