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Thursday, May 17, 2007 | Taxpayers should not have to fund government workers’ pensions or healthcare costs. Taxpayers should pay for their salaries, which in many cases exceed what comparable jobs in the private sector earn, as well as keeping libraries and parks opened, paving streets, etc. This is a classic case of Peter paying for Paul, who benefits directly from the enactment of his own laws, a self-serving conflict of interest. The private sector must “save for a rainy day out of its pockets” for retirement. Self-employed must make do on a residue of money left over after bills are paid, in order to invest for retirement. Government workers have a pool of money from taxpayers to fund their retirement. “Paul” can increase that amount when “Paul” deems it necessary.
While private sector taxes fund appropriations for pensions and healthcare, IRA’s of self-employed grow only by their contributions with no outside source such as taxes to supplement it. If investment vehicles fail, no one bails the private sector out. By contrast government employees have a continuous source of retirement funding from taxes, hardly an example of equal treatment under the law. There is no justification or moral high ground for government to mandate the private sector to fund pensions and healthcare beyond salaries. Its retirees should have 401K’s, but they should be funded only from their money, not guaranteed by private sector taxes. Place the solution for the pension fund deficit problem on the shoulders of those who created it: government workers.