Wednesday, June 25, 2003

The Governor takes it to the people and some of us are listening. As the governor says in the article:

"I think what happens -- and what these people don't realize," Carcieri said of the state's overwhelmingly Democratic lawmakers, "and I realized shortly after I got here, is that what happens within the four walls of this building often bears little relationship with how people feel or what people care about outside this building.

"I don't know whether it is in the air or what it is. But what happens is they are only busy talking to each other -- or the lobbyists," he said of the army of suits and ties camped out across the marble divide.

Who are these people that have access? Again, from the ProJo:

They included teachers' union lobbyists, casino lobbyists, the father and son who represent local business interests, and the tie-less former senator who represents the insurer with a monopoly on the state employee health contract: Blue Cross.

To counter this we have:

In interviews earlier in the day, House Finance Chairman Paul V. Sherlock, D-Warwick, and Deputy Finance Chairman Steven M. Costantino, D-Providence, denounced the increase in pension contributions as a "tax on one segment of the Rhode Island work force . . . [the] people who take care of people in our hospitals, the people who teach our children in schools . . . all the people who are meeting the needs of the state."

Guess what Mr. Sherlock and Mr. Costantino? We, the taxpayers of Rhode Island, pay them, not some magical pot of gold! Right now we don't think we're getting enough bang for the buck AND we think they should kick in a little more for their own benefits, just like the rest of us. Spare me the sob story of poor hospital workers and teachers, the fact of the matter is, in tough times, we all have to cinch the belt, and that includes government workers. They have no more "right" to guaranteed increases in pay and benefits then we do. It is the height of arrogance to believe that those of us who are forced to subsidize more and more of our own pensions, health care, etc. should also be forced to pay for obscene increases in those very same benefits for those who work FOR us in the public sector. Hopefully, with the leadership of Governor Carcieri, those days will be behind us soon. Finally, I leave it to the Governor to wrap it up:

He (the Governor) also served notice that "come the next election cycle, I intend to point out who was with me and who was against me . . . We want a floor fight . . . I want people to know who's voting how."

We'll remember.

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