Issue: Pension costs will cripple us. Solution: Pull covers over head.

Posted by on Mar 31 2009 | Capitol Crazies, education, Government Largess

How are we going to pay for career government employees’ gold-plated retirement packages? I don’t know, but the action surrounding this issue sure is heating up here in Colorado.

Last week Dr. Michael Mannino (who wrote a groundbreaking report for us on the value of “deferred retirement compensation” for Denver public school employees … Hint: Think six-digit amounts) made a presentation to state legislators on the education committees about the extensive sums we’re paying out to meet pension promises.

The response from Rep. Michael Merrifield of the committee? Ignore the substance of the report, and opt for a little grandstanding theatrics instead.

But that doesn’t mean the problem is going away. We’re not the only ones sounding the alarm. Alexander Ooms – a founding board member at the successful West Denver Prep charter school – writes at Ed News Colorado that it’s “time to tell teachers the pension truth”.

Mr. Ooms will probably get raked over the coals for me saying this, but he’s right on with his main point: If we don’t fix the public employee pension system, there are quite a few teachers (and other government workers) here in Colorado who won’t be able to count on that promised pot of gold.

Dr. Mannino makes some modest recommendations (like removing early retirement subsidies) that are worth taking a look at. It’s good to see someone else out there defending the need for these commonsense changes.

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