How many businesses would borrow money to meet pension obligations?
I’ve heard no one from the many groups testifying on this issue — including the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce or the Pew Center (which is getting paid tax dollars to advise the state on dealing with the pension crisis) — say anything about immediate steps that can be taken:
* Eliminate all politicians’ pensions.
* Make the system transparent.
Senator Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, who is the co-chair of a legislative task force on Kentucky’s public pension system, apparently thinks anyone who wants to discuss how the commonwealth “got into this mess” is playing “the blame game.”
Really, it’s not “a game.” It’s serious: We “got into this mess” because politicians with over-inflated egos and opinions of themselves have used the state pension system to curry political favor for decades.
They, not those who accepted their offers of additional benefits, are to blame.
“We are focused on solutions,” Thayer said.
But by talking about borrowing even more money and putting the state deeper in the debt hole, it appears our lawmakers have not yet learned the lessons of history.
Until they do, we’ll keep talking about how we got here, and offering ideas few others have been courageous enough to articulate.