published Monday, November 21st, 2011

California, and the rest of us

California is in deep financial trouble.

Retirement funds for millions of California public workers face long-term deficits of more than $500 billion, according to one estimate. Pensions and retiree health care costs are rapidly going through the roof.

To deal with the crisis, California Gov. Jerry Brown has had no choice but to call for painful cuts in public worker pension benefits and for raising the retirement age to 67 for many government workers. The employees also may have to pay more for their retirement and health care.

To no one's surprise, the affected workers are outraged that their benefits may be reduced. But California is reaping what it sowed by making lavish promises of future benefits. It just doesn't have the money to fulfill those promises.

Does our entire nation want to have a similar crisis by refusing to reform runaway entitlement spending? Shouldn't we do something about costs now, before the crisis hits?

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