If you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention.
The Kentucky Public Employee Pension System is a bankrupt promise that the state legislature cannot keep. Taxpayers should be furious that lawmakers – through greed, mismanagement and inaction – have allowed this system to deteriorate. State employees should be equally as angry at the prospect that they may never collect the pensions they have been promised.
In a special report inserted in today’s edition of The Ledger Independent, Lowell Reese explains in a very understandable way, the mess we are in. We encourage our readers to pull this section and spend time reading and understanding it. Then pass it along to your neighbor, your cousin in Louisville, your friends at the bar.
Reese explains how the Public Employee Pension System works. He gives a history of the pillaging of that system by our lawmakers, and he offers specific examples – some very close to home – of those who have benefitted by taking advantage of a system they put into place.
This is not a political party issue. Both Democrat and Republican hands have been in the cookie jar, and the problems have festered under Democrat and Republican governors with Democrats in charge of the House and Republicans in charge of the Senate.
Asked about the pension system in public meetings, Rep. Mike Denham has said – diplomatically – that the problem was not created overnight and the solution will not come quickly. Denham goes on to say that the economy has much to do with the sad state of the pension system and that the system will regain health once the economy improves.
But the time for diplomacy and wishful thinking is long past.
The material included in the special section was published earlier this year by the Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions. It was reprinted as a special section in the July 25 issue of The Kentucky Gazette. We contacted both the author, Lowell Reese, and the publisher of the Gazette seeking permission to reprint the section in its entirety as a service to our readers.
The state pension system is indeed unsustainable. It will create a crushing burden to taxpayers in the years to come and the problem must be addressed immediately. Simply put: Kentucky has the most underfunded public pension system in the U.S. We do not and will not have the money to pay public employees the pensions they are promised as a condition of their employment.
We encourage our readers to study this report carefully and then to take action. A solution to the problem must come from the Kentucky Legislature and to that end, your representatives and senators must know how you feel about this issue.