Rick Perry’s comprehensive new policy platform for “fixin’ shit” is just to slash Congress’ $174,000 annual paychecks in half and cut back on the time that Congress spends in Washington, as punishment for making everyone hate them. This is Rick Perry’s huge “solution” to everything according to his new campaign ad, an idea that has all the sparkling wisdom of a plan to magically improve educational achievement by cutting back the number of school days for ornery children who fail to turn in their homework on time. But sure, maybe Congress should be paid less, for being useless screw-ups already awash in filthy personal riches? Of course, this surely must mean that Rick Perry cut his own salary in half this year, after publicly giving up and handing off his official duties to God when his state was burning to the ground?
No, Rick Perry decided that his one paycheck was only half the number of paychecks that he deserves, so now he gets two! He can somehow get away with this because he has been on the public payroll so long that he already qualifies for a pension in addition to his regular paycheck, for a total of $224,000 a year.
From the Houston Chronicle:
Perry has spent much of his adult life collecting a state paycheck. By Jan. 30, 2011, he was able to transfer 26 years and 1 month of time accumulated from his elected service as governor, agriculture commissioner, lieutenant governor, legislator and even some military service to qualify to retire in the regular “employee” class, according to campaign spokesman Ray Sullivan.
Sullivan has described that decision as part of the governor’s “standard financial planning.”
The governor’s decision to collect both pension and pay — divulged in financial disclosures as part of Perry’s U.S. presidential campaign — has angered many rank-and-file Texas employees who sometimes can return to state employment after retirement, but only after a 90-day waiting period and seeing their pensions frozen, said Mike Gross, vice president of the 12,000-member Texas State Employees Union.
“Whether the thing’s legal or not, the governor is locked arm in arm with a whole group of conservatives who are attacking our pension fund and then he is taking advantage of a loophole that only he and a few others have access to. It’s outrageous,” he said.