Letter to the Editor | Vote like your retirement depends on it

Published 2:18 pm Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Dear Editor,

Next month the voters will make a very important decision when they choose the person to represent them in the Kentucky House of Representatives. One of the candidates is my son, Robert Gullette III. I have helped him in his campaign, but not just because I am a proud and loving father. I am also a state employee, who is married to a teacher, and I fear that neither my wife nor I will ever be able to retire. If you or a loved one is under either of the state retirement systems, please read this before you vote.

As the Democratic majority in the Kentucky House of Representatives has kicked the retirement can down the road, Kentucky has reached a disturbing milestone. In a new report released just last month, our retirement system is now the worst funded in the entire nation. The promise extended to state employees, teachers, police officers and city and county workers literally hangs in the balance. The latest figures show that the two main retirement systems (Kentucky Retirement System & Kentucky Teachers Retirement System) are 35.2 billion dollars ($35,200,000,000.00) underfunded. Governor Bevins’ Facebook page shows the extent of the problem in two very interesting ways. To fully fund these essential systems it would cost over $7,983.00 from every man, woman and child living in the Commonwealth. Or put another way, if you could have bought seven $55,000 Chevrolet Corvettes every day since the Commonwealth of Kentucky was formed on June 1, 1792, you would still not have spent even close to the amount of money needed to meet these obligations. My son’s opponent, Russ Meyer, fought the Governor in the spring session when he tried to take historic steps to correct this problem. Instead, Russ voted with liberal Greg Stumbo and his minions. Rob will not do so. He will work with the current administration to begin the long path toward financial stability in these systems. He will also work for transparency so that the members of these systems can track its expense and progress. Remember, teachers, since you pay no social security, the state’s retirement is your ONLY retirement.

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The voters might be interested to know why Russ Meyer can be so cavalier in regards to this issue. It is because as a state representative, his retirement is in neither of these troubled funds. Instead, it was put into the state’s Judge’s Retirement System. By the way, the Herald Leader reported in June of this year that the fund is not only fully funded, but it grew 3.1 percent during the last year. But don’t try to find these figures on your own because this fund is shrouded in even more secrecy than the other two.

Please vote on November 8th and vote like you want to retire some day. I know my wife and I do.

Robert Gullette, Jr.


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