March 7, 2011

Playing the System for Profit

Justin Katz

Gregory Rich, of Cranston, points out the profitability of being a member of Rhode Island's governing class:

Because of [former House Finance Chairman Steven] Costantino's 16 years as a part-time representative, he will only have to work a few years at his new pay rate [as $142,000-a-year secretary of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services for Governor Chafee] to qualify for a pension the rest of his life at his highest year salary.

These are the types of deals that hurt the state pension system, not the state worker who puts in 35 years and retires on a small pension.

I don't think the public pension system is sustainable even without this sort of abuse, but that doesn't mean it isn't worth noting just how profitable it can be to play the government game. This isn't quite what I've meant when I've suggested that the legislature might attract a broader field of candidates if it paid better. Costantino's had the means to accept mostly political influence as compensation for the past sixteen years, and legislators shouldn't have to keep their eyes open for ways to cash in that influence.

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You're a ray-zist.
Cops and firemen working 20 years and collecting 50 years of pensions, cola's and free health care at 40 is sustainable for 1000 years-just like Hitler's Reich.

Posted by: Tommy Cranston at March 7, 2011 6:50 PM

Screw You, Pay Me.

Posted by: dave at March 7, 2011 7:08 PM

A simple false dichotomy. Both individuals contribute to the unsustainability.

Posted by: Dan at March 7, 2011 7:27 PM

You boys just cant help yourselves...can you?

Posted by: Tom Kenney at March 7, 2011 7:48 PM

"You're a ray-zist."

No, no, Tommy. You're all confused. That's the insult to use when someone opposes "immigration" "reform".

"Greedy, selfish, corporate drone" is the correct hyperbolic ad hominem when someone is pointing out the non-sustainability of Rhode Island's pension system by highlighting the absurd pension benefits of a man who, as the former House Finance chair, has known fully well that the pension system is swamped but, rather than do something about it over the last 16 years, chose instead to add his own dead weight to the sinking lifeboat.

Posted by: Monique at March 7, 2011 11:33 PM

No cronies or insiders-Gump's promise to the one third of those who bothered to vote and he even lies to them.Bastard.

Posted by: joe bernstein at March 8, 2011 6:50 AM

And no mention of this when Colonel Doherty resigned. Everyone spoke of his "conflicts" with Chafee. How about this as a possible reason: he retired from the state police as second in command with who knows what for a pension (pretty good I assume), then returns for four more years. I think the pension is probably the average of your highest three years right? Well, 4 years in at colonel pay and Voila!, a much higher pension. It appears the Mr. O'Donnell is priming himself for the same!! My guess is he will be a three or four year colonel too!!

Posted by: jeff at March 8, 2011 11:09 AM
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