Published DateTo the editor,
I thank Mr. Sanborn for his views on the conduct of the Belknap County Delegation in taking initiatives to control county spending. In his second letter he said; "...every Belknap County voter who participated in the last election indicated a choice for who they wanted to run the county".
'A few weeks ago, you published my letter explaining how Obama needed to do nothing to achieve most of his political agendas on the developing currency and debt crises before the phony deadline of 1/1/13. I explained that the Republicans had actually lost the last election and had no leverage to stop what has now become near $800 billion in revenue enhancements scheduled over the next 10 years. Fortunately the federal government can continue printing money to make up for the other 90 percent of the annual federal deficit spending, that does not address.
So let me remind Mr. Sanborn who won the last election in Belknap County. Regardless of how the rest of the state and the nation went, Belknap County overwhelmingly elected Republicans to the State Legislature. Most who voted for them expected, exclusive of the NHRS pension fiasco, that they would be voting for fiscally conservative agendas. So the delegation in my view is doing what they were elected to do.
Much of what they have to do on total compensations for employees stems from their inability to solve or even have any willingness to EFFECTIVELY address, the failing NHRS Trust Fund funding levels. If you look at the total in increased pension contributions (as cited in The Sun on Jan. 5) projected for this next fiscal year for the City of Laconia you can see that the cost is $35K more for the educators who are near 80 percent of the city work force, than for the rest of the employees of the town. Contribution increases in the current 3-year-plan to increase contributions as a patch on the Retirement Trust Fund go up at approximately twice the rate for what NHRS categorizes as Group 2s vs the salary-only employees as educators, categorized as group 1s. So there are substantial increases to county employees compensations over these last twp years and into the next year when these increases are to continue but then are SUPPOSED to end.
Unfortunately the ratio of Group Twos to Group Ones working at the county level is near an inverse of what the towns have when they count their educators. Even more unfortunate is that the NHRS has over the last 10-15 years lost about 7 percent of the contributions and their pre-2007 earnings in the trust fund of the current annuitants. The annuitants that went on pension +10 years ago are outliving the actuarial longevity expectations of those award dates. The new pensions are not defined to be against what the trust fund will be able to pay but as against their definitions NOT being PROGRESSIVELY reduced to what can be paid. So most of these current higher contributions are paying for what the current pensioners should be getting if the NHRS had earned instead of lost money.
Addressing the NHRS fiascos should be a primary bi-partisan effort by these same delegates of both political parties to the county convention on forming their agendas in Concord.
Mr. Sanborn's group might suppose that the taxpayers are a bottomless pit of money and will eventually have to cough it up for this non-feasance. They are in no mood for PROGRESSIVE cuts to pension awards that would diminish an award of a $12K pension by 2 percent. The Republican's have as their core constituency the annuitants that only make up 20 percent of all annuitants but receive more than 50 percent of the NHRS annual gross distributions. Those annuitants collecting the portions of their earnings on their contributions as if they were earned when there was instead money lost are now raiding the ever increasing contributions of our current employee NHRS participants. Republicans are in no mood to have their constituency hit with +15 percent cuts to +$50K new pension awards. This all would be judged criminal if it were not a public pension plan. The $4.8 BILLION in current under funding in this Ponzi scheme dwarfs the FRM scandal.
Please Mr. Sanborn, explain to us how any pension OVER $50K not backed by adequate and performing assets, is a pension and not a winning megabucks ticket? Or worse a continuing raid on active employee's pension contributions and taxpayer wallets. Where is money going to come from to just make these 7 percent to 12 percent annual increases in the pension contribution portion of county employee's compensations, now and going into the out years? These pension obligations as CURRENTLY DEFINED are a statutory obligation?
'Thomas Jefferson wrote: "The laws of necessity, of self-preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of higher obligation. To lose our country by a scrupulous adherence to the written law, would be to lose the law itself, with life, liberty, property and all those who are enjoying them with us; thus absurdly sacrificing the ends to the means".
Mr. Sanborn, would like to sacrifice the outcome of the recent elections in Belknap County and attempt to sustain what is unsustainable? He would like to see our lives, liberty, and property unreasonably burdened by the further unchecked escalation in the costs of county government? In my opinion, that is NOT how the voters of Belknap County recently voted.