Cops and Firefighters, Not Taxpayers, Are Rescuing the Dallas Pension

As the Dallas Police and Fire Pension lurches toward a fix in Austin, who's really saving it? Not you and me.Public safety workers would shoulder most of the burden under the plan working through the Legislature —— despite Mayor Mike Rawlings' earlier complaints about "a taxpayer bailout."With deep cuts in benefits, higher contributions from pay and potential clawbacks, Dallas police and firefighters would cover about 75 percent of the costs of the pension rescue.That’s a stunning share, even if the split may seem justified given the fund’s history of mismanagement and deceit.It’s important to recognize the level of shared sacrifice in Dallas. Too often, police and firefighters have been criticized for the misdeeds of pension leaders. They’re victims in this, too, and must pay a steep price to start setting things right.It’s also likely that the pension fix will not be the last for the Dallas fund. So if city leaders and employees must revisit the issue, everyone should recall how much the police and fire gave in this round. Next time, taxpayers may have to pony up more.Before then, there's also work to do to restore the trust between first-responders and the mayor and others who supported the pension overhaul. Police and firefighters deserve respect, not just for the jobs they do, but for agreeing to carry the big load in the rescue.  Continue reading...

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