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I don't know of a good argument against applying ERISA to the government. Nor do I know a good argument against fixing all the various ERISA loopholes (e.g., certain private sector post-retirement health care benefits are excluded from ERISA). But I'd also love to hear one.

As for the "egregiously intellectually dishonest" WaPo, I'd simply point out that most reporters are innumerate. Full stop. If you give them an explanation like what I just did, their eyes glaze over and they either parrot what I just said (if their intuition/opinions agree with it) or go find an opposing expert (if they dislike my conclusion). For other examples of this, go read financial crisis reporting - "an evil vampire squid just ate a black swan and then pooped toxic waste onto innocent homeowners."

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