2. Why should taxpayers be obligated for bad deals that elected officials created? A lot of these elected officials are in the pocket of union leaders when they get elected, and that is why the outsized benefits were handed out in the first place. For example, the health care benefits that were handed out to employees of the now bankrupt City of Stockton. After one month of employment a municipal employee received health care benefits for life for themselves and their dependents. One can only wonder why anyone would put that kind of plan in place, plus why should the good people of Stockton bear the brunt of this stupid decision?
3. Some decisions that were made were not corrupted -- they were bad. For example, when Social Security was started the average life span was below the retirement age of 65 years. There was no anticipation that in eighty years, the ratio of people paying into the program to the beneficiaries would shrink from over 159 to the current three to one. The ratio is anticipated to shrink further with increased life expectancy's. There was no anticipation life span would increase 15 years in just 80 years. These programs cannot move forward in their present form.
4. When private companies make unsustainable decisions that bring them to their financial knees, they have a mechanism to extricate themselves from their problems – bankruptcy. Why can’t governments that do not have the revenue streams to meet their obligations restructure their commitments to make them sustainable?
5. If elected officials make stupid commitments, it is clear who will get stuck with the bill – we do. The question becomes is it fair for the average worker in the private sector to have to work for three, five, or ten extra years to pay for the retirement of their public employees who are getting much richer benefit packages?
There are definitely two sides to this argument. There are reasonable people who take the either side on this important public policy debate. The important thing is we need a hearty debate on the issue and to make the right decisions before all of our governments go bankrupt. Where do you stand?