No matter who's right about Md. pensions, they're a huge problem

February 08, 2011

The letter from Maryland Budget Secretary T. Eloise Foster regarding the column by Marta Mossburg about Maryland's pension liabilities reminds me of the argument about rearranging the chairs on the Titanic. No matter whose numbers are closest to the facts, the extent of the pension problem is huge, no doubt about it.

It would be refreshing if we could get an unbiased view of the extent of the problem, though I thought that was what we got from Ms. Mossburg. Is Ms. Foster still using 7.75 percent rates of return in her valuations of current and future liabilities? That issue alone would cast a pall over the veracity of her numbers. Why don't we ask Eileen Ambrose of the Sun staff to dig into the facts she can find on both sides and report to the citizens of the state on how big or little the problem is for the future of the state's finances? This would be a great public service to the citizens and our legislators.

Sam Davis, Towson

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