It’s no surprise that state Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski is trying to divert attention away from the unsustainable state employee pension system.
Like most Democrats, Pashinski seems focused on punishing private-sector job creators and protecting government unions and tax-taking jobs with their overly generous benefits. While I agree a reasonable excise tax on natural gas drillers should be considered, I believe the spending side of the budget should take priority.
Rather than looking for more money to prop up a pension system that cannot be sustained, steps should be taken to reduce benefits for current government retirees, even if a lawsuit is required. Eventually, the current defined-benefit system should be phased out in favor of a 401k-type of defined-contribution system that those of us in the private sector must deal with. When private-sector companies make promises that will put them out of business – General Motors, for example – those promises must be broken.
Pashinski is sitting in a pretty good position. According to the school employee retirement system, he is now collecting $4,429.17 a month in guaranteed pension, and is working on his second guaranteed pension as a state representative while collecting more than $80,000 a year in salary. The current system is serving Pashinski very well, so it’s no surprise that he wants nothing to change.
He is, incidentally, opposed to House Bill 76, and its companion legislation in the Senate, which would eliminate school property taxes. The next time you see Pashinski on the campaign trail telling how much he wants to help you, ask yourself, who is he really helping, and why is he always smiling?
George R. Race