Via a link on Instapundit, I found my way to an editorial Meg Whitman penned for the Orange County Register where the former eBay CEO outlined her plan for fixing the mess in which the once-Golden State finds itself (well, it didn’t quite find itself there–politicians put her there). The Republican gubernatorial candidate clearly recognizes that the public employee pension program is a drain on state resources (i.e., taxpayer dollars):
On pension reform, we need to align public employee retirement benefits to those available in the private sector. New state workers should receive a 401(k)-style defined-contribution plan. For most existing state workers, we need to increase the retirement age from 55 to 65, require longer vesting periods, and ask them to contribute more to their retirement benefits.
Emphasis added. She’s right on the money here. With even the mainstream media reporting how much compensated federal government employees are than their counterparts in the private sector, it’s clear our elected officials must look at cutting salaries and benefits of those working for the government. And not just at the federal level.
Let’s hope Whitman is also willing to take on the public employee unions and perhaps move to limit the amount they may skim off the salaries of employees while preventing them from donating to political candidates and lobbying public officials, you know, that conflict of interest thing.
And at the federal and state level (at least here in California), we need an across-the-board salary cut for all public employees, say a 5% cut of income earned over the state’s median income and 10% on income earned above twice that median.
While Whitman has not yet gone as far as I believe we should go, she does appear to be headed in the right direction. One more reason, I may be less undecided in this race than I make myself out to be.