BREAKING THE BANK in Maryland has been a bipartisan, multilateral pursuit for years, backed by both parties at the state and local levels alike. When state lawmakers enacted a big increase in teachers’ pensions four years ago — an increase that freighted Annapolis with huge obligations to cover benefits negotiated by local school systems — the move was pushed by Democrats, signed by a Republican governor, cheered by localities and hailed by then-Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, now the national GOP party chairman.
So what if no one knew how the pensions would be paid. It was an election year, the teachers are a potent constituency, and the economy would keep on booming forever, right?