Much of that are public pension IOUs. Its a ticking time bomb with both financial and political consequences. They are already being felt.
It's interesting to note that New York is actually in pretty good shape as far as its pension system goes. I believe it has long had a reputation for a well-managed pension system.
What's going to kill New York is its other long-term financial commitment that is funded outside its pension system: medical insurance for government retirees. I read a recent article indicating that New York State is facing a $200 billion cost for this item over the coming years -- and all of that is paid out of their general revenues.
The pigeons are coming home to roost, folks.