For all the fretting about the supposed risks of Democratic hegemony in Olympia, and for all the tears over how government employees' gold-plated pensions are sucking state coffers dry, a new analysis from Morningstar finds that Washington has the second strongest funded state pensions in nation.
Washington has an overall funding ratio of 98.1 percent and a per capita unfunded liability of just $160, making us one of only seven states with funding ratios above 90 percent, and one of only eight with unfunded liabilities below $1,000 per capita. By comparison, Oregon comes in at 86.9%/$2,059 and California at 77.1%/$3,249. Seven of Washington's ten state-run pension plans are actually overfunded!
Governments often cushion their budgets during tough economic times by deferring contributions to pensions. Washington didn't play those kinds of budget tricks. And as a result, there are no hidden liabilities on our balance sheets.
But you know, "tax and spend Democrats!" and "government incompetence!" and all that, so we better elect a Republican governor before the Democrats destroy our state!