Wednesday, August 02, 2006

But wait! How else do the counties compare?

The JS this morning says that Milwaukee County has non-pension retirement liabilities far larger than those of other large counties.

All that is lacking in the story is any sort of context. How does the ability to pay compare across those counties? How does the size of county government and the number of county employees compare across those counties? Are the costs across counties truly comparable at all?

The paper says the unfunded liabilities are 108% of a year's county budget. That sounds really scary and all, but is it? The unfunded liability won't be paid out in a single year, so why even trot out the 108% number?

Milwaukee County's position may well be as bad as this story suggests, but it's impossible to tell from this story.

No comments: