The House would keep the current $110 million annual subsidy of retiree benefits and throw in another $95 million a year beginning in 2016.
In the meantime, House Democrats would pillage one of the state's Rainy Day funds - so carefully built up by responsible legislative leaders - for an additional $250 million.
Political problem solved.
Benefits protected, the burden facing the taxpayer preserved.
But is the political problem really solved?
Nationally, the party experienced a tsunami of rejection in November.
Manchin senses correctly that nationally, the trouble isn't over.
It won't be over for generations.
Taxpayers expect Congress to cut their future liabilities.
West Virginia taxpayers have the same expectation.
As Republican Delegate Mitch Carmichael recently said in connection with one fiscal decision: "I think there are people out there watching us."
Indeed there are.
They're called voters.
The question before both the nation and the state is this:
Can Democrats, having weakened the private sector and run up debts that weigh heavily on the public, be trusted to manage other people's money?
Democrats in Congress would have to make a sharp turn to prove that they are.
So would Democrats in the statehouse.
Tsunamis are bad business, and they aren't one-hit events.
The aftershocks can be just as damaging.
Maurice is editorial page editor of the Daily Mail. She may be reached at 348-4802 or ha...@dailymail.com.