It’s obvious that pensions for future government workers are being cut, and will be cut further. But California state and local governments’ unfunded liability for future pensions now is so large, $884 billion, that those already retired will see their pensions cut as well.
It will be very difficult, politically, for politicians in a California town to spend 70% or 80% of their budget on retirees they never met and that often live in other states. Especially when many of those are young enough to continue working.
Is this unjust? I’m not sure that matters. If they don’t have the money, something has to give. But philosophically, I’ve got no problem ditching pensions that were political payoffs. Sure a “contract” is a “contract” but I, as a citizen, am not interested in contracts made between corrupt public unions and corrupt politicians bought by corrupt public unions.
Public money needs to be spent on the public good. That test doesn’t end just because some union boss and the politician he owns signs a “contract”.