Saturday, June 09, 2012 raison d'être

Raison d'être -- is French for "reason for existence" -- which is a heady concept.  I'll define this blog's primary raison d'être for my five readers with this post.  Many of my posts center on fiscal responsibility.  I care more about it than any other cause célèbre (the french theme won't last, so keep reading) that others hold dear.
Fotosearch Image

So when I see a column I agree with as I did today in WSJ by Steven Malanga ("State Politicians and the Public Pension Cookie Jar") -- I share it and talk about it.  I hope in a small way, I'll add attention to the generational burden-shifting and recklessness.  The size and scope of the government's propensity to spend money it doesn't have, is staggering.

Mr. Malanga focuses on at least one part of a multi-faceted spending problem -- defined benefit programs for public employees -- better known as public pensions.  I didn't understand how generous they are until some six years ago, when a retired pediatric dentist of all people, began to educate me.

I have also have misgivings about pension plans in the private sector, but shareholders choose where to invest their money.  If a majority of shareholders wishes to tolerate over-the-top retirement and health care benefits -- that's their business.  Investors can, and do vote with their feet.  But taxpayers can't simply make a few clicks to sell their shares or wage a proxy fight. So, public pension reform is my topic du jour (OK, that's it -- I promise). 

Fortunately, voters are beginning to wake up and support leaders like Governor Scott Walker and the fiscal reforms they sponsor to curb these budget busters in the public domain.  By the way, someone asked why I haven't been posting much lately -- the answer is simple -- I've been busy working and trying to add to my defined contribution plan.

Governor Scott Walker / Wikipedia Image
Finally, I'll share another column also found in today's WSJ  by Peggy Noonan about Governor Scott Walker's resounding win this week, called "What's Changed After Wisconsin". 

Mr. Walker, you'll remember -- not recall -- was the first recipient of the MVP Award for public adherence to fiscal responsibility under adverse conditions.  No word from the Governor's Office about his availability to accept the trophy, but that gives me time to find one.