Gov. Ned Lamont wants ideas – here is an idea!
While Lamont’s proposed cost-of-living reductions are a very small step in the right direction, we need much more. As the state legislature considers Medicare for all, it’s time it considered Medicare for all retired state employees and teachers.
The “rich” obviously don’t have enough money (or willingness to stay in Connecticut to become tax donkeys) to pay for the current gold-plated employee benefits. So now the governor is proposing to soak the poor and middle class just for driving to work, eating, or trying to get well, with tolls and sales taxes on food and medicine.
It’s time for fairness to all Connecticut residents. Why should government employees get better retirement healthcare coverage than the rest of the taxpayers who are covered by Medicare?
The state clearly can’t afford the retirement benefits it has “negotiated” between governors elected by the state employees unions and those unions – leaving out the interests of the majority of the citizens. The legislature never even had to approve these payments. All they had to do was not vote on the agreements for the benefits to go into effect. Two independent parties to the contract never negotiated these benefits in good faith.
Maybe the unions won’t agree to this now, although there are clearly constitutional issues as to the legality of the 2017 SEBAC deal, but SEBAC can be reopened in June 2021. If we get to June 2021 without a balanced budget, perhaps we should fire state employees by a lottery process (to avoid any racial, age or gender discrimination) until the deficit is closed. Maybe that will get the unions’ attention and bring them to the table now to really solve this mess.
James Miller, a resident of Lyme, was an investment banker at Merrill Lynch from 1984 – 1996. During that time he worked with the government of Argentina to privatize Telefonica Argentina, Telecom Argentina and YPF (the Argentine national oil company).
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