Today, the biggest challenge we must meet is the one we present to ourselves. To not become a nation that places entitlement ahead of accomplishment. To not become a country that places comfortable lies ahead of difficult truths. To not become a people that thinks so little of ourselves that we demand no sacrifice from each other.
One state retiree, 49 years old, paid, over the course of his entire career, a total of $124,000 towards his retirement pension and health benefits. What will we pay him? $3.3 million in pension payments over his life and nearly $500,000 for health care benefits - a total of $3.8m on a $120,000 investment.
They said it was impossible to touch the third rail of politics, to take on public-sector unions and to reform a pension and health benefits system that was headed to bankruptcy. But with bipartisan leadership, we saved taxpayers $132 billion dollars over 30 years and saved retirees their pensions. We did it.