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Free Minds & Free Markets

Can Public Pensions Survive the Next Recession?

"Public pension systems may be more vulnerable to an economic downturn than they have ever been."

A decade of consistent economic growth lifted the major stock market indices to all-time highs in 2018. But even before the recent dip, many state pension plans were struggling to get back to where they were before the last recession. Unfunded pension debt across the 50 states totals a staggering $1.6 trillion, even by the plans' own (often overly rosy) accounting.

If a decade of positive investment returns can't fix what's wrong with America's public pension systems, how much worse could things get in the event of another downturn? That's what Greg Mennis, Susan Banta, and David Draine, three researchers at the Harvard Kennedy School, set out to determine. They subjected state pension plans to a series of stress tests meant to simulate the consequences of a variety of adverse economic climates over the next two decades, including everything from another major recession to merely lower-than-expected investment growth.

What they found isn't pretty.

"Public pension systems may be more vulnerable to an economic downturn than they have ever been," the trio of researchers concluded in a paper published by the Pew Charitable Trusts in 2018. Deeply indebted pension plans in places such as Kentucky and New Jersey face insolvency if annual returns average 5 percent for the foreseeable future rather than the higher (usually around 7 percent) rates the plans assume. In other words, it won't take much to tip those systems into bankruptcy.

If a major downturn does come, states such as Colorado, Ohio, and Pennsylvania—which are closer to the national average in terms of how well-funded their pensions are—could require "contributions that may be unaffordable" to avoid insolvency.

One of the only states that seems ready to survive fiscal troubles is Wisconsin, where the combination of low existing debt and a 401(k)-style defined benefit plan means unexpected costs would be manageable and shared between employees and taxpayers.

Mennis, Banta, and Draine argue convincingly that stress tests provide a better snapshot of the health of a state pension system than more traditional methods, such as looking at aggregate unfunded liabilities or the funding ratio—that is, the percentage of future liabilities projected to be covered by a combination of future contributions, taxes, and investment earnings. Those metrics can be gamed by making unreasonable assumptions of future investment growth, but stress testing is a reminder that the good times won't keep rolling forever.

Connecticut, Hawaii, New Jersey, and Virginia have passed legislation or adopted policy changes mandating annual stress-testing of public pension plans, while California and Washington have created informal guidelines establishing similar processes. More states should do the same.

Photo Credit: DebbiSmirnoff/iStock

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  • michaelcostello||

    Very good for articel

  • Trollificus||

    Maybe the legislators in the various states who have participated in these "What Could Possibly Go Wrong?" Pension Plans should click on www.geosalary.com!! If they and all their lackeys could easily make $5306/weeks they could put a dent in that shortfall pretty quickly!!

  • JesseAz||

    Public pensions can't survive 3% growth. A recession is a death sentence.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    You know that they're going to cry to the federal govt. to use taxpayer money to bail them out.

  • ||

    They were already planning on using taxpayer money to pay the damn pensions. Only it was just local residents' taxes.

  • Curly4||

    As long a public workers are on a state or county or city or school district pensions system no it will not survive. Now if these workers were were given a percentage of their salaries and that was deposited in a retirement account it will. If each employee was given the opportunity to contribute to the same account then their retirement will be much more. As it is where the political entity is paying the retirement distribution out of taxes soon the distribution will be greater than the tax base can support and still fund the function of government especially where the benefits have been made very generous for political reasons.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Coming soon: pension plan hunger games. Take out one of your plan pensioners, and you get 10% of their benefits (and the state cancels the other 90%). Plus TV and ad revenue.

  • Kevin Smith||

    10% bonus for multi-kill medals, 1% per for killstreaks

  • Fancylad||

    Plan B: Screw their pensions and convert them into Avoxes.

  • Trollificus||

    *sigh*

    Why are the most logical and effective policy suggestions so frequently morally horrifying?

  • vek||

    This is true.

    When trying to explain to bleeding heart types that the most "nice" choice is often not the best PRACTICAL choice I use extreme examples. Like the fact that euthanizing mentally handicapped people would obviously be the best choice, the same for the elderly once their health slips, etc.

    I then say "Of course we shouldn't do those things, but often times small things that perhaps aren't the very nicest are vastly more practical."

    But being a hard ass is usually the best practical choice. We need to bring back more masculine thinking. All the feminine feel good thinking is bringing our society to the brink of collapse.

