Gov. Kate Brown’s task force is weighing almost uniformly terrible ways to reduce the $24 billion unfunded liability of the state pension system.
The task force is trying to come up with $5 billion for the Public Employees Retirement System. The brainstorming includes dinging Oregonians with taxes, fees, surcharges and raids on state funds and selling off state assets. But when legislators and the governor showed an unwillingness when the Legislature was in session to pursue PERS reforms, why should Oregonians put up with any of this nonsense?
Why should Oregonians pay a surcharge on their driver’s licenses to help pay for pensions?
Why should Oregonians pay a surcharge on liquor for pensions?
Why should Oregonians allow the state to raid its rainy day fund?
Why should Oregonians allow the state to sell off state assets?
Why should proceeds from successful state lawsuits go to state pensions?
Why should the state eliminate enterprise zones for state pensions?
Why should the state’s worker compensation fund be raided for state pensions?
Why should local schools raise taxes or create new ones?
It’s all very disappointing, really. Here we have a governor rounding up a task force to make a great show of things that could be done, instead of what should be done. Her most recent predecessors at least gave serious PERS reforms a go. But she has chosen a clever way to run away from facing the problem.