Misunderstandings Regarding State Debt, Pensions, and Retiree Health Costs Create Unnecessary Alarm Misconceptions Also Divert Attention from Needed Structural Reforms

Source: Iris J. Lav and Elizabeth McNichol, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, January 20, 2011

From the summary:
A spate of recent articles regarding the fiscal situation of states and localities have lumped together their current fiscal problems, stemming largely from the recession, with longer-term issues relating to debt, pension obligations, and retiree health costs, to create the mistaken impression that drastic and immediate measures are needed to avoid an imminent fiscal meltdown.

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