Thursday, November 6, 2008

How much would you pay government workers?

One almost-overlooked ballot initiative that passed in California on Tuesday could provide food for thought -- and respite from out-of-control public employee benefits. It's Measure J.

Measure J will require public employee benefits contracts in Orange County to be approved by voters in the voting booth.

Kentucky officials have mostly shifted from ignoring Kentucky's $27 billion underfunding of public employee benefits to insisting -- in the absence of any supporting evidence -- that they have fixed the problem.

1 comment:

Hempy said...

Budgetary problems won't be "fixed" until enough citizens have decent paying jobs that taxes won't be an onerous burden. If fairness is the goal in taxation, then the solution to that is proportional taxation on the movement of all moneys. As Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist Paper 12:

"The ability of a country to pay taxes must always be proportioned, in a great degree, to the quantity of money in circulation, and to the celerity with which it circulates. Commerce, contributing to both these objects, must of necessity render the payment of taxes easier, and facilitate the requisite supplies to the treasury."

Secondly, government needs to examine where it's spending money unnecessarily. That's not in public employee benefits.

Kentucky currently spends about $270 million a year incarcerating non-violent marijuana users.

The Kentucky General Assembly can pass a resolution asking the governor to pardon all non-violent marijuana users. That alone would be a major step in solving Kentucky's budgetary problem.

Neither the government, media nor politicians are willing to discuss this serious drain on Kentucky's budget. Taking it out on public employee benefits as Orange County did is another excuse to ignore the problem.

California voters failed to pass Proposition 5 that would have addressed this problem. Measure J is a copout. It's an excuse for politicians to scapegoat public employees rather than address the problem of prison overcrowding with non-violent marijuana users.