Pensions & Benefits

 


The proposal by the Democrat legislative leadership to constitutionally mandate pension payments each year may sound like a nice thing to do and like “we’re just keeping our word.” But it would be a disaster for the taxpayers of New Jersey as well as the very people the amendment is supposedly intended to benefit.

Here’s why.

First, if we enact this amendment without simultaneously enacting reforms that will permit us to make the massive payments, we will be digging our huge budget hole even deeper. We will be making the same promise we had to break in 2011. This time without even a thought about reforms that would enable us to keep that promise.


Now that the 2016 budget debate is over, we must get back to the most pressing state issue of our time.  The suggestion of some in the public worker sector that those of us who voted against the budget are in favor of our abandoning our commitment to ensuring their pensions is completely false.  For any responsible elected official, and decent human being, it is imperative that we meet our commitments in a way that protects our pubic workers – and the NJ economy at the same time.


Now that the 2016 budget debate is over, we must get back to the most pressing state issue of our time. The suggestion of some in the public worker sector that those of us who voted against the budget are abandoning our commitment to ensuring their pensions is completely false. Any responsible elected official knows it is imperative that we meet our commitments in a way that protects our pubic workers and the N.J. economy at the same time. 


I sympathize with our public workers whose pensions are funded by the state - particularly folks in the PERS and teacher systems. It totally stinks that state leaders over the 20 years preceding the 2011 reforms made promises they should have known they couldn't keep, and then shortchanged an already over-stressed system. To be fair, union leaders were guilty as well. Everyone sitting at those bargaining tables knew - or should have known - that they were setting up our public pension systems to fail in the future.


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