When billionaire investor Warren Buffett speaks, people usually listen. Politicians at every level of government in Kentucky should hear this, from his annual letter to shareholders sent out yesterday:
"Local governments are going to face far tougher fiscal problems in the future than they have to date."
"The pension liabilities I talked about in last year’s report will be a huge contributor to these woes. Many cities and states were surely horrified when they inspected the status of their funding at yearend 2008. The gap between
assets and a realistic actuarial valuation of present liabilities is simply staggering."
Kentucky's failure to get a handle on its public employee pension and healthcare liabilities, compounded by this year's insane $50 million raid, should be enough to wake everyone up. But they probably won't.
Not until all the other government goodies everyone is used to start getting crowded out by the "staggering" payments that lie ahead of us.