Future Shock

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Read/Download the full policy brief


Since its inception in 2003, the Bluegrass Institute has helped Kentuckians hold government accountable by making its actions more transparent and understandable. Topics have ranged from tax hikes, an impending Medicaid financial crisis, benefits and barriers to digital learning, public charter schools and smoking bans to name a few.

Kentucky’s public employee pension deficit is like no other subject covered in our prior research. The abuse of power exercised by judges and legislators is breathtaking. They have worked together to line their own pockets with taxpayer dollars through lavish pensions for part-time work.

Politicians also have solidified their power bases through the inclusion of dozens of quasi-government agencies and private-sector positions across the state. For instance, taxpayers are being forced to provide pensions to staff employees of the Kentucky Education Association (a private teachers’ union) and other private companies, including a credit union, several attorneys in private practice and not- for-profit organizations.

The Bluegrass Institute will release a series of reports over the next several weeks explaining:

  • how Kentucky’s pension mess started and grew
  • who the players are and who voted for the bills
  • gross abuse of the public pension system
  • solutions based on free-market principles

Today we release a condensed view of this research of Kentucky’s pension situation. We will introduce a few public pension basics and identify some of the quasi-government agencies and private entities included in the taxpayer-backed employee pension plans. The Bluegrass Institute believes these groups belong exclusively in the private sector and should not be allowed to participate in our public pension and health care plans.

See Also