We Must Address the Public Pension Issue

April 27th, 2011 by Michael Tabor

How would you like to put in 20 years of service, retire at the age of forty and afterwards enjoy a comfortable middle –class lifestyle. Sounds wonderful to me – how about you?
Well if you are interested in becoming a police officer or perhaps choosing to be a firefighter as an occupation, the aforementioned is a reality.
This is not an Op-ed blog about how cops and firemen have it “made” (they put their life on the line day in and day out), it is rather about the fact that we must take a closer look at to whom and when the government administers pensions and how much.
This country, the United States of America, is a debtor nation, has a 14.2 trillion deficit, and is still in the midst of a crippling economy nationwide. Moreover, to elaborate just a bit, there is not a single industry that is not struggling except for perhaps the medical bad debt collection business.
The private sector has always been a little envious of people who retire early and enjoy perhaps 40 years of fishing and golfing as opposed to 15 years (that’s if at the age of 65 one is healthy enough to enjoy these activities – sorry for the cynicism) but now more than ever it is time to look at this prodigiously unjust public pension system. The question is what to do and how?  Obviously, it would not be fair to eliminate payment to those of whom who are already collecting a pension.  Additionally, slashing into the amount of money paid out to existing recipients is not equitable either.
Firstly, if everyone is expected to work until at least to the age of 65, why should government employees be exempt from this? I understand occupations, which require one to be agile and physically fit (like cops and firefighters) but certainly it is conceivable for an individual to be transferred to another area – perhaps administrative.  Keep in mind we are also living longer, so these public pension recipients are on the government dole for a longer period.
Anyone who reads my blog on a regular basis knows that I am certainly not a republican. (Anyone who even mentions the thought of touching pensions or going after unions is immediately thought of as a right wing conservative) I am merely suggesting that we take a closer look at the public pension system and perhaps we can tighten it up a bit. We are in a position in which China is going to surpass us as the #1 superpower at least economically. We all have to sacrifice.
Now it’s your turn WHADAWETHINK ? Do you have a pension? It would be nice if we could all retire at 40 but we obviously can’t.  We are all living longer and 65 is more like 55 a half century ago. Just think – Ronald Reagan was 69 years old when he took the oath and agreed to take on easily the hardest and the most important job in the world.
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3 Responses to “We Must Address the Public Pension Issue”

  1. Son of Walt Says:

    Our government made too many promises in the past at the expense of the current taxpayer today. Years ago, this system somewhat worked when there was one retiree for every 10 or 20 workers. But when people can retire earlier, and live longer, the result is too many retirees for every person working and thus paying taxes to fund their pension.

    For example, lets say a police officer retires at ager 45 and starts collecting a pension. The city would have to hire a replacement. Thus, the taxpayer would have to pay two people for that position. The new worker and the retired police officer. 20 years later, the new officer would be age 45 and retire and the original police officer would still be alive at age 65. Now there are 3 people the taxpayer must fund. The 65 and 45 year olds, plus the new police officer hired to replace them. 20 year later, if the original retiree lives to 85, the taxpayer would support 4 people.

  2. Michael Tabor Says:

    Son of Walt – thank you for your input. This is my point exactly – too much wasteful spending.

  3. seo services Says:

    It is the second entry I read tonight. Thank you.

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