SAN ANGELO – Tom Green County Commissioners Tuesday announced a proposed 5% Cost of Living or COLA salary increase for all county employees and elected officials while acknowledging that actually amounts to a salary cut because of the 9.1% inflation rate under the Biden Administration policies currently stifling the U.S. and Texas economies.
Doing the math, county employees and all Americans are paying at least 9.1% more for goods and services under the Biden Administration's economic policies and that doesn't include fuel, food or shelter. A 5% raise leaves employees with an actual 4.1% decrease in purchasing power, or real income, than they had before Biden.
Real income is defined as income adjusted for inflation.
State law mandates that Counties publish any proposed increase in salaries for elected officials and hold public hearings on the proposals. The Court on Tuesday discussed a 3% to 5% raise for elected officials and a 5% across-the-board COLA increase for all county employees.
Tom Green County Judge Steve Floyd, in the last county budget he will author as Judge, acknowledged that the county doesn't have the resources to provide raises to match the 9.1% inflation much less the much larger increase in fuel, food and shelter without triggering a roll back election. Judge Floyd said he didn't think voters would approve a tax increase to pay for raises when they are going through the same struggle with the loss of purchasing power themselves, and he would not ask them to do so.
Depending on who's in the White House, some political pundits say Presidents aren't responsible for the state of the economy. But those same pundits were quick to credit Bill Clinton who used their praise to get elected. "It's the economy, stupid." Clinton quoted political operative James Carville in the 1992 Presidential election which Clinton rode into the Oval Office.
The current economy under Biden is not the Clinton economy. It is much more like the Jimmy Carter economy, which was the worst economic period in modern American history. Biden's economy is already much worse than that.
Tom Green County Commissioners will complete their budget process in August and settle on a salary rate for elected officials as prescribed by state law. The court must notify all 27 elected officials in writing of their proposed salary for the next fiscal year. Any of those elected officials then have the option to grieve or contest that proposed salary in front of a Salary Grievance Committee before the budget is formally adopted later this summer.