NY Times wrings hands over state pensions but still has barbs for Walker

In today's lead editorial, The New York Times wrings its hands over the enormous size of New York's pension problems. That doesn't stop them from criticizing the Republican governors in the Midwest who are trying to prevent their states from becoming New York:

Although taxpayers are on the hook for the recession’s costs, most state employees pay only 3 percent of their salaries to their pensions, half the level of most state employees elsewhere. Their health insurance payments are about half those in the private sector.

In all, the salaries and benefits of state employees add up to $18.5 billion, or a fifth of New York’s operating budget. Unless those costs are reined in, New York will find itself unable to provide even essential services.

To point out these alarming facts is not to be anti- union, or anti-worker. In recent weeks, Republican politicians in the Midwest have distorted what should be a serious discussion about state employees’ benefits, cynically using it as a pretext to crush unions.

So in other words, it's okay to tackle your state's pension problem, but only after it's become a full-blown crisis. And if you're a Republican, probably not even then.

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