California’s Unfunded Pension Costs: $36,000 Per Household

Posted on June 8, 2010


ByDenra J. Saunders, TOWNHALL

In the United Kingdom, Tory Prime Minister David Cameron has warned that his new coalition government will have to invoke austerity cuts that could affect Brits for years, even decades.

New Jersey GOP Gov. Chris Christie has turned into a conservative hero for telling an irate teacher who complained about her pay at a town hall meeting that she doesn’t have to teach. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill in April to cut pension benefits for new state workers — it raises the full-pension retirement age to 67 and bases pension benefits on the last eight years’ salaries — and he’s a Democrat.

The spirit has spread even to what Christie refers to as Hotel California. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has vowed not to sign a budget that doesn’t include pension reform for new state workers. “I will hold up the budget,” Schwarzenegger told, “It doesn’t matter how long it drags — into the summer or fall or into November or after my administration — and I think people will support that.”

Last week, the Libertarian-leaning Reason Foundation released a report that found that California’s unfunded pension liability “translates to roughly $36,000 for each California household.” Author Adam B. Summers called the current system “unsustainable and unaffordable.”