A couple of retired former New Jersey employees were kicking around various issues of the day including where pension reform is at now and concluded:
Q: Gov. Christie has vowed to veto Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto’s pension reform plan unless it includes structural changes. Does this suggest we’ll have a pension stalemate for the rest of Christie’s term?
BYRNE: Not necessarily. They could come to an agreement.
KEAN: We can’t afford a pension stalemate. It’s unfair to pensioners, and catastrophic to the state budget. Right now some solutions are possible. But by the time a new governor arrives, those solutions will no longer work. So it’s imperative now that both sides stop shooting at each other and get in a room and talk.
Before that they should all go into a room and read this blog so their discussion would be informed but the big question is how would you get Christie into that room these days. I suggest:
- For convenience do it in New Hampshire; and
- Make this the proposal:
Fine-tune Sweeney’s idea of getting the federal government to give the NJ pension a $50 billion loan. Right now nobody in the rest of the country thinks it makes any sense but what if the president gets behind it? You see where I’m going with this?
Right now Christie has to make do with $11 million he extorts in part from people who sell the pension on alternative investments. That is not going to get it done against someone who has $8.7 billion to sink. But those numbers would quickly turn around if Christie could find a backer with $79.15 billion at their disposal.
It wouldn’t be the dumbest pension reform proposal New Jersey officials ever sold.