When a legislator lies and obfuscates in an attempt to deflect responsibility, we automatically assume they’re more corrupt than Steve Henry or Julian Carroll.
So get a load of what Brent Yonts had to say recently:
Lawmakers and many of you want to know who, exactly, is to blame for the pension mess. Well, according to consultant Dr. Josh McGee with the Arnold Foundation, blame cannot be assigned. When the economy does not perform as well as assumed, costs rise. And costs rise when revenues are falling, he said, which make it difficult for legislators to choose between fully funding pensions–as we should–and other essential budget priorities.
Unfortunately for Yonts, who is on a plausible deniability tour with the “task force,” he’s sorely mistaken. People in attendance of those meetings say McGee didn’t make those specific claims. And even if he did, he’s completely wrong/lying through his teeth.
Frankfort legislators are 100% to blame. The state legislature has consistently chosen to underfund and raid the pension system. It doesn’t help that they, legislators, established a cost of living allowance that can’t be funded – by law – from their current budget allocations.
Since 2005, state legislators like Brent Yonts have underfunded Kentucky Retirement Systems by $948 million. They’ve also maintained a cost of living adjustments program that KRS was forced to carry as a long-term liability that amounts to $995 million.
Take a look:
CLICK TO ENLARGE
Note: The above screengrab was taken from page 55 of this document (Warning: PDF Link).
It doesn’t help matters that for years KRS has lost hundreds of millions of dollars in potential investment returns. All thanks to state legislators like Brent Yonts who have consistently caused a shortfall in annually required contributions.
So just in case you were wondering why Brent Yonts and many other legislators in Frankfort are flat-out lying about? There’s part of it. Brent Yonts and other legislators are absolutely to blame for the pension disaster.