Public employees are repeatedly hammered for their pensions. That’s because public officials have succeeded in shifting the debate — the discussion no longer is about their failure to make regular payments into pension funds.

Now the conversation is about cutting pension benefits to balance budgets. The strategy has taken public officials off the hot seat, and two good stories this week provide some honest, much-needed perspective. One looks at the strategy to make scapegoats of employees. The other sheds light on public employee pensions in California, and shows how the arguments against pensions — and workers — don’t add up.