From The Lexington Herald-Leader: Trump has a wall. Bevin has a pension plan. Both are bad fixes to exaggerated crises.


Every populist politician needs a problem he can exaggerate into a crisis. Then he needs an idea — no matter how simplistic or misguided — to sell as a solution to that crisis so frightened voters will rally around him.

With President Donald Trump, the phony crisis is immigration, which has been declining for years but still scares the bejesus out of many white conservatives. Trump’s simplistic, misguided solution is a wall on the Mexico border, which no credible research has found would solve the problem or be worth the huge cost.

With Gov. Matt Bevin, it is unfunded public pension liabilities, which he hysterically claims have put Kentucky on the brink of financial collapse. He insists this crisis can’t be solved without switching virtually all state employees from traditional defined-benefit pension plans to riskier 401k-style defined-contribution plans.

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