The proposed change in the Kentucky public employee retirement plan from a defined benefit to a defined contribution system, structured around 401(k) investments, raises more concerns than solutions, except for one critical element: If teachers and other public servants are going to be moved into the financial mainstream of a capitalistic retirement system, they deserve competitive wages and salaries.
Such a change would have a devastating impact on state and local budgets.
The GOP plan to remove caps, regulations and taxes across the board, so that everyone can fly unimpeded to the destiny of their own choice in acompetitive free market, while drastically cutting infrastructural elements that make any of it possible and keeping the lid on public servant compensation, is duplicitous at best.
We need to sober up and start investing our way back to solvency and decency, through judicious cost-sharing — creative taxation, including removing loopholes and handouts, and eliminating corruption. There is no easy way out.
Lewis A. Kelly