Letters to the Editor

Your views in 250 words or less

Tag: state government

June
22nd

BENEFITS: Are they a taxpayer obligation or not?

Re: “State owes $7 billion in benefits” (TNT, 6-20).

The cost for these retiree health care benefits is not prefunded as pensions are but apparently are funded as part of the general fund budget each year. A atate official says these are not an obligation and will not be required if the general fund budget is to a point where they can’t be afforded.

At the special sessions for budget finalization we were bombarded about the necessary “dramatic,” even “draconian” cuts, “children will starve, health care will be cut off for many” and on and on.

If these subsidies

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June
22nd

BENEFITS: State system an example for the nation

Re: “State owes $7 billion in benefits” (TNT, 6-20).

Your recent article about state-owed retiree health care benefits was incomplete. The Pew Center on the States’ estimates may be wildly overestimated.

The center probably used the total numbers of those who were eligible for a Department of Retirement Systems pension to estimate costs. However, not all those eligible for a pension from local governments are eligible for health benefits under the state’s program. And, as your article states, only about 65 percent of eligible retirees choose to participate.

Many large local governments participate in the DRS retirement system but

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July
6th

STATE: All state government politicians should resign

How can anyone in the state government claim to be fiscally responsible? They are fiscally responsible for making a mess of the states finances, that is for sure. They make taxes then steal them to use them in ways that they were not meant to be, as with the tax on cigarettes.

I don’t even smoke and that irks me. If the tax money is not going to be used for the reason it was collected, give it back and then revoke that tax. That money was to be used for the health care of individuals in the state, specifically

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July
6th

SALARIES: Don’t be angry with double-dippers

Re: “A pension and a paycheck” (TNT, 6-29).

I am amazed at the people writing about this topic in anger and even stating that the double-dippers are the equivalent to thieves. Are the people drawing pensions and salaries simultaneously ethical in doing so? Perhaps, perhaps not.

The truth is they are not doing anything illegal. They earned their pension through their years of state service. Their employers rehired them in lieu of funding job searches and retraining costs.

The only people who should be upset by this are those who could have been hired to take the job vacated by

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July
2nd

BUDGET: If we spent like state government

With all of the headlines about government spending, I started thinking about what my life would be if my husband and I spent money like Olympia. We’d get new furniture; definitely a new kitchen; a new car every year; and take at least three trips out of state to find out how others live in places like China, South Korea and Dubai.

I know the budget is horrible: My husband was just furloughed to save the state $1,300. Then I read comments from state workers who make well over $100,000 about million-dollar mistakes.

If you and I spent money like

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