theadanews.com - Ada, Oklahoma

Editorials

July 31, 2013

Detroit is coming soon to a city near you

Ada —

Detroit’s bankruptcy is about numbers: a 26 percent drop in population since 2000, 78,000 abandoned properties, $10 billion in underfunded pension and health care obligations for public employees and billions more in bond and other debt that make it impossible to pay for adequate city services.

However, the real bankruptcy is moral and intellectual – and it affects not only Detroit but almost all of America’s greatest cities and most states. Type “pension tsunami” into a search engine, read and weep. You’ll see that Detroit’s issues are only slightly worse than other cities and states around the nation with balance sheets dragged down by legacy costs and ballooning debt. 

A study released earlier this year, commissioned by the city of Baltimore, for example, said it is on a path to financial ruin and requires major reforms to avoid bankruptcy.  According to a Pew Center on the States' report this year on 30 cities in the most populous metropolitan areas, they have “74 percent of the money needed to fully fund their pension plans over the long run but only 7.4 percent of what was necessary to cover their retiree health care liabilities as of fiscal 2009, the latest year with data available for all pension plans of all 30 cities.”

The treasuries of state and local governments which have $3 trillion in unfunded pension liabilities to public employees weren’t clobbered by the recession. As Frank Keegan wrote for State Budget Solutions in December 2012, General Revenues in all the states as of 2011 were up $590 billion, or 56 percent, over the previous 10 years despite the recession, according to his analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.

Neither were their elected leaders misled by erroneous fiscal reports – if anything, they tried to mislead the public, and still do — with overly optimistic investment rates of return that allowed them to shortchange pension funds. The problem was that elected officials acted like a herd of intellectual lemmings, choosing not to accept facts that did not correspond to their worldview of ever expanding government.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Editorials
  • Do I have to be numb to serve?

    How well do you do watching the channels on TV that show sick and starving children in other countries?

    July 23, 2014

  • Too much sodium can be a health risk

    Salty potato chips. Salted popcorn. Salt on French fries. We are a nation that loves salt. Although it enhances the flavor of foods, too much sodium is not a good thing.

    July 19, 2014

  • Working cattle during summertime heat

    Understanding and avoiding heat stress in cattle can be a valuable management tool for summertime in Oklahoma.   

     

    July 19, 2014

  • NASA says life on other planets is no longer a fool’s errand

    It has always seemed unlikely to me that this universe, the size of which renders you and me microscopic, could contain only us. Then again, it could, and certainly authors of “The Privileged Planet” make a strong case for it.

     

    July 19, 2014

  • Historic icon raised to celebrate Capitol's 100th birthday

    It was with great fanfare nearly a century ago that Oklahomans crowded into cars or horse-drawn buggies and paraded to 23rd and Lincoln.

     

    July 19, 2014

  • Jerry Duncan Are there absolutes that can be trusted?

    Back in the 70s there was a film series with the philosopher Francis Schaeffer titled, “How Shall We Then Live.” He described how every nation that became the leading nation of the world had a discernable and predictable rise and fall.

     

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ukraine is a personal tragedy for one Ada resident

    Democracy is the worst form of government, the sage has said, except for everything else.

    July 14, 2014

  • Franz case raises troubling questions

    Dear Editor,

    What kind of law and judges do we have in Ada?

    July 14, 2014

  • Fourth of July celebration capped week of fun events

       Over 380 eggs, over 100 water balloons, over 40 turtles, boxes of ice cream bars, unlimited prizes, rope and a creek, judo, longest standing 5K/10K race in Oklahoma, cans of whipped cream, colored powder celebration, motorized train, Bernoulli’s Principle, miniature golf, shaved-ice snow cones, fire truck hose wars, and a most awesome fireworks display that scared the ducks all the way to Wapanucka. 

    July 14, 2014

  • Common Core: The untold story

    Oklahoma public school educators may be forgiven if they liken themselves to a soccer ball in a World Cup championship match.

    July 14, 2014

AP Video
13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp
Stocks
Poll

Are you pleased that Oklahoma has repealed Common Core standards for public school students?

Yes
No
     View Results