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What Does Washington State’s Debt “Look” Like? See The Shocking Stats

What does our state debt look like?
What does our state debt look like? (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

We hear so much about the debt carried by Washington state, when it comes to government spending,  unfunded liabilities (financial commitments not covered by taxes) and pensions.   But how does it look in “real life?”

In their annual report, the Washington Policy Center has assembled some staggering facts about how far we are in the hole.

*Our state carries $28.9 billion dollars in what is called the general obligation debt service.   That figure is larger than the TOTAL value of agriculture in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, and Utah COMBINED.   If you used $1 bills,  our debt would, end-to-end, wrap around the earth 112 times.

*The unfunded public employees retirement system 1 payment plan is $3.8 billion in the red.  If measured in the weight of $1 bills,   that debt would weigh more than 15 new Boeing 787 jetliners.

*The unfunded teachers retirement system 1 plan is $1.9 billion in the hole.  Again, measured with $1 bills,  it would make a pile as high as 11 Space Needles stacked on top of each other.

 

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