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Monday, April 23, 2012

Me To Roanoke Times:

I'll go you one better.

The Star City's most influential newsp ... only newspaper this morning comes out on its editorial page with a commendable suggestion for our governor and legislators in Richmond:

Do unto yourselves that which you do unto others:
Legislators must share in pension sacrifices
Roanoke Times editorial

Legislators have dug the state's pension plan into a deep, deep hole. A $24 billion hole, to be precise. Refilling that chasm in unfunded liabilities, they say, requires everyone to share in the sacrifice.

To that end, state workers pay 5 percent of their earnings toward their retirement benefits. This year, local government employees and teachers will begin phasing in a similar scheme.

But shared sacrifice has its limits. An amendment in the state budget approved last week exempts senior legislators, the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and most sitting judges from contributing to the Virginia Retirement System.

The budget amendment is vaguely worded, but appears to retain that requirement for freshmen. Either way, new legislators should insist that all members of the General Assembly and statewide officials shoulder part of their retirement costs. At the very least, they should commit themselves to phasing in contributions in future years, the same rules they have imposed on others. It's only fair. [link]
Fair perhaps.

But even more fair - to the good people of the Commonwealth?

Take the career attraction out of the gig. End pension benefits for elected positions all together. Make the "citizen legislators" want to go back home some day and allow new blood to come into the political arena.

No offense to Lacey Putney, but do we really want someone chairing the powerful House Appropriations Committee who's been in office since before Christ was a teenager?

A computer?  What's that?


Interstate highways?

Diet Coke?

Someone bring my horse-and-buggy around.  As soon as I'm done guiding the Commonwealth of Virginia into the next century, I want to go find out what this postal zip code thing is all about.  (That's right.  Zip codes were not in existence when dear old Lacey Putney joined the legislature.)