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... even after a recent decline, state and local governments employ nearly 1.7 million more people than they did 2000 - a gain of nine percent during a decade when private employment decreased by a net three percent.
Obama's infusion of federal aid to states and localities didn't just "save" jobs. It also pumped up the paychecks of heavily unionized public employees who already earn more, on average, than the people who pay their salaries.
While private sector wages were dropping along with employment in 2009, the average annual wage for state government employees was up in 45 states, including fiscal basket cases such as Illinois, Michigan, New York, and New Jersey. The average local government wage rose at least slightly in every state, even crisis-wracked California. The stimulus helped make it all possible.
But the 2009 and 2010 federal stimulus packages are just a drop in the bucket compared with the cost of benefits promised to America's current generation of public sector employees. Pension and retirement health care insurance coverage for state and local government workers across the country represent unfunded liabilities that could exceed $2 trillion, and may reach $4.7 trillion. Even in the Obama era, that's real money.
The public sector compensation burden threatens to crush future generations of Americans. In the process, it also threatens to starve the very public services and infrastructure that government exists to provide.The rise of public sector levels, wages, benefits, and entitlements is a slowly rising tide that, if left unchecked, imperils the ongoing viability of the US and Canada as nations of substantially free citizens.
Our way of life is at risk, thanks to growing governments and the ensuing entitlements that inexorably follow. Canadians are too meek to resist and too polite to complain; it will be interesting to see what the feisty can-do Americans do.
Read the whole thang here.
For some contradictory views, try a Zemanta article, below.