Pensions, or Poverty for Kentuckians, Poverty for Kentucky
Joseph W. Brennan, D.S.W., M.Div.
By now, we have all heard of the story of the dead elephant in the middle of the room, the one that everyone knows is there, but doesn't want to admit it. Therapists often use this as an example of supreme denial. If no one recognizes it, then it does not exist. Kentucky is currently housing such an animal, a penniless pachyderm named Pensions, or Mr. P for short. He has several names the Kentucky Employees Retirement System sometimes known as KERS, or CERS the County Employees Retirement System, or KTRS the Kentucky Teachers Retirement System. No matter what the family name the condition is all the same - malnutrition. Time is calling Mr. P. to his final demise.
In the past, Mr. P. could survive on the accumulated fat that he had depended on over the years, but now even that will not save him. Unfortunately, over the years all those funds that were meant to support him were diverted to other places. They called it "balancing the budget", but was the budget really being balanced? Not if you asked Mr. P. . All this was kept a secret, those who knew weren't saying, or kept it a secret. And so Mr. P's condition only got worse year after year. His handlers were paid a tidy sum for his upkeep, and they even hired some "specialists" to assist them. But all these funds - a veritable fortune - were never used to directly care for Mr. P., their first obligation. He was ultimately forgotten. Soon the funds ran dry, and so did Mr. P..
But now, the time has come for Mr. P. to make his appearance. It must be revealed that those who were deceitful said his condition was robust, those "trusted handlers", have really mistreated him. But poor emaciated Mr. P. knows the true story. Will those who mishandled him now be called upon to answer for his frail condition? Will those who thought their funds were being well spent now have to dig deeper into their pockets ? We are not talking peanuts here, but real money. Can anything be done to save Mr. P. in his last hours? "Hey buddy, can you spare me a billion"?