While offering no source, Jahncke claims that, “for more than a decade, state employee compensation has exceeded compensation in Connecticut’s private sector by about 40 percent, the biggest gap in the nation.” That unattributed claim likely came from a 2015 report by the Yankee Institute asserting Connecticut public sector workers earn 25-46% more than comparable private sector workers.
First, consider that the Yankee Institute is not a reputable source of research, but a right-wing, dark money-fueled, propaganda outlet associated with conservative North Carolina billionaire Thomas Roe’s State Policy Network. Roe’s particular objective, as revealed in Jane Mayer’s book, “Dark Money,” was the destruction of public sector unions.
In a meticulous analysis for the respected Economic Policy Institute, Monique Morrissey debunked the Yankee Institute report, revealing it was based on a cherry-picked sample of workers, used nonstandard control variables, and inflated the cost of retiree benefits in the public sector, while minimizing their cost in the private sector. Morrissey concluded that Connecticut public sector workers without college degrees are compensated somewhat more than those in the private sector, while those with college and graduate degrees are compensated somewhat less than in the private sector, even when factoring in more generous public sector benefits. In short, Morrissey writes, “taxpayers are getting a bargain!”
Indeed, Jahncke provided public testimony before the Connecticut General Assembly in January 2020 in which he cited the two 50-state studies and then explained why he relied upon multi-state studies rather than single-state studies: “when you are being compared to 50 other states, there is no way that anyone can complain that somebody is jimmying the numbers about Connecticut… these are across-the-board, level playing field [results.]”
Goldrick is just such a complainer, seeking to discredit Yankee’s 2015 study, by stating that “Yankee is not a reputable source of research but rather a right-wing, dark-money fueled, propaganda outlet…”
Then, Goldrick cites “meticulous analysis” supposedly “debunking the Yankee Institute report” – analysis conducted by the Economic Policy Institute, which even The New York Times calls “a left-leaning research group.”
Goldrick’s extreme bias has colored his view of Jahncke’s column and led him to make baseless criticisms while omitting important facts supporting Jahncke’s argument.
Connecticut is already struggling amid an economic downturn. Imposing a significant tax increase simply chops any chance of recovery off at the knees and harms working families with a regressive tax at a time when few can afford it.