Thursday, October 4, 2012
Debaters Overlook State Pensions Problems
President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney talked about jobs, taxes and education during Wednesday's Presidential debate. Neither addressed the crushing debt and unfunded liabilities, though, facing state governments throughout the country, including Illinois, during Wednesday night’s debate. The chances voters will ever hear the candidates talk about that before the November election are slim, according to Steve Stanek, Senior Fellow at the conservative Heartland Institute, Chicago.
“I do think it’s going to be an issue for whoever wins the presidential election, because I don’t see things getting better in Illinois or in California or in Connecticut,” Stanek said, even though state pensions are the elephant in the bedroom. “There are a number of states that are in horrible shape, and they are major states. And I expect one of these days some of these governors are going to come knocking on the White House door saying, ‘My state needs a whole boat load of money.’
“And what are they going to do? What are the next president and Congress going to do? Are they going to say, ‘You guys messed up your state on your own and you have to fix it on your own?’ Or are they going to funnel them a bunch of money?”
Illinois has $271.1 billion worth of debt, among the worst states in terms of total debt, according to a report by research group State Budget Solutions released in late August. The debt includes unfunded pension liability, state retiree insurance benefits, budget gaps and outstanding bonds.
You can read Jayette's and other reports on the debate at: http://watchdog.org/57992/romney-wins-denver-by-tko/