By Joel Schiavone
Getting close to the election. Are we going to elect a Governor who can wade into this pension mess and straighten it out as they did in Rhode Island several years ago? Or are we going to do another Malloyesqe deal which promises to deal with the issue and does nothing at all. If any of you have been listening to the debates you should have observed that they certainly have not dwelled on how they’re going to get us out of this mess. Not only are the two candidates staying away from this conversation but the questioners at the debates that I viewed did not bring it up at all. I’ve listened to discussions of affordable housing, road repairs, and other de minimis concerns and have heard virtually nothing on the pension mess. Hopefully some of this will get sorted out in the next debate or at least in the newspapers.
Will somebody please help us?!
In the meantime our beloved Governor has put in place two issues which are designed to further destroy the state with more of his failed policies. First, and I’m sure you’ve heard about this, Governor Malloy has managed to put through a $10 million bonding something or other to hire a consultant to analyze whether we should put tolls back on our highways. The second assault is the Malloy initiative to sell off state property which he is currently allowed to do without a public hearing and with minimal legislative approval. State parks, historical buildings, waterfront property are all on the list, the proceeds of which will immediately go to allow the outrageous pension programs for state employees and their families to continue.
Vote Yes on Question #2 to protect your land, your voice, and your heritage. Hopefully both of these Malloy initiatives will crash and burn with your support.
The next thought is at best a fantasy which would bring a smile to everyone’s face if initiated. For forty or fifty years Governors, comptrollers, accountants and all the other hoi polloi have broken the law by filing financial statements for the state which do not break even as required by statute. They have knowingly and routinely ignored the Constitution and submitted budgets which are balanced on the surface but fraudulent in fact by failing to include the pension obligations. Wouldn’t it be delicious if we could sue all these people for their failure to operate in a lawful fashion? If anyone has any idea about how to do this please let me know your thoughts.
At last but certainly not least it is obvious that no one at the state or local level understands financial accounting. Based on my limited exposure to the financial IQ of state officials my conclusion is that none of them have read the operating budget of the state. Even if they have, they show no understanding of Accounting 101. There is no doubt that the lack of financial skills at all levels of our state and local governments has created this current mess. Will we ever have a candidate who understands these finances? The two current gubernatorial aspirants claim they have a background in finance. Maybe they can change this whole environment so that people, particularly in our legislature, actually understand what they’re voting for.
Sorry, but it’s tough not to be a grouch with all these terrible things going on. Good luck to us in November.