October, 2010

CA Unemployment System Is Broke

Friday, October 29th, 2010

OCT. 29, 2010 By WAYNE LUSVARDI U.S. House minority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, quipped in June of this year that the only way to solve the chronic national unemployment fund deficit in each state is to pass a bill called “H.R. 4213, The Deficit Extenders Act.” The continuing insolven...

Brown Is One Hell Of A Story

Friday, October 29th, 2010

OCT. 29, 2010 For a long time now, I’ve accepted that I have a vested interest in chaos. After all, what good is an investigative reporter when government functions honestly and efficiently? And who wants to write about government officials who plan for the future, give a clear accounting of the ...

Dems Will Reward Union Friends

Friday, October 29th, 2010

OCT. 29, 2010 . Demonstrative of just how raunchy and fierce politics have gotten in America, just last week President Barack Obama told a group of Latino voters, “We’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with is on issues that are important to us.” He wa...

Looking Back At Absurd State Budget

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

This article was first published in City Journal. OCT. 28, 2010 By STEVEN GREENHUT Smoke and Mirrors in Sacramento: California’s latest state budget is a fraud. Even before Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed California’s state budget on October 8—100 days late—it was clear that the ...

Public Pay Study Seems Bogus

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

OCT. 21, 2010 By STEVEN GREENHUT The media have been providing serious reporting about a “UC Berkeley” study showing that public employees earn a total salary and benefit package that’s about the same as those in the private sector. This counter-intuitive study is being championed by governm...

State Pension Meltdown Coming

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

OCT. 21, 2010 By WAYNE LUSVARDI The independent Milken Institute has just released a report “Addressing California’s Pension Shortfalls” that has an alarming finding: assuming no corrections are made, the combined liability of the three major state pension funds (Cal-PERS, CalSTRS, and UCRS)...

FPPC Fights For Public Records

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

OCT. 21, 2010 When I was a reporter in Orange County a decade ago, calling the Fair Political Practices Commission could be a frustrating experience. “We cannot comment on the existence of an investigation,” the nice spokesperson would tell me when I called to confirm whether the state’s camp...

Pension Debt Vastly Understated

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

OCT. 20, 2010 By DAVE ROBERTS The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) is considering changing the rules for government pension reporting to better reflect the financial status of the plans, but critics say the proposed changes don’t go far enough to reveal the true cost to taxpayers o...

How Not To Fix A Broken State

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

OCT. 19, 2010 This book review was first published in City Journal. By STEVEN GREENHUT California Crackup: How Reform Broke The Golden State And How We Can Fix It, by Joe Mathews and Mark Paul (University of California Press, 240 pp., $19.95) California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger recently w...

Is California An Idiocracy?

Monday, October 18th, 2010

OCT. 18, 2010 While trying to get the assembled, clueless staff at a phone store to tell me how to turn off an annoying e-mail alarm on my new smart phone, I was finally greeted by a manager, who declared that the phone is supposed to work that way. "So when one turns the switch to off, it's su...