New Jersey: Pensions/benefits bill

I believe that the dual reform, as agreed upon by Christie and Sweeney, will pass.

I also believe that the pension reform must be done by legislation and that the health benefits reform must be done by negotiations – if necessary by opening negotiations now on those contracts that still have years in effect.

But perhaps, with the current fractional system of government; 1 state, 21 counties, 560+ municipalities, almost 600 school districts, and as many authorities and commissions, there is no choice but to reform the health benefits through legislation now and then, later on, after a drastic reduction of government subdivisions, perhaps health benefits can be re-opened to negotiations.

Had the two parties governed responsibly and exhibited a minimum of foresight during the last 15 years, the present crisis would not have happened.

Had governor Christie arrived in office with a different approach toward the unions and their members, a constructive atmosphere of negotiations could have been achieved to solve these difficulties.

Instead, we have the greatest divide since the civil war.

There is no substitute for deliberate thought.