Rich Tucker

Robert Rizzo, the chief administrative officer in Bell, Ca. recently quit his job after his constituents learned he was making more than $787,000 per year, roughly twice what President Obama pulls down.

City Council members were making almost $100,000 per year for part-time work. They were able to pay themselves so much because the city changed to “charter status” a few years ago. Rizzo, by the way, will be able to keep his $650,000 a year state pension. Good work if you can get it.

There’s clearly government fat to trim, but our leaders seem reluctant to get out the scissors. Last month, President Obama asked Congress for another $50 billion in aid for states. “Because the urgency is high -- many school districts, cities and states are already being forced to make these layoffs,” Obama declared, “these provisions must be passed as quickly as possible.”

Maybe, instead of starting with teachers, governments could find other places to cut.

After all, while private business has been cutting back in this recession, Uncle Sam has been hiring. The federal government has added 240,000 new employees while private employers have eliminated some 8 million net jobs. In June, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the unemployment rate for government workers was 3.4 percent, roughly a third of the national private sector rate.

Government spending, at all levels, is simply unsustainable. That makes this a good year for our leaders to finally start trimming back the size and scope of some government bureaus.

Rich Tucker

Rich Tucker is a communications professional and a columnist for