Two items in today’s Providence Journal “Political Scene” column make me hope for broad agreement on a proposition. Item 1:
In 2012, Political Scene reported that Kilmartin and his wife, Kristine, derived big chunks of their income the previous year from his $56,862-a-year pension as a retired Pawtucket police officer. When she retired that year, on the cusp of her 51st birthday, as director of the legislature’s data-services office, she started collecting her own $60,030.96-a-year state pension.
Total pensions: $116,893. According to the RIOpenGov payrol application, Kilmartin added $116,611 via his salary as AG. Total income: $233,504.
Former Family Court Magistrate John J. O’Brien retired with two state pensions totaling more than $195,000. …
The retired chief judge of the state Family Court, Jeremiah S. Jeremiah Jr., took another path to receive $207,207 in two pensions — municipal ($22,126) and judicial ($185,648).
Proposition: Can we all agree that it’s simply obscene for households to live this well off the public dime — for work they are no longer doing?
Really. Flip over to the commentary section of the paper, and you see a letter from Lorraine Keyes, of West Warwick, who returned to her Westerly business after a few months away only to discover that an oversight in paying her taxes resulted in not only hundreds of dollars of additional fees, but also a heavy-handed threat that the town would be selling her property two months later if the bill were not paid. Her conclusion:
No wonder people leave Rhode Island as soon as they can. I don’t know if this happens in every town, but it is such a shame that this state tries to drain every cent it can from the average person.
Oh, Lorraine. Even just in the state system, Westerly’s got 245 retired employees taking home up to $95,237 per year.
Don’t you see? They don’t work for us (literally, in the case of retirees). We work for them. Everything you own in Rhode Island, even if you think you built it, is really just a privilege that they allow you to enjoy while supporting their machine. If you’re not going to keep up on your payments, naturally they’ll take it all away.