Big labor used the 43d anniversary yesterday of the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King to hold hundreds of rallies nationwide, attacking “right-wing corporate politicians” for “trying to take away the rights Dr. King gave his life for: the freedom to bargain,” one flyer reads.
The demonstrators also blasted Wisconsin, Indiana and Ohio for trying to curtail collective bargaining rights and their public sector pensions. Demonstrators also said the states’ austerity moves could hurt the economic recovery.
But Barclays Capital says taxpayers are at risk of bailing out state workers if states don’t plug a $2.4 trillion state pension deficit (including cities and towns). Other studies peg the deficit as veering towards $3 trillion or more.
However, in a growing trend with sizable taxpayer impact, Utah, Alaska, Colorado, Georgia, Michigan, Ohio, and Kentucky are moving towards adopting 401(k)-type plans to replace pensions, says a top pension expert, Marcia Wagner. Last February, the New York Times had reported similar findings….
Two states fighting for their fiscal lives also have massive bond and pension debts combined: Illinois, $86.4 billion, and New Jersey, $62.7 billion, according to Moody’s data. Nebraska and South Dakota rank at the bottom. New York, Florida, Texas and California have high burdens, but not the largest combined burdens of pension and bond debt, Moody’s says.
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