Once Unmentionable, Cutting Public Employee Pensions Now Routinely Suggested by Both Parties

March 4, 2010

In Maryland, local Democratic county executives are suggesting that the state cut teacher pensions. Len Lazerick of the Maryland Reporter has the story:

“Lawmakers should consider reducing teacher pensions rather than shifting costs to local governments, two county executives said Wednesday as local leaders sought to prevent more cuts to local aid.”

Last year Maryland used $137 million in federal stimulus money to contribute to the pension fund (no one’s idea of timely, targeted, stimulative economic policy), and state and local officials see no replacement revenue on the horizon.

People say talk is cheap, but politicians wouldn’t put pension-cut talk on the record if they weren’t desperate. No sign could be more reliable that budgetary problems are worse than officials are letting on.

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