According to the GOP, Public Employees –teachers, garbage men, all the other folks that make your local and state ‘stuff’ actually work — are over-paid and are the cause of the current deficit problems in local and state government. Gov. Scott ‘Hosni’ Walker in Wisconsin is currently trying to strip public workers of their union collective bargaining rights based on this lie.

Why is it a lie? Well, several reasons. But let’s first take a quick look at average income levels. First, let’s look at those teachers. Think teachers have an easy job? GO spend a day trying to do their job. They are underpaid, undervalued, and underfunded — and the underfunded part is only going to get worse as the Republican-controlled House tries to slash the budget for Education. Apparently our population is too smart — or not stupid enough — so they want to make sure no one gets a decent education.

But I digress, if only a little. So here’s some data on teacher’s salaries. Not a single one of them makes $50,000 a year. Do you know any rich teachers? (Other than the ones that got rich elsewhere and then decided to get into teaching, I mean.)

Teachers teach because they have dedication and passion for education and for kids. They sure don’t do it for the money.

Now let’s take a quick peek at a Wall Street worker.

 

(Reuters) – Wall Street paid out $20.8 billion in cash bonuses in 2010, the fifth-highest amount on record, though the average payout fell 9 percent from a year earlier as financial reform drove banks to offer higher base salaries and defer more compensation.

(Via Average 2010 Wall St cash bonus fell to $128,530 | Reuters.)

But how was that divied up? well, let’s see:

Among those banks, Goldman Sachs Group Inc paid the most, on average, at $431,000. Citigroup Inc paid the least, at $94,000.

(Via Average 2010 Wall St cash bonus fell to $128,530 | Reuters.)

Wow. Working for Goldman-Sachs is pretty lucrative. A lot more lucrative than being a teacher, it would appear. To be fair though, it’s not as lucrative as it was just a few short years ago (2006 numbers):

After making record profits, Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reported that it will pay its workers an average of $622,000 this year.

That’s more than three times the average salary of a Massachusetts surgeon; four times that of a Massachusetts chief executive; and nearly 12 times that of a Massachusetts high school teacher, according to the state’s Department of Workforce Development.

(Via Good deal: Average Goldman Sachs employee makes $622,000 – The Boston Globe.)

Awww … they really are having a rough time! Down from $622,000 a year to a mere $431,000. I wonder how they will ever manage.

Meanwhile the Republican party is giving these guys tax cuts because, obviously, they are hurting, and going after the teachers because, as anyone can see, they are the real problem here. Clearly.

And yet there is a wide swath of America, most of whom don’t make much more than the teachers, who believe this line of ‘reasoning’ and fully support the Republican’s demonization of public employees, budget cuts to the Department of Education, and a whole range of other destructive acts. And they will continue to support them. Right up until the moment when they realize they are the ones who have, ultimately, been had. Then they will, of course, blame the Democrats.

Is there another planet, one with intelligent life, to which I can move?