Taxpayers on hook for state pensions
TO THE EDITORS:
The topic of an article on the front page, April 21, is another illustration of how much labor unions continue to cost us all. The article offered a cold bowl of gruel to us taxpayers, opining that the balances of the local municipal and governmental pension funds aren't quite as far in the red as many others. Taxpayers can take little solace in that!
To put it bluntly, while these workers were employed, we paid salaries sometimes in excess of comparable wages in the private sector, and until recent years when their contracts included some shared pain on their part, we also paid for their health, dental and vision insurance at going rates.
Their contracts also provided for generous vacation- and sick-pay benefits and, in some instances, allowed for retirement at an age up to a decade earlier than most of the rest of us can expect.
So, we should all know what's coming next. The taxpayer will have to make these underfunded pensions right through increased taxes. We can't expect the hard-won benefits of their collectively bargained contracts to bend to the circumstances, now can we? No, just your pocketbook and mine.
And then there's the federal budget deficit, the staggering federal debt (they are two different things, don't forget), Medicare underfunding and Social Security following closely behind.
Workers of the world, unite! All you have to lose is your chains! Or is that me they are talking about?