Thom Reilly was Manager of Clark County Nevada, before it fell off the fiscal cliff. So no one’s in a better position than he is to understand why municipal finances are crashing all over America. The answer is quite simple. Retiree pension and health benefits are through the roof. It has gotten to the point where essential services are being scaled back to honor these ill-conceived committments. But the citizenry has had it. Their personal finances have been decimated by the Great Recession, and they want their public servants to share the burden. This means that pension contributions will be going up, retirement ages will be increased and the retirement systems will be converted to defined contribution plans. While the transition is happening slowly in many places, Wisconsin is the shape of things to come.
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