There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth when the recent lame-duck session in Springfield ended.
Why? No action was taken to address the $95 billion in debt owed to the state’s five pension systems.
This leaves the systems with just 40 percent of the funding they should have currently, which is well below the 80 percent generally deemed healthy for public systems. Good government groups and editorial boards alike lamented the Legislature’s failure to pass yet another proposal to reduce that ginormous obligation — this time by cutting almost $30 billion in benefits earned by current workers and retirees.
But rather than being dismayed, folks should be relieved. Here’s why.
A problem really can’t be solved unless the proposed solution addresses its true cause. And the proposal that failed to pass during the lame-duck session — like every other proposal introduced to date on this subject — focused its solution on benefit cuts and thereby failed to deal with this particular problem’s true cause. More…