Crossposted from Channel Surfing:
No one should be surprised by the report released today on the state pension funds. Observers have been saying for years that the people who handle the state’s money have bailed on their fiduciary responsibility, preferring instead to push problems off into the future.
We could recount the devises used to avoid paying into the pension fund since Christie Whitman took office in 1994, but that would be foolish.
And we could blame Jon Corzine — not because he created the mess, but because it is convenient to go after an unpopular governor. Of course, he avoided fixing the problem, as well.
This brings me to our current governor, who with much fanfare is withholding the small payment the state was slated to make on the grounds that nothing should go into the pension fund until reforms are passed. This is the height of foolishness. The money we are talking about is money promised to former workers, money they are due and that we have a moral obligation to pay.
I don’t disagree that there are problems with the pension system as it now stands and that changes need to be made. Waiting to make changes in future pensions to pay into today’s fund will only result in a larger unfunded liability as we go forward. Foolish, foolish, foolish.