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Us or them?  Whom does our state government represent?

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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”.

Irina Comer

5 comments

John C Romano April 28, 2019 at 9:23 am

Great analysis. Would love to here more of your thoughts, they are spot on. Thanks for your eye opening letter

john flynn April 28, 2019 at 10:29 am

They haven’t cut a single expense. They ensure that the DNC is fully funded by Law firms and Developers that build section 8 housing, pay for play. Ct’s disabled and elderly are being milked and the middle class families are being squeezed. Environmentally and economically the trend in Ct is quite disturbing. 22.1 trillion federally and they want your last dollar. Tighten your belt. Hartford, New Haven, Bridgeport and Waterbury are so dependent on the conservative towns that people are afraid of losing their necessities. They have to Vote row A out of fear. Its not greed its fear. Teachers are told to Vote row A or they will never get their pension. Promises are being made.

Pberman April 28, 2019 at 11:34 am

Both Parties have supported CT public Union salaries at the nations’ top levels. Why expect any change.
Look at Norwalk’s $150k “Chiefs salaries” handed out to individuals who couldn’t get anywhere near those salaries in the private sector. Or paying our Mayor the same salary as our CT Governor who has a very major job.

Excessive State and Municipal Public Union salaries/benefits has long been cited as a major cause of CT’s stagnant growth for an entire decade amidst the nation’s most vigorous post War economic boom.
CT is the nation’s primary example of excessive compensation of public Unions and the taxes need to finance such largesse.

Norwalk residents show no interest in curbing excessive City Hall salaries. So we know our future. Ever higher taxes for receiving the same services and lower property values. Not many homeowners retire in Norwalk anymore. Too costly.

J C April 28, 2019 at 11:40 am

Great letter. If this is Lamont’s idea of doing a little bit more, I’d just as soon he do less. At this rate, by the end of his term, there won’t be any taxpayers left in the state.

Piberman April 29, 2019 at 11:28 am

When Gubinatorial candidates use their own/family monies to seek public office why be surprised that the results are less than “impressive”. Similarly if we look collectively at CT’s major city elected Mayors and ask why with a few notable exceptions they’re among the nation’s most depressed, e.g. Bridgeport with a per capita income of just about $17,000 in a State with an average roughly 4 times higher. CT residents just aren’t interested in local/State governance. Why that has occurred isn’t obvious. Some suggest its the decline of once proud newspapers, e.g. Courant. But then we have the rise of web based papers. Some suggest we’re an ever more transient State with our kids moving out for better opportunities elsewhere. Others suggest we’re just more selfish. Still others claim its the importation of the “DC disease”.

My own “pet theory” is that we’re cursed with a small population spread over 169 towns and cities and increasingly left behind by the hi-tech computer revolution transforming America. Whatever the reasons and there may be several important ones the Exodus is real. As we loose our young “seed talent” to other States CT’s future increasingly looks bleak. “Honey, call in the movers” seems our State motto. Sadly.

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