Are more and more states going to follow Wisconsin? Governors across the country seem to think pensions to public employees, firemen, teachers, and police are too high and need to be reduced. If you're a public employee, now retired, do you feel your pension should be lowered? Are the taxpayers paying you too much for your years of service now that you're retired? Should the states reduce your healthcare benefits? Seems the Republicans do. What do you think?
It really irks me to see retirement benefits criticized and the word 'entitlement' used as a slur. Many people don't realize that public employees are forced to participate and pay into those accounts. These are not free dole-outs to public workers. State and city governments deduct money from employees' paychecks every pay period. Governments also put in some money. But the traditional structure of the funds has given governments control (employees could not opt out or try to manage the investments themselves).
Many government employees like the feeling of serving others, and they worked for years for far less money than the private sector offers with the retirement and medical benefits pushed by government agencies as the trade-off. Unlike a private sector setting, if you work for the government, there's no free coffee pot down the hall, no expensive holiday parties, no splurging on high-dollar hotels if you travel within your own state.
For years, the food allowance for State of Texas employees traveling to other parts of the state was $15 a day. You had to find a way to pay for three meals (including tax and tips) for $15.
Should those retirees have to take a reduced income after-the-fact? Perhaps states can implement other plans for future employees, but those who have already paid into the system and are now retired should not be penalized.
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