Raimondo’s Definition of Leadership
Gotta love General Treasurer Gina Raimondo’s definition for legislative leadership:
Follow the Senate president. Follow Speaker Fox. Be a leader.
Lead by following! That sounds very Rhode Island.
Real legislative leaders should be asking themselves why this whole process appears to be going so smoothly. Sure, the unions are putting on their show, as they could be expected to do no matter what they actually think of the legislation, but look at the lopsided votes: 10-1 in the Senate Finance Committee and 13-2 in the House Finance Committee.
A word of advice for the EngageRI types: when people you’ve grown to trust to be wrong and/or crooked suddenly appear to be unified in making a good decision, the decision might not be as good as it appears.
This bill will not solve the pension problem, but it will put the ultimate fix in the hands of a union-heavy Retirement Board. Sure, later retirement dates, COLAs tied to fund performance, and a hybrid plan should be part of an ultimate solution, but Raimondo’s solution will not get the system to the status at which they’ll serve as a resolution. It points in the right direction, but in the same sense that sending a driver into Point Judith Harbor points him in the right direction to Block Island.
Massive tax increases and/or service cuts are going to come before this thing is fully amortized (if it ever is). If the General Assembly passes this reform, all it will have done is what it always does — namely, to kick the can down the road at considerable cost.