Real Clear Policy: #WasteOfTheDay Week 12 62_WOTD_week_12

May 7, 2021 10:28 AM



Boston’s 8,451 Most Highly Compensated Public Employees Earning $100,000 Cost Taxpayers $1.2B Last Year

May 3, 2021


It might be known as Beantown, but someone might want to count the beans a little more closely in Boston.

Auditors at found that 8,451 City of Boston employees earned over $100,000 in 2020. Our findings published at Forbes:

  • 7,718 made between $100,000 and $200,000;
  • 698 made between $200,000 and $300,000; and
  • 35 made over $300,000.

In 2020, the Boston Fire Department (BFD) employed 1,692 people, at a cost of $264 million. More than 91 percent of its force earned over $100,000 (1,535 out of 1,692). The same year, the Boston Police Department paid $416.3 million to 3,142 people.

Some of Boston’s highest-paid employees are police officers (Police Lieutenant Sean P. Smith earned over $365,000) and firemen (Deputy Fire Chief Michael Hocking made $332,574).

Surprisingly, 749 people were paid more by the City of Boston than Martin Walsh earned as its mayor. He was paid $199,000.

Boston employed 42 interns last year, at a cost of $328,636, with the highest paid making $46,368 in 2020 in the “School Support & Tranformation” [sic] Department. (Boston misspells the word transformation in its public school’s data).

All told, the City of Boston paid out $1.82 billion in salaries in 2020.

For the City on the Hill that boasts a population of 392,600 people, an almost $2 billion payroll adds up to a bit more than a hill of beans for Boston taxpayers.



$2.1 Billion NY Unemployment Fund Set Up for Workers – Including Illegal Entrants

May 4, 2021


New York State’s $212 billion budget passed this month is a 20 percent — $18 billion — increase over last year and includes $2.1 billion for undocumented immigrants who didn’t collect Covid-19 stimulus checks or unemployment benefits from the federal government.

The provision gives cash to workers, including undocumented immigrants, as long as they can prove their New York residency, identity and loss of income, according to the Times Union in Albany, New York’s capital.

People could receive payments ranging from $3,000 to $15,600, depending on how much income they lost.

While that is great for independent contractors and others who had trouble collecting benefits during the pandemic, the funding to an estimated 725,000 undocumented immigrants is rubbing some people the wrong way.

Republican Assemblyman Chris Tague called the idea “well-intentioned” and said, “I think that everyone has compassion for people and would love to help folks out,” but the state should be saving in a rainy day fund some of the billions it has received from the federal government.

“We’re (spending) $2.1 billion and we don’t know who this person is or why they’re here or what they’ve been doing? I mean everybody’s been hit hard by this Covid crisis and we want to help everybody, but it also gets to the point where we have to protect the state of New York, we have to protect the people of the state, we have to take care of them first," Tague said.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is fighting sexual harassment allegations and scandal from allegedly misleading the public about how many people died from Covid in nursing homes, acknowledged the spending plan is vulnerable to fraud.



$96 Trillion in Unfunded U.S. Medicare and Social Security Benefits

May 5, 2021


Politicians promised you benefits, but never funded them.

That’s according to, which noted that there’s $96.3 trillion owed in promised but unfunded Medicare and Social Security benefits — $55.1 trillion for Medicare and $41.2 trillion for Social Security.

While Uncle Sam has $5.9 trillion in assets, the $129 trillion owed in bills — including military and civilian retirement benefits — means the U.S. is in the hole for $123 trillion. Just the unfunded liabilities in Medicare and Social Security add up to $96 trillion.

It is a stunning amount coming due over the next 75 years. The Treasury Department sticks its proverbial head in the sand and does not even list the liabilities on the balance sheet of the federal government.

But not to worry, taxpayers will not actually be paying for this. How could they?

Instead, older people who have been promised these benefits likely will not be paid in full.

If by some magic we do manage to pay for these promised benefits, it is young people who would be saddled with trillions in extra taxes with nothing in return.



Rev. Louis Farrakhan Charity Collected $300,000 in U.S. Farm Subsidies

May 6, 2021


Throwback Thursday! 

Between 2008 and 2011, 930 entities in Chicago collected $6.1 million in farm subsidies.

But like other major American urban areas including Washington, D.C. and New York City, Chicago does not have farms. Yet, wealthy residents were still eligible for federal farm subsidies.

In 2014, our auditors at found that the Three Year Economic Savings Program, Inc., a charity-arm of The Nation of Islam in Chicago, collected $300,000 in farm subsidies over a 17-year period at the home address of Minister Louis Farrakhan. A follow up from Fox News revealed even more issues with the entities.

New York-based National Audubon Society received $960,000, including a New York-based tobacco subsidy.

Lobbyists in Washington, D.C. and executives at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the very people who created and manage the spending, collected subsidy funds.

In our nation’s capital alone, more than $18.5 million in farm subsidies went to 2,801 entities between 2008 and 2011.

The Windy City received the seventh most farm subsidies of all Illinois towns. 

In the Big Apple, almost $2 million in farm subsidies went to 247 entities, including Wall Street financiers, Rockefellers, wealthy heirs and Upper East Siders.

In total, 419 entities across the country received at least $1 million each in farm subsidies, totaling $725.2 million.

That largesse was partly due to the USDA’a broad definition of “farmer,” which is “any place that produced and sold — or normally would have produced and sold — at least $1,000 of agricultural products during a given year.”

Only in America do farm subsidies flow into areas that have no farms!



Now, Federal Lawyers Number 35,940 and Are Employed in 203 Federal Agencies

May 7, 2021


It would take 42 Airbus A380s, the largest passenger jet in the world, filled at maximum capacity to transport all 35,940 attorneys working in America’s 203 federal agencies.

And federal lawyers are expensive to taxpayers: $5.2 billion in 2019, the latest year available.

The Department of Justice makes up a large chunk of that with almost one-third of all federal attorneys employed in the prosecutorial agency.

But, that leaves two of every three federal lawyers employed outside of the traditional law enforcement agency.

For example, in 2019, the Social Security Administration employed 4,037 attorneys, there were 2,017 in the Department of Treasury and 1,832 in the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Department of Veteran Affairs had 1,543, Department of Health and Human Services employed 1,097, Labor Department had 602 and Education Department retained 487.

Of the 35,940 attorneys, 37 percent worked in Washington D.C.

In 2019, 1,972 federal attorneys made more than $200,000.

The employment of federal attorneys has grown in recent years. In 2016, there were 34,140 attorneys in federal agencies, with $4.8 billion spent on salaries. In 2014, the federal government employed 25,060 lawyers in more than 200 agencies. That year, the top lawyer salary was $266,469, while the highest paid in 2019 was $294,297.

As the size, scope and power of the federal government increases, we expect to see even more lawyers employed by Uncle Sam.

The #WasteOfTheDay is presented by the forensic auditors at

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