Gov. Deval Patrick deserves credit for vetoing an unaffordable pension increase for retired teachers and state workers. The Outraged Liberal calls it “one of the more courageous political acts I’ve seen around here in a long time.”
But the larger issue is that people in the private sector, with rare exceptions, don’t receive pension benefits, and haven’t for some time. There are few things people resent more than paying taxes for employee benefits that go well beyond what are available to them.
It seems pretty obvious that Massachusetts needs to move gradually (but not too gradually) toward an employee-contribution system for current and future state and municipal workers — a 403(b), which is the government/nonprofit equivalent of a 401(k).