PERA BucksIt’s too bad that the PERA Bucks, a gimmick by pro-union advocates, aren’t actual dollars to help the insolvent Colorado state pension fund. Instead, PERA Bucks is part of “We Are PERA”, a project Secure PERA to raise awareness of the money that state workers have to burn. We’re rich! is apparently the message from the state employees union.  We’ve included a picture to the right.

This scheme begs for someone to ask: Isn’t using monopoly money lookalikes to support an insolvent pension system really just reminding people that the system is not sound? Did anyone really think this through?  The PERA Bucks read: “This purchase was made with public employee retirement dollars. Colorado’s retired public employees spend $3.2 billion annually supporting Colorado’s economy.”

Denver Post columnist and radio personality Mike Rosen pulled no punches in his description of this campaign:

“This message is an insult to your intelligence. PERA retirees spend as much as they do precisely because of the huge tax burden they impose on private-sector taxpayers to benefit their own retirement. If that burden weren’t so high, those private-sector taxpayers would be spending more of their own money supporting our economy.”

Perhaps not coincidentally, this hilarious campaign to rid taxpayers of their extra hard-earned funds was developed by the very same folks who are running the Jeffco School Board recalls as well as trying to breathe some life in the floundering teachers union down in Douglas County – Strategies 360.

Here’s another punch to this campaign from Rosen:

“In a letter to PERA retirees, Lynea Hansen, executive director of Secure PERA, says, ‘State employees are under attack by special interests who want to end pension systems. They don’t fully understand we worked hard for our retirement.’ This is arrogantly ironic, given that the more than 500,000 self-serving PERA members are the most expensive special interest in the state. The ‘special interests’ she refers to are private-sector Colorado taxpayers who must work that much harder to transfer their income to PERA retirees.”

It’s funny that Strategies 360 would swear on their mothers’ graves that the Jeffco recalls aren’t run by special interests (ahem, the teachers union that they also represent), but that taxpayers are special interests.

Perhaps someone should help these folks out with the definition of “special interests”.