For what is generally considered a pro-union liberal paper the Star Ledger came out with a rather amazing editorial today:
They got it wrong.
The point of the editorial is that in exchange for putting a requirement in the constitution that the state make the ludicrously inadequate contributions developed by ‘generally accepted actuarial standards’ for public plans there should be some unspecified concession by public workers on health benefits.
However, what the Star Ledger misses is that the real giveaway has been going on for decades (and continues still) as the value of promised pension benefits get grossly understated by a corrupted actuarial/political partnership. What Sweeney’s amendment does is commit the state to honor a funding number that they are allowed to manipulate either by tacit intimidation of their experts or outright repudiation through legislation.
It basically says that New Jersey has to honor its promises to pay benefits that had previously been given away. Whether it will work is debatable since honor is something that most of the politicians in this state do not have to give away.
PS: In Josh Freed’s documentary The Trouble with Experts there were a couple of points made about expert opinions that might shed some light on why the media keeps getting duped into adopting such ill-considered positions: