Yesterday's NY Times ran an opinion piece on the dire choices facing states, including Massachusetts, that have long underfunded their pension plans.

"The market forced private employers like General Motors to restructure retirement plans or suffer bankruptcy. Government’s greater ability to borrow enables it to defer hard choices but, as Greece discovered, not even governments can borrow forever. The days when state officials may shield their workers while subjecting all other constituents to hardship are fast at an end."
 


Comments

Citoyen
06/30/2010 15:08

I think the unions are missing a chance to get out in front of the necessary rationalizations that are coming to government. In the Globe, see <a href="http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2010/06/30/budget_woes_prompt_city_to_stop_presses/">Stop Presses</a> for a story about Boston saving up to a million$ per year by outsourcing printing. (The union complained that they could sell printing to other cities, but it is difficult to believe they could make a million that way.) Also, see <a href="http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2010/06/30/outside_groups_ask_state_to_consolidate_its_social_services/">Consolidate</a> for a plan to streamline the largest state department. Also greeted by static from a union spokesman.

The math, especially when you consider unfunded state pensions and employee health care costs, is compelling. The unions can kick and scream, or they could also take the lead and propose efficiencies on their own terms.

Otherwise, it will be the taxpayers who have to become more aggressive about reducing the size of government and further reforming the out-of-control pensions.


Comments are closed.