In the Coming Crisis, Bad Bureaucrats Will be First to Go

In the Coming Crisis, Bad Bureaucrats Will be First to Go
AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

s recent statistics make depressingly clear, the federal government's long-term financial picture continues to deteriorate. The nation's outstanding public debt, which now tops $23 trillion, already comes out to $71,875 per citizen. And despite a 4 percent revenue boost from the Trump tax cuts, Washington is still projected to add another $10 trillion in red ink over the next decade.

Entitlement finances are especially unnerving. Social Security is projected to deplete its reserves by 2034, while Medicare, with a $37 trillion unfunded liability, could go broke in as little as seven years.

Sadly, many states are not doing any better. A May 2018 report by Harvard's Kennedy School of Government revealed that public pension funding in New Jersey and Kentucky is already at “high risk of insolvency,” with California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Illinois, and Pennsylvania close behind. According to Pew Charitable Trusts, at least 20 state public pension programs have no more than half the assets they need to pay promised benefits.

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