Can Pennsylvania return to
Recently, the U.S. debt hit the $16 trillion mark. Rather than chart a moreresponsible course for taxpayers in the Commonwealth, Pennsylvaniafollowed Washington’s leadby recklessly increasingour state debt over the lastdecade. During his two termsin of
ce, Governor Ed Rendellincreased Pennsylvania’s generalobligation debt by 28%, even inthe face of economic recessionand a shrinking private sector.
Our state and local debt isnow $38,000 per family andgrowing.
Add this to our growing pension obligations, and today, Pennsylvania
ndsitself in a very deep hole.In just a few short years, Pennsylvania has gone from a pension surplus toa system under threat from ballooning unfunded liabilities. We are alreadybehind in funding our long-term pension promises by a whopping $40billion, and the gap is widening. Soon, state and local taxpayers will be onthe hook for a $4 billion payment into the state’s public pension system thatwe simply cannot afford.Our mounting debt puts every Pennsylvanian at risk. Eventually, debtscome due, and we’ll have to pay them, whether to our retired state workersand teachers or to other creditors. Our state leaders have a responsibility totake action now to avoid piling on more
nancial burdens for our childrenand grandchildren.In 1999, Pennsylvania’spensions were 120%funded. Eleven yearslater, PA pensionsplunged to 75% funded,below the 80% fundinglevel considered ahealthy benchmark.
Today, the PublicSchool EmployeesRetirement System(PSERS) is only 69%funded.
Our state and local debt is now $38,000 per family and growing.
- Commonwealth Foundation
S o u r c e : 2 0 0 8 - 0 9 G o v e r n o r ’ s E x e c u t i v e B u d g e t
Source: State Fact Sheet, “The Trillion Dollar Gap,”Pew Center on the States, 2010.
Pew Center on the States
PSERS Budget Hearing Information (FY2012-13)