February 1, 2019
The debt crisis in the United States of America has reached apocalyptic proportions. A new and horrifying report out details the reason why 63 of America’s largest cities are completely broke: debt and overspending.
According to a recent analysis of the 75 most populous cities in the United States, 63 of them can’t pay their bills and the total amount of unfunded debt among them is nearly $330 billion. Most of the debt is due to unfunded retiree benefits such as pension and health care costs. That means those depending on that money, likely won’t see a dime of it.
“This year, pension debt accounts for $189.1 billion, and other post-employment benefits (OPEB) – mainly retiree health care liabilities – totaled $139.2 billion,” the third annual “Financial State of the Cities” report produced by the Chicago-based research organization, Truth in Accounting (TIA), states. TIA is a nonprofit, politically unaffiliated organization composed of business, community, and academic leaders interested in improving government financial reporting.
“Many state and local governments are not in good shape, despite the economic and financial market recovery since 2009,” Bill Bergman, director of research at TIA, told Watchdog.org.
The top five cities in the worst financial shape are New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, Honolulu, and San Francisco. These cities, in addition to Dallas, Oakland, and Portland, all received “F” grades. In New York City, for example, only $4.7 billion has been set aside to fund $100.6 billion of promised retiree health care benefits. In Philadelphia, every taxpayer would have to pay $27,900 to cover the city’s debt. In San Francisco, it would cost $22,600 per taxpayer.
By the end of Fiscal Year 2017, 63 cities did not have enough money to pay all of their bills, the report states, meaning debts outweigh…