Government at all levels must get out of the employee pension business

The headline above expresses what has been my view for years—and shockingly, I’m not aware of anyone else saying the same thing. Until Republicans have that as their stated goal and are working full time to achieve it, the tax-Eaters will continue to steal from the tax-Payers.

The language of “compromise” and “reform” is foolishness. Republicans who speak of “keeping commitments” are not thinking clearly. You don’t compromise with thieves, and you don’t screw taxpayers to benefit government employees.

Eventually people will have to realize that contracts signed by governmental entities are not the same as contracts signed in the private sector. Let me repeat what I’ve said often: If the current U.S. Congress or General Assembly can’t permanently obligate a future Congress or G.A., then no union-employee dominated school board can obligate statewide taxpayers for eternity.

Again—and this time I’ll speak slowly—one governing body cannot bind future (and often unborn) taxpayers to ridiculously generous pension plans that last into infinity. Any lawyer who thinks otherwise has his mind tangled up in the pipes of the legal plumbing system. Time to call Roto-Rooter.

The following report is from the National Center for Policy Analysis.

The Real Cost of Public Pensions

The generosity of public-sector pension benefits has come under increased scrutiny in recent years as state and local governments search for ways to close their budget deficits. Lawmakers are eager to understand how public-sector pensions compare to their counterparts in the private sector, thus determining if cuts are warranted, says Jason Richwine, a senior policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation.

The problem, however, is that assigning a cost to public-pension compensation is difficult, involving complex analysis of accounting methods and investment behavior.

  • Their cost cannot simply be measured by how much governments spend on them annually because governments often pay less than their advisers tell them to (in effect writing IOUs).
  • Additionally, actuaries struggle to estimate what eventual expenses will be, as these are determined by a worker’s number of years worked, average salary and longevity of life.
  • Also, government payments into pension plans are determined in part by their selected discount rate — the level of performance that they attribute to their investment portfolio that will eventually pay for a worker’s plan.
  • These discount rates are often set inappropriately high, thereby encouraging governments to set aside far too little into their pension plans.

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