If I were Robert Rizzo, the city manager for the city of Bell, I’d have given a press conference to thank the people of Bell for paying me $787,637 per year. I would also thank them for the $600,000 a year I’ll receive when I retire from the pension program that will be guaranteed by their taxes. I would have told them that if they try to fire me, I’ll sue them.

You see, what Robert Rizzo did was legal. He asked for a raise and got it. He’s worked for the city of Bell for almost 20 years, getting raises every year. If the people of Bell believe they could pay less for a city manager, it’s their right to have the City Council hire a new one. The people of Bell have no one to blame but themselves. Democracy will never work if the people are sleeping. Democracy requires the voters to not only be awake, but to take the time to look at their elected officials, and the government that works for them.

How many members of the PTA in Bell asked for more money for their school? What did the people of Bell say when they were asked to pay higher sales tax? The city of Bell told them that they would fire teachers, police and fire personnel if the taxes were not raised. The question I have for you is, what’s the total annual package paid to our teachers and government staff including pension liability and health care? The fact is, only a handful of people know.

I work in the private sector. That means I’m given regular performance evaluations that are not always fair. I’m paid based on my employer’s ability to hire someone to replace me. The price of my labor is based on the market value of me. My 401(k) has been destroyed by the market every 10 years, and is not guaranteed to me when I retire. However, the exact opposite is true when it comes to government employees. Why is that?

The fall of America has its roots in the out-of-control spending we have as a government. Teachers tell me how hard they work, yet when I look around in the private sector, I see many people working long hours all year, and only getting two weeks of vacation per year and that’s if they’re lucky.

Today we have a president who seems to avoid the truth. He made campaign promises, and has not even tried to keep them, even when he had a full year to pass every law he wanted while flipping the bird to all the Republicans. He created and passed health care without any help from the Republicans. The health care he gave us isn’t what he promised. As a matter of fact, I don’t know who it helps. A friend’s retired mother asked us to help her with the website to see how she is helped. She’s on a fixed income, and receives $15,000 per year. She has no serious health issues and has to pay $414 per month on health insurance. When we entered all the data into the Obama healthcare system, it showed she should pay $538 per month. This is not the same healthcare program that he and Sen. McCain have as federal employees.

My flaming liberal friends told me that “he will fix it in committee.” Looks like they were lied to as well. All those closed-door meetings the president had with the big drug and healthcare companies worked out well for them. What we have now is more highly paid people like Mr. Rizzo in a brand new government organization costing us a lot of money. Like the people of Bell, we should be mad as hell and protesting in the streets in front of the White House.

Unfortunately, the people are still sleeping. They woke up at the last election and voted in Sen. Obama to be our president. Now they are back to sleeping. Taxes will go higher, and it doesn’t matter if your job is paying less. In ancient times the king would allow the locals to farm on his land, if they gave him a share of the crop. He would send his knights to beat on the farmers when the king wanted a larger share of the crops. The king didn’t care if they were starving, as long as they gave him what he asked for. The king will tell you they need to take the crops to pay for your defense from the other kings. You are on the king’s land and the fruits of your labor belong to the king.

All taxes are rising. Our city, county, state and federal governments all need more money to keep their employees with the lifestyles to which they’ve become accustomed. Like the king and his knights, they don’t take pay cuts when business is down; they’ll just take a larger share of your income when times are tough. People, you are on the king’s land, and if you doubt that, try not paying the king what he demands and watch what his knights will do to you.

David Alsabery can be reached at alsabery@gmail.com.

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