State Pensions Could Be the Next Big Government Bailout

Neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney have discussed the looming state pension fund crisis.

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Both presidential candidates have a background in state politics and policies, and their advisers surely have briefed them on the pension challenges facing state and local governments. How a re-elected President Obama or a newly elected President Romney responds to the ticking pension bomb could make or break the nation's arrangement of fiscal federalism.

[See a collection of political cartoons on the 2012 campaign.]

In the long run, everyone would ultimately end up losers if our cherished and time-tested system of local control and local responsibility went by the wayside.

So to the candidates: "What would you do about the growing problem of unfunded government pension liabilities that threaten core government services, pensioners, and taxpayers alike?"

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