The most egregious budget gimmicks of 2012: pension underfunding
Bob Williams at State Budget Solutions has a nice chart that shows by how much states are underfunding their pensions. Budgets are always about tradeoffs. But not funding the pension is similar to skipping credit card payments without cutting into your daily expenses at all (or figuring out how to boost your income).
In addition, the article notes all the other ways states have of papering over deficits – floating bonds, revenue estimates, shifting dates around. This isn’t confined to the usual suspects (Illinois, New Jersey, California). There are plenty of examples to share from across the country.