Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Map Of Debt.

Actually, it's a map of every town in the state of Rhode Island. It shows the "shortfalls in money set aside for pensions and other retirement benefits for government employees."

It almost goes without saying that the largest burden falls on those towns whose citizens have the least ability to pay.

Rhode Island is emblematic of the state and municipal crisis. Numerous towns inside its borders will soon go bankrupt or need to be bailed out. There is the distinct possibility that cascading municipal bankruptcies could bring the state itself to the brink of default (and perhaps default outright).

State Treasurer Gina Raimondo (D) (along with Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee) is trying to forestall this unfolding disaster. It's an enormously difficult political challenge.