COMMENTARY| According to an article by the Huffington Post, Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), in an interview with the Lowell Sun, asserted that teachers, along with firefighters and police officers, could be included in the group that earn over $250,000 a year- the elite group that would be affected by President Obama's proposed tax increase. Brown insists that an officer's overtime pay or a teacher's summer job could bump them up into the higher tax bracket.
What summer job is available for teachers in Massachusetts? Brain surgery?
Considering that salary.com has the average teacher in the United States earning only $50,711 a year, what summer job could any teacher possibly find that would score them an additional $200,000? Also, Sen. Brown is failing to factor in the monthly student loan payments most teachers make. Is he unaware of the fact that a lot of teachers could qualify for food stamps based on their incomes and family sizes?
According to teacherportal.com, in West Virginia, the state in which I teach, the average teacher's salary is $38,284, which is hardly enough money to pay the mortgage and utilities, buy groceries, and keep gas in the car. And the only summer work teachers will find in this state is stocking shelves at Walmart, which I'm pretty sure won't bump us up to the top 1 percent (even with overtime).
In my state, police officers make just a little more than teachers (salary.com estimates they make an average of $45,126) and many firefighters work volunteer without pay. Despite any side jobs, Sen. Brown should know that these professions have very few individuals who earn more than $250,000 a year.
Sen. Brown's contention just supports my own contention that these fat-cat Republicans will never be able to relate to America's working class. The majority of police officers, firefighters and teachers will not be included in the group of earners that would be affected by Obama's proposed tax increase. I feel that if you're earning over $250,000 a year, it wouldn't hurt you to pay more taxes than someone earning less, but as a public school teacher, I won't ever have to worry about the proposed tax increase affecting me.
Only on planet Republican are teachers part of the 1 percent.
Ruqaiyya Noor is a featured contributor in Yahoo! Voices' Lifestyle category in education and is a student English teacher in West Virginia.