George Will gasps this morning at the horror of the state and local pension calamity: the shortfall in funding, the chaotic accounting and disclosure, and the overall grabbiness of employes on the public payroll. He's on the right track with respect to each of these issues, although he neglects to notice the extent that one may solve the other: given the relative (in)solvency of so many public pension programs, it beggars all expectation that employees, present or future, will ever see anything like the money they thought they were promised.
But Will has picked an odd choice of ally in his campaign for fiscal rectitude: Rep. Devin Nunes of Tulare County, California, one of the most successful and effective exploiters of farm subsidies in Congress. According to data from the Environmental Working Group, Devin ranks third among California Congressmen in his capacity to bring home Federal dollars for the horny-handed sons of the soil in his rich farming district.
Credit Devin for talking a good case: back in Bush 43 days, he made a big deal out of voting against (and failing to stop) a farm pork bill. But some guys just can't cut a break: the dollars keep rolling in. Too bad: if only he could take all the cotton, rice and dairymen, etc., off the dole, the chances are he could solve the public pension problem right now. George Will, feel free to copy.