Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Bureaucrats vs. Taxpayers, Part IV

This Bloomberg article reinforces the theme that bureaucrats have plush sinecures while workers in the productive sector of the economy are facing difficult times. But the most shocking nmber is that state and local governments have underfunded pensions for bureaucrats by $1 trillion, not to mention $500 billion of unfunded health care promises. Needless to say, the politicians will want me and you to pay for their reckless promises:

Any expectation that state and local governments would use the worst fiscal crisis since the Great Depression to reduce their biggest expenditures is proving to be wishful thinking. Companies have cut 7.3 million jobs, 6.29 percent, since business employment peaked at 115.8 million in December 2007. State and local governments kept adding jobs through August 2008 to 19.8 million and have since cut 132,000 positions -- 0.66 percent, according to the U.S. Labor Department. ...Reducing headcount would help narrow budget deficits. It would also reduce public-pension liabilities, which analysts say threaten state and local credit ratings and even, at the local level, solvency. State and local government pensions nationwide are underfunded by about $1 trillion, Orin S. Kramer, chairman of the New Jersey Investment Council, which oversees the state’s pension fund, estimated in November. That doesn’t include other retirement benefits, such as health care, which Standard & Poor’s earlier this year pegged at about $500 billion for the states alone.

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