Just in case anyone thought that the incoming Democrat majority in the Colorado legislature was planning to take a responsible approach to Colorado’s continuing PERA debacle – it has not yet reached the crisis stage – Speaker-to-be Mark Ferrandino has laid those fears to rest. Morningstar has published a report reiterating what anyone with any sense already knew, that PERA is not “fiscally sound,” with a funded ratio of 58%. PERA complains that that only accounts for the state division, and that including other divisions raises the fundedness to 60%. This is the equivalent of a terrible student trying to argue his grade up from an F- to an F.
Ferrandino, instead of understanding that promises are being made that simply cannot be kept, demagogues the issue, claiming that, ”There are some who would like to use the economic downturn to take away people’s pensions.” I suppose it’s progress of a sort that he acknowledges that we’re still in an economic downturn, but where on God’s green earth does he think the money comes from to pay those pensions, if not from the retirement savings of the rest of the people in the state? Where is the fairness in using the force of law to place the pension of a 30-year-old government worker ahead of the average Coloradoan’s ability to provide for himself and his family?
Don’t expect much help from the Senate, either, where incoming Senate President John Morse has hired SEIU flack Kjersten Forseth to be his chief of staff.
As California collapses, Colorado has a golden opportunity to pick up businesses looking for more healthy homes. In 2010-11, the Denver metro area had the 7th-highest rate of in-migration from other parts of the country. Unfortunately, the state’s Democrats seem bound and determined to import not California’s prosperity, but its pauperizing policies instead.