February 22, 2011 Reading Time: < 1 minute

“Many governors face more than a spending crisis. They preside over failed systems that have discouraged fiscal restraint and sometimes preferred the interests of state employees to the interests of taxpayers. “The most important changes,” says John Hood of the John Locke Foundation, “will be structural reforms . . . that eliminate the perverse incentives that got the states into this mess in the first place.”

This is the theory of Gov. Scott Walker in Wisconsin. His critics, including President Obama, argue: Spending cuts may be necessary, but let’s not take away the collective bargaining rights of public employees on benefits. Walker’s supporters counter: Spending cuts are important, but they do not change the system that has turned an upward ratchet on public employee benefits for decades – helping produce more than $1 trillion in unfunded state liabilities across America. The real problem, in this view, is not merely government spending but massive, unsustainable government obligations.” Read more.

“Our fiscal paradox: Governments too costly to function”
Michael Gerson
The Washington Post, February 22, 2011.

Image by Daniel St.Pierre / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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