On Thursday and Friday's show we touched on the Oregon budget shortfall. Allen Alley, one of our favorite people (he woulda made a GREAT Governor) was quoted as saying PERS could be using up to 40% of our state budget. It always prompts angst from PERS recipients, one of whom wrote me:
I am a retiree from the PERS system. I worked for 11+ years at Oregon State Hospital as a Registered Nurse. I paid into the retirement system. I continue to live and spend and pay taxes in Oregon.
I didn’t make huge wages. I worked hard for my pay and for my retirement. I worked with violent patients and have permanent injuries from assaults by the patients I cared for. I more than earned my retirement of aprox. $1,000.00 a month.
Many people in the PERS system make barely above min. wage. Not all PERS covered people are working in State Government. And certainly are not getting rich off taxpayer dollars. AND we pay taxes just like everybody else.
To the writer, you are not the problem. In fact, you are the example of how it is supposed to work. The real problem lies with the PERS recipients who knock down as much as $50,000 a MONTH, people who made good livings as neurosurgeons and coaches of university football teams, people of means who likely don't need that money (or nearly that much). But the horse is out of the barn, now Salem must find a way to fix it.
Maybe these people take less for a longer term (so their heirs can enjoy it) so they don't lose what was promised - but even that is probably unrealistic. I'm sure it's been thought of before.
We'll have Allen on the show soon to talk about how we can help fix this. But it won't be an overnight fix.