A look at the mess that has become our state and nation......
and other assorted commentary.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
PA PENSION GAP......A CASE OF WHINE
An article by the AP posted on Yahoo discusses the pending disaster of underfunded pensions in PA and across the country. I will keep my comments to the case in PA since that is where I live and pay taxes. This story and the many that will surely follow are almost certainly an effort by those that have caused this mess, to try to get out in front of the story. Naturally, the angle here is to build support for the government's efforts to make folks be more willing to accept all the taxes and fees they will have to increase to deal with this crisis, as well as the reduction in services that will surely be needed as well. What they fail to tell us is that here in PA the cause of all these problems regarding underfunded pensions is the fault of ......guess who? Why the state government, our legislators and governors over the past ten or so years, the very same people that should have been managing the whole process. When the pension system for Public Education in PA (PSERS) was set up, the agreement was for the employers (school districts), the employees (educators) and the State of PA to each pay into the retirement system equally. It worked well at first but, then the State decided to stop making their payments and the school districts followed suit. Thus, the only group that continued to pay its share continually were the educators. In the early 2000's the State suspended its payments with the promise that they would pay back all they owed in 2012-13. Now the time is coming near and the debt has ballooned to such a large amount that the State and districts are on the line for billions. All of this could have been avoided had the State done what it had promised when the system was put in place and not gotten greedy and raided the money from the budget for all these years.So now the goal is to blame the educators and the retirement system and to begin to create panic in the general population, in order to take over and manipulate the system by changing retirement rules and plans to the detrement of the school employees. As I have written in a previous post, PA is the most corrupt state in the country for so many reasons I will not get into here. Because of this whole mess they have created their goal now is to divert the blame and thus, the wrath of the people against the school employees. The same employees who were the only ones that did what they were supposed to in the first place, by continually making their payments into the fund without interruption. So very simply , the State of PA raided the money they should have been paying into the pension fund and used it for other purposes (probably wastefully in many cases) and put off their payment share well into the future. Unfortunately the future is nearly here. Pension Shortfall Looming. Look for a slew of these stories to increase in volume and intensity as we get nearer to the date this will all come due.