A rude, deluded union crowd

by CalWatchdog Staff | May 10, 2010 4:21 pm

I spent a couple hours in the PERS committee listening to testimony over Sen. Dennis Hollingsworth’s SB 919 pension-reform bill and was stunned by the rudeness of the mostly union crowd as bill supporters spoke out. They laughed and chatted loudly and were even shushed by the sergeant in arms. The bill would modestly reduce pension benefits for new workers as a way to rein in the state’s massive pension liability. A handful of bill supporters, including the Pacific Research Institute’s Jason Clemens (PRI is the sponsor of CalWatchdog), David Wolfe of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association,  David Crane and Michael Genest from the governor’s office and Larry Lees, Shasta County assessor, spoke in favor of the bill and then a long line of union spokespeople opposed the bill.

The hearing, which I’m now watching on the California Channel, continues as we speak. Now, CalPERS — echoing the many union reps — are defending the current pension system. Listening to these folks, you’d think that the system is fully funded and in perfect health. CalPERS, at the prodding of Sen. Lou Correa, who helped create the problem by sponsoring “3 percent at 50” legislation in 1999 when he was in the Assembly, touted the rebounding economy. Yeah, right.

The union reps kept repeating the mantra that pension liabilities can be fixed at the bargaining table, which is utter nonsense. The unions control the bargaining table. It’s been at the bargaining table where these massive liabilities have been created. CalPERS is now insisting that the economy and its investments are coming back — a form of delusion that’s at odds with the views of less-interested parties.

— Steven Greenhut

Source URL: https://calwatchdog.com/2010/05/10/a-rude-deluded-union-crowd/