Saturday, May 12, 2007

Retirement's a ticking timebomb

The Detroit News -- and reporter Ron French -- did a splendid job of covering the problems with Michigan's educator retirement system. It's a three part series that ran May 10, 11, and 12:

Michigan's education time bomb: Costly, loophole-ridden retirement system threatens public schools

The $1,470-an-hour loophole: Retirees work for 13 days to earn lifetime health care

Politics stall school retiree reform

I've compiled them all in a single PDF which can be found by clicking here.

In brief, it shows how the existing system is a leading cause of the financial diaster in Michigan's schools. The second part shows how Michigan bureaucrats help some find loopholes to further bilk taxpayers. And finally, and perhaps most significantly, the third part paints a depressing picture of how unlikely we are to see change because of such weak leadership in Lansing.

In a related story, reporter Ron French discusses yet another problem, which is how the incentives districts offer to for early retirement help the local district, but further burden the state.

Buyouts: Short-term fix, long-term problems

WJR's Paul W. Smith interviewed Ron French, and the podcast can be heard by clicking here.

The Detroit News included a few audio podcasts of interviews with Ken Braun of the Mackinac Center (found here) and Doug Roberts, director of a public policy institute at MSU (found here).

This is not a new problem, and has been covered in reports and editorials for years.

It is amazing that legislators ignore it, but it is even more outrageous that taxpayers permit it. A quick email to your legislator might provide an incentive for them to look at this issue, and let them know you are watching.

You can find your Senator here, and find your Representative here.

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