In sum, intentionally or not, some very questionable analysis has consistently understated the privileged position of public employee unions and the extent to which taxpayers are on the hook. The actual figures are stunning: "Rauh and Novy-Marx estimate that each household already owes an average of $14,165 to current and former municipal public employees in the 50 cities and counties they studied, only including the unfunded portion of benefits that have already been promised based on work performed. In New York City, San Francisco, and Boston, the total is more than $30,000 per household. In Chicago, the total is more than $40,000 per household."
It's also important to note what sort of organization the innocuously named Economic Policy Institute is. By just taking a look at the EPI board of directors, we find that 10 of the board members are heads or former heads of national unions, including Richard Trumka (AFL-CIO), Randi Weingarten (American Federation of Teachers), Andy Stern and Anna Burger (SEIU), Ron Gettelfinger (United Auto Workers), and Leo Gerard (United Steelworkers of America). Consider also that one of the institute's former senior economists, Jared Bernstein, is now the chief economist and economic policy advisor to Vice President Joe Biden.