Hold all legislators accountable for crisis
Contrary to what Robin Aurandt wrote on March 23 (“Republican double talk has put us in this mess”), the pension debacle cannot be attributed entirely to the Bush administration, Republicans or Wall Street.
These obligatory Democratic talking points are convenient, but simplistic, distractions.
Pennsylvania’s Republican and Democratic legislators should be held accountable for the 2001 pension increases for public employees, particularly the egregious 50 percent increase for themselves.
The prudent plan relative to the taxpayers would have been the elimination of all state funded pension plans, considering the inflated salaries and benefits of government employees.
Aurandt reported that government employees never stopped contributing to their pension plans. Big deal, it is for their future. Each employee should contribute whatever he/she thinks is feasible. Many in the private sector have to rely on self-funded IRAs and 401Ks, if they can afford anything at all.
Public employee contracts have forced municipal insolvencies across the nation. More will inevitably ensue, including Democratic strongholds like Illinois and California.
If any segment of society should be fed up, it is those trying to survive in the private economy.
Economically, they are trapped between the ever-growing Food Stamp coalition demanding handouts and the ruling class legislating higher wages, shorter working careers and unsupportable pension grabs.
Charles C. Mowry II