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January 12, 2011

Pearlstein: Public unions' day of reckoning is here

The Washington Post's Steve Pearlstein says government-employee unions need to get real.

To preserve health benefits for retirees, active workers will need to accept greater cost sharing on their health insurance policies, which will not only reduce the cost to government in the short run but slow the growth in premiums for everyone over the long haul.

And on pensions, the unions ought to get real about the dismal state of their defined-benefit plans and use their assets to finance a new arrangement. Start with enrolling government workers in Social Security. Supplement that with a defined-contribution plan that could be taken to a new job, would give workers some flexibility in how their pension money was invested and would automatically be converted into a fixed-benefit annuity upon retirement.

Posted by Jay Hancock at 11:49 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Slo-mo fiscal train crash


He's not the only one saying it, by a long stretch.

But the unions as an organized political force have a lot of sway. They are fighting to keep their benefits no matter the cost to the American taxpayer...

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About Jay Hancock
Jay Hancock has been a financial columnist for The Baltimore Sun since 2001. He has also been The Baltimore Sun's diplomatic correspondent in Washington and its chief economics writer. Before moving to Baltimore in 1994 he worked for The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk and The Daily Press of Newport News.

His columns appear Tuesdays and Sundays.

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