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In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Not Bold Enough

They called it bold.
Bold it was not. It was a meager attempt to squeeze a few million
bucks out of the legislative budget.
The House Speaker "Unveils Restructuring Plan to Cut $4.8 Million
from Budget," the democratic press release screamed in big bold print.
Andy Dillon and friends want to consolidate administrative
services such as the business office, human resources, finance and post
office.
They also want to create one fiscal agency which does economic
forecasting. The senate and house each have one of those now. And
legislative employees would lose the state match they now enjoy for
their 401 (k) retirement plans.
While $4.8 million may seem like a ton of green, compared to the
state's $30 billion budget, it's not even a drop in the bucket.
This will not draw much attention accept to those current
employees who may be laid off.
What would get the public's attention is lawmakers doing
something about their salary and life time health care benefits.
Ah, that is a "restructuring" of a different color.
Let's tackle lawmaker's salaries.
At a time when they were trying to undo a 3% pay raise for state
union workers, lawmakers themselves have not taken an across the board
slice out of their paychecks. A handful have voluntarily done it, but
most have not. Do as I say and not as I do comes to mind.
Now you may have heard this: The legislature has passed a plan
to cut the pay of elected officials by 10%.
The statement on the surface is true and if you didn't know any
better you would assume they have taken a 10% pay cut.
Read on.
What they did do was pass a resolution that is not binding nor
does it have the power of law. The resolution calls on the State
Officers Compensation Commission (affectionately known in town as the
SOCC Commission as in Sock-it to the taxpayers) to reduce the pay.
The commission has not met and has not acted on the resolution
and when and if it does, it can ignore the request if it so chooses and
lawmakers paychecks will be left untouched.
It's clear why lawmakers don't explain all that to you when they
boast about taking a 10% phantom pay cut...they want you to think they
have.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's the accumulation of small items that sneak into the budget that have in this mess.The governers cottage, the state employees that work for the first man, the office and associated costs for that office of the first man, one half of the department that oversaw the state chartered banks dedicated to Comerica (now a federal chartered bank) and now relocated to Texas, that $125 million state police building that has only one beneficiary...the gov's buddy, the grants to students who graduate and then leave the state (50%) for employment else where. The atitude of entitlement that the politicans and state workers exhibit has to change. They do not realize their existence does nothing for the economy. They contribute nothing to the output of this society, they are only a redristributer of someone elses wealth. To have a government worker retire with a greater income that the average tax payer makes in a year, as in Macomb County, I have to question who is serving whom. As a wise sage, I hate to admit but I think it was a politician. a million here...a million there...pretty soon you are talking real money.

March 29, 2010 at 8:50 AM 

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