Pensions Are Cannibalizing the Nation’s Young People

Townhall3Speaking of legalized theft, Joy Pullman at Townhall outlines more of it here. And as I’ve noted before — don’t think for a minute that those public employees — teachers included— give a damn about the kids:

U.S. politicians love to slap children’s faces onto their pet projects to manipulate voters, but such projects usually portend a full beating for the rising generation. Put simply, Americans have sold their kids into debt slavery, in a remarkable reversal of the American Dream.

Children will start seeing more effects of the welfare state very soon, and it will become even more obvious that Uncle Sam is a worse husband and father than the absent ones he pretends to replace. Take just one quiet tug-of-war between old and young: government pensions.

An honest accounting of unfunded state and local pension debt puts the nationwide total at $2 trillion, or approximately $4,000 per child—on top of the $53,000 in federal debt each citizen currently owes, and mounds more in state and municipal debt. This is money taxpayers have promised existing government workers, not any new ones that will benefit tomorrow’s kids. Taxpayers owe half this amount to K-12 staff: teachers, principals, and so forth.

States have for decades made wild assumptions about the investment returns pension systems would garner, hiding behind accounting gimmicks that are rightly illegal for the private sector. Local governments likewise have found it politically advantageous to over-compensate employees through benefit promises. Public school teachers, for example, earn wages roughly comparable to their private-sector counterparts, but their pension and health care benefits are one-and-a-half times as comfy, according to the American Enterprise Institute. This alone means many cities are on a path to follow Detroit into bankrupt destitution.

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