Ever think you’re stuck in the twilight zone? I’d love to say this story was unbelievable but it’s not, it’s business as usual:
Gov. Paterson has secretly granted raises of as much as 46 percent to more than a dozen staffers at a time when he has asked 130,000 state workers to give up 3 percent pay hikes because of the state’s fiscal crisis, The Post has learned.
The startling pay hikes, costing about $250,000 annually, were granted after the governor’s “emergency” declaration in August of a looming fiscal crisis that required the state to cut spending and impose a “hard” hiring freeze.
One raise was approved as recently as last month – when Paterson claimed the budget deficit had reached an unprecedented $15.5 billion.
The raises, which have stunned the few state workers who know about them, are outlined in data obtained from the office of state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, prepared at The Post’s request.
Two of the raises were tied to publicly proclaimed promotions – granted despite the supposed hiring freeze – of some of Paterson’s most important appointees, although the announcements didn’t include disclosure of the pay hikes.
The remaining 14 raises appear to have gone to individuals who remained in their same positions, despite claims by a spokesman for Paterson that they had been promoted.
“These are not raises for old positions, rather new salaries for new positions,” Paterson spokesman Errol Cockfield insisted.
But a DiNapoli spokesman, Dennis Thompkins, said flatly, “These are individuals who stayed in their same position and received a salary increase.”
The issue isn’t the money, it’s that politicians — and doesn’t matter whether they’re democrats or republicans all seem to suffer from do as I say, not as I do syndrome. Rather than doing the responsible thing and actually tightening their belts the way they’re asking the rest of us do they give their cronies raises.
The sad truth is the vast majority of politicians are all a bunch of self interested, blowhard jerks who are in it for self aggrandizement and cronyism… They honestly believe it’s their money, not ours, and that they can do whatever they want with it.