Skip to comments.Rhode Island considers radical moves as pensions put state on brink
Posted on 09/06/2011 12:26:05 PM PDT by Hojczyk
PROVIDENCE, R.I. This state has barely a million residents, but it is at least $6.8 billion short when it comes to funding pension plans for retired teachers, police officers and other public employees.
State Treasurer Gina M. Raimondo (D) said that per capita, Rhode Island has the nations largest unfunded pension liability. But if the Ocean States pension problem is among the countrys most severe, so are the remedies being considered to solve it.
In Rhode Island, as those investments have failed to live up to predictions, the yearly burden being borne by state and local governments is growing and is beginning to crowd out public services in ways that experts say could soon take hold in other parts of the country.
The cost of funding pensions is one of the fastest-growing items in the Rhode Island budget. The tax dollars going to state pensions more than doubled between 2003 and last year, and the amount is projected to again double to about $615 million by 2013, according to a state report.
But with states facing, by one estimate, a combined $3 trillion in unfunded pension liabilities and the economic downturn continuing to dampen government tax revenue, states are beginning to make changes once considered unthinkable such as cutting pensions for people in retirement.
If it isnt illegal, it certainly wouldnt sit right morally, said J. Michael Downey, a plumber and president of Rhode Island Council 94 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which represents 8,000 state and local government workers. They are going to fix this for Rhode Island on the backs of people who have worked their entire lives.
Last year, South Dakota, Colorado and Minnesota moved to reduce cost-of-living increases for retirees in their public pension systems. Similarly,
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
This is the legacy of rat-union relationships across the country.
Pass the popcorn.
Its sad that living within ones means is now considered radical. My bet is they try to scream for a federal bailout.
Too bad they didn’t have a private retirement system in place, they’d all retire millionaires and the taxpayers could stop supporting them.
Of course they will, all of the states will demand the feds take over the bloated and unrealistic pension payments.
Mr. Downey, two things: 1) There is no money; 2) you don’t HAVE to retire.
Now, how about getting back to that leaky spigot?
Democrat politicians gave public employees pension benefits in a corrupt deal that was win-win for both sides. The politicians bought the support of the public employee unions, and the public employees got lavish, guaranteed pension benefits. The only losers were the taxpayers—but not even the then-current taxpayers, only those taxpayers who would in the (then) distant future be called on to pay those not-presently-funded lavish pension benefits.
The law has to recognize that the transactions that led to these benefits did not truly occur at arms length, but were fundamentally corrupt. As a result, the taxpayers who are now being called upon to pay these benefits should have the right to modify them. That is the only fair result.
Public employee pensioners are going to scream bloody murder. But I have little sympathy for them. They should have known the deal they were getting was infected with corruption, and was too good to be true.
What is sad, they will still vote Rat.
Our State Government by law can not spend more than they bring in. It's a wonderful concept that the other States have apparently never heard of.
Yes they will. We are talking about people who think that deficits means free wealth and every other kind of nonsense.
What is wrong with fully funded pensions?
The pensions are short $6.8 billion and there are a million residents. Seems like a simple enough solution: tax every resident $6800 so the ruling class can continue to live in luxury. < / sarcasm >
Wyoming? North Dakota? Pls share the list with us.
No....really.....the Pension Fairies will be swooping in tonight to fix this. If you’re a good Democrat in Rhode Island, go outside your house tonight at midnight, and the Pension Fairies will swoop in and give you a pot of money! I promise! Then, you must continue to vote Democrat to reward the Pension Fairies.
The state has three major options
(1) get bailed out by the feds (good luck with that).
(2) default on their pension obligations (which would seem to violate US Constitution Article I Section 10 "No State shall ... pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts").
(3) drastically reduce their non-pension budget.
If they choose option (3), then they can cut stuff that make the state livable for the middle class (schools, police, etc), or they can cut stuff for the welfare class, enough that they either get a job or move elsewhere.
If they cause a mass exodus of the middle class, then good luck with next year's budget. If they cause a mass exodus of the welfare class, then good luck getting any Dem re-elected (RI is dominated by the Dems). What to do, what to do?
Grab some popcorn.
(4) Tax all public pensions above $50,000 at 100%
When you extorted your unjustifiable contracts, you didnt care about the Taxpayers that will be forced to pay for your salary and benefits that is more, and better, than theirs, no
You said: Either give me what I want, or I will hurt you.
I will GO ON STRIKE and I WILL HURT YOU!!!
NOT, If you dont give me what I want, I will quit, and get a different job NO!
It was, GIVE ME WHAT I WANT OR I WILL HURT YOU!!!
You were told over, and over, and over again, through the years, and extorted contracts, that it was unsustainable.
But YOU didnt listen, and YOU didnt care.
And the local government said OK, because there was nothing they could do, And, knowing it would be somebody elses problem down the road, well...
Well, guess what?
Its down the road, and now
its YOUR problem!!!
The trough is empty, and the teat is dry.
Can you hear ME now???
You were all fat dumb and happy as long as your snout was in the PublicTrough up past your eyeballs,
Now that the food level has dropped below Your eyes, even YOU can see the writing on the wall as well as the rest of us.
There WILL be reduced benefits to be sure, if not outright eliminations
And guess what???
I, DONT, CARE!!!
Gee, that was hard to find and there is twice as many as I thought.http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/07/18/many-states-end-year-in-surplus-as-washington-debates-new-borrowing-limit/
But that still doesn't answer the question of which state you are bragging about.
Yes! Brilliant idea of the month!