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Taxpayers of America, you may soon be funding a $500 billion bailout of the 50 states, all U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s “HEROES Act” vividly illustrates why transparency is crucial. If the Senate passes the legislation, taxpaying citizens of financially responsible states will bear the burden of financially irresponsible states.

New York stands out among the bad actors. OpenTheBooks matched the New York state checkbook with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s campaign donor disclosures. From 2014 to 2018, Cuomo solicited 377 state vendors, who gave $4.6 million in campaign cash and reaped $6.5 billion from state contracts.

In Cuomo’s Empire State, 290,000 public employee salaries and pensions exceed $100,000. Cost to taxpayers: $38 billion annually. New York would reap $35 billion from the Pelosi Bailout Bill nearly a dollar-for-dollar bailout of their generously compensated employees.

Consider the following examples:

  • Plumbers working for the city of New York make $285,000 per year.
  • Police officers at the Port Authority of New York-New Jersey earn $423,467.
  • Long Island school superintendents make up to $547,049.
  • One 93-year old retired CUNY college professor receives a $561,754 pension.

New York’s General Assembly is not to be outdone. They recently hiked their own pay to $130,000. They are now the most highly compensated legislators in the country. Plus, 21 current representatives and state senators are double-dipping, which means they not only voted to increase their salaries, but they also they collect a salary and a pension at the same time from their same position.

And that’s just New York! Remember, Pelosi’s monster bill weighs in at half a trillion dollars. Meanwhile, the federal debt continues to explode. It has quadrupled in the last 20 years. Today, has surpassed $23 trillion and is rising rapidly. The deficit this year is unknown. It will be somewhere around $4 trillion, the equivalent of a wartime deficit. The entire federal debt in 1992 — after 216 years, two world wars, depressions, countless natural disasters — was $4 trillion.

The Pelosi state bailout bill clearly screams, “So what? It’s not my money.” By the time our country’s debt becomes so corrosive to your livelihood, to your life, that it can’t be ignored — as it will — Pelosi and the big spenders in both major political parties will be long out of office.

Some “Heroes Act.” Heroes to whom? Certainly not you, the taxpayers.

At OpenTheBooks we believe that every cent of your tax dollars spent by your elected officials should be online, viewable in real-time. We believe transparency will be revolutionary. The more you, the voters, know about your elected officials’ respect (or lack thereof) for your tax dollars, the more responsible your elected officials will be, and the better our government will be.

Thomas W. Smith is the Chairman of OpenTheBooks.com.

Adam Andrzejewski is the CEO & founder of the organization.  

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