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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

How To Save Taxpayer Dollars -- Big Time

The State of Minnesota also happens to be Minnesota's biggest employer. Some of the most generous benefits in all of human history go with the territory. Big pensions, big salaries, big medical care. Well, all that should be changing.

What we've constantly heard through the years is that the State has to pay these kind of benefits to stay competitive with private industry. OK. I'll buy that.

One of the state's biggest private employers recently announced that it will no longer carry a pension benefit for new employees. Big employers like Ford are cutting back. And Northwest Airlines has little choice but to cut back. Seems only logical that the state will follow suit, saving taxpayer dollars.

I understand that the State of Minnesota Retirement System is holding some $55 billion. That treasure trove could ease the taxpayers pocket book in a big way. Or pay for many projects.

Funny though. Have you seen the state's new "Pension Palace" on Empire Street? What a fitting street name. The palace is so big and fabulous that most of the Secretary of State offices were moved there, occupying just a tiny corner.

I am so certain that the legislature will see the logic of cutting back on state pensions and benefits that I am going to hold my breath until they take action. Here goes ...

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