The Little State That Could

Straight-shooting Gina Raimondo overhauled Rhode Island's pension system in less than a year. Washington should sit up and take notes

Christopher Morris for TIME

They say the truth hurts, and they are correct. Pain seeps from the cracks in retired Rhode Island teacher John Corsetti's voice as he laments what is happening to his pension: his check will no longer rise each year. His wife is sick; his adult son can't find a job in this crummy economy. "I contributed 9% of my salary for 31 years," he says. "Why are they stabbing me in the heart?"

And there's a wounded look in 52-year-old Tim Durnigan's eyes when he asks why the retirement age is being pushed forward after all his careful planning to stop...

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