Remember when Christie said he became a lawyer because he couldn't do math? Maybe he needs an abacus. Let's look at some simple numbers.
If current inflows continue to be outpaced by outflows and especially if there is another market downturn, the unfunded liabilities will actually grow at a faster pace. But note that these are June 30, 2009 numbers. If the pension funds are getting a rate of return close to the major market indeces (up about 20-25% since then), then present assets may be $13-15 billion higher. That would actually produce a small DECLINE in the unfunded liabilities.
Nothing can be more fundamentally unfair than a system where private sector residents, in some cases lacking a safety net, can be saddled with an accelerating death spiral of increased tax levies to support the entitlements (er, obligations, that's the snooty word the Grey Poupon set uses with the proles) of the public employee vassals.
Private citizens who put their money in a mutual fund whose manager makes bad investments -- or who simply invests when the entire market unravels -- don't get a bailout. No one deserves loss insurance for failed investments. No one is entitled to a certain rate of return. These are investments, not guarantees.
If the new Governor approves the equivalent of a taxpayer-funded government bailout of the pension funds -- from your money and from the pockets of our children and grandchildren, born and unborn -- he will show himself to be another believer in a two-tier New Jersey society. Where all of us are equal, but those of us who govern are more equal than others.