Reason number two: because we have to keep in mind that the State employees we're talking about these days are real people:
I am really mixed on this one for two reasons. One is that my partner is a correctional officer and those 8% are going to hurt us big time - since I currently only have a seasonal part time job and won’t be working at all after July. The chance of finding full time employment by then is slim in the current economic climate. We will depend on her income to feed our family of three. This isn’t just a serious budget cut but will cut into our necessary living expenses such as the mortgage. I understand other families are going through the same difficulties, but I am talking about me and my family here.
The Correctional Officers are already seriously understaffed - but the same is true for prisons in surrounding States - however, they pay their Cos more then Delaware does and Delaware runs the risk of losing a lot of COs that they trained to neighboring States - we simply can’t afford that. The Academy currently has 4 to 6 classes a year, but most cadets don’t stay with the department long enough to make up for the cost of the training....
This isn’t just about the budget cuts and the salary cuts - but I am seriously worried about my partner’s safety and the ability of DOC to hold on to the COs they have to ensure a safe working environment for all Correctional Officers.
Oh, but wait... According to State law and the opinion of some Delaware bloggers, Redwaterlilly, her partner and child don't constitute a family, because only heterosexual marriage creates a family (and therefore serves as the bedrock of civilization).
So, as Emily Littela would have said, Never mind.
A State employee, not hetero, and works in corrections? Three strikes right there.
The current state employee bashing that has been unleashed to give cover for the Markell budget is best summarized by Dana Garrett in a comment response over at Delaware Watch:
Some are defending Markell's budget proposals because they are committed to the view that he is a progressive. They advocated for that point of view.
I was persuaded that he was one, but this budget makes me think I was wrong. Some "progressives," however, don't want to entertain the notion they were wrong about Markell. So for them it's better to attack state employees than to admit they might have been wrong about him.
Others attack state employees because they wish they had the health care coverage they do. Because they don't, they believe that state employees should have the same abysmal coverage and financial arrangements to pay for it that they do. I find this not only to be an ignoble way of thinking but an extremely irrational one as well. Why should the standard for health care be set at a low roughly common denominator? How does that help everyone? If anything, it makes poor coverage and financial arrangements to pay for it into a precedent. That's just stupid advocacy.
But back to Redwaterlilly for a moment.
Her family is neither more nor less important than the families whose breadwinners are in the private sector and facing cut-backs and lay-offs--except to her.
I remember my Mom telling me years ago why she objected to the popularity of the Depression-era fantasy that was The Waltons. She said she didn't like it and wouldn't watch it because the reality was that the Depression tore families and communities apart rather than uniting them the way Earl Hamner's series presented it.
And we seem to be seeing some of that now.