New Jersey has a severe pension crisis. The unfunded liabilities for pensions is 95 billion dollars. The entire New Jersey state budget is 35 billion dollars. New Jersey does not have the money to pay for these pensions. How did New Jersey get into this situation? The simple answer is that it is a direct result of the enormous political power of the New Jersey Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union. Over the course of the last 20 years, NJEA has spent over 800 million dollars on its various political tools. With that kind of money, NJEA got what it wanted on pensions. Recently NJEA sought to enshrine this bankrupt system in the state constitution. Senate President Steve Sweeney stood up to NJEA. NJEA then exacted revenge by vowing to support senator Sweeney’s opponent in the Democratic gubernatorial primary and forcing Sweeney to withdraw from the race. Now NJEA has a politician who will do its bidding, thus encapsulating the New Jersey pension crisis. I’d like to know what you think about New Jersey’s pension crisis. Let us know in the comments section, and also let us know what other topics you want AEI scholars to cover in 60 seconds.