Ramblings of Silver Blue


14 Apr

A Comment That Pissed Me Off

Kay
W.


City: Virginia Beacg

Posted:

10:00 AM Apr. 8

Do
not raise taxes. Whenever our personal business has less income,
we cut our salary. The state should do the same. Every service and
every person’s salary can be reduced. We personally cannot afford
to give the state more money at this time.

Open Letter to Miss Kay W:

Dear Miss Kay W:

What planet are you living on? And what illegal substances are you smoking?
Here in Virginia, on Planet Earth, in the Milky Way Solar System, things
are a far cry from what you claim them to be.

I donít know what you or your spouse do for a living; you may be independent
contractors, you may be independently wealthy; one thing is for sure: you
donít work for the state, or if you do, you have piles of money in reserve.

I am a state employee. In my position, I am responsible to keep an entire
department of 140 employees and approximately 3,000 students up and running
with computers, as well as maintain our web site.

I make $33K a year as a state employee. Out of that $33K, the following
is paid:

Federal Tax: 3795.27 (yearly)

FICA: 2057.05 (yearly)

FICA Med 481.14 (yearly)

VA Tax: 1456.00 (yearly)

Mortgage: 7800 ($650 per month)

Auto Insurance: 960 (yearly)

Electric: 1320 ($110 per month/budget plan)

Natural Gas: 1080 ($90 per month /budget plan)

Water: 390 ($65 every two months)

Phone: 348 ($29 per month, no long distance)

Sanitation: 84 ($14 every two months)

Auto Payment 2628 ($219 every month)

Health Insurance 600 ($50 per month)

Gasoline 1040 ($20 per week, on average)

Food 3120 ($60 per week, average. Who can splurge
like Rachel Ray with $40 a day???!)

Car Tax 75 (annual, AFTER tax relief)

Maintenance: 2000 (home repairs, auto tune-up, etc., yearly)

Clothing: 520 (averaged out to only $10 a week)

Consumables: 520 (light bulbs, soap, laundry detergent, dish
soap, cleaners; yearly)

Yard Maintenance: 50 (gasoline and oil for lawnmower)

Which leaves me with basically $51.45 a week (averaged out) that goes for
any ďunexpectedĒ bills, any luxuries I want to afford myself, and/or any
entertainment I desire. Any gifts I need to purchase for holidays must come
out of this figure, as do birthday cards/gifts, etc.

(These numbers are not accurate, by the way, as the $2000 listed for annual
maintenance actually pays my credit card bills, but it serves to show how
even a minor pay cut causes major repercussions.)

This is not counting my getting sick and spending $25 a doctorís visit,
or for any requisite medication. Emergency Room visits take $100 a pop. So
I donít see that in any of my future.

Cut back on salary? WHERE? From what I can tell, Iím underpaid the way it
is.

My health insurance has gone up $20 a month in the past year. My homeowners
insurance has gone up, due to natural disasters like Hurricane Isabel, $292
a year. My income tax withholdings have increased $76 a year.

How much of a raise did I receive? $528 a year. $22 a paycheck. And that
was the first raise since 2000. They say we wonít get a raise this year.
Possibly not next. So, while cost of living continues to increase, where
am I supposed to magically get these funds from?

Cut back on services? Sure. Letís see what could be done:

Cut back on funding to higher education. Make the students bear more of
the load. Increase class size, as obviously weíre having to do more with
less. Welcome in the 4-500 student class. Forget actual education. Weíll
become like cattle herders. Collect the money and ship them out.

Letís close DMV on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Lines will start to
form at 3:30 in the morning and will have to be cut off at 6 am, so that
everyone in line can be seen by the time the office MUST close at 5, as no
overtime can be authorized. Move most services online, you say? Sure. But
where will that leave those who donít have computers or internet access?
Drive them to the local libraries, you say? Sorry, due to budget cutbacks,
Libraries are now only open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 until 5.
Sorry that you have to take time off from work to get this done, but thereís
no money to do anything but this.

VDOT will cease work on all current and future projects. Money will only
be allocated to maintaining current infrastructure; repairing potholes and
re-painting lane markers. As of 1 January 2005, all Interstates will go dark,
as in order to save money, electricity will no longer be provided to streetlamps.

ABC Stores will be closed Friday-Monday. On the compressed schedule of Tuesday Ė Thursday,
they will only be open from Noon until 6.

State offices will be closed 3 days a week: Saturday, Sunday, and Wednesday.
Offices like those dealing with Vital Statistics will increase the time necessary
to issue birth and death certificates to 14-18 weeks. Expedited service,
in 4-6 weeks will be available for an additional $50 per record requested.

Local Law Enforcement and Fire Departments will see their staff cut. Sorry
your house burned down, that your uncle died of cardiac arrest because there
was no paramedic available, or that you were raped and robbed Ė the Police
canít authorize overtime and, well, we just didnít have the money for it.

Court Dockets will get longer, with most civil cases now taking 6-8 months
to get to court, due to the lack of employees who are willing to work under
the reduced pay.

You see, Miss Kay W., what you are recommending is as ludicrous as the scenario
I just laid out for you. If you want services, you have to be willing to
pay for them. No one is going to hand you something on a silver platter.
If youíre not happy in VirginiaÖ.move.

4 Responses to “A Comment That Pissed Me Off”

  1. 1
    Blogeline Says:

    I completely agree with you.
    We complain about the things the state doesn’t do for us and where it needs to improve. But then we turn around and refuse to pay higher taxes.
    You can’t have it both ways. At least this way everybody (not only state employees) is contributing towards it.

  2. 2
    Rob Says:

    It is a common misconception that state and federal employees “have it made”. Nothing could be further from the truth. My wife works for the state and my mom retired from USDA. The benefits are OK but not great. The pay is below comparable private sector equivalents.

    Another misconception is that state and federal employees don’t do much.

  3. 3
    Flitting Here And There Says:

    SilverBlue vents for all governement employees.
    SilverBlue was out wandering around the internet today and found a comment on the Virgian State Budget issues that are going on right now. Basically the person says that since the State pays us oh so much we should be…

  4. 4
    Dawn Says:

    Yeah, I already do have a reduction in salary. They’re called furlough days, and we have six of them between now and June 30. Fucking brilliant. MY expenses sure as shit didn’t go down, yet I have to accommodate my company’s financial troubles!!!

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