Bluegrass Institute Pension Reform Team and board member Aaron Ammerman pointed out in his letter in today’s Lexington Herald-Leader:
“Paying off the unfunded liability and honoring benefits that have already been earned by state workers will be an extraordinary effort, considering funding also needs to be found for essential state services such as education, health care and infrastructure.”
The Bluegrass Institute has warned for years that the day would come when tough choices necessary to address the worst-in-the-nation pension crisis would threaten to crowd out funding for many government services that most Kentuckians would consider essential.
That day has arrived. To make matters worse, as Ammerman notes:
“To this point, state employees have resisted even the slightest adjustment to future unearned pension benefits, even though past benefits have been guaranteed at great cost.”
Ironically, many of the same voices calling for a hefty increase in taxes to address the commonwealth’s pension crisis also are the staunchest opponents to, as Ammerman puts it, “accepting reasonable changes to future benefits and installing safeguards so that this never happens again.”