Sunday, December 23, 2007

Getting Benefits Right Another Beshear Opportunity

The Louisville Courier Journal's David Hawpe gets it right this morning when he calls the effort by the Fletcher administration on public employee benefits weak.
The answer clearly is not the anemic approach suggested last week by a (pale) blue ribbon commission. The truth is, the current system is unsustainable. It must be changed. Future state hires will have to accept the kinds of changes that millions of Americans have had to stomach, as private employers have adjusted their retiree pension and benefit plans.

Empowering a generation of state government employees as a strong goody-getting voting block was never going to work for our fiscal health. Demanding a phase-out of legislator pensions would also help change this culture of self-destruction.

Cutting the benefits won't hurt state government. Not cutting them will bankrupt us. Do the math.

This political gift was wrapped up by Ernie Fletcher last summer when he didn't make the special session about public employee benefits.