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Tuesday, July 5, 2022
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'LET ME BE THE FIRST'

Public Finance Authority Director Amadeo I.D. Francis in a preliminary budget hearing Tuesday suggested that all government employees making more than $30,000 a year should immediately demand a 10 percent pay cut for themselves to save our financially failing government.
All indications are that if something drastic is not done fast, this government will go "belly up." Francis suggested it start with our 15 legislators.
The governor was willing to cast all government employees to the wolves by cutting hours and thus paychecks to the tune of about 6 percent.
Those pay cuts, we presume, included single heads of households making well under $30,000 a year — or even under $20,000 or $15,000.
At the same time the governor gave two of his top aides a salary increase of $15,000 a year, bringing their salaries to a whopping $79,000 a year. His reason was that after 75 days on the payroll, their double-dipping had ended. They could no longer collect their pensions and their paychecks.
We are not suggesting that these two advisers aren't worth $79,000 a year. But given our fiscal crisis, the governor's move was ill-considered and ill-timed.
We are appalled by his insensitivity as well as the ready acceptance of those increases by the two aides. If these are the governor's top advisers, we have to question the quality of advice he is getting on other important issues.
We would suggest that those top aides set the right fiscal example by not only refusing the extra $14,000 but also initiating an additional 10 percent cut. They would still be earning $58,500 a year, an amount we think they could live on for a little while.
And following the governor's top aides, we'd like to see our senators initiate those same cuts. We would especially like it from the ones who couldn't show up Monday for a committee meeting that was subsequently canceled due to the lack of a quorum. And from those such as Sen. Adelbert M. Bryan who themselves are double-dipping by quietly collecting pensions plus their $65,000 senatorial salaries.
We are sure a $6,500 bite will be felt far less by someone in the $65,000-plus bracket than, say, $900 (maybe two months' rent) would have been to a single parent making $15,000 a year.
This government is on the brink of financial collapse. A short-term 10 percent salary cut for well- paid personnel could be the first step toward financial relief.
We thank Mr. Francis for his excellent idea.
We anxiously wait to see who the first person in line will be.

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