David Paterson's 'walking out the door' courage

What shall we call it?  How about courage in the rearview mirror – the sort politicians find when they’re leaving office and have nothing to lose.  Case in point, outgoing New York Governor David Paterson, who issued a dire warning about the looming state pension fund crisis in the Empire State.

Paterson – not wrong in his warning – has manfully waited to raise the state pension fund crisis issue just before the door at the Governor’s mansion hits his fanny.  New York’s public employees’ pension troubles are no revelation; they’ve been brewing for awhile – and not only in New York.  Had Governor Paterson had the mettle of one of his predecessors – Teddy Roosevelt – he would have tackled the pension fund issue much earlier, when he had some real skin in the game. 

However, it’s worth reading Governor Paterson’s remarks.  The Governor’s take is sober.  Just goes to show how a Democrat, no longer needing to curry favor with his party’s special interests – labor and teacher unions, in particular – can jettison the rhetoric and cut to the nut.

Here’s one of Paterson’s pearls:

The structural problems of our public pension funds have started to emerge, and no amount of wishful thinking can replace the hard work of reforming them. We all have a stake - employers, employees, organized labor, government, regulators, lawmakers, investors and investment managers. Yet there exists no consensus, or even an informal dialogue, on how to proceed.

Right-O, Governor.  Extravagant promises and lavish retirement packages are at the heart of the state pension crisis, a crisis that you, sir, helped precipitate over the years.  Paterson was once a New York legislator.  And Paterson is right about the damage about to be done to all New Yorkers when the pension fund meltdown occurs.  But no “informal dialogue?”  Tisk tisk, Governor.  Chief executives can create dialogues – when they want to.        

But take heed.  Governor Paterson gives a clue to what will need to be done to fix the state pension problem.  He writes: “What is indisputable is that those solutions will require shared sacrifice.”

When a Democrat writes or speaks of a “shared sacrifice” it usually means that taxpayers – somehow, someway – will end up taking it in the neck.  New Yorkers would be well advised to guard their wallets.    

What shall we call it?  How about courage in the rearview mirror – the sort politicians find when they’re leaving office and have nothing to lose.  Case in point, outgoing New York Governor David Paterson, who issued a dire warning about the looming state pension fund crisis in the Empire State.

Paterson – not wrong in his warning – has manfully waited to raise the state pension fund crisis issue just before the door at the Governor’s mansion hits his fanny.  New York’s public employees’ pension troubles are no revelation; they’ve been brewing for awhile – and not only in New York.  Had Governor Paterson had the mettle of one of his predecessors – Teddy Roosevelt – he would have tackled the pension fund issue much earlier, when he had some real skin in the game. 

However, it’s worth reading Governor Paterson’s remarks.  The Governor’s take is sober.  Just goes to show how a Democrat, no longer needing to curry favor with his party’s special interests – labor and teacher unions, in particular – can jettison the rhetoric and cut to the nut.

Here’s one of Paterson’s pearls:

The structural problems of our public pension funds have started to emerge, and no amount of wishful thinking can replace the hard work of reforming them. We all have a stake - employers, employees, organized labor, government, regulators, lawmakers, investors and investment managers. Yet there exists no consensus, or even an informal dialogue, on how to proceed.

Right-O, Governor.  Extravagant promises and lavish retirement packages are at the heart of the state pension crisis, a crisis that you, sir, helped precipitate over the years.  Paterson was once a New York legislator.  And Paterson is right about the damage about to be done to all New Yorkers when the pension fund meltdown occurs.  But no “informal dialogue?”  Tisk tisk, Governor.  Chief executives can create dialogues – when they want to.        

But take heed.  Governor Paterson gives a clue to what will need to be done to fix the state pension problem.  He writes: “What is indisputable is that those solutions will require shared sacrifice.”

When a Democrat writes or speaks of a “shared sacrifice” it usually means that taxpayers – somehow, someway – will end up taking it in the neck.  New Yorkers would be well advised to guard their wallets.    

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