Daniel J. Mitchell

I’ve reported some horror stories about bureaucrats ripping off taxpayers with lavish compensation packages, including:

We now have another über-bureaucrat to add to our list.

Here are the key details from the New York Post.

Take your salary cap and shove it. While Gov. Cuomo continues to push a bill that would limit New York school superintendents’ annual salaries to $175,000, Syosset, LI, Superintendent Carole Hankin — the highest paid in the state —has already circumvented the proposed ceiling. Last June, four months after Cuomo first proposed the salary cap, Hankin, 69, quietly inked a five-year contract that guarantees she will receive no less than her current salary— $405,244, The Post has learned. …“This is despicable and gives new meaning to the word ‘chutzpah,’ ” said Desmond Ryan, executive director of the Association for a Better Long Island, a developer’s lobby. “In these difficult economic times, that the school board would even consider this is a disgrace.” …Hankin’s total annual compensation comes to $537,767, including retirement funds and fringe benefits. Expenses include use of a “late-model car” and gas. She can also do outside consulting on her time off. She oversees about 6,600 students in 10 schools, yet her salary is nearly double that of New York City Chancellor Dennis Walcott, who gets $212,614, to watch over 1.1 million kids in 1,700 schools. Hankin’s first deputy, Jeffrey Streitman, rakes in $419,033 in salary and other benefits, but Cuomo’s bill would not apply to underlings. …Joshua Lafazan, an 18-year-old Syosset HS senior running for a seat on the school board, blasts Hankin’s cushy deal and the nine board members he calls her “puppets.”

Ms. Hankin and the other bureaucrats mentioned above are extreme examples, but they help underscore the problem that exists when politicians and bureaucrat unions make insider deals, swapping political support for lavish compensation levels.

Taxpayers, meanwhile, get screwed. This video explains why this is a problem at all levels of government.

What makes this so outrageous is that most bureaucrats get overpaid for position that shouldn’t even exist. If we shrink government to its proper size, the problem is mostly resolved.


Daniel J. Mitchell

Daniel J. Mitchell is a top expert on tax reform and supply-side tax policy at the Cato Institute.