If more citizens–in towns, cities, and states–understood the calculations and rhetoric of the pension systems dependent on their taxes, they’d be kicking out incumbents at the nearest opportunity.
When then-General Treasurer, and now Governor of Rhode Island, Gina Raimondo, embarked on her “Truth in Numbers” campaign, enough people understood the problem to help her push through a reform of the state’s pension system, for which she received national recognition. But not enough people had learned the lesson of skepticism, and thusly believed her when she announced the problem had been solved.
Complexity is only one side of the wooden nickel that ought to make Americans wary of allowing government to grow beyond some basic responsibilities. The other side is incentives.