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.

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Mark
Mark
10 years ago

If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

Tommy Cranston
Tommy Cranston
10 years ago

“Massive tax increases and/or service cuts are going to come before this thing is fully amortized ”
Not really. It buys us a few years on the state (not municipal) side and when push comes to shove the GA can, and I daresay will, make more reforms.

Justin Katz
Justin Katz
10 years ago

Tommy,
You’re missing the trick… a trick that probably explains why this controversial bill is sailing through the GA: future reforms will be dictated by the Retirement Board, which will henceforth give the GA two options and say, “Pass one, or do nothing and let the default pass.” The RB, by the way, has 7 of 15 members directly appointed by unions.

Tommy Cranston
Tommy Cranston
10 years ago

“You’re missing the trick… a trick that probably explains why this controversial bill is sailing through the GA: future reforms will be dictated by the Retirement Board”
Oh I get that. I just think that when push comes to shove they WILL act-and change the law.
If you think about that’s what happened this year. The default position was to double the state’s contribution. That proved politically untenable.
The real ironic part is that because of the Weimar-like fiscal policies of the union backed Nobama and the national Democrat party inflation is likely to be on the rise over the next decade just at the time COLA’s disapear in RI. Might say the unionists will be hoised on their own petard?

Justin Katz
Justin Katz
10 years ago

Tommy,
The problem with comparing the current controversy with future ones is that this “out” for the GA does not yet exist, but it will in the future. In the future, we’ll also have had however many years of sending 6% of payroll into untouchable defined-contribution accounts. And moreover, it’ll be easy to present the argument as the taxpayers’ “turn.”

ANTHONY
ANTHONY
10 years ago

The “Fix” is in. Taxes are going up. That is the status quo in RI. The vested interests are incestual and will prolong the economic malaise. RI pols have been doin’ it wrong so long they think it’s right.

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