Thursday, February 19, 2009

Zero Point Zero

It's nice to know that 139 dweebs who work part-time at the state capitol will get a 5.3% raise, but the rest of the state's workforce will get exactly what Dean Vernon Wormer pronounced: zero point zero. Oh, wait - there's about a dozen of the game-show hosts up there who made a big show of renouncing their pay hike. According to the list of 12 in the Wisconsin State Journal this morning who refused the raise, both the state senator and state representative from my district took the money. I guess I don't begrudge the senator....he's the oldest man in the legislature and has only a few million dollars from his real estate empire set aside for his retirement, which HAS to be coming one of these days....doesn't it??
A state budget deficit of over five billion dollars, a stumbling state economy, over sixty thousand Wisconsinites unemployed, but by God those politicians take care of themselves. Even Diamond Jim (who can't get a pay raise unless he's elected again) told his cabinet heads they'll be getting zero point zero. And these are folks with FULL-time jobs, who can't even collect the rich per-diem's the 139 dweebs use to pad their paychecks.
Full disclosure: my wife is a state employee (UW Health) and she makes more than the dweebs, so we're not gonna starve. But it rankles me that she works very hard at her FULL-time job and gets top marks in her performance reviews, and the dweebs, who've run the state into the hole year after year, will get about $2500 bucks more each year. I guess I can't accuse Diamond Jim of following the tactics of the Captains of Industry and Titans of Wall Street. At least he's not giving his inner circle any increases or bonuses while the ship lists dangerously.
I understand it's more of a contrast than a comparison when you're talking multi-million-dollar-bonuses and a $2500 pay increase, but the issue is not money, it's leadership. Every one of those 139 dweebs should have renounced the increase. And this foolishness about how "it's in the budget and we can't change it now" is hogwash and everybody but the dweebs sees through it. And for those who are "giving the increase to charity" - no. Wrong. Write a check back to the state treasury. It's MY money and I'LL decide which charities to support. But then, to have all 139 of them agree on anything is asking for more than leadership. It's asking for vision, courage, and a lot of things which USED to be part of "leadership".

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