State and local governments still in desperate need of reform

dcYes, conservatives have been losing on every front. An excerpt from the Daily Caller (emphasis is my own):

The delayed housing recovery is not the only reason state and local government work forces have been shrinking since August 2008. State and local employees are overly expensive, primarily due to their above-market fringe benefits packages. The American Enterprise Institute’s Andrew Biggs and the Heritage Foundation’s Jason Richwine have demonstrated that public school teachers earn over 50 percent more in total compensation (salaries and benefits) than similarly skilled private sector workers, which means governments are overcharging taxpayers by $120 billion each year. Therefore, cheering the public sector’s success in boosting national employment is like praising an economic development program for creating jobs at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars apiece.

This pervasive overcompensation has created an enormous debt problem. All three levels of American government borrow to pay for operating expenses. State and local governments do so through systematically underfunding their pension and retiree health obligations. Retirement benefits are part of overall compensation and thus a cost of providing basic government services.

Read the article…