  • Vernon Depner||

    Yeah, Western Civilization was a blast until Jesus ruined everything.

  • vek||

    I don't know if you're trolling or not... But yeah, kinda.

    Hell even as far as Judeo-Christian stuff, the old school Jewish parts of the bible are where it's at!

    Jesus was too much of a bleeding heart pussy IMO. The pagan religions of Europe were cooler by far... How is Thor or Zeus not WAY more awesome than anything in the bible? But also more realistic and practical. The gods themselves were imperfect, and they accepted things were not black and white. They were also down for being harsh. Which is what the old testament had going for it. Old Testament God was down to fuck shit up, conquer countries, slay your enemies, etc.

    It's not cool to be an asshole all the time... But it has its time and place. Being excessively nice is perhaps the greatest problem in the western world today. In trying to be overly nice to every fuck up in society, and help every crap country in the world, we're destroying our own well being. Sometimes you gotta give people tough love and make them sort their own shit out. It leaves you AND them better off in the long run.

  • vek||

    I don't know if you're trolling or not... But yeah, kinda.

    Hell even as far as Judeo-Christian stuff, the old school Jewish parts of the bible are where it's at!

    Jesus was too much of a bleeding heart pussy IMO. The pagan religions of Europe were cooler by far... How is Thor or Zeus not WAY more awesome than anything in the bible? But also more realistic and practical. The gods themselves were imperfect, and they accepted things were not black and white. They were also down for being harsh. Which is what the old testament had going for it. Old Testament God was down to fuck shit up, conquer countries, slay your enemies, etc.

    It's not cool to be an asshole all the time... But it has its time and place. Being excessively nice is perhaps the greatest problem in the western world today. In trying to be overly nice to every fuck up in society, and help every crap country in the world, we're destroying our own well being. Sometimes you gotta give people tough love and make them sort their own shit out. It leaves you AND them better off in the long run.

  • vek||

    I don't know if you're trolling or not... But yeah, kinda.

    Hell even as far as Judeo-Christian stuff, the old school Jewish parts of the bible are where it's at!

    Jesus was too much of a bleeding heart pussy IMO. The pagan religions of Europe were cooler by far... How is Thor or Zeus not WAY more awesome than anything in the bible? But also more realistic and practical. The gods themselves were imperfect, and they accepted things were not black and white. They were also down for being harsh. Which is what the old testament had going for it. Old Testament God was down to fuck shit up, conquer countries, slay your enemies, etc.

    It's not cool to be an asshole all the time... But it has its time and place. Being excessively nice is perhaps the greatest problem in the western world today. In trying to be overly nice to every fuck up in society, and help every crap country in the world, we're destroying our own well being. Sometimes you gotta give people tough love and make them sort their own shit out. It leaves you AND them better off in the long run.

  • vek||

    I don't know if you're trolling or not... But yeah, kinda.

    Hell even as far as Judeo-Christian stuff, the old school Jewish parts of the bible are where it's at!

    Jesus was too much of a bleeding heart pussy IMO. The pagan religions of Europe were cooler by far... How is Thor or Zeus not WAY more awesome than anything in the bible? But also more realistic and practical. The gods themselves were imperfect, and they accepted things were not black and white. They were also down for being harsh. Which is what the old testament had going for it. Old Testament God was down to fuck shit up, conquer countries, slay your enemies, etc.

    It's not cool to be an asshole all the time... But it has its time and place. Being excessively nice is perhaps the greatest problem in the western world today. In trying to be overly nice to every fuck up in society, and help every crap country in the world, we're destroying our own well being. Sometimes you gotta give people tough love and make them sort their own shit out. It leaves you AND them better off in the long run.

  • vek||

    FUCKING SQUIRRELS!

  • tommyguns2||

    Ingenious. That's what I call a creative solution! LOL

  • JFree||

    All pensions need to be reformed as part of a larger reworking of what 'retirement' means.

    Chances of that happening = 0%

  • Vernon Depner||

    Are we talking woodchippers?

  • JWatts||

    This article needs a link to the results.

    https://goo.gl/7xUffv

  • 68W58||

    Thanks for adding the link.

  • Longtobefree||

    The stress factor applied was assuming continued democratic politicians getting elected.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I don't know if public pensions can survive the next Trump recession, but they could survive an Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recession because progressives care about people.

