New Jersey has serious pension funding problems. So does Kentucky.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is proposing sweeping reforms. Kentucky Gov. Steve Besehar says problems will work themselves out in 15 to 18 years.
If Beshear is wrong, then solutions like bankruptcy, constitutional amendments and new laws surface. These offer good options for the governor, though, since they allow him to avoid making any tough decisions and punt — just like he did in his last budget submission and on his promised “efficiency” study.
Even New Jersey lawmakers who also hold union membership know that current public-pension policies are unsustainable.
Listen to Stephen Sweeney, D-Gloucester, who also is an Ironworkers International Union member, compare private and public approaches to pensions:
– There could be a connection between funding for public pensions and lack of work in the private sector!
– People who run for office don’t want to say “no” to a lot of people!
– In the private sector, you can’t negotiate for something if there isn’t money to pay for it!
– If public employees want the benefits, they will have to pay more for them!
Straight talk. Heard anyone in Kentucky being that candid yet?
To Kentucky politicians: You can’t just change rules for new people; existing systems must be reformed. Take a trip to New Jersey where leaders — even Democratic union members — see the problem and appear ready to address it.
Pollyanna isn’t dictating their solution set.