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Promises, Promises

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Promises, Promises

Government

Promises, Promises

Promises, Promises

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/153930908/153957358" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

The Northern Mariana Islands: white sand, blue water, and huge pension liabilities. Boltty Studio/Flickr hide caption

toggle caption Boltty Studio/Flickr

The Northern Mariana Islands: white sand, blue water, and huge pension liabilities.

Boltty Studio/Flickr

States across the country have promised their employees sweet retirement benefits, but haven't set aside enough money to pay for those benefits.

On today's show, we hear from Illinois, which owes its state pension funds $83 billion.

And we hear from the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. territory halfway around the world. The territory may point to the future for many U.S. states: It just became the first American public pension fund to file for bankruptcy.

For More: Read our story, Bankrupt In Paradise

Music: Grouplove's "Tongue Tied." Find us: Twitter/ Facebook/ Spotify/ Tumblr.

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