If you look forward 10 years, of course, pensions become a much bigger problem. But not the biggest one. “Assuming 30-year amortization beginning in 2014, [pensions] would rise to only 5.0 percent [of total state spending] and, even assuming a 5 percent discount rate, to only 9.1 percent.” Just like for the federal government, it’s health-care spending, not pensions, which poses the greatest long-term threat to the states: (bold mine)
In this respect, it’s such a simple story: health care, health care, health care. For the federal version, see this post.