10/14/11

Who Will Prevail in Pension Debate?

One had to expect that political pressure brought by certain special interests would enter the pension reform debate. Well, here it is. The Providence’s Journal’s recent reporting about the pressure threatening to come down on legislators who may wish to back the kind of comprehensive pension reform we have to have says it all, and that’s why the General Treasurer is clearly worried that whatever recommendations she and the Governor propose - and we're getting wind of those now - may come to naught in the end. Considering the situation we’re facing, it’s almost impossible to believe that we’ll end up with half a loaf, but credible people are predicting that’s what’s going to happen in the end.

As Gina Raimondo says, however, if legislators back half-hearted measures on pension reform, the numbers won’t work and the problem will only get worse. We know for sure that without comprehensive reform a number of our cities and towns will go straight over a cliff starting next July. How can the General Assembly, in its most dramatic and consequential hour, allow that to happen?

While special interests apply the pressure to water down pension reform – proposing no credible alternative plan in the meantime – the public should push back and let legislators know that if they don’t back the real thing, then they had better watch their backs from taxpayers come election time next November. They have to know it will come down to that.

So who is going to get the upper hand here, the special interests or the taxpayers? With the very future of our state at stake, that's no small matter.

3 comments:

  1. You didn't mention that part of the proposal is the re-amortization of the unfunded pension liability.

    This is simply not acceptable. The fix must be one that deals with real numbers now and that would require substantial cuts to present and future pensioners. Otherwise, the solution will be as it is in Central Falls, default and bankruptcy.

    Kicking the can down the road just ain't gonna work...

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  2. Special interest lobbyists are going to do what they're paid to do. Look out for their constituents, to heck with the rest of us.

    Our representatives on the other hand, should be doing what's best for the state in general, to heck with the special interests.
    Too bad it doesn't really work that way in RI.

    If our so-called representatives water down all the hard work Ms. Raimondo has put forth all these months, I'd like to see her step down from her position as treasurer and be very vocal as to why she's quitting. Maybe that would open the eyes of a lot of voters who keep voting for the same people election after election.

    I would have the utmost respect for her in doing that and would remember her in any future political aspirations she may have in RI.

    The sh!ts hit the fan. It's now or never.

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  3. 67 year old teachers is bad public policy and the savings accrued with the increased retirement age do not reflect the problems the cities and towns are going to have when their entire teaching staff is on top step without any turnover. The energy level required to teach in a public school is much greater than that exerted in a typical office setting. There needs to be a formula that allows teachers to retire at 60 at a reduced pension benefit and collect their full benefit at 67. We can't lose sight of the fact that this is a high energy occupation, despite the summer break.

    ReplyDelete

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