Our state representatives have just voted to give themselves a 43% pay raise, from $28,000 to $40,000 annually along with automatic cost of living increases every two years. This may appear to be a paltry amount, even with this large percentage increase; but Connecticut has a part time legislature – a remnant of long gone Yankee minimalism. In odd number years, the legislature is in session from January to June for forty days and in even number years, it is in session from February to May for thirty-five days.
This may appear to be a fairly good gig, averaging about $1,000 a day not to mention the Cadillac health insurance our politicians give themselves. But in actually, our legislators are grossly underpaid. What really needs to be done is our legislators need to be paid $200,000 a year with one stipulation – they lose $50,000 a day for every day they work.
Why? Because nothing good can happen when these people are in session. Let’s take a look at some of their recent “accomplishments.”
During a previous legislative session, our politicians in their infinite wisdom legalized pot. But they really didn’t legalize it. In fact, it is still a crime to grow pot in your own home and smoke it. Instead, they created a road map for the politically connected to create high concentration marijuana products to addict our children. Now our emergency rooms are inundated with teenagers overdosing on marijuana. But strong action was taken during this session. It is now illegal to show images of the cannabis plant as well as advertising it on an illuminated billboard between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. The kids are now safe.
This session was characterized by more shenanigans. Flush with federal money for COVID relief, Connecticut had a budget surplus. So, everyone got raises – state workers, judges, bureaucrats, educrats and some even received $3,500 bonuses. Some of the money was even used to pay down $3.5 billion dollars in pension debt. Unsaid is that there is still another unfunded $90 billion to go.
Legislation was even passed that would require the state vehicle fleet to be 100% electric by 2030. Wait until we get the bill for this scam
There was one great achievement though: More mental health care for children and teenagers. This was the least our legislators could do after unnecessarily locking down our businesses and schools for a virus whose spread could not be stopped. Perhaps this will help with the epidemic of depression, suicide attempts and increased obesity.
But this legislation did not go far enough. How about some mental health care for us adults? And I am not talking about sitting down with some sixties leftovers on the public trough and discussing our feelings.
After allowing the police to bully us for not wearing useless masks while allowing armed car jackers to rampage freely, we should at least have vouchers for Louise XIII cognac, Jefferson Reserve bourbon and Balvenie portwood scotch. We should have free Cuban cigars and free massages. And we should be able to relieve our stress by growing our own pot and smoking it the privacy of our homes, rather than being forced to buy it from politically-connected dispensaries.
The next legislative session will occur after the 2022 elections. And the Democrats are doing what Democrats do best – temporarily morphing into Republicans. Taxes on property, cars and pensions were slashed during the last legislative session. Fiscal responsibility was temporarily vogue.
But what will happen next year, when the Democrats – who have coasted to reelection – are “shocked” to see a downturn in revenues and a looming budget deficit. We are not receiving any more money from the federal government. And because of the stock market correction, there will be fewer capital gains taxes paid. If you answered tolls, go to head of the class.
But this can all be avoided if we pay our legislators to stay home.