Vermont’s pension programs are grossly underfunded. This problem has been swelling for years, and promises to get worse. John Klar boldly promises to take this destructive economic force by the horns, knowing full well that tackling Vermont’s pension crisis is highly controversial.
Vermont’s pensions have grown as healthcare costs and teachers’ salaries have increased. But the Vermont Legislature has failed to provide the funding of Vermont pensions to back up promises to teachers and state workers. This means that when Vermont’s pensions go belly-up, teachers and state retirees will be pitted in conflict against already-burdened taxpayers. Either the Vermont pension guarantees will be kept (and taxes will spike sharply); or teachers and other beneficiaries will go unpaid. This is a lose-lose scenario, and the longer this problem goes unresolved, the more difficult resolution will become.
The national economy will not thrive forever, and even now shows signs of declining. This will make it even more difficult to overcome Vermont’s pension deficiencies, and will strain other fiscal needs. It will also pressure investment rating agencies to further downgrade Vermont’s credit rating.
John Klar has experience advising other businesses, as a tax attorney and attorney. His knowledge of accounting, economics, and tax policy are the source of his awareness of how severe Vermont’s pension crisis has become -- it is a crisis.
While Vermont’s out-of-touch bureaucrats launch more regulations and taxes which will burden Vermont’s economy even further, the pension and education spending expands exponentially, and becomes even more unsustainable. While many protest about a climate emergency, Vermont’s pensions demonstrate the more imminent threat -- an economic emergency.
Accountability and integrity in Vermont government is imperative NOW if Vermonters and their children are to have any future economic balance. John Klar is bravely ringing the alarm, while others are pandering to populist hysteria about climate change. Vermont can hardly save the planet from carbon dioxide, if it can’t even balance its own budget. This begins with the Vermont pension system.