I’ve been surprised to find my opinion of the Providence Journal commentary pages falling under the editorship of Ed Achorn, but this is a terrific editorial note following a letter to the editor by a retiree in the state pension system, in which she complains about the unfairness of limited cost of living adjustments (COLAs):
The writer retired at 58 from the Bristol Warren Regional School District as a secretary, then went to work in the private sector for 11 years.
The context is especially relevant because in the letter Kathleen Moran insists: “If the governor has money to pay for tuition for students, who as well as their parents, are able to work, she should pay retirees COLA, as some are not able to work.” To fill in some details, Moran retired in 2000 having contributed all of $22,011 toward her pension, and by the end of the 2014 fiscal year, she’d already collected $227,538. That is, she was coming pretty close to getting back her total investment every single year.
Now, I don’t support the tuition plan, but mainly because Rhode Islanders shouldn’t succumb to the ideology that says government is their way to take what they want from other people. Indeed, we’re overdue to get fed up with the sense of entitlement among those who already hold that belief.