60 Minutes has been touching a lot of interesting topics of late - tonight they began introducing the topic FMMF readers have had waved in their face for 3 years. Guest appearances by Governor Christie of New Jersey (a viable 2016 presidential candidate if he 'fixes' New Jersey) [Feb 18, 2010: [Video] NJ Governor Chris Christie Talks Tough on Out of Control Spending, with Some Shocking Statistics] , and Meredith Whitney.
14 minute video
By now, just about everyone in the country is aware of the federal deficit problem, but you should know that there is another financial crisis looming involving state and local governments.
It has gotten much less attention because each state has a slightly different story. But in the two years, since the "great recession" wrecked their economies and shriveled their income, the states have collectively spent nearly a half a trillion dollars more than they collected in taxes. There is also a trillion dollar hole in their public pension funds.
The states have been getting by on billions of dollars in federal stimulus funds, but the day of reckoning is at hand. The debt crisis is already making Wall Street nervous, and some believe that it could derail the recovery, cost a million public employees their jobs and require another big bailout package that no one in Washington wants to talk about.
[Oct 29, 2010: This Day in Taxpayer Abuse - Buffalo Teachers Skim $9M in 2009 Alone for Cosmetic Surgeries]
[Jun 17, 2010: NY State Public Worker Pensions Revealed on New Website; Topping the List is a Teacher at $216K Annually]
[Feb 11, 2010: Harrisburg, PA - You've Got Bankruptcy Next! The Sordid Tale of Pennsylvania's Pension Plans][Jan 24, 2010: For the First Time, More Union Workers Work in Government versus Private Sector]
[Aug 11, 2009: LA Times - Amid Cost Cutting, Los Angeles City Pensions Continue to Soar]
[Dec 4, 2009: Public Workers Continue to Live the Good Life in New Jersey]