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Pension Despair
Pension Despair
Detroit's Pensioners Vote in Favor of Cuts

In a court-ordered vote, Detroit’s public sector retirees have accepted the cuts inflicted by the city’s bankruptcy plan. Ultimately, this is just one part of the damage done by the city’s corrupt, one-party political machine.

Pension Despair
Public Pensions Have a $1 Trillion Problem

The total gap in public pension funding surpassed $1 trillion in 2012, a new record. Some of this is due to the recession, but short-sighted politicians deserve much of the blame.

Pension Despair
In Chicago, If You Have A Pulse, You Owe $20k

Every man, woman and child in Chicago is carrying $18,596 in pension debt, the largest per-person liability in the nation and nearly that of Puerto Rico and New York City combined.

Pension Despair
Unions Declare War on Arithmetic in Illinois

It didn’t take long for Illinois public employee unions to demand that the courts declare arithmetic invalid. Barely two months after the state legislature passed a modest but much needed pension reform bill increasing the retirement age and slowing annual cost-of-living increases, a confederation of Illinois’ biggest public sector unions have filed a lawsuit claiming the law is both unconstitutional and unfair.

Pension Despair
Pension Reform Is About Sustainability

Traditional pension supporters argue that public pension cuts could actually cost cities money by forcing them to raise salaries to attract high-quality employees. This makes sense as far as it goes, but it doesn’t change the fact that many cities simply can’t afford the pensions they have. Defined-benefit is still the way to go.

Pension Despair
Countdown to Chicago Pension War Begins

Tuesday’s passage of pension reform in Illinois and the federal ruling on Detroit’s pensions in bankruptcy court have heightened Chicago’s municipal pension emergency. State law demands that the Windy City must increase contributions to public employee pensions by $590 million in 2015, totaling $1.5 billion. If a deal to lower that figure isn’t reached by this time next year, Chicago could be forced to hike property taxes by as much as 70 percent, cut vital city services, or both.

Pension Despair
Illinois and Detroit Shake Things Up

Melancholy and some relief filled the corridors of the Illinois state legislature last night as it finally worked up the chutzpah to pass modest but important pension cuts over the heads of union leaders and some demurring lawmakers. Predictably, dissenting Democrats called it draconian, a handful of Republicans said it didn’t go far enough, and unions, which prefer the bill vetoed, will contest it in court. This is only the first of many necessary reforms and it’s far from a comprehensive fix, but given Illinois’ dismal record over the past two years, any step forward should be seen as an accomplishment.

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Walter Russell Mead & Staff
Trouble in Brussels

After threatening Putin with new sanctions over Syria, European leaders discover they lack the political will to deliver.

The United States is now going to have to figure out how to help Venezuela avoid completely melting down, with the Venezuelan strongman still at the helm.

Fear the Airpocalypse

Companies are defying orders to cut back on air pollution.

Asia's Game of Thrones

Philippine officials sought to clarify Duterte’s comments on separating from the U.S., but the situation is still murky.

Reefer Madness

Is it Gary Johnson’s world? Not necessarily.


Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin thinks Moscow can add 4 million barrels per day in the coming years.

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