Friday, March 6, 2009

Stephen Laffey: You Don't Have a Clue!

The good news today was that Stephen Laffey, former Mayor of Cranston and senatorial candidate has decided not to run for Governor. Laffey is only capable of two things: raising every one's blood pressure and continually raising people's taxes under the guise of fiscal conservatism. The better news is that Lincoln Chafee is seriously considering a run at Governor as an Independent.

In the Providence Journal yesterday, Mr. Laffey provided all of us with an outrageous editorial regarding his vision for the State. Seems like he wants to totally close down the State Employee Pension System and tell thousands of Rhode Islanders; tough luck. The consequences of such an action would thrust Rhode Island into 1933.

What does Mr. Laffey think retired workers do with their money; and I do stress the word "their"? They spend it Mr. Laffey. Almost every penny of it is going right back to the State, the Community and every business. Take this economic engine away, and business after business will fail. Rhode Island will never recover. You know why, Mr. Laffey? The thousands of former public employees that are an integral part of our community will have to move to states without income taxes, where housing can be found for less cost, and where property taxes are significantly lower. You may say "good riddance's" Mr. Laffey; unfortunately, Rhode Island will become an impoverished and blighted landscape. The State would no longer have a tremendous asset, the pension fund that is being used to shore up businesses. Rhode Island could no longer borrow money because they would lack the direct asset that the public employee pension system provides. You see, Mr. Laffey, that money in the system is not tax payer money - that money belongs to the public employees. The pension system is public employee money that has been put in the State's charge for mutual benefit.

You can not solve this fiscal problem by focusing on a tiny piece of the annual budget. The State contribution to the fund is slightly over 3% of a $7 billion budget. If you're getting your pencil out, stop counting the employee contributions as taxpayer money. I don't own a piece of your 401K and you don't own a piece of my pension.

On top of the State House in Rhode Island is the statue of the "Independent Man". I think we need to put the "Independent Man" in the State House, and that is Lincoln Chafee. Mr. Laffey, you can move to Florida. I prefer to stay here, pay my taxes, spend my money in the community and help my State.

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