Steve Chapman on the Public Pension Crisis

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Burning dollar
Images_of_Money / Foter / CC BY

In state after state, elected officials have promised public employees retirement packages without securing the revenue needed to keep the promises. In Illinois, the state pegged its contributions below where they should have been for a long time. On top of that, lawmakers couldn't resist the temptation to borrow from the fund and skip contributions whenever it was convenient. Stanford University economist Joshua Rauh says that not only have the states not made progress on the issue overall, they have actually expanded the gaping canyon they dug. So when it comes to public pensions, writes Steve Chapman, elected officials have arrived at a formula that suits them well: Never do today what you can do tomorrow. And don't do it then, either.

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