Editorial: Motor City Money Woes - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Editorial: Motor City Money Woes

It would be far too easy to revel in the money misery that residents are suffering in the city of Detroit.   Yea, the Tigers and our Tribe are battling for first place.   But, no one wants to see any American city go bankrupt.

We share Detroit's pain because we've been there ourselves, remember.  35 years ago Cleveland became the first major American city to default.  

Detroit's $18 billion albatross is largely the result of its out-of-control pension obligations.   Nearly every dollar collected in taxes there is earmarked for city worker's retirement benefits.

And, when it comes to pension woes…misery loves company. Oakland, CA just laid off 100 police officers to balance its pension fund.   And, Chicago has furloughed over 2,000 school employees again to satisfy pension payments.  

Well, a recent study shows Cleveland's public pension is about 75% funded, not bad, but nothing to get smug about.  The pension predicament is a "ticking time bomb" for every city in the land. Not just Detroit.

Write and let me know what you think.  I'm Bill Applegate.

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