The Louisville Courier Journal’s Stephenie Steitzer has covered the public employee pension mess better than anyone in the Frankfort press corps.
A story in Tuesday’s paper about how legislative leaders are considering more inconsequential tweaks to the system included this gem of a quote from actuary Patrick Welsh:
“If they cut those benefits even more, they further delude themselves (into thinking) they were doing something meaningful. The only way they can do something meaningful is to put money (to cover the underfunding) in there.
“If you never hired another new employee … you wouldn’t be any better off. The only thing they can do is fund it. That’s it.”
There is no clearer way to frame the issue. Decades of underfunding have created a more than $30 billion shortfall in the system. For Greg Stumbo and David Williams to keep talking about fixing the problem with benefit cuts when they just finished raiding $50 million out of the Health Fund is beyond absurd.