    P.S. I thought were recessions were impossible now because Obama and Warren fixed the banks with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau?

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    Indeed, Obama created the strongest economy in the history of this country. What he could not have foreseen, though, was Russia hacking the election to install their intelligence asset Drumpf. Whether through incompetence or on Putin's orders, he proceeded to wreck the global economy just as Paul Krugman predicted.

    #DrumpfRecession
    #UnbanPalinsButtplug

  • Trollificus||

    @OpenBordersLiberal-tarian

    As a totes non-Russian bot myself, I can only say, Da, comrade!

    #orangemanbad

  • creech||

    The new ideological faces of the Dem Party are bound and determined to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. At least the old grifters like the Clintons, Biden, Reid saw some limits to what could be plucked.

  • Ken Shultz||

    The only way forward is through forced sacrifice and self-flagellation. Oh, and soaking the rich.

    And anyone who doesn't understand that is a science denying redneck.

  • ||

    Go long on sackcloth and ashes then. :)

  • Ken Shultz||

    We're still a very religious nation. It's just that our religion isn't centered on the supernatural anymore. However, it's still about faith and sacrifice. Our sins are racism, homophobia, and sexism--and worst of all selfishness--defined as the refusal to sacrifice for others.

    This is what it means to be pious today. This is what it means to be a progressive. It's a religion.

  • Sevo||

    Ken Shultz|1.26.19 @ 7:50PM|#
    "We're still a very religious nation..."

    We are a very religious *world* to the detriment of humanity.
    There are those who bow to 'mother earth', as if that were a concept expressible in objective terms. Similarly, many yet worship at the church of "equality" as if that were some value which is self-evident; it has never been shown to be an objectively desirable.
    Fantasy views of econ (such as that asshole Rob Misek below) are pretty much guaranteed to deliver starvation and mass murder.

  • BigT||

    Indeed! The new religions are tapping into human nature that has a strong need for sacrificing for one's children as a factor in evolution. But that instinct is being turned towards the state who are presenting themselves as the guarantors of the future in place of the kids. The package is complete with alms (taxes for entitlements), indulgences (virtue signaling), priesthood (climate 'scientists '), and dogma (global warming).

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions!

  • vek||

    I sure am glad I'm a semi-amoral secularist! I've never had much love for religious zealots... The funny thing though is the Prog zealots have actually made me like Christian zealots a LOT more, since they're vastly better and less insane in relative terms!

  • tommyguns2||

    "This is what it means to be pious today. This is what it means to be a progressive. It's a religion."

    I think this is spot on. It's funny to see how they bristle to hear that, but they've got a lot more faith than I do!

  • Fancylad||

    and soaking the rich"
    If you're super rich then only for show (unless you're the wrong sort of rich person). Creative accounting will allow a correct-thinking billionaire to pay what they always have regardless the tax rate. Just think the right thoughts or else prepare for the IRS.

    Remember, taxes are for the little people.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Indeed. I'm all for soaking progressive tech billionaires, and assholes like Howard Schulz and Michael Bloomberg. Maybe shooting all the democrats in congress and passing an 'omnibus revenge bill' to take some of those billions off them would do the trick.

    It's the sort of thing AOC wants to do to the rest of us.

  • Trollificus||

    Really. In the pathogen metaphor, the most corrupt of the old ecophages* were like the common cold...omnipresent, and, in evolutionary terms, very successful. The new ones are more like ebola: the bleeding-out-of-every-orifice phase viewed as a moral victory, with no organs left functioning well enough to pose questions about transmission.

    *-a neologism?

  • JesseAz||

    Clintins and Reid cared about power over a functioning society. The new breed of liberals care about power over idiotic pipe dreams.

  • Rob Misek||

    Are you worried, ready to be herded? Good, the economy is working as intended.

    Recessions, depressions, bring them on.

    Families will go bankrupt, crime will be mor attractive and the rich will get richer.

    You want this fictional economy.

  • Sevo||

    Rob Misek|1.26.19 @ 5:50PM|#
    "Are you worried, ready to be herded? Good, the economy is working as intended.
    Recessions, depressions, bring them on.
    Families will go bankrupt, crime will be mor attractive and the rich will get richer.
    You want this fictional economy."

    Were you born this stupid, or did it take years of gov't schooling to reach that level of imbecility?
    Check Amazon for a fine selection of tin-foil hats.

