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Scott Brown Puts Teachers, Police Officers, Firefighters In The 1 Percent

Scott Brown

Posted: 01/21/12 07:12 PM ET

Sen. Scott Brown's (R-Mass.) has advocated for large financial institutions in the past, but he stuck up for an interesting new segment of the 1 percent on Saturday: teachers, police officers, and firefighters.

In an interview with the Lowell Sun, Brown claimed that President Barack Obama's proposed tax increase on households that make over $250,000 will fall on the families of public employees like teachers, firefighters, and police officers:

Asked which public servants earn that much money, Brown said it is common for police officers to earn well over $100,000 annually when overtime is factored into their pay.

"You throw in a teacher who's working, plus a summer job, it adds up pretty quickly," he said. "There's quite a few of them."

But when Talking Points Memo looked at the salaries of such public employees in the Lowell area, records revealed that Brown's claim is thin. The vast majority of public servants in fact earn well below the numbers needed to be affected by the president's plan:

According to Salary.com, which tracks average pay across various professions, 90% of Boston police patrol officers made a base salary below $75,307 last year and 90% of Lowell patrol officers made a base salary below $70,857. 90% of firefighters in Boston make under $68,793, and below $64,729 in Lowell. The average teacher in Lowell makes about $80,841 a year, according to the Massachusetts Department of Education, higher than the statewide average of $68,781.

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Filed by Max J. Rosenthal  |