A dear friend of mine loves the expression “kick the can down the road” and refers to it often when describing the ways in which people of alleged intelligence and supposed positions of power and authority attend to important matters as they arise…they don’t. As he rightly points out, almost invariably small problems become large and unruly by the time the road meets a dead end…and such is the case in New Hampshire regarding pensions for Government workers here:
New Hampshire’s pension system must be changed to spare property taxpayers from the rising costs of benefits for government workers, the sponsor of a pension reform bill said Friday.
State Sen. Jeb Bradley, a Wolfeboro Republican, testified at a Senate hearing on his bill that workers must share in the burden of dealing with the system’s nearly $5 billion unfunded liability.
“We know how we got into this situation. Employers didn’t pay enough for years,” Bradley said.
But Bradley said workers, not just local taxpayers, must share in the solution.
“If we do nothing and continue to kick the can down the road, when we have to take the medicine we have to take, it’s going to be even more bitter and unpalatable,” he said in a room filled without about 350 people, mostly union workers.
Why is it always the case that our political heroes screw up and, in the end, “we, the People” are made to suffer the consequences?
Never mind, I know the answer…it was our fault for electing them, and we need to be punished for our electoral transgression(s). I get that…but what I don’t get is this:
Perhaps the most contentious part of Bradley’s proposal would cut benefits to workers not vested in the system with less than 10 years of service. Bradley argues they should not expect the same rights as vested workers, but a coalition representing employee groups argues they are protected by the constitution.
I mean, I realize we live in a socialist/communist world where we rob Peter to pay Paul because that IS our “kick the can down the road” model of Governmental economics and such, but why does the taxpayer have to pay for the shortcomings of an agency’s pension management? They screwed up, and now newer employees give up benefits to ensure older workers continue to get them for themselves, and any remaining balances are billed to the taxpayer. It’s nonsense.
How about we make the employers reduce benefits across the board, and provide for workers to go after their money from the Union thugs that got them into this mess in the first place? Imagine a scenario where, instead of the Unions and Pension fund managers being able to wipe their hands of the mess they made, Fund managers and Organizational leaders could be made to pay out of their own pockets for any worker that gets shortchanged in their retirement after 20 or 30 or 40 or 50 years of service.
I’m dreaming, of course, and it would be anarchy, but I’d enjoy seeing these thieves being made to squirm a little.