  • Fancylad||

    I think he's being sarcastic.

  • Sevo||

    Fancylad|1.27.19 @ 1:20AM|#
    "I think he's being sarcastic."

    Nope. See below; he's really that idiotic.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I understand the suggestion that downturns can be made less severe or not to last as long, but do you mean to suggest that downturns in the economic cycle are somehow entirely avoidable?

    The idea that downturns in the economic cycle are entirely avoidable is dumber than creationism.

  • Rob Misek||

    The rules of any economy are entirely man made.

    We have down turns, recessions and depressions in our economy ONLY because we designed them in. Why? Because that's how the rich steal everything from the poor.

    When we work, we create. When we work with purpose, we achieve. We only move backwards, recess or depress when we destroy instead of build.

    You see the current economy as the only option and that is a box that defines your perception. Put on your big boy pants and try looking outside the box.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "We have down turns, recessions and depressions in our economy ONLY because we designed them in. Why? Because that's how the rich steal everything from the poor."

    This is profoundly ignorant.

    Here's a list of various explanations for why we have downturns in the economic cycle.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B.....planations

    None of them--not even the Marxist explanation--thinks what you think.

    Reading your explanation for why we have downturns in the economic cycle (your "recessions and depressions") is like listening to six-day creationist explain how the dinosaurs were destroyed or a flat-earther explain the photos from the Apollo moon landing.

    You're a crank, and your ideas are a laughing stock. No one who knows anything about economics believes what you believe, and that includes economists from all points on the political spectrum. The reason none of them believe what you believe is that your beliefs have no basis in reality. Your beliefs could only come from a profound ignorance. They can't be derived from facts or logic. How's it feel to be so profoundly ignorant?

  • Sevo||

    Rob Misek|1.26.19 @ 9:43PM|#
    "The rules of any economy are entirely man made."

    Given that you *are* either a fucking lefty ignoramus or some simple-minded adolescent ignorant of history, I thought I'd look at Ken's comments before piling more deserved shit upon you, you fucking ignoramus.
    After looking them over, I can only add that fucking lefty ignoramuses like you should patronize that paragon of capitalism Amazon for a tin-foil hat that fits your warped cranium.
    Oh, and fuck off, slaver. Is that clear?

  • perlchpr||

    I can't figure Misek out. Isn't he also one of our rabidly anti-abortion commenters? That's not usually a "lefty" position.

  • Sevo||

    perlchpr|1.27.19 @ 12:36AM|#
    "I can't figure Misek out. Isn't he also one of our rabidly anti-abortion commenters? That's not usually a "lefty" position."

    I avoid the 'abortion' threads, given that my view is known, and I don't want to waste time arguing with those who claim their semen is 'holy'
    So, maybe, but I missed it.
    Regarding econ, he is a lefty fucking ignoramus.

  • Fancylad||

    those who claim their semen is 'holy'
    And who exactly claims that, Sevo?

  • JesseAz||

    Sevo isnt smart enough to understand when an organism with unique DNA is created so he creates ludicrous strawman arguments for his opponents

  • Sevo||

    "those who claim their semen is 'holy'
    And who exactly claims that, Sevo?"
    "Sevo isnt smart enough to understand when an organism with unique DNA is created so he creates ludicrous strawman arguments for his opponents"

    Have a ball, idiots!

  • Lester224||

    This is the argument of those who think that human DNA inside of a 4-celled zygote is 'holy' and in fact it's holier than an adult woman and has more rights.

  • The Last American Hero||

    Sevo doesn't believe semen is holy but instead believes that birth canals are magical.

  • pro bonobo||

  • vek||

    My semen is holy! But not because it can get chicks knocked up and make miracle babies... Just because it's so objectively awesome.

  • Rat on a train||

    Does it cure back pain?

  • vek||

    I dunno about curing back pain, but it's great for whitening teeth! :)

  • JesseAz||

    Downturns can take less time or be less severe, they can not be both. As feds took over central planning, recessions have been less deep but have taken years longer for recoveries. Prior to the 20s a recession would last about a year, and then recovery and boom would start. But now we have idiots in government propping up old and dying giants to the detriment of the market, making new life and business more difficult to grow, etc. Liberals claim to love evolution but refuse to acknowledge its principles in governance.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I'm not even limiting this discussion to the correct explanation for why downturns in the economic cycle happen or why.

