Give ‘Em the Damn Money

You may have gotten the impression that I’m not a big fan or our elected officials at the state level, based on my view of the decisions (and more to the point non-decisions) they have made, and the deals they have cut. But unlike many commentators I’m not going to get all worked up about the legislature getting a cost of living pay increase after many years, just as I didn’t get all worked up about the City Council pay increase. We all expect, or at least hope for, annual increases in pay that keep up with the cost of living. It may be fair to suggest that our current state legislators have treated the general public with contempt, and do not deserve the increase. But my view is that one has to meet one’s own obligations before pointing fingers, and showing contempt for the legislature by cutting its inflation-adjusted pay isn’t doing so.

Remember, there are plenty of interests up in Albany who are willing to pay more than we do for their services and a bigger share of our money. They are up there being nice to our elected officials and giving them money. Perhaps the general public needs to ante up. Besides, perhaps some legislators are waiting around for a pay raise to retire with a bigger pension. How much would you be willing to pay to get more of those folks out? I’d pay quite a bit. So let’s give ‘m the money, demand they live up to it, and try again to get rid of more who don’t in 2008.