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Ethical Retirement
Letter to the Editor
Wednesday, February 15, 2012 • Posted February 15, 2012

Dear Gerry,

I am perturbed to learn that at a time our state government is finding it increasingly unlikely that the future of the Texas state retirement system will be able to pay out what it has committed to retiring employees in the future, that our governor (who makes some $150,000.00 a year) is also taking his retirement pay early – that is, before he is ‘retired.’ In addition to his regular pay he is now reported to be taking an additional ‘retirement’ income of some $92,000.00 a year – which for some people is enough to live on all by itself.To be fair, the governor does not seem to be alone in this since another 180 or so state employees making more than $100,000.00 a year, also are reported to be doing the same thing — I guess they think there is safety in numbers. All this at a time when the state is finding it necessary to cut funding to critical services such as K-12 education and funding for state universities and Medicaid.It seems that we are now seeing the same ethical rules applied within our Texas government that we saw on Wall Street during the run up to the bond collapse in 2008 – that is, things may get tight in future so get yours (or is this ours?) while the getting is good. My question, when it comes to public servant income, is how come? When the elected custodians of our public treasury are dipping into the fund, there is little wonder there is doubt about the state’s ability to pay ‘regular’ working public servants at the end of their working life.These days I take considerable comfort in the knowledge that I live in Mason where people are both sane and honest, and perfectly willing to earn their living honorably through hard work.

Michael Murphy

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