Richard Ravitch and Richard Brodsky have experience with governmental fiscal trouble. Cities, counties and states continue to struggle with unfunded pension liabilities, prompting the question of whether pension obligations represent debt or values, a debate the pair recently engaged in.

“I don’t think pension benefits are a debt,” said Brodsky, a former New York State Assemblyman from New York City’s Westchester County suburbs. “We have to distinguish between debt and social and legal obligations we have to fill. It’s a complicated world out there. Who are you going to hit and who’s going to suffer?”

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