From today's Wall Street Journal, "Saying No to State Bailouts," by Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, and Sen. Jim DeMint, R-South Carolina:
“The fuse on the U.S. debt bomb—which according to the National Bureau of Economic Research may be armed with as much as a $211 trillion fiscal shortfall—may prove to be the states' public-employee pension systems. Years of overly optimistic growth projections, underfunding and overpromising by politicians have rendered many of these public pension systems effective toxic assets on states' books. Some jurisdictions around the U.S. already spend more money on retired workers than on current employees, and more on retired teachers than on existing students and schools.”
Michigan's policymakers have at least recognized we have a problem, but already the issue is in doubt given how almost every day brings new reports of politicians watering down a proposal to reform unaffordable and unsustainable public school retiree health insurance benefits and pensions.