How bad is it at the local and state level? So bad it is hard to imagine. Bob Williams, founder of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation, describes it this way in a mailing EFF friends:
"How much is $4.6 trillion?
"With tightly packed $100 dollar bills, you can put $100 million on a pallet. Take a forklift and start filling warehouses with those $100 million pallets-you'll need 46,000 pallets to rescue taxpayers from a looming crisis.
"$4.6 trillion is the amount of the unfunded state and local pension liability according to new analysis by State Budget Solutions. According to Bob Williams, if we don't solve this problem soon it will compromise critical public services and bankrupt many local governments.
"The trouble with pensions is that by the time the crisis is felt-in service cuts, plummeting bond ratings, and increasing taxes-it can be too late. The time to solve this problem is right now, with a transition away from "defined benefit" plans (control by politicians) to 401(k)-style accounts (control by workers)."
Meanwhile, the response of President Obama is to campaign for new entitlements and special programs, such as a proposed billion dollar "master teacher" program. At this point, all he is interested in doing is enthusing his base, in this case the teachers unions, but more generally, the public employee unions.
Get out some more pallets!