The following is an op-ed I submitted for publication in the Lexington Herald-Leader. It was printed on Monday April 15, 2012. You can view the letter on the paper’s website here.
If Kentucky’s public pension system was a private-sector business, it would have been forced to close its doors many years ago.
Unfortunately, the pension system doesn’t exist in the private sector. Rather, it exists in the realm of government where inefficiencies and mismanagement can be papered over with a guaranteed flow of taxpayer dollars.
While the system continues to enroll more and more new state workers, it struggles to keep pace with the obligations it has already made. In effect, it has become akin to a Ponzi scheme: plush with cheap promises of future retirement benefits and the constant need to pay off past promises with dwindling taxpayer funds.
Simply put, this trend is not sustainable.
How did we get here, and who is responsible? Poor decision making by the General Assembly is largely to blame.