Since Professor Lou Brancaccio asked in his Jan. 26 column, “Fairness class now in session,” I would like to answer why it is fair to pay public employees the pensions they have earned. I retired from UPS (private sector) after 29 years with a full pension. My pension is funded at one of the highest rates in the country. How is it funded while so many pensions are vastly underfunded? The answer is simple. The money dedicated to the fund actually went into the fund and was not later borrowed or otherwise removed.
Public pension funds, on the other hand, were managed by officials we elected in such a manner that money either was not deposited into the fund or was later borrowed for some other public use. The idea that teachers, firefighters and police should not receive their pensions because officials mismanaged the pension funds is ridiculous. Jointly we elected these officials. Fairness, as Brancaccio questioned, requires we pay the obligations to which our duly elected officials committed us.
Brancaccio’s vocabulary contains descriptive words such as “professor.” Since a member of his household participates in one of these public funds, proceeds that by law may become half his, I wonder if “hypocrite” is also a word contained there.
N. Stratton Platt