Saturday, March 5, 2011

Is Malloy Bullying Or Merely Posturing?


Does it make a difference really which one it is?

Jon Pelto points out the absurdity of Governor Malloy's dependence on an extra billiion dollars a year in state employee give-backs to balance his proposed budget:

Governor Malloy’s entire budget is based on state employees agreeing to make $2 billion dollars in wage and benefit concessions.

Anyone familiar with Connecticut’s state budget knows it is a number that literally cannot be achieved and the Governor purposely put out a number that is designed to fail.

Disguised as shared sacrifice, the Governor’s proposal is scapegoating of the worst kind since he has repeatedly connected his demands to the state employees with the warning that if the state employees fail to provide $1 billion in annual savings, he will be forced to shred the safety net and lay-off thousands of employees at a time the unemployment rate makes it clear that many of those laid off will not be able to find jobs.

Malloy has been very clear. If state employees don’t come up with a billion dollars in concessions - this year - the most vulnerable and needy people among us will be hurt and the fault will lie squarely with the state employees and no one else.

Even today, as the Malloy Administration and the state employee unions prepare to officially sit down for the first time, Malloy’s chief political advisor said that the “governor hopes and expects the talks to be productive and will produce the money that's necessary to help balance the budget."

The money necessary to balance the budget?

The facts could not be clearer.

Take away any and all pay raises for state employees. Institute a dozen furlough days to cut their pay by 5 percent, blow their healthcare co-pays and deductions through the roof and the budget savings comes to about $388 million next year.

Cut pay by 10% and you still don’t top $500 million in savings – far, far short of the $1 billion Malloy says he must have this year, yet alone the other $1 billion next year.

I like to believe that Malloy doesn't really mean any of this - he's just posturing for public consumption and will say, look, I tried, but we really do have to raise taxes more (on the rich!)

Jon takes a more negative view:

Saying that his budget is balanced when he knows it is not and then setting up Connecticut’s state employees to take the fall is more than a gimmick, it is nothing short of a mean-spirited form of bullying...setting up Connecticut’s state employees to become public enemy #1.

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