Thursday, January 26, 2006

Signing a blank check

Most of us are aware that signing a blank check and giving it to someone else is a very stupid thing to do. Very, very stupid. I found this gem in a column by Patrick Hynes:
But what happens when the bill comes due? Ask the city fathers in Duluth, Minnesota. Since 1983, that city has promised lifetime health care for all retired municipal workers, their spouses and their children up to age 26. The result? Well, according to the New York Times:

No one really knew how much it would cost. Three years ago, the city decided to find out....The total came to about $178 million, or more than double the city's operating budget. And the bill was growing....For years, governments have been promising generous medical benefits to millions of schoolteachers, firefighters and other employees when they retire, yet experts say that virtually none of these governments have kept track of the mounting price tag.

Stupid is as stupid does.


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