Regular RR readers are not a bit surprised by the big news heading into this weekend – the states are getting ready to march to Washington, on their knees, and beg for new legislation allowing them to renege on their debts, especially on the $2.5 trillion (unfunded liabilities) they owe to their own employee pension funds. This involves Congress passing laws that will allow states to declare the equivalent of Chapter 9 bankruptcy and restructure/abrogate contracts with public service unions, pension funds, current employees, retireds, current vendors of goods and services, you name it (more here, here, and here).
It wasn’t too long ago since the sheltered left, on this and other blogs, took us to task for pointing out the inevitability of the coming bankruptcies. We were blasted as know-nothing fear mongers by progressives who saw no end to tax and spend. My own involvement started with co-authoring with Mike McDaniel the 28dec07 SESF report ‘Unfunded Liabilities – Our Community’s Fiscal Timebombs’. Since then, in addition to numerous RR posts on the topic, I have railed on this topic in my Union columns and KVMR commentaries.
During these past years I have also had numerous conversations with employees at various levels of government that included teachers. My question was always ‘why are you not concerned about your government pension going into default?’. The answers ranged from having no clue about the health of the government fisc, to not wanting to “talk politics”. Politics??!! The common response was to keep voting for the same scumbags who got them into this mess.
In the meanwhile we continue busily destroying the states’ economies with various leftwing mandates ranging from funny looking lightbulbs, uneconomical electric cars that have larger carbon footprints than regular cars, green and ‘cleantech’ jobs, nationalized healthcare, and more regulations stifling innovation and energy production than we can imagine. CARB’s headlong implementation of AB32 in California has yet to draw its second wind. And people still continue speaking of trying to find a “middle ground” with the socialists. Talk about rearranging deck chairs.
(And here is the same message within the larger international scope, but delivered in a more entertaining manner. H/T to a RR reader.)
Exit question: What are you doing with your munis?