The Best Laid Plans
They’ll call it jealousy, the unionists, but I think a caller in to Jim Hummel on the Dan Yorke show yesterday put it more accurately: “Why do the union members think they’re better than us?”
I really do wonder if they know what the average (thinking) private-sector worker hears when they say such things:
But those who spoke yesterday decried the “unfairness” of charging state employees and teachers among the highest pension contribution rates in the nation — 8.75 percent and 9.5 percent, respectively — and then withholding a benefit for which they paid. Talking about “property rights” and “life decisions” made in anticipation of annual pension increases, Vincent Santaniello, a lawyer and deputy executive director of the National Education Association of Rhode Island, laid the groundwork for a potential legal challenge.
Plainly put, the circumstances of life change. Nobody gets to take a job in their twenties and then kick back in comfort that their entire financial future is set. Even without cost of living adjustments (and especially with a higher minimum retirement age), considering their pay, their benefits, and their free time, there is no reason that teachers and other public employees shouldn’t be able to position themselves extremely well for retirement.
Rhode Island Federation of Teachers & Health Professionals President Marcia Reback speaks of “a permanent subclass of senior citizens who will be in poverty with no hedge against inflation.” Yeah, right. Tell that to those of us who work our fingers to the bone yet are always one bill behind because our own taxes and the toxic environment that redirects opportunity away from our state prevent us from advancing in absolute terms, let alone against inflation.