Shared Sacrifice or Sham?

    City Journal published my op-ed yesterday about Gov. Dannel Malloy’s failing plan to save money from the state employee unions:

    Delivering his first budget address as Connecticut governor in February 2011, Dannel P. Malloy described the principle that would guide his policies: “shared sacrifice.” It aimed at convincing taxpayers that state employees would suffer along with them during the nastiest recession in decades. Malloy was certainly asking taxpayers to suffer: his $1.9 billion tax increase for the 2012 fiscal year was the largest in state history.

    A few months later, Malloy announced an agreement that would renegotiate state-employee contracts. The deal would save the state $1.6 billion over two years and $21.6 billion over 20 years. State employees initially balked, but they finally agreed after an emergency bylaw change reduced the threshold for union approval. While the union was deliberating, Malloy talked tough. He announced thousands of layoffs and even flirted with collective-bargaining reforms milder than those initiated in Wisconsin. The layoffs didn’t happen—a few state troopers lost their jobs but were soon rehired—and the governor soon abandoned his talk of labor reform.

    Malloy’s agreement with the unions would purportedly save Connecticut taxpayers some money over two years: $485 million from pension reforms, $448 million from freezing wages, $391 million from changes to state employee health-care plans, $180 million from implementing cost-saving suggestions from state employees, and $90 million from using money-saving technology. In exchange, the agreement promised state employees no layoffs for four years, locked-in retiree health-care and pension benefits until 2022, a favorable adjustment to the formula for calculating pensions, and a guarantee not to revise downward those pensions incorrectly calculated in the past.

    Does Malloy’s agreement amount to shared sacrifice or sham?…

    Read the rest at City-Journal.com to find out.

    zombie_woof says:

    My understanding is that the savings from the suggestion box were based on estimates made by bean counters of suggestions that had not yet been made- and as far as I know still haven’t and won’t be- so I’m calling that $180 million smoke and mirrors. Additionally, adding together the figures from items that are not both going to be implemented- that is mutually exclusive is disingenuous when new tiers in a pension system eliminate savings from old tiers when the old system is abandoned but both numbers are added to the state figures- there does seem to be a dearth of hard numbers to back this up however.

    The buzz word “shared sacrifice” is a manipulative bit from the liberal class warfare arsenal and when one stops to consider the sacrifice of ones employment becomes very real out here in the real world private sector it becomes more than a little insulting when Malloy’s sweetheart deal with his union cronies guarantees a decade of job security.. I’d very much like to see a list of benefits specified in the collective bargaining agreement to do a comparison of things like employee health insurance

    A good amount of the supposed savings amount to smoke and mirrors… and add to the mix the fact that the state turned in a deficit last year and the fact that Connecticut continues to hemorrhage jobs- meaning revenue shortfalls in less than expected income tax collections to come. Connecticut taxpayers need to brace for future tax and fee increases to come because Malloy has shown his refusal to effect any meaningful budget cuts and insists on placing the burden for legislative excesses on the backs of taxpayers.

    Also- as long as most people are either unable or unwilling to question the propaganda fed to them through the mainstream media then they will willfully not see any reason to throw out the crooks and hucksters who have supplanted common sense with a sense of entitlement and stir up divisive class warfare amongst the masses as cover for an agenda that does away with our constitutional protections and grows government to an intrusive extent, we will be stuck with these political hacks whose rhetoric reflects an understanding of what we are dealing with but whose actions echo an unwillingness to actually do anything about it.

    CTtaxpayer says:

    We live in the land of Malloy’s folly and corruption. If Folley had won and given big business the deals Malloy has given his big labor cash machine – the liberals would a hang him.