Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Time Horizons: Revisiting The David Brooks Piece

Here's Reihan:
Note that David is making a claim about the long-term burden of unfunded pension obligations. My own reading suggests that David laid the blame primarily at the feet of elected officials, with the leadership of public sector unions playing a secondary role. But read the column for yourself and draw your own conclusion. I'll focus on Ezra's reply, as it illuminates many interesting public policy questions.

State pension systems are a problem. But they're not the problem right now. And they're certainly not what's standing between New Jersey and its tunnel. After all, Christie didn't fund the pension system this year. He simply skipped the $3.1 billion payment, saying he wouldn’t add money to a "broken" system. If I didn't buy lunch today, you can hardly blame the cost of my lunch for the fact that I don't have bus fare.

And yet again we have the conservative talking about the long-term and the liberal talking about right now.

1 comment:

The Ancient said...

As reluctant as I am to water your potted idée fixe ---

From Peter Baker's NYT Obama profile:

As [H.W.] Brands, the historian, put it, “It’ll be really interesting to see if a president who is thinking long term can have an impact on a political system that is almost irredeemably short term in its perspective.”

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