Things have been awfully quiet on the PERS front for the past several weeks. With so much sturm und drang over PERS dominating the entire session, with so much media muckraking driving much of the discussion, with the heavy lobbying effort by the group FIX PERS NOW (and all its high profile backers, including the CEOs of nearly every major Oregon business and public utility), and the Governor's wish to be a lame duck, there is no shortage of speculation about where the next "shared" sacrifice will be coming from. If you were to hit the bookies on London street corners, the gaming parlors in Las Vegas, or Chinook Winds casino, you would probably find the oddsmakers taking bets that the next victims of the "draw and quarter" club will be (surprise!) PERS retirees who have, apparently not felt the cold steel of a loaded gun severely enough; they might be in line for another round of financial rape with further cuts to their COLA increase because, obviously, the pain of SB 822 hasn't been enough "shared sacrifice". The logic must be that if the legislature is going to be sued over cutting the retiree COLA anyway, why not go for more cuts. The litigation won't change, so, what the hell? Of course, that isn't enough for the blood-suckers in Salem, so the next candidates for a significant financial haircut will be those unretired, inactive PERS members. Obviously, they had the gall to leave, and thus don't deserve the benefits they were promised so lets cut THEIR projected benefit by roughly 37% by cutting the interest rate assumed for computing monthly retirement benefits. Apparently these fools think that because the inactives are not represented by any of the PERS Coalition partners, the inactives will have no labor or organizational support for litigating these cuts. I think that would be a bad assumption to make. There are more than inactives in the mix whose oxen will be gored by a change like this.
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