I know I am right when I see who disagrees with me. The only reasons I have seen or read or heard against a New York Constitutional Convention are based on fear. Who is it that is afraid? Public sector unions and elected officials—the two biggest groups that have something to fear from the people.
Public sector unions have had one hell of a gravy train at our expense for decades. They have bought and paid for our legislature, and it is this legislature that is supposed to bargain on our behalf. After all, we are the employers. Yet, our representatives negotiate only on their behalf so every election cycle, union employees will man the phone banks and canvass on behalf of these same elected officials. As it is our tax dollars that pay their salaries, we are in effect paying people to work against our interest. It is all legal as it stands. The ability of the taxpayer to pay is never part of the equation. The only way to change this is to amend the New York State Constitution through a constitutional convention.
For instance, do you know there are six tiers for union members to receive pension benefits? Why? Every so often, the legislature will pass a measure that says new hires will only be allowed to collect this percentage of their wages upon retirement. Or that member will only be allowed to collect that percentage of their salary if they are injured on the job. You see, only new hires can be affected because unless we amend the constitution, pension benefits are carved in stone again, regardless of our ability to pay.
As I wrote a couple of months ago, within a few years, we are going to be under water. We will owe more in pensions than all of New York’s assets combined. State and local governments are all in danger. Apparently, we cannot go bankrupt to renegotiate past pension obligations without an amendment.
So why six tiers? Because another legislature comes along and says this is not fair to the new hires and they pass a law saying the new hires qualify for the older pension benefits. They did this again last June. This is one reason why the public sector unions are afraid.
As for elected officials, for all intents and purposes, New York leads the nation in public corruption. Yet, even if convicted, these leeches still can collect their pension while in prison. It is legal. There are reports of elected officials who retire, then run again so if they win, they collect their salary and their pension. Sure, they need a waiver, but that is only a rubber stamp in the swamp that is Albany. It is all legal. It can only be changed by an amendment. This is one very big reason why they are afraid.
Now it is entirely possible that a convention could sweeten their pot. It is a real possibility. It is also possible that, like Wisconsin, a convention could upend the apple cart. We are being told this is a waste of time and money. That, in itself, is laughable. Since when do any of these entities give a rat’s patootie about wasting our time and money?
It’s like the national Democrats all of a sudden worried about the deficit. What a joke. We are told that these same corrupt officials will be at the convention as delegates. This is true and most likely possible. However, not everyone there will be a corrupt official.
The biggest reason why you should not give into fears is that whatever comes out of the convention must be put to the voters. It will then be up to good government groups and fiscal watchdogs to muster everything in their arsenal to educate the voters. We only get this option once every 20 years. What we have now sucks rocks. Within a few years, the status quo will be untenable. You must vote yes to the convention. Never give counsel to your fears. Do not have your say in how you are governed taken away. Whatever may happen, let it be your choice.
This is what I say. What say you?