The state of Pennsylvania is paying $1.1 billion in pensions to its public employees this year.
In five years, the tab will be an unsustainable $4.3 billion, which would amount to almost 16 percent of the state's entire General Fund.
With that in mind, there were hints this past week of a movement to reduce the cost of current workers' future benefits.
Such a move carries legal and constitutional questions with it. But the state simply does not have the future money to pay the pensions that loom in the future.
Too much neglect for too long may create a scenario in which the state can't make good on its pension promises.
An outcry from state employees would be understandable.
But that outcry needs to be accompanied by some suggested solutions and maybe even some concessions, given that the terms of these pensions are so much better than almost anyone in the private sector has.