Friday, February 27, 2009

No way out for California

What part of "look ahead, reason back" don't they understand?

...the state already owes another $48.2 billion in unpaid costs for retiree health and dental benefits. ...

In effect the state has paid the bare minimum to cover its annual costs, as an overspending consumer might squeak by making the minimum monthly credit card payment. But the debt mounts.

Unless the state pays down the accumulated $48.2 billion it already owes to future retirees, the annual payment will grow to $5.3 billion by 2017-18. The total owed will increase to $71 billion.

State Controller John Chiang, who sits on CalPERS' board, warned this week that, "[I]t is important for lawmakers to begin crafting a long-range plan to meet this future obligation." Unfortunately, long-range planning isn't the Legislature's strong suit, as demonstrated by its annual budget debacles.

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