For decades, politicians have promised lavish pension benefits in return for the support of the public sector unions—-promises that they, unlike their counterparts in the private sector, did not have to cover by setting aside a reasonably large asset base. Now the bills are coming due, and many funds are disastrously underfunded. The California state pension system, for example, has only 60 percent of the assets needed to pay its obligations through 2042.
(from The Atlantic, August 2010)
Politicians have sold out the next generation of workers. Unfortunately, many of the workers on the hook for public pensions have had no say in the process--they were either too young or too uneducated to understand what their parents and politicians were doing.