Pension Reform

LA, CA still avoiding pension reality

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

The ultimate pension reform is Detroit-style bankruptcy, with retirees getting less than what they are owed by contract. As the NY Times reported on July 22: "DETROIT — Coming to terms with what came to be seen as inevitable, this city’s public-sector retirees have voted to lower their expected...

Gov. Christie: Not all pensions will be paid

Sunday, August 3rd, 2014

Chris Cristie is the governor of New Jersey. But he has given a wake-up call to all states with public pension problems, including California. The latest: BELMAR, N.J. — Pension reform is going to involve breaking some promises, including reducing benefits that public employees were counting on ...

Pension bigger than salary?

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Most people understand that your pension will be less than your salary. You don't have to commute any more, so your car expenses are down. You can downsize your house because your kids moved out -- or at least that used to be the case before high housing costs and bad job prospects kept kids around....

Backdrop to CalPERS’ many debacles: Agency thinks it’s great

Sunday, July 13th, 2014
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The giant California Public Employees' Retirement System, as one might suspect from its massive and self-important Sacramento headquarters, thinks it is the bomb -- a flawless organization that should inspire awe in onlookers. Yes, of course, the phenomenon of government agency leaders and their ...

Feeble CalPERS reform shows Brown who runs Sacramento

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Taken at face value, the pension reforms touted by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2011 and 2012 were genuinely far-reaching for a California Democrat, even one as allegedly independent as Brown. But from the 2014 perspective, two of the key provisions previously sought by the gov have not only gone nowhere; th...

High court ruling a blow to California SEIU

Monday, June 30th, 2014

In a fresh demonstration that the Roberts court is incrementalist and not the wild-eyed bunch that some on the left assert, the U.S. Supreme Court voted 5-4 in favor of an appeal that argued that in-home care workers in Illinois should not be compelled to pay union dues. As Politico reported Sunday,...

How rich: CTA parent group struggles with pension costs

Friday, May 30th, 2014
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The following news nugget almost has an Onion feel to it, it's such a perfect commentary on the aggressively dishonest Maviglian/union narrative about pension affordability. But it's legit. The California Teachers Association has spent years depicting complaints about the costs of pensions as bei...

CalSTRS bailout will be CA version of budget sequester

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

On April 10, 2012, I wrote an op-ed for the L.A. Daily News with an unusual take on what ultimately would kill the bullet train. My theory was that the teachers unions would fight to keep a new mouth from the trough of the general fund because of the long-term need to maintain a status quo in which ...

Typical Sacramento: Weak CalSTRS fix made even weaker

Saturday, May 24th, 2014

So Gov. Jerry Brown is finally forced by events to come up with a CalSTRS pension rescue plan. And as Dan Borenstein points out, it's so cautious that it doesn't prevent CalSTRS' underfunding from getting worse for some time to come: "For more than a decade, lawmakers have ignored the increasing sh...

Brown’s CalSTRS fix hammers districts, protects teachers

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Contrary to the impression given by some of the current coverage of Sacramento's attempts to shore up the California State Teachers' Retirement System, the underfunding problem hasn't been completely ignored for all these years. Here's what I wrote about the last serious attempt to change a broken f...