September 28, 2009

Rhode Island Politician Inclined to Run to Big Brother

Justin Katz

The Providence Journal today published a very disappointing op-ed from Rep. John Loughlin (R, Tiverton, Portsmouth, Little Compton) that Monique posted on Anchor Rising back in March to some extensive commentary. Loughlin's premises are that we have a moral obligation to fulfill the pension expectations of public employees and teachers who are vested in the system and that the most painless way to save the General Assembly from its own malfeasance is to ask the federal government for a handout and, in the process, give over ultimate control of our pension system.

It's a big-government scam that isn't worthy of a Republican and isn't likely to happen anyway. And it shouldn't happen. Employees are vested after 10 years, which essentially means that they get 100% of the pension that their contributions permit. There is no obligation — moral or, as far as I can see, legal — to hold on to the unsustainable system that legislators unwisely and corruptly constructed for employees who still have up to two-thirds of their careers ahead of them. Asks Loughlin:

How can we say to a valued teacher or employee who has contributed to a plan for 10, 20, or nearly 30 years in accordance with the terms the state agreed to, that they now must work a decade longer and receive a reduced retirement?

Sorry. The guilt trip is empty. Like many other private-sector Rhode Islanders, I expect to die working, as it is; how can Rep. Loughlin say to me that I must also sell the body parts out of my corpse in order to pay for the vote-buying and back-rubbing of long-retired politicians?

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And they wonder why the Republican party in RI is so moribund.
It's pretty simple - if you are just going to act like a stupid Democrat, they'll go for the real thing every time - just as we have witnessed.

Here is my solution to this pension mess - Fu@k them! They over-reached and now they pay the price - pigs get slaughtered.

Now that is a different and refreshing message to me, and one that would have one helluva lot more people excited about the prospects of a Loughlin candidacy, than that moronic, suck-up "solution" he put forth in that ProJo column.

Posted by: Mike Cappelli at September 28, 2009 4:42 PM

I'm not sure this is a "new" piece. It looks just like the one from the spring. Knowing the lack of timeliness of the Projo, they probably just got around to publishing it.

Of course, I disagree with Rep. Loughlin on this particular issue. I don't think we have an obligation to pay anything to public workers more than what was put in, plus maybe a little interest for their trouble. Obviously, you can prorate a payout based on their years of service, since in some cases, the public workers don't pay into social security. Let them play in the market like everyone else.

As Patrick Kennedy tried to quote from Voltaire (though he didn't actually say it correctly), don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Rep. Loughlin is far superior to Rep. Kennedy on virtually every level imaginable.

Posted by: Will at September 28, 2009 5:02 PM

In light of Loughlin's viewpoint on this, I would vote for Kennedy over him. Keep in mind that the last time Kennedy ran for office I wrote in the name of my dead dog "Gas Machine" rather than vote for Kennedy. Loughlin's article was so blind, ignorant, clueless and stupid that I can no longer support Loughlin for anything.

Posted by: MrsLoughlin at September 28, 2009 5:15 PM

I think the following comment should be re-posted here because it is wonderful and because I wrote it:

"Did you read the article in the Providence Journal opinion section by one of our glorious brain-dead state representatives? In the article, the windbag states that he is concerned about a certain segment of our population and their ability to retire with dignity. Hmmmmm. I wonder what segment could that be? Oh, yeah the PUBLIC SECTOR workers. Gee, it's just a cooincidence that the author of the article is part of that very PUBLIC SECTOR segment and has a few family members also within that oh-so-special, I-got-mine,now-you-get-yours segment. What does our glorious state representative suggest to make sure our hard working public sector workers can retire with dignity? That the taxpayers bailout ALL public sector pension plans across the board at an estimated cost of (in his opinion) ONLY a third of a trillon dollars. (Since we're dealing with a public sector-employed author, you'll have to triple that sum to get the actual final cost). This author has no shame along with no brains. He justifies this robbery of the public treasury based on the fact that the gold plated pensions were promised. Um, yeah. They were promised sorta like social security retirement has been promised to both public and private sector employees alike. And we all know where social security is headed. Don't you think that it would be fair to save that one-third of a trillion dollars to help save social security first? Given how things are going in the private sector, social security may be the ONLY pension private sector workers will have. Given this fact, wouldn't it be more important to save social security rather than the gold plated public pensions? God forbid that the interests of private sector workers should ever be taken into account."

Posted by: Wonderguy at September 28, 2009 5:24 PM

No pandering to the unions, they are spoiled enough. I get to retire when they close the lid.

If John wants to be taken seriously, he can't act like a dem. I want the pain to stop, not make it worse.

Posted by: kathy at September 28, 2009 5:24 PM

You folks must be the ones who lost jobs, benefits and salary in the private sector and didn't complain.

Kudos to you, the "taxpayers" for giving your share and never whining about it. You are better people than I, for I will go down fighting for every nickel I was promised. If it turns out I lose some or all of my pension due to economic forces beyond my control, so be it, but you had better prepare the crying towels because I will bitch and moan all the way to the poor house.

Posted by: michael at September 28, 2009 6:01 PM

Awwwww. Little Mikey gonna cry unless he gets all of his toys.

Mikey is like a passenger on a Tiantic who, as the ship sinks, goes up to the captain waving his ticket,crying,"This ship can't sink. I got a binding contract. You're obligated to sail me to New York. You owe me!You owe me!"

Sorry Mikey. You're gonna be in the lifeboats with the rest of us.

Posted by: WickedMe at September 28, 2009 6:47 PM

At least I'm honest.

Posted by: Mikey at September 28, 2009 6:54 PM

I mean this in the most good-humored way possible, but at times like this, I can't help but hear this song.

Posted by: Justin Katz at September 28, 2009 7:20 PM

I hope this question is broached at the upcoming Loughlin healthcare town hall meeting. His viewpoint on public sector pensions is seriously disturbing in light of the economic situation we face. He may be a better choice than Kennedy on most issues, but this position alone is enough to infuriate enough people who may have voted for him to opt out. With Kennedy's large default voting block, Loughlin will need every vote he can get. This kind of back stabbing the taxpayer just ain't gonna cut it. What a waste.

Posted by: MadMom at September 28, 2009 8:16 PM

Justin, you should've linked the superior Pretenders version (hey, even Rush is a Pretenders fan, right?).
Every time he blasts PETA on his show, I just think of how the royalties his use of "My City Was Gone" have generated have probably put Chrissie Hynde's two daughters through college.

Posted by: rhody at September 29, 2009 12:06 AM

Will, if "Rep. Loughlin is far superior to Rep. Kennedy on virtually every level imaginable", he really ought to bring out those "levels" instead of writing a major op-ed piece that screams I'm just like Patrick!.

This particular op-ed guarrantees one thing - he finishes no better than Rodgers or Scott.

Posted by: George at September 29, 2009 10:02 AM

You spelled Rogers wrong.

Posted by: bob at September 30, 2009 11:32 AM
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