As Joshua Rauh tells the Philadelphia Inquirer, "It's not the kind of problem you can solve overnight." I also note that while New Jersey's pension reforms are, "a good sign of acknowledging a very big problem....it's [not] going to be enough to save the system..."
Andrew Biggs and I estimate that the COLA freeze will cut the liability in half. Joshua Rauh estimates a 16 percent reduction in the liability for every one percent reduction in the COLA. While a meaningful reform, the problem is the size of the liability. It's far larger than (all state and local) governments estimate.
Of course government unions are quite angry with the Governor, the Senate President, the Assembly Leader and every legislator who voted for the reforms for even touching the third rail. The New York Times calls the reforms, "a once unthinkable set-back for the state's powerful public employee unions."
Unions are certain to pour their efforts into elections and ads. However, no amount of protesting will alter crushing size of the pension and health care liability nor does street theater stabilize these systems.