If enough cities slough off debt through bankruptcy…

…then maybe there will be enough tax dollars to fund the state pensions.

Going for broke in L.A.?

Former mayor Richard Riordan has been roiling the civic waters by arguing that the surest — and perhaps the only — way out of Los Angeles’ fiscal crisis is a declaration of municipal bankruptcy, which he believes ought to come sooner rather than later.

In a conversation with The Times over the weekend, Riordan argued that bankruptcy may be the only way to attack the structural problem gnawing the heart out of the city budget: unsustainable public employee pension costs. Currently, Riordan says, the city is struggling to meet its pension obligations, and that’s assuming it will receive 8% annually on the money invested on retirees’ behalf. In fact, the average return over the past decade has been just 4%. Over the next few years, L.A. may be looking at $1.5 billion in pension obligations it can’t meet. “We need some adults to come alive in the city and to talk through how to meet that liability,” he said. “If that doesn’t happen, we shouldn’t rule out bankruptcy.”

Given the immorality of the pensions, perks, health benefits and early retirements, declaring bankruptcy is a rather moral option. Where did all these people think the money was going to come from, the tooth fairy?

There was a reason so much of this was pushed off to the state pensions. The immoral union leaders put the state taxpayers on the hook, knowing that there is no provision for a state to declare bankruptcy. I would enjoy seeing a state trigger a constitutional crisis by declaring bankruptcy, and threatening to secede when Federal Courts said they aren’t allowed to.