Double-dipping legislators

The Rio Grande Foundation has been a leader in bringing attention to New Mexico’s pension problems. Dan Boyd of the Albuquerque Journal recently wrote an interesting column on legislators and their “double-dipping” in the State’s pension system in which he quotes me. Rob Nikolewski over at Capitol Report New Mexico has an excellent overview of the situation as well.

The problem is real and demands reform. However, the problem is inherent in New Mexico’s pension system and the fact that it is underfunded and unsustainable. I would have zero problem with legislators (or anyone else) “double dipping” if they actually owned and managed their own retirement savings in a 401K-type account. Far from being a crazy idea, Michigan has done this and has saved taxpayers billions of dollars while giving government workers personal ownership and control over their retirements.

Michigan’s reforms have also eliminated many controversies over pension problems like the one outlined above.