Public Unions are taking well-deserved heat for their pension greed. If you look at all the pension articles, the comments are full of reasonable sounding folks trotting out the argument that the really bad examples of abusive pensions are “outliers.” They then tell you that the average benefit is “only $20,000/year.” It’s best to address this calmly, reasonably, and accurately. Here’s how.
Some folks defending the public employee pension issue like to point out that the majority of those receiving benefits get relatively low payouts. They often use lines like “the average benefit is only $17-20K/yr.” This union talking point needs to be addressed.
While it is technically correct, they mask the real problem, which is the large number of the new retirees on the horizon, coupled with the actuarial insanity of their benefits. (I’m using Illinois as an example, but the same has occurred in CA, NJ, and the entire Northeast)
Think of 10 people who retired 15-20 years ago receiving $20K/yr. Now think of one greedy school superintendent who just retired sucking down $200K (or more) after hopping from district to district, ramping up his retirement with fat contracts no one ever vetted. Multiply that one person by a few 1000 in each state. Add to that whatever number of teachers are receiving big pensions after goosing their unwarranted salaries for the last 4 years of their careers.
Now you have this large run up in the number of retirees, the size of the pensions, and the INSANE early retirement options. It’s a HUGE problem. For icing on the bankruptcy cake, add in free health care for life for many of these folks.
Public Unions have bankrupted the states where they’ve gained massive power. It’s time to tell them to sit down, shut up, and take the massive cuts they deserve. Since their pension benefits are probably protected by awful constitutional clauses guaranteeing them, the best solution is to make every one of these folks with pensions over $100K pay 100% of their own health costs. In this political environment, that policy will pass political muster.
When a politician balks at this policy, and defends unions, fat pensions, and the feeble idea that “government workers” have the right to bankrupt the state, burn their political career to the ground. The time is right.
There is no real downside to being rhetorically and politically aggressive on this point. To that end, I post this type of comment on many articles about the pension greed of public unions.
Look here, the fact that police protect us, that firemen run into burning buildings, and teachers educate our children, does NOT give them the right to bankrupt our civilization. It is time to get right up into the face of these unethical people and tell them to stop! It is also time for all of you to stop buying the “poor public employee” load of lies, and abolish public unionization. The best next step is to end this era of public greed forever is to cap the growth of EVERY government entity’s budget to inflation plus population growth.