Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Connecticut Legislature's Pomposity

The Connecticut Legislature fascinates me.  To me it is a  group of individuals working on a supposed part time basis that get together each year and submits hundreds of bills many symbolic and many taking away personal freedoms in the state.  These bills range from the ridiculous as seen in licensing cats to get revenue, placing a tax on plastic shopping bags, new tolls, a tax on how many miles you drive in the state, making Connecticut a "Sanctuary State" and to tax a large can or bottle of soda.  These bills get media attention while the underlying economic issues continue to be ignored.  And ignored.  And ignored even more.   While Connecticut's politically connected continue to be pampered in their excesses.
For example what is the plan to address the pension crisis?  The current negotiated settlement does not do anything to limit the growth in pensions nor properly fund them.  It kicks down the road addressing the issue to 2032, when most of our elected officials will comfortably be collecting their bloated pensions and benefits out-of-state. 
Another example is the addressing of Connecticut's short and long term debt along with its unfunded liabilities-what is the plan?  From what we see in this legislative session there is not much talk about it as all state union contracts seem to be safe.  As a taxpayer I wonder why the Legislature can not vote on every contract that comes up for both bargaining and non bargaining unit state employees?  After all aren't state taxpayers paying for their salaries and benefits?  By not voting on these contracts it represents to me the lack of respect that is shown to the Connecticut Taxpayers.  The respect is only shown to those individual workers who have great political ties and influence in the state. 
Why are state Judges afforded a full pension after a few years of service?  What makes them so special and why?  How does the state afford this?  Why is this considered essential?
Why can state employees supposedly work massive levels of overtime in their last three years of employment to boost their pensions?  And in some cases add their mileage reimbursements amounts to their final pension benefits?
The Connecticut Legislatures solution to our economic crisis seems to be more of the same, new and higher taxes.  The same stale talk about cutting spending for those truly in need while increasing salaries and benefits for those politically connected.  The same rhetoric.
In 2017 I really expected  to see some realistic solutions to cutting spending, salaries and benefits along with pensions by the Connecticut Legislature.  Instead I see the same meaningless pomposity that defines the Connecticut Legislature.
It is time to take back Connecticut in 2018.

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