    Take any explanation you want, just ground it in observation, facts, and logic.

    Our concept of "creative destruction" ultimately derives from Karl Marx. Even Marxists hold that downturns in the economic cycle are inevitable! They just believe that "creative destruction" will eventually lead to capitalism destroying itself.

    Point being, so long as you ground your theory in observation, facts, and logic, you can't get to the belief that downturns in the economic cycle are entirely avoidable. That belief is in a flying unicorn that poops rainbows. It's ridiculous, ignorant, and widely believed in by people who imagine themselves intellectually superior. The idea that future downturns in the economy will be completely missed because of Barack Obama's regulation of the banks and Elizabeth Warren's CFPB are steeped in ignorance.

    Even the Marxists are smarter than that!

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Recessions are a good thing. Markets need to self correct from time to time.

  • JFree||

    Prior to the 20s a recession would last about a year, and then recovery and boom would start.

    Well that's just nonsense. The 1890's depression lasted at least 5 years 1892-1897 (and more likely 7). The 1880's recession lasted 3 years (1882-1885). The 1870's depression lasted 6 years (1873-1879).

    And all of those can quite easily be put into the same causative box - the increasingly global attempt by everyone to peg their money to gold thus enriching existing owners of gold and immiserating others. So it is quite reasonable to see the entire period as a depression - interspersed by periods of deflationary growth and colonization of Africa/Asia. Ended structurally when the combo of gold cyanidation and the Brits going to war with the Boers brought South African gold into the world's money supply. which ended the depression but funded the arms race which led to WW1

    The 1836 recession lasted 7 years. The post-Napoleonic 1815 recession lasted 5 years. The aftermath of the South Seas bubble lasted for 30 years in England and 70 years in France (it was an underlying reason for the French revolution).

    That meme is pure Austrian school bunkum - to prevent people from understanding actual economic hisotry in favor of their nonsense methodology.

  • Rob Misek||

    So the farther back in history the longer the suffering from "down turns". As we become civilized, they get shorter and less impactful.

    The writings on the wall.

    Except the dipshits pining for the dark ages can't read.

  • The Last American Hero||

    How long was the great depression of 1921 vs. the great depression of 1929?

  • vek||

    Oh jeez. You sure have been brainwashed by the fiat money dildos. Nobody was "increasingly global attempt by everyone to peg their money to gold" because gold WAS the currency in most places, directly.

    Many nations obviously used silver as well. At best you can argue that an increase in economic activity, driving up the value of gold (AKA causing deflation) might have had something to do with some of the recessions. The problem with that is that they basically all had other causes.

    Also, let us consider that economic growth rates back then made what we have now look like permanent depression.

    NO system is perfect, because the world naturally goes through cycles of ebbs and flows. Excess malinvestment, like in the 90s dot com bubble, MUST collapse and cause problems... Because it made no sense in the first place.

    But giving idiot politicians/central banks the ability to make money out of thin air on a whim is not a more stable way than having some sort of hard currency. Gold is still valuable thousands of years on from Babylon or Egypt or Rome... Name me a fiat currency that still exists from 100 years ago that hasn't been revalued, or created anew? That's what I thought.

  • Rob Misek||

    Some people are just incapable of perceiving original thought.

    To these two dimensional caricatures, 3 dimensional reality is incomprehensible and something to be feared.

    The fear in your writings is palpable.

    Economists who study the fiction of any economy and write volumes "explaining" all the inconsistencies are like Star Trek fans at Comic-Con explaining the various Klingon dialects. Lefty righty idiots are no different.

    Do you want to learn more about Klingon? Here you go dipshits. Fill your 2 dimensional boots.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klingon

  • JesseAz||

    Take your meds.

  • Sevo||

    Rob Misek|1.27.19 @ 7:24AM|#
    "Some people are just incapable of perceiving original thought."
    Rob here is imbecilic enough to assume he has "thoughts".

    "To these two dimensional caricatures, 3 dimensional reality is incomprehensible and something to be feared.
    The fear in your writings is palpable.
    Economists who study the fiction of any economy and write volumes "explaining" all the inconsistencies are like Star Trek fans at Comic-Con explaining the various Klingon dialects. Lefty righty idiots are no different.
    Do you want to learn more about Klingon? Here you go dipshits. Fill your 2 dimensional boots."
    And here's the proof.

  • Ken Shultz||

    The reason you don't ground your bizarre theories in facts and logic is because you can't.

  • tommyguns2||

    "To these two dimensional caricatures, 3 dimensional reality is incomprehensible and something to be feared."

    I was just thinking the same thing!! /sarc/

    Wow, I'm not sure what to say... LOL

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Bailouts.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Bailouts.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    We are witnessing the heartbreaking results of a cowardly President who puts Russia's interests ahead of America's.

    NYT: U.S. and Taliban Edge Toward Deal to End America's Longest War

    This so-called "end" of the war looks to me like cutting and running. President Hillary Clinton would never consider such a reckless, irresponsible move. In fact part of the reason I voted for her was her years of foreign policy experience. She was literally the most qualified person ever to run for President.

    #StillWithHer
    #LibertariansForStayingInAfghanistan

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Indeed. HRC would have gotten into a much needed world war with Russia.

  • Fairbanks||

    "One of the only states that seems ready to survive fiscal troubles is Wisconsin, where the combination of low existing debt and a 401(k)-style defined benefit plan...". What is a 401(k)-style defined benefit plan? Sounds oxymoronic.

  • Echospinner||

    Darn you asked a question I had no clue about.

    So it looks like Wisconsin is near 100% funded.

    Near as I can tell it is a hybrid plan. There is a modest basic payout like an annuity. The rest you can go with the basic plan which is adjusted every five years for market performance or a more market based plan which will fluctuate more.

    Does not look like the individual has much choice about how the money is invested from what I can see. You still have to trust the state with your money which is not great.

    What the state did was insulate the overall fund from market fluctuations. Smart move.

  • BigT||

    " 401(k)-style defined benefit plan "

    No. 401k is a defined contribution plan. The benefits will vary with investment performance.

  • The Last American Hero||

    So Wisconsin, the state that until recently was ruled by the much vilified Scott Walker. The man who saved the pension plans for those that wanted him strung up from a lamp post.

  • vek||

    Doing what must be done for long term fiscal sanity is not popular...

  • PusatQQ||

    It seems that I've heard the term rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer ...
    I hope God will give the best for all of us.
    PusatQQ Adalah Situs DominoQQ Agen Poker BandarQ Online Terpercaya

  • Rich||

    Connecticut, Hawaii, New Jersey, and Virginia have passed legislation or adopted policy changes mandating annual stress-testing of public pension plans, while California and Washington have created informal guidelines establishing similar processes.

    "The annual stress-test indicates we continue to be insolvent!"

  • Sevo||

    "The annual stress-test indicates we continue to be insolvent!"
    And moonbeam will continue to be seen as the only adult in the room after signing the Dills act.

  • Ken Shultz||

    In related news, the state of California is suing the city of Huntington Beach because of its lack of affordable housing.

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/ca.....548439811?

    Once choice stat from the article:

    "California's median home price rose 6% in 2018 from the previous year to $570,010, according to the California Association of Realtors. The national median is $259,100, says the National Association of Realtors."

    Yeah, Huntington Beach is more expensive than the median price in California (and twice as Republican), but the governor thinks that California's housing problems are about some rich locals being against multifamily units being built in their backyard?

    How 'bout the environmental regulations? How 'bout the CEQA process?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C.....uality_Act

  • perlchpr||

    That's definitely going to solve the problem of CA housing prices once and for all.

  • Trollificus||

    It doesn't matter if California sprinkles a little glitter, dabs some cologne on the turd-they've allowed the public employees unions to run the state as a "withdrawal only" piggybank for some decades now. NOTHING they claim to be doing will in any way interfere with the transfer of tax dollars to those unions.

  • vek||

    I'm pretty sure Chicken Little was right... He was just off in his timing! But it's coming!

  • AlmightyJB||

    We'll all be paying for it.

  • Trollificus||

    Take your pick:

    Pay off the broke pension funds.
    Forgive the huge amounts of student loan debt held by people without useful skills.

    And yes, I do wish there were options that involved euthanasia or "Deadliest Prey"-type TV shows.

  • Vernon Depner||

    The beauty is that we'll be paying for it with money made out of thin air. Pensioners will get every dollar they've been promised, but those dollars will be worth less and less. The government and the people will get to say that we fully met our obligation to pensioners, while they starve.

  • ||

    Excuse my ignorance, but can't stress tests be gamed by the states doing them as well?

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