Monday, May 05, 2008

My Respect For Jeff Jacoby

On those rare occasions I read something on the Op-Ed page of the Boston Globe-Democrat that is actually worth reading, the byline is almost always Jeff Jacoby.

Sunday, he absolutely nailed the stooges at the Boston Firefighters Union, and worse (from a jealous, competing columnist standpoint) he did so hilariously.

[I]n the wake of last week's raucous firefighters rally at the State House, I'm changing my attitude about their attitude. Did you see the rally? There were hundreds of firefighters, marching up from the Common in their red union T-shirts and chanting: "What do we want? Respect! When do we want it? Now!" And there was Robert McCarthy, president of the Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts, bellowing, "We're not dogs! We won't be treated like dogs!"

Well, how can you argue with that?

Boston firefighters earned an average of $92,756 in 2006 - $103,817 if health benefits are included. According to the Boston Municipal Research Bureau, 55 percent of the city's firefighters have a compensation package worth $100,000
or more.

You call that respect?

And that doesn't include pension benefits: According to the research bureau, the average pension for a retiring firefighter is nearly $67,000 a year. And if he retires on a disability claim, he gets it tax-free. (Would you believe that nearly 75 percent of all Fire Department retirements in recent years have been based on "disabilities?" Probably just a coincidence.)

Read my not-nearly-as-lucid thoughts on the clueless clowns of the firefighters union in the Boston Herald.