After several paragraphs setting up the problem, the writers finish off with this dreadfully jejune scoop of vanilla:
While mayors say they’re willing to pay more for pensions, many want the ability to shift their employees to defined-contribution plans that give them control over the costs. But will Democrats in Hartford defy their labor friends and rescue Connecticut’s underwater cities? Connecticut voters are only beginning to understand the damage from two terms of Mr. Malloy.That kind of "we'll see!" conclusion is the crux of this biscuit. The Times, like all Democrat organs, is between the devil and the deep blue state policy. After generations of giving away the store on lavish salaries and benefits, nearly unbreakable job security, featherbedding, and underfunding state pension accounts, states like Connecticut (and New Jersey and Illinois and California -- seeing a pattern?) have an unfunded liability that is going to break the back of the budget in painful slow motion.
For years, governors of these blue states have borrowed against the future to win union donations and votes with little regard for the IOU coming due. These states are in major fiscal trouble, especially after the recession and no-growth recovery accelerated the problem.
Now to what the article says so clearly under its breath: Democrat governors, who have to balance their budgets, are on the other side of this issue from the national party. Party leaders like Nancy Pelosi are still preaching the model of happy unions, big spending, and welfare statism, while state Democrats like Andrew Cuomo have been getting awful nervous over the past 5 years or so looking at their bottom line. Others, like Connecticut's Dannell Malloy, just whistle past the graveyard.
The time will come soon, however, when the party will meet an impasse. The national Democrats will want to continue winning elections with union backing, while governors desperately try to dial it back to save their states from a Puerto Rico-style implosion. Some states are worse off than others. But all are under water -- except one: Wisconsin, where a Republican governor, Scott Walker, earned the undying hatred of the unions for exposing the fiscal shell game and putting the system on solid ground.
But not every state can count on a Republican to ride in and rescue it. Democrats will have to choose as well. Do they continue the spending spree, or do they too make the tough decisions? We'll see, indeed.