Tea party redux in Bell, California

Thomas Lifson
Bell, California has become the poster child for greedy public employees, a subject closely related to the TEA (taxed enough already) parties. The City Manager was making almost $800,000 a year, and the Police Chief nearly $500,000 in a city of under 40,000 souls.

Yet, because Bell is heavily Hispanic and lower income, few are making the connection between what happened there last night and the rise of the tea parties. The two phenomena are closely related.

What happened in Bell Thursday night? Ruben Vives and Jeff Gottlieb of the Los Angeles Times report:

Bell's top administrators, whose hefty salaries have stirred public outrage and calls for investigations, agreed to resign Thursday night during a closed-door City Hall meeting. [...]

The decision was announced at midnight to a crowd of angry Bell residents who anxiously had been waiting since the City Council began its meeting at 4:30 p.m. None of the administrators attended the session.

The crowd erupted in applause after the announcement but immediately yelled out questions about what would happen to the council members. Four of the five are paid close to $100,000 annually [note: this is a part time job, often requiring only an hour a week - TL.]. When their questions were not answered, they shouted, "Recall!"

The huge gap between pay in the private sector and pay received by public employees, not to mention the job security, lavish benefits and retirement fringes, and job security enjoyed by those who supposedly serve" the public, is now a major issue in an era where most Americans are struggling, and massive tax increases loom  on January 1st.

Make no mistake: what happened Thursday night in Bell is part and parcel of then populist uprising epitomized by the tea partiers. You don't have to dress in colonial costumes or cite the Constitution to actively revolt against the exploitation of the new ruling class entrenched in government.

In Bell, the movement to oust the exploiters was called "BASTA, or the Bell Assn. to Stop the Abuse." I suggest that tea partiers adopt the cry "BASTA!" ("enough") to symbolize the multicultural revolt against public employee greed.

By the way, don't worry about the Bell officals. Although they don't get special severance pay, the will enjoy lavish pensions courtesy of CALPERS, whose payments are guaranteed by the California Constitution and backed by taxpayers statewide.
Bell, California has become the poster child for greedy public employees, a subject closely related to the TEA (taxed enough already) parties. The City Manager was making almost $800,000 a year, and the Police Chief nearly $500,000 in a city of under 40,000 souls.

Yet, because Bell is heavily Hispanic and lower income, few are making the connection between what happened there last night and the rise of the tea parties. The two phenomena are closely related.

What happened in Bell Thursday night? Ruben Vives and Jeff Gottlieb of the Los Angeles Times report:

Bell's top administrators, whose hefty salaries have stirred public outrage and calls for investigations, agreed to resign Thursday night during a closed-door City Hall meeting. [...]

The decision was announced at midnight to a crowd of angry Bell residents who anxiously had been waiting since the City Council began its meeting at 4:30 p.m. None of the administrators attended the session.

The crowd erupted in applause after the announcement but immediately yelled out questions about what would happen to the council members. Four of the five are paid close to $100,000 annually [note: this is a part time job, often requiring only an hour a week - TL.]. When their questions were not answered, they shouted, "Recall!"

The huge gap between pay in the private sector and pay received by public employees, not to mention the job security, lavish benefits and retirement fringes, and job security enjoyed by those who supposedly serve" the public, is now a major issue in an era where most Americans are struggling, and massive tax increases loom  on January 1st.

Make no mistake: what happened Thursday night in Bell is part and parcel of then populist uprising epitomized by the tea partiers. You don't have to dress in colonial costumes or cite the Constitution to actively revolt against the exploitation of the new ruling class entrenched in government.

In Bell, the movement to oust the exploiters was called "BASTA, or the Bell Assn. to Stop the Abuse." I suggest that tea partiers adopt the cry "BASTA!" ("enough") to symbolize the multicultural revolt against public employee greed.

By the way, don't worry about the Bell officals. Although they don't get special severance pay, the will enjoy lavish pensions courtesy of CALPERS, whose payments are guaranteed by the California Constitution and backed by taxpayers statewide.