There’s no question government leaders are grappling with disruption – from demographic forces and rising expectations to the growing challenge of matching costs to revenues. With most states on a fiscally unsustainable trajectory, we need to ask: Is this the legacy we want to leave?

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Video Transcript

Disruption is uncomfortable, and our government officials – our government leaders – are subject to several forces all happening at the same time.

So they have these demographic forces with the aging population, these economic forces with the never-ending struggle of matching cost to revenue, political struggles and challenges [and] rising expectations associated with the digital expectations.

Generational debt: An unsustainable trajectory

So all of this puts government on a challenging trajectory – indeed, an unsustainable trajectory where generational debt is being accumulated where government is not living within its obligations.

Put it this way, the status quo is not a winning strategy.

I have kids and I have grandbabies, and I am very much concerned that unfunded obligations of the government that have been accumulated in my generation are going to have to be paid for through the taxes of my kids and my grandkids.

The issue of our generation

This, to me, is the issue of our generation.

As an example, to illustrate the point, the unfunded pension liability of the 50 state governments – just the pension liabilities – is $1.6 trillion, which is equivalent to 8.4 percent of the gross domestic product of the United States of America.

Make TOMORROW’S legacy TODAY’S priority

To me, that's not a legacy we want to hand to the next generations. That's an issue that should be dealt with today.

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Bill Kilmartin

Former Comptroller – Commonwealth of Massachusetts

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