Will PERS Bankrupt Oregon?
It's ugly friends. Even with a seven year bull stock market, the PERS unfunded liability is exploding as this Oregonian story details. The cost to taxpayers is going to be staggering as the only way to meet these obligations is to cut services and or raise taxes on everyone, not just the rich. The real question is this: what happens if the people reject the union's tax increases at the ballot and the ruling Democrats in the legislature refuse to make cuts to pay these court ordered obligations? Since Bankruptcy is not legally possible for the state, the options to deal with this will be brutal, politically speaking. It may boil down to this: a massive political wave elelction like 2010 with new leadership that once again puts reform legislation in front of the Oregon Supreme Court. Would public pressure be so great that the court would reverse themselves and allow the reforms to stand? Perhaps but only if they become politically concerned about their future on the court as elected officials. How could that happen?