WEST Virginia is $5 billion shy of fully funding its teachers pension plan. That's a lot of money that will be extracted from coming generations of poor people.
But California taxpayers will have to part with $300 billion to bail out their state's pension plans.
Pension debts sank the city of Stockton, which filed for protection from creditors this week in bankruptcy court. One look at the pensions themselves shows why.
Stockton hired Tom Morris as police chief in 2008. He lasted eight months, retiring at age 52 with a pension that pays more than $204,000 a year.
By age 82, he will have collected more than $6 million from the taxpayers of California.
He was the third of four police chiefs to retire within three years of accepting the job and receive pensions that average 92 percent of their top pay.
Government pensions are bankrupting cities across America. The city of Charleston had to eliminate 10 police positions to make payments on its massive police pension liability.
Pension reform looms. It will be done either in legislatures across the land or in bankruptcy courts.
SEN. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., discovered during a budget vote-a-rama that discretion is the better part of valor.
Whitehouse pushed for a vote on a carbon tax. The money would be used to finance additional government programs, he said.
Not only did Whitehouse's proposal fail 58-41, with 13 Democrats joining 45 Republicans in voting it down, but then Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., proposed an amendment to require 60 votes to pass any carbon tax in the future. His amendment passed.
Reports of the death of carbon-based fuels are premature. Americans want cheap energy and they tire of taxation as well.