My wife and I moved here in February. We love it.

I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky graduate school, 1981. We moved from the Metro-East area of Illinois, across from St. Louis. We lived there 19 years. For the record, I am from Kansas, not Illinois, and proudly so. Here's the point: When we moved to Illinois in 2000, the state had an unfunded pension deficit of about $50 billion. That equals $50,000 million, to appreciate the size.

Kentucky now has the same problem with an unfunded deficit of $43 billion ($43,000 million), all related to teacher pensions as defined benefits. It was zero 20 years ago. The corrupt state of Illinois now has an unfunded deficit of $203 billion, as of today.

Taxes continue to soar and the Democratic-run legislature continues to cater to the teachers' and state workers' unions with the same defined-benefit Cadillac benefits and pay. Half the population of Illinois would leave if they could. This coming from people who grew up there and call it home.

The teachers' unions are all about power and greed. And we are expected to foot the bill. Gov. Matt Bevin's recommendation to change the defined benefit pension to a 401(k) with matching levels from the state is what 98 percent of the real world runs with. It's doable and is not a problem unless one thinks they are so special that they are entitled to have the rest of us pay for their retirement.

If you want to be in the same shape as California and Illinois, with no new business wanting to come here and everyone wanting to leave, then keep the same terminal plan for excessive benefits for teachers.

Brent Rains

Bowling Green


(6) comments

Enough Already

Excellent letter mister Rains!

The citizens made a decisive move away from socialism and endless Democrat debt with the election of Matt Bevin as governor and he has done exactly what he said he would do in-spite of Beshear's harassment lawsuits. Kentucky is much better off today than before governor Bevin's election.

The only people whining about his efforts to get Kentucky back to solvency are socialist democrats, teachers and their unions. This is because Democrat's have bought the teachers lock, stock, and barrel, sacrificing the other 99.9% of Kentucky citizens in favor of gold plating pensions and benefits for loud mouth union activists in exchange for votes.

The question now is will the citizens back up all of the gains this Tuesday or let whiny socialists reverse all the good that has been done for Kentucky.

There is no painless magic solution and "Andy's candy" will only make it worse. Kentucky needs to take this medicine to cure what ails us before it kills us. To refuse is to die an early death by bankruptcy.


Vote Republican this Tuesday.


Brent, I'd be willing to bet that nearly everyone in a 401(k)-type retirement plan is also in Social Security. Are you proposing to shift Kentucky teachers to a 401(k)-type retirement plan and enroll them in Social Security? Because Matt Bevin's not. He wants them in a 401(k)-type plan without the benefit of being in Social Security. Is that what you're for too?


They should've been enrolled in Social Security and have a 401K, unless the state provides a matching contribution to their contributions in the 401K. Agreed. But the defined benefit when excessive in benefits is doomed and not fair to the rest of the citizens who are not "public servants" or in a teachers union. Public education should have never been unionized. Today teachers are more union members in many cases than they are teachers. Much less so if they're underqualified and teaching crap. It's a dead end street as it is and this doesn't even address the content of public education. For the record, I had a very good public education growing up in Wichita, Ks (class of 72). But then half the school didn't make the academic honor role in the name of self-esteem and phony achievement,


One other observation Mr. Wilson. Bevin's recommendation as I understand it was to provide a matching 401K to new hires and nothing was to remove the defined benefit to current teachers employed. So I don't see the problem of changing course, but do realize the new teachers should be enrolled in Social Security and a 401K . FYI and regards


Brent, I think we agree that a 401K AND Social Security is the minimum acceptable retirement plan for new teachers. I just hope that you will take into account that Gov Bevin opposes enrolling new teachers in Social Security. That makes his plan a non-starter for me.


Considering the financial fraud the politicians and government have done in stealing most of the Social Security money, I think a matching 401K from the state with realistic outcome projections and age of retirement would outperform anything the government can lie and promise about. Anyway, defined benefits and retiring in Illinois at 50-55 ends up paying the retiree more than they earned during employment based on much longer life expectancy and excessive benefits. Take care.

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