A crushing pension crisis
It was great to see the resounding victory of Scott Walker in Wisconsin. In just two short years, Walker took Wisconsin from having a 2 billion dollar deficit to now having a surplus - in large part by repealing the out of control public sector collective bargaining agreements.
But here in Pennsylvania, we have a a crushing pension crisis that is bankrupting our state. Our legislators foolishly increased pensions for government workers by 25 percent and for themselves over 50 percent, to unsustainable levels. Unlike most private sector plans, the state pensions do well when the stock market goes up, but when the stock market goes down (like it always does in cycles) there is no decrease in the pension payouts - that means the taxpayers have to make up the difference. Elected officials have defended the increases by stating they never thought the stock market would go down so much. This mentality is irresponsible - it is putting the taxpayer on the hook to cover the pensions.
It is time to bite the bullet and make the hard decisions like Scott Walker in Wisconsin. I applaud Governor Walker for his efforts, and hope that our legislators here in Pennsylvania take note - we could be enjoying a budget surplus and economic prosperity if they would only have the courage to stand up and fix the problem they created. The taxpayers cannot afford to keep footing the bill.