// - The politics of shrinking government spending can lead to tortured math and bureaucratic back flips. In one of the Washington area's wealthiest counties, recession has prompted a bout of creative bookkeeping.
Even in wealthy communities such as Montgomery, decisions on benefits raise an important question: Can the spending be sustained?
"Sustainability is a funny word," said Susan Urahn, managing director of the Pew Center on the States, which has tallied trillions of dollars' worth of retirement promises made by state governments across the country. "They can certainly sustain it. But it means they can't pay for something else."
To read the full article, "Pension Deal Eases Sacrifice for Unions," visit washingtonpost.com.