State finance officials should face the truth on pension promises

David CraneBy David G. Crane | The Sacramento Bee — In the 17th century the Catholic Church attacked Galileo for advocating Copernicus’ view of the universe. Three centuries later, Pope John Paul II apologized for that persecution.

Hopefully it won’t take California’s finance officials that long to accept some basic financial truths, but based on the venomous reaction of some of those officials to a recent academic study by my Stanford colleague Joe Nation, one can’t be sure.

Nation reached three conclusions:

• The state’s pension debt is greater than the state reports.

• The state is counting on unlikely investment returns to meet that debt.

• Because those returns are unlikely, state pension costs are likely to soar.

Read the entire op-ed . . .

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