Old friend (and former ProJo reporter) Mike Corkery of the Wall Street Journal has broken a very interesting Rhode Island pension story. As first picked up by the sharp-eyed Ted Nesi of WRPI_TV, Corkery’s story reveals that a Texas Enron trader billionaire is a hefty contributor to the Engage Rhode Island pension overhaul advocacy group that has been championed by State General Treasurer Gina Raimondo.
Once upon a time, politicians across the land found a magical formula for achieving popularity. They kept public employees’ pay low, enabling low tax rates (hooray!); to make up for the low pay, they promised fat pensions down the road (huzzah!). The pensions were funded by gimmicks and wishful thinking. But that would be a problem for future politicians to reckon with.