Skip to main content

Action needs to be taken on the state pension crisis

06/25/2014 09:42AM, Published by ACL, Categories: In Print, Opinion


Letter to the Editor:

As lawmakers in Harrisburg get serious about crafting a new state budget with a June 30 deadline approaching, they have an opportunity to also take action to address the top financial problem facing the Commonwealth, the escalating state pension crisis.  

The mounting unfunded liability of nearly $50 billion threatens the state’s economy, its citizens and future generations.  The staggering pension problem should concern all Pennsylvanians, especially landowners and homeowners who could experience substantial property tax increases to fund the school pension system.

Our beef is not, nor has it ever been, with existing public employees. In many cases these employees are our spouses, siblings and children. We do not want to take away any benefit they have paid into the system or have earned. In fact, employees are the only ones who have consistently contributed their share to the state systems. 

But farmers, who require large amounts of land to run their businesses, are extremely vulnerable.  Significant property tax increases could threaten the very existence of some farms, which typically operate on tight profit margins. 

Passing the buck on the pension crisis is no longer an option.  Lawmakers need to demonstrate leadership and take action now.  Aside from growing the pension debt, doing nothing has also hurt the state’s credit rating.  So when the Commonwealth borrows money, it pays a higher interest rate. 

With more money being diverted to cover pension costs, other vital programs will be underfunded as part of the budget process. The reality is this: higher taxes, fewer services and stagnant economic activity will be the norm in Pennsylvania for years to come, if lawmakers fail to address the pension problem now.

Last year, lawmakers from both parties worked together to pass a desperately needed transportation funding bill, it is now time for a bipartisan effort to tackle the pension crisis.                                                        


Carl T. Shaffer

President, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau



budget farming taxes pension pennsylvania farm bureau farmers


You might also like

High taxes are killing Oxford growth

Uncle Irv for the week of July 9, 2014.

Four Years of Corbett/Lawrence budgets: A failed record

Four Years of Corbett/Lawrence budgets: A failed record

Public education advocates urge state lawmakers to pass severance tax

More than a third of districts plan to cut, reduce or charge students fees to participate in 220 extracurricular and sports programs.

  • Annual Fall Family Fun Day and Craft Fair

    09/20/2014
    09:00am — 04:00pm

    Nottingham Presbyterian Church hosts a family fun day and craft fair annually on the third Saturd...


  • Nottingham Presbyterian Church

    09/20/2014
    09:00am — 04:00pm

    A fun day for the entire family. Come out and enjoy great food, unique crafts, free entertainmen...


  • Zoo Yoga: OM’ing Otters

    09/20/2014
    09:15am — 10:15am

    (Ages 4-7 years old) Weekly Saturdays or Sundays, September-November (Classes held in the Educati...


  • International Red Panda Day

    09/20/2014
    10:00am — 01:00pm

    Become a Red Panda Ranger! A Red Panda Ranger is a special title given to a child who has learned...


  • Celebrate Johnny Appleseed’s Birthday at Milburn Orchards this weekend! Share a piece of his birt...


  • Saturday Zoo Tales

    09/20/2014
    10:30am — 11:00am

    Join us for a fun, animal or nature themed story and a visit from one of our fun program animals!...


  • Open Hive Day

    09/20/2014
    10:30am — 12:00pm

    Join TLC apiarist, Dan Borkoski, for an inside look at the busy buzzy world of honeybees. Partici...


  • Harvest Day Cookout

    09/20/2014
    11:30am — 06:30pm

    The fall is approaching and this means one thing - The 45th Annual Yardley Harvest Day is right a...


  • Goo Fest

    09/20/2014
    02:00pm — 05:00pm

    As part of North Star Orchard's Adventure in Flavor tasting series, you are invited to Goo Fest! ...


  • Brews for Books

    09/20/2014
    06:00pm — 09:00pm

    Sample fine craft beers with friends and support public libraries at Brews for Books, a craft bee...


  • Kennett Flash schedule

    09/20/2014
    08:00pm

    The following acts are scheduled to perform at the Kennett Flash (101 Sycamore Alley, Kennett Squ...


  • Celebrate Johnny Appleseed’s Birthday at Milburn Orchards this weekend! Share a piece of his birt...


  • Taste Kennett Food Tours

    09/21/2014
    01:00pm — 04:00pm

    Taste Kennett Food Tours, creators of memorable, unique and fun food experiences, offer three-hou...


  • Writing Baseball

    09/21/2014
    02:00pm

    What happens when baseball leaves the field and swirls around in the imaginations of great writer...


It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

  • Annual Fall Family Fun Day and Craft Fair

    09/20/2014
    09:00am — 04:00pm

    Nottingham Presbyterian Church hosts a family fun day and craft fair annually on the third Saturd...


  • Nottingham Presbyterian Church

    09/20/2014
    09:00am — 04:00pm

    A fun day for the entire family. Come out and enjoy great food, unique crafts, free entertainmen...


  • Zoo Yoga: OM’ing Otters

    09/20/2014
    09:15am — 10:15am

    (Ages 4-7 years old) Weekly Saturdays or Sundays, September-November (Classes held in the Educati...


  • International Red Panda Day

    09/20/2014
    10:00am — 01:00pm

    Become a Red Panda Ranger! A Red Panda Ranger is a special title given to a child who has learned...


  • Celebrate Johnny Appleseed’s Birthday at Milburn Orchards this weekend! Share a piece of his birt...


  • Saturday Zoo Tales

    09/20/2014
    10:30am — 11:00am

    Join us for a fun, animal or nature themed story and a visit from one of our fun program animals!...


  • Open Hive Day

    09/20/2014
    10:30am — 12:00pm

    Join TLC apiarist, Dan Borkoski, for an inside look at the busy buzzy world of honeybees. Partici...


  • Harvest Day Cookout

    09/20/2014
    11:30am — 06:30pm

    The fall is approaching and this means one thing - The 45th Annual Yardley Harvest Day is right a...


Chester County High School Sports