By Daniel Downs
Ohio public employee pension fund are suffering the same fate as their employers revenue streams. They are dwindling. Partly to blame is our spend-thrifty government; the other part is the financial industry that was willing to follow the lead of their liberal politicians.
According to an excellent report by the Columbus Dispatch, Ohio public pensions cost taxpayers $4.1 billion annually. Those costs are directly related to the size of government payrolls, which continue to grow. As noted, government employees get higher than average retirement incomes. These are guaranteed by law.
Because 401K and other sources of pension funds are subject to stock market volatility, the Ohio budget is now revealing another part of its budget shortfall.
To make up for the loss, Ohio public employee union-negotiated pension funds are asking taxpayers to foot the bill.
What is wrong with this picture?
As noted at the beginning, the growth of government bureaucracy outpaces the private sector. Socialistic and special interest programs along with related federal mandates drive much unnecessary growth and its costs to taxpayers. The answer is in cutting them. Ohio government should follow their private sector partner and downsize. Cut departments, programs, employees, and cut related expenses. By downsizing, the executive branch the savings would cover most, if not all, of the current budget deficit, which means covering pensions too.
And, what about all of Ohio’s private sector employee who are suffering either declines or loss of their retirement pensions? If taxpayers should maintain retired employee pension because they pour billions of dollars into Ohio’s economy as argued Democrat Rep. Todd Book and the unions, retired private sector employees pour in many more billions. It would be more profitable for the economy if taxpayers funded their retirement funds.
Then, there is the frequent practice of allowing double dippers to burden Ohio taxpayers. As with Xenia Community Schools Supt. Lewis, many government employees receive pension income as well as taxpayer funded paychecks. Why should taxpayers pay double for such employees, and pay double or triple amounts for bailouts, and pay double for levy debts to schools and to investors? Public corruption obviously is very profitable.
Ohio government is just too big and corrupt to pay for its employees’ pensions. That is why taxpayers should refuse to pay more.