Here's a simple, one-question quiz.
Who would give their well-off pals big pay raises in the middle of a pandemic when business are closing, tens of thousands of people being laid off and your neighbors are struggling to buy food, pay the rent and trying to keep from going crazy from all the stress?
A. Cruel, ruthless and heartless capitalists and Wall Street greed mongers who laugh their heads off when poor babies scream for food and who pour bleach on their food scraps so that poor people will get sick and die when they scavenge for the crumbs?
B. Fluffy, caring and loving progressives who hate greed and who demand income equality so the poor and unemployed can live in dignity and feed their starving babies?
Normally, the answer would be easy. Who else but greedy corporate pigs would reward their well-off pals with hefty raises when 77,000 New Mexicans, or 8.3 percent of the workforce, are unemployed? Who else but corporate monsters would be so heartless and so contemptuous of the suffering, unemployed masses?
Well, this is Albuquerque, so the correct answer is B. Yes, your smiling progressive mayor, Tim Keller, has given big raises to two already well paid honchos in the Albuquerque Police Department. That's right, while so many of you are struggling in these horrible financial times, progressive Timmy has given his pals big raises.
Here's the pay raise memo.
Specifically, Keller gave APD Deputy Chief Harold Medina a $5,782-a-year raise, and he gave APD Deputy Chief Michael Smathers a $3,765-a-year raise.
(Photo: APD Deputy Chief Harold Medina gets a $5,700-a-year raise.)
It means that Medina now has a $145,000 annual salary and Smathers is now making $143,000 a year.
Did these two, who were both making $139,235 before the July 27 raise need more money? And do all of you, especially all of you who have been laid off, feel good about the fact that those raises are coming out of your pockets?
That's right, the money to pay Medina and Smathers a combined $9,500 a year extra is coming out of your pockets because, well, you're the taxpayers and city government is funded by tax dollars.
So while so many of you are out of work, and while so many of you are living in poverty (New Mexico's poverty rate is 19.5 percent, which means that 410,000 people here are living in poverty) you—and I mean you personally--have to give more of what little money you have to Medina and Smathers.
And it's not like you're being asked to voluntarily give them extra money. You're forced to. Just try not paying sales, income or property taxes. If you refuse you'll wind up in prison and you'll lose your house. You are forced by the government to pay taxes. Basically, progressive mayor Timmy is putting a gun at poor peoples' heads and growling, “Give me your money, you you poverty slob so I can give it to my rich pals. And if you don't, you go to jail.”
So think of those 410,000 people who are living in poverty. Many, perhaps most, of them live in Albuquerque, the state's largest city. So Timmy Keller, our wonderfully, caring and loving progressive mayor, is forcing poor people to pay for pay raises for already well paid APD honchos. Does it get any sicker and immoral than that?
Do Medina and Smathers really need the extra money considering that they're already being paid more than most of you?
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median (meaning half are above and half are below) household income in New Mexico is $48,049, and the average per capita income is $26,085. So Medina and Smathers were already by themselves making more than most households in the state!
And Timmy wants them to have more of your money! And he's forcing you to give it to them.
So it isn't the capitalist, Wall Street pigs who are taking money from the poor in Albuquerque and giving it to their wealthy pals; it's smiling Mayor Timmy and his progressive pals that are robbing the poor.
Here's a tip for all you poor people out there. If smiling, progressive Mayor Timmy approaches you on the street, grab your wallet and run. And don't call the cops on him. If you do they'll arrest you, and progressive Mayor Timmy will probably give them an even bigger raise.