Friday, February 8, 2008

State Salary Charade

If Connecticut were really interested in any sort of fiscal restraint (as all the pols were professing at the Capitol the other day), it might start with the salaries of its appointed commissioners and others at the top of the fiscal food chain. But it's not. I sampled a few commissioner's salaries to see how they've risen over the past ten years in relation to inflation. For example, the commissioner of motor vehicle's salary ten years ago was $83,500. If it rose in line with inflation, it should be $107,400 today, but it's actually $128,000. The commissioner of public safety's salary ten years ago was $95,000 and should be $122,200 to stay even with inflation. But instead it rose to $140,000. I could go on, but take my word for it that in every single case, the commissioner's salary has far outrun inflation. This isn't to say that some, even many, commissioners earn what they get. But can the state really play the salary (and pension, and benefit) game like this and still profess to be on the side of fiscal restraint? Finally, it isn't hard to imagine that the rank-and-file state workers have also made out exceptionally well over the past ten years. If they hadn't, they'd never allow their "bosses" to get away with it.

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