There is talk in financial circles that states may not be able to pay pensions or return tax refunds:
State governments in the United States had approximately $2 trillion set aside in pension funds and $3 trillion of “stated” pension liabilities in December 2008. By this measure, the funds seemed to be short nearly $1 trillion. But according to Rauh and Novy-Marx, the shortfall is more than three times larger, at $3.2 trillion. The lower estimate, they say, is the result of government accounting standards that require states to apply accounting procedures that severely understate their defined-benefit pension plan liabilities.(Kellogg Insight, emphasis added). It is a good thing the wars don't cost anything or we would have financial problems in this country wouldn't we?
Many states seem to be in dire straits. Relative to its revenues, Ohio faces the largest burden. It would need to devote over eight years of tax revenue solely to retirement funding to cover already-acquired pension liabilities. Colorado, Rhode Island, and Illinois are close behind. “Vermont, the least underfunded as a percent of total tax revenue, would still need over twenty months of tax revenue to make up for its pension fund shortfall,” Rauh says.
The Bush II budget propaganda "don't ask, don't tell" approach to war costs has been replaced with "we have to pay for the wars" in the current political configuration.
This leaves out the underlying, overlying, and just plain lying portion of the story: we have to borrow the money because we cannot pay for the wars.
That is one meaning of "pay".
The other meaning of "pay" is that since we are paying dearly with our freedoms, common welfare, national reputation, and general well being, the democrats may have a bill to pay in the 2010/2012 elections (is that the definition of "pay-GO"?) like the republicans did in the previous two elections.
Yes, we are paying very dearly for the stupid, endless, unamerican wars to make the one percenters obscenely rich while the nation as a whole, or the ninety nine percenters as we like to say, are obscenely plundered.
That is the way it goes when addiction generates commerce.
Addicts never seem to be able to balance the check book.