The Little Policy Details That Say So Much
Sometimes, in the noise and rancor of politics and budgeting, one’s attention becomes monopolized by particular details. Consider the following:
[The state’s public-employee unions’] chief target: a proposal to limit annual pension increases to the first $35,000 in retirement pay initially. The $35,000 would go up each year, in keeping with the Consumer Price Index, and legislative budget writers stripped from their final bill a provision that Carcieri sought — to reinforce a right they already have to adjust these cost of living adjustments of up to 3 percent annually.
By way of comparison, Massachusetts has, for more than a decade, limited its annual pension increases to the first $12,000 in retirement pay.
There’s no excuse for so much of what goes on in Rhode Island. Oh, there are rationalizations and complaints, and they’ll continue to float to the surface as bubbles long after the state has drifted to the bottom. But the poor leadership and self-serving lobbying have no justification but greed and corruption. One class rallies and demands the continuation of ill-advised and unsustainable handouts, and another class suffers until its members reach the threshold of whatever’s keeping them in the state.
The cycle continues, and down we go.