You know all about Rhode Island’s pension and other fiscal problems stemming from an out-of-control public sector which made promises which could be kept only under the most rosy of scenarios, in a state almost completely controlled by unions:
- Is Rhode Island Our Future Under Obama?
- High Taxes And Union Pensions Are Killing Rhode Island. Duh!
- In RI, Public Sector Unions Are The State
- RI State Pensions In Even Worse Shape Than Thought
- Central Falls falls
Rhode Island turned its pension program into a Ponzi scheme with the same basic technique that is being used in cities and states all over the country to bamboozle workers and taxpayers alike: it projected unreasonable rates of return on the money the state set aside to pay the pensions when the bills came due. When those rates of return failed to materialize (in part due to the financial crisis), the gap between what the state had promised to pay and what it had on hand exploded. Nationally, state and local government face something like $3 trillion in accumulated lies and deceit; tiny Rhode Island has the highest per capita amount of systemic dishonesty on its books — I don’t know if the Ocean State is unusually rich in both knaves and fools or if some other factor is at work.
Update: this must be the day when everyone focuses on Rhode Island. From WaPo/Bloomberg, Rhode Island considers radical moves as pensions put state on brink.
I know what will solve the problem, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) should give another speech lashing out at the Tea Party movement.