Dishonest statement of the day

Steven Greenhut: Not surprisingly, that “dishonest statement of the day” is from a public employee union! The Los Angeles Airport Peace Association — the union that represents those surly security guards who give you traffic tickets when you’re trying to pick someone up at the insanity-inducing LAX (and other LA area) terminals — claims that the Schwarzenegger administration’s top pension adviser (“hatchet man,” in airport cop speak) wants taxpayers to “pay 80% more” into the California teacher retirement system.  Crane isn’t asking for taxpayers to pay more, though, but for the state to use its general fund cash to shore up the underfunded pension system, as required by law. The airport security cop union, like all public employee unions, doesn’t complain about the enormous taxpayer funds needed to pay for its members’ outsized retirement benefits. It doesn’t like, though, that the administration wants to follow responsible accounting procedures and pay more now to avoid an even larger debt further into the future.

Paying more now highlights the depth of the pension-debt problem and helps keep the debt from spiraling out of control. Taxpayers already are on the hook for all of these ridiculous benefits. The unions and public employee retirement systems want to hide the results of years of pension abuse and pension spiking by “smoothing” — spreading the losses into the future through various accounting tricks. The more hidden the debt, the less likely legislators are to deal with the looming problem.

Read Crane’s brilliant remarks on California’s pension situation which he delivered at a hearing last month. The Democrats, and their union allies, have ignored him.

Here is airport cop press release:

Governor’s hatchet man on pension wants taxpayers to pay 80% more

Los Angeles, June 4, 2010 – The Schwarzenegger administration, which spent much of the last year posturing on the issue of public pensions, inadvertently revealed their concerted effort was a fraud.
Months spent attacking the ability of the pension funds to achieve their assumed rates of return on investments, ginning up studies that wildly exaggerated the unfunded liability of the system, and bogus claims that public employee pensions were the source of California’s fiscal woes have come undone when it became clear the Schwarzenegger administration is the one that wants taxpayers to massively overpay each year into the public pension systems.
“In a Sacramento Bee article, David Crane, Governor Schwarzenegger’s hatchet man on pensions, advocated that taxpayers should pay far more into CALSTRS than the system wanted because the more money it has to invest, the more money CALTRS could earn.  Crane called on the Legislature to increase its yearly contributions to CALSTRS by nearly 80%, dwarfing the 20% increase that the CALSTRS Board would seek after reducing its investment return rate by ½ percent,” said Marshall McClain, President of the Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Association in commented on this shocking turn of events.
“Recently, Governor Schwarzenegger read some scripted lines that scurrilously attacked the integrity of CALSTRS in forecasting its investment returns, and documenting its finances.  David Crane, who writes the Governor’s scripts, has been whining about the enormous cost of public pensions to taxpayers, and manipulating statistical funding history to attempt to show pension costs have dramatically soared.  I can only wonder what their supporters will have to say now that their real agenda has been revealed.  Apparently, what they were after all along was for taxpayers to pay far more than required each year into CALSTRS, so that CALSTRS investment acumen could dramatically multiply the money!
“Governor Schwarzenegger rode into office during the recall based on promises as to what he would do when elected.  It turned out he wasn’t serious or truthful