Why Romney's "Selfless" Salary Refusal is Anything But, + a Pro-Cloning Argument from the Boondocks
You've probably noticed I'm not particularly impressed by Romney and Healey's refusal to accept salaries... so that their aides can get pay raises! It's empty symbolism, and nothing more. But even more bothersome is the way he pressured state legislators out of accepting their own automatic pay raise. Globe columnist Adrian Walker ("Salary Issue a Distraction")has a good take on this:
Pay raises are one of the truly empty, ''symbolic'' debates in politics. This round is no exception. State government is drowning in red ink. The wealthy new governor and his rich lieutenant governor have decided to turn their salaries over to their supposedly suffering aides, some of whom now make $150,000 a year to do jobs that people used to perform for much less. How can lawmakers take more money when the governor is working for free?and
The Republicans, naturally, have sought to make an issue of the timing of this raise, and they have a point. Many, many jobs and programs are going to face the ax this spring. The state's mayors are in an uproar over seemingly inevitable cuts to local aid. So, yes, the timing is bad, though there's never a good time.So would I.
But the moves by Governor Mitt Romney and Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey, while generous, are of dubious value to anyone beyond the few aides who will split what would have been the chief executives' salaries. The money will not save a single bed for a homeless person or a single job for a DSS caseworker.
And the amount of the pay raises even if everyone in the Legislature had taken them would have cost the state about $521,000 a year. In the context of this deficit - by some estimates $600 million this fiscal year - that's not a lot. As it stands now, 39 of 40 senators have decided to forgo the raise, and many House members will do the same. The money won't save a single social program.
There's one obvious alternative to pay raises. We can just elect a bunch of millionaires who will work for free. It won't be a very representative government, but it will pass muster on talk radio.
I'd rather have a government a bit more like the people it represents. A government where a $3,250 raise every few years doesn't occur to anyone as a cause for shame.
The lighter side of... War on Iraq
Aaron McGruder breaks it down. And in case this link expires (which seems to happen much sooner than it used to), here's the joke:
PANEL ONEIt's a bold, but oddly compelling argument, when you think about it...
CAESAR: Lot's of talk about cloning.
HUEY: Yep. I gotta say I'm all for it.
C: Is that so?
H: Absolutely. I say make a hundred thousand copies of W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld.
C: Why would you want to—
H: SO THEY CAN GO FIGHT THEIR OWN D@#!% WARS!!