Ezra Klein , a writer for The Washington Post, answered a silly op-ed from David Brooks , of The New York Times, with a factual rebuttal that is useful in our fight to beat back the ridiculous claims that public employee pensions are crippling America.
Using very interesting facts from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College , he takes Broooks apart:
Pension obligations currently account for 3.8 percent of the average state's spending. That's not where the current crisis is coming from.
"The problem in this moment," says Betsy Zeidman, director of the Center for Emerging Domestic Markets at the Milken Institute, "is revenue." The word "revenue," incidentally, doesn't appear in Brooks's column.
Klein's conclusion, however, is imporant to note:
Just like for the federal government, it's health-care spending, not pensions, which poses the greatest long-term threat to the states.
Klein did his homework, which is different than other reporters writing on the issue at The Washington Post, as noted in an earlier blog right here