April 07, 2020

Retirement debt looms

The column, “Dropping the debt bomb” (BDN, Oct. 16) by Reps. John Churchill and Everett McLeod, regarding Maine’s unfunded actuarial liability is on the mark. It should be required reading by all members of the legislative and executive branches in Augusta and not dismissed as partisan electioneering.

The problem of unfunded retirement benefits is not unique to Maine. Chris Edwards and Jagadeesh Gokhale, both of the Cato Institute, recently published a sobering OpEd piece in the Wall Street Journal ” A $2-Trillion Fiscal Hole” (WSJ, Oct. 12) regarding the aggregate unfunded retirement obligations state and local governments have amassed across the country.

The nasty reality of unfunded retirement benefits is that, in order to deal with these obligations, some very tough budgetary choices will be required in the very near future that will make any anticipated negative impacts of TABOR look benign by comparison.

Joe Lallande

Fort Fairfield

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