State salaries can be cut if we choose to
January 13, 2011 · 9:15 AM
Gov. Gregoire says the post-retirement pension benefits for state workers are contractural.
This is bogus.
The Social Security system was deemed contractural also, and look how many times the federal government has changed it because it is/was not sustainable as promised.
The same holds true with state union pensions.
They should no longer be able to collect their pensions after just 30 years of employment (can retire as early as age 48 with full pension if they began work at 18).
Social Security is at age 62 for reduced and 67 for full benefits.
There is no reason why the state can’t claim unsustainability and cash out the pension funds and transfer them into employee self-directed defined contribution models (like 401Ks).
There is no reason why the state should fund healthcare benefits for retired employees.
The employee should fund their own healthcare at 100 percent both before and after retirement.
State employees should be mandatorily paying into the social security system and voluntarily paying into a defined contribution account for themselves — just like the rest of us that pay their wages.
Our Legislature is also able to act, but they kick the can to the governor.
Gregoire needs to wake up and make this state fiscally sustainable without raising taxes and not keep kicking this time bomb down the road for others to be faced with.
The time to act is now, not later.
But to act takes real leadership, and I’m not sure our governor is up to the task.
If King, Pierce, Snohomish and Thurston County residents insist on voting in these spineless wonders to office, then these four counties should have to pay 100 percent of any new taxes that unions demand for solvency.