Ned Lamont said during his campaign: “Everybody’s gonna have to contribute. I am asking everyone to do a little bit more.” This begged two questions: Who is “everybody”? And who will benefit from everybody’s sacrifices?
The answers are already in: “Everybody” means private sector middle class families. And the intended beneficiaries are state government employees.
Recently, the Democrat majority approved an 11% raise for certain state lawyers who are already very well compensated. Next in line, apparently, are salary increases for attorneys who work for the Department of Revenue Services. All lawyer jokes aside, how many working-class families in Connecticut would love to wake up to six-figure salaries? With a 2017 median household income of about $74,000, I suspect lots of them.
Government employees already enjoy generous benefits, such as guaranteed benefit pensions, lengthy paid time off, and broad healthcare coverage for life. These benefits made sense historically, when government employees sacrificed salaries for benefits. But for Lamont and his enablers in the legislature, that apparently is not enough. Instead, working class families should sacrifice more so that government employees can have a taste of luxury.
Ronald Reagan was fond of recounting jokes from the old Soviet Union, and our current state of affairs in Connecticut unfortunately reminds me of one. Speaking to a crowd of factory workers about the government’s new five-year plan, a government minister says: “In the next five years, we will be even better off!” To which one of the workers raises his hand and responds meekly: “And what about us?”
One would be forgiven for thinking the legislature should represent ALL Connecticut residents. But its current agenda seems focused exclusively on enriching state employees. Perhaps Lamont should have borrowed his campaign slogan from the movie Wall Street – “Greed is good”.