Keeping the Pension Blood Flowing
I didn’t want to let this one slip by without mention:
The business-backed [Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council] found that the state taxpayer contribution to those pensions nearly tripled over the last decade, jumping from $79.9 million in 2001 to a projected $218 million in the coming year. …
… Overall, state personnel expenditures will consume $1.7 billion in the coming year, according to the report, which found that retirement costs are the fastest-growing component of personnel spending.
This trend just can’t be maintained. Voters have to learn to look past this sort of rhetoric from unionists:
Yet [National Education Association Rhode Island Executive Director Bob] Walsh acknowledges that the report will fuel criticism that his workers’ benefits are too rich, especially given the shift in the private sector.
“Just because the private sector jumped off a financial bridge, does it mean we should follow?” he asked…
People who benefit from big government like to argue that voters can, by their votes, decide to do anything: Private businesses determined that they couldn’t sustain generous pension benefits, but voters and their representatives can just choose differently. In a limited, short-term sense, I suppose that’s true. In a sense that acknowledges reality, however, the laws of economics will decide differently, or at least exact a price that voters wouldn’t have been willing to pay had they been well enough informed to anticipate it.