Today is a celebration of overindulgence. It’s Fat Tuesday, also known as Mardi Gras Day, and millions of Americans are taking part in the merriment. Unfortunately, though, food and drink aren’t the only excesses that Americans will be recovering from tomorrow and well into the future. In fact, excessive U.S. pension debt is only getting fatter, in turn making taxpayers’ wallets thinner.

Many U.S. public pensions are like the office King Cake, tempting at the outset, but after a day of chomping away to find the hidden trinket, we realize it wasn’t worth the calories.  

U.S. pensions are more than $1 trillion in debt and government funds can’t keep up. As pension debt continues to skyrocket, policymakers tend to either pull money from important public services, like education and transportation, or increase taxes to make up the difference. In the meantime, pension participants run the risk of their retirement plans going unfunded. In the end, taxpayers and public workers are left with nothing more than one big, gluttonous mess.

It’s time we trim down U.S. pension debt by changing the way the systems operate. Do you know how fat your state’s pension debt is?  Find out here.