Sunday, March 22, 2009

As the gloves come off in Delaware....

It is truly fascinating to watch the reactions to Governor Jack Markell's shared pain budget, in which he cuts State salaries/benefits 10% across the board, setting the stage for potentially driving thousands of State employees into the category of working poor.

Many of my favorite bloggers and commenters, however, have bought into both the bogus shared sacrifice and manufactured Us vs Them ideas:


Cry me an effing river. What a bunch of whiners. Do they have any idea how many people would give an arm for their jobs even with the 10% cut?

I’m having a very difficult time feeling sorry for people who have gotten free health insurance having to contribute a little bit to it. The private sector has been paying about 10% of their salary to health insurance premiums all along and, while state wages tend to be lower than wages in the private sector, they work fewer days with their crazy state holidays (not to mention their offices close with the slightest dusting of snow) and their job security is nothing to sneeze at.


[quoting another post] “I will lose $250 a month for fiscal year 2010, I’m only in my 6th year of teaching. It is going to hurt, but I am going to adjust and I am going to get by.”

It’s all unfortunate but you have the right attitude and how many millions of workers are in the same boat? I am there, 4 days a week at a 10% pay cut with major cost to me on employer sponsor healthcare. We’re all boxed in corner with no where to go! We could teacher go to work in this country that hasn’t been impacted but the recession? Many of us in the private sector are so stressed as each day we go to work we don’t know if its our last....

Losing 10% of my pay was impactful but somehow I am surviving! No vaction this summer, not going out to dinner, basic cable and no BS spending. I ditched Visa and Mastercard years ago and just us AMX. My car had it for 15 years. Had to buy wife new car her’s was near dead! Dam baby Kilroy college loans a bitch. Yep, lets not forget all those yound teachers with student loans! Maybe the feds can give them a forgivness loan!

There are others. There are State workers out there firing back, talking about their salaries and working conditions.

And the winner is: Governor Jack Markell's bloated big government and the overpaid managerial elite at the top of it.

See, this is real class warfare at the State and local level.

The Governor has now managed to divert the issue from how best to manage the deficit or how best to cut unneccessary fat from the State budget into State employees should feel lucky to have jobs and What else could the Governor have done?.

This budget announcement has not been some Solomonic attempt to mete out justice and preserve essential state services.

No, it is a crass, hypocrtical attempt to defer the tough decisions while allowing the demonization of over 17,000 State workers and teachers.

And it's working. People who get caught up in the old I've got it worse than they do mantra are allowing the Governor to set a minimum employee baseline for the State government that we will get rid of about the same time that the current State workers see the end of their temporary salary cut.

As for those cabinet officials, legislators and judges who portray themselves as somehow stepping up the to the plate by agreeing to take the same salary cuts, I call not just bullshit, but complete, utter bullshit.

Jack Markell, former corporate bigwig, could afford to take the job of Governor for a dollar a year, now couldn't he?

What about Lewis Schiliro, Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security, who took a cushy exit bonus of nearly half a million dollars in stock options from Hain Celestial Foods (those are the ones I could find; who know what MBNA, AIG, and the Freeh Group International paid him?)? Sounds like another dollar-a-year-man to me.

Don't get me wrong: I'm not about running down wealth, but hypocrisy is hypocrisy no matter who engages in the practice.

It is ludicrous and offensive to suggest that Markell, Schiliro, or any of the folks with six-figure salaries (and stock funds, multiple properties, and all the connections that come with being part of the political/corporate elite) are either sharing the pain of State employees who make a median salary of $40K or are morally any different from the wealthy corporate elites that the Democratic Party has been pretending to attack for the past year because it gets them votes.

Government: it never fails to live down to my expectations.


Anonymous said...

Geez Steve you forgot Happy Harry, Alan Levin!

Lets face the music. Where the hell is that Rainy Day fund, how much is in it...and where is the proof it exists?

Delaware isnt the corporate banking/creditcard/insurance State for nothing.

We have been ENRONIZED! The suits are back in power and they will make sure everyone is amongst the working poor, rather than adopt and change some of the horrific laws in this state.

What about the prisoners, where are the furloughs? Where are more group homes for folks at DPC. It costs $360,000 a year for institutional care, and $100,000 for community group homes! It costs $30,000 for a state worker in an insitution while direct care workers in the community are paid $10.00 an hour.

Blind leading the blind!

Nancy Willing said...

'Funny' how after your Freeh-for-all post the WNJ throws Louis some loving today.

tom said...

Ah yes, the WNJ; the last bastion of investigative journalism. Here's a little experiment: start emailing them press releases about events your organization or company is holding or new programs they are getting involved with. Write them using the same style, tone & other linguistic idiosyncrasies you see in the WNJ, and follow their editorial rule: Never Challenge the Status Quo.

Count how many of them get printed verbatim or very nearly so.

David said...

Did you read Jack's book before the election? I think that you did so how would you be disappointed?