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Will Harrisburg Ever Fix the Pension Crisis?

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By Rich Shuker

State-pensionsAt the rate of success Harrisburg is having with the budget, coupled with the incompetence of our legislators to work for the taxpayers of Pennsylvania, it is possible the pension crisis will never be fixed.

Commenting about the pensions, House Majority Leader David Reed said, “I’m not sure where we go from here,” after a failed veto override attempt!

House Minority Leader Frank Dermody, D-Allegheny County, said, “A piecemeal override of a vetoed bill is unconstitutional.”

“While the governor is looking at their proposal, they (House leaders) are playing games,” said Wolf spokesman Jeff Sheridan.

“Accepting the GOP’s latest offer would be a home run for both sides,” said Senate Majority Whip John Gordner, R-Berwick. Does he mean the political parties or the tax payers?

Billions of dollars is lost to fraud every year, so who is playing games?

In 2006, Auditor General Jack Wagner compiled an in-depth audit on the PSERS and the SERS, citing the pension crisis was created by the legislators’ actions in 2001. We’re coming up on 15 years since and although several attempts have been made to patch the problem, fixing the root cause was never accomplished.

Jack Wagner gave recommendations and predicted a fiscal crisis in 2012 or 2013, if these corrections were not followed, which did happen.

Since 2001 our legislators have increased the Pennsylvania General Fund by 100% and our School Taxes have gone up 116%. Also, taxpayers have received from Harrisburg several blessings: (we are the 5th most corrupt state; 5th highest state in foreclosures; 1st in gas and corporate taxes); thanks to the lack of legislative oversight, the PSERS lost $15.8 billion since 06/2007, and the SERS lost $8.3 billion. Yes, Harrisburg has become one of the largest casinos in the country, gambling with the taxpayers’ money and obviously losing, ‘cause they always want more.

Finally the taxpayers have two legislators standing up for them and have proposed bills to fix this financial disaster and stop some of the theft of the taxpayer’s money. Republican John McGinnis who has a PHD in Finance, and Democrat Thomas Caltagirone; yes, a bipartisan effort on their part, but not the same reaction from leadership in either party.

On March 26, 2015, Tom Caltagirone proposed HB 845, Subject: Public Pensions Code of Ethics; since March it received 8 cosponsors, and was referred to Committee on State Government. That’s where it sits, thanks to poor leadership.

On July 9, 2015, John McGinnis Proposed HB 1400, Subject: Legislation to improve the management standards of the State Pension Systems, SERS and PSERS; it has 15 cosponsors, and was referred to Committee of State Government, where it languishes.

On May 17, 2015, John McGinnis Proposed HB 900, Subject: Repayment of Pension Debt; received 21 cosponsors, was referred to Committee on State Government.

So what is it a taxpayer can do, living in the 4th most corrupt state in America?

First, is get involved, find the truth and confront the legislators about the issues that will benefit you. The taxpayers are in luck, Tom Caltagirone and John McGinnis will be bringing this information to the Lehigh Valley Project 9-12 Tea Party Group on October 2, 2015, from 7:00-9:00 P.M., location at:

Charles Chrin Community Center

4100 Green Pond Rd.

Easton, PA 18045

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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