Shaunna O'Connell's Small Government Proposal that took Third Place in Summit Contest Goes After Government Employee Pensions

Shaunna O'Connell, third place winner of the First Summit for Small Government Proposals Contest held June 6, 2009 in Newton, Massachusetts, offered a bold proposal to "eliminate, not just reform, the entire state pension system." She notes that the current taxpayer-funded retirement benefits package for government employees is unsustainable.

Ms. O'Connell calls for "current and future state employees to do what we all have to do: Fund or own 401ks and pay our own way." Ms. O'Connell estimates that this will cut state spending by $8 billion immediately, and save tens of billions of dollars in future spending.

What's in it for the taxpayer? End the Massachusetts income tax. Our estimates during our 2008 initiative to end the income tax ("Question 1" on the ballot) put $3,700 back in the pockets of the average taxpayer.

Ms. O'Connell notes that this will allow Massachusetts workers to keep more of the money they earn to invest, which will enable families to be financially independent.

Shaunna O'Connell's proposal strikes at one of the biggest budget busters facing every state government, not just Massachusetts. Government employee retirement packages are a staggering liability that will only get worse the longer politicians continue to feed it — and refuse to bring it in line with the private sector.

Congratulates to Shaunna O'Connell and the team of Summit participants who helped her formulate this proposal for her award-winning presentation.