Spring has sprung and that means allergies and the Legislative session. I get nosebleeds every April, starting 20 years ago. I’d leave my office to go down to the Capitol and blood would gush from my nose. I thought this condition was stress related and that maybe I was stroking out from having to endure another day with our fearless leaders. Turns out it was only allergies.
Louisiana is a colorful state, no doubt. We subvert the “open” container rule by putting a piece of tape over the strawhole in a go-cup. We don’t let the fact that gambling is constitutionally prohibited get us down– we craft legislation to allow riverboat “gaming.” (See how important spelling is?)
Reform governor Buddy Roemer, currently running for president, btw, artfully dodged campaign contribution laws and bribery charges by holding poker games at the mansion. He couldn’t help it that everybody but him sucked at poker and he won big ALL THE TIME, now could he?
What’s got me on my Julia Sugarbaker soapbox this morning? A little blurb in The Advocate about retirement system changes, that’s what. It’s got my spidey senses on full alert.
The market crash several years ago hasn’t done our defined benefit retirement systems any favors. The teachers’ system has a huge unfunded pension liability and our state is broke. How to fix, Bobby?
In the newspaper it goes like this:
Step 1 – New retirement system for all state employees, except for “TEACHERS,” because their powerful lobby won’t go for it.
Step 2 – What to call it? Defined contribution plan sounds so complicated… How about “Cash Balance Plan?” That sounds so reasonable because everybody knows you can’t spend money you don’t have.
Step 3 – All NEW state employees and higher ed employees go in the new plan.
But, hang on,now? We have a HIRING FREEZE and HIGHER ED LAYOFFS. How does this SOLVE a dang thing?
I speculate the unspoken part of the plan goes like this:
Step 4 – Fire all state employees and rehire under new plan.
Step 5 – Rename all “teachers” and call them “educators” and VOILA! they gotta move to the new plan, too.
Reminds me of that joke where the Protestant gets baptisted Catholic (you was born a Baptist, you was raised a Baptist, but **priest sprinkles holy water**you is now a Catholic) and then he sprinkles holy water on his deer during Lent: “you was born a deer, you was raised a deer, but now you is a catfish.”
Problem solved. You’ve been warned.
Now it’s time for some March Madness. Today is Selection Sunday and I am ready to fill in my bracket!!!!! Game On!