April 18, 2014 -- Every year lots of kids look forward to Easter morning. Their parents have played hide the Easter eggs. Kids excitedly go searching for their treats.
Many state and local governments are playing “hide the debt.” Municipalities have promised massive worker retirement benefits without putting money aside to fund them. Most of this debt is hidden off the governments' balance sheets.
Truth in Accounting has identified 5 states with the "biggest hidden eggs." These states have the most retirement debt hidden off their balance sheets. They are New Jersey, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California. Together, their hidden retirement obligations total $449 billion – or $449,000,000,000.
Next year new accounting rules will call for greater disclosure of state and local government hidden retirement debt. Many governors and legislators will have egg on their faces when the story of their true pension debt is cracked.