A reader writes:
We’re all aware of your irrational hatred of boomers, but this time you’ve misidentified your target. Public employees holding taxpayers hostage for huge benefits packages is not a new problem. Meanwhile, boomers are just now beginning to reach retirement age. If you must make this a generational issue – which it really isn’t – then look to the “greatest” generation. While you’re at it, look to your own and see if it's responsible for any real reform or are continuing this outrage.
I'm doing my bit and have done for a long time. Too bad the boomers have the votes. Another writes:
There may very well be an argument to be made for cutting retirement benefits for government workers, but let's be fair about how we present the facts and let's avoid outrage. A couple of things caught my attention right from the start:
"[A]verage state retirement packages now valued at more than $1.2 million. The taxpayers who pay for those retirement benefits have an average of $60,000 saved for their own retirement." You are comparing retirement packages at the point at which they have ripened and are about to be dispensed against an entire population of taxpayers, many of whom are in their twenties and thirties and have yet to accumulate huge sums. It also doesn't take into account those private sector folk who have been grasshoppers with regard to their savings, no?
Traditionally many government jobs have not paid as well and cannot pay as well as similar positions in the private sector. Thus, government has used other benefits to attract personnel including pension plans. Surely there was a time when pension plans, due to the sheer scale of state governments, gave state governments a way to compete with the private sector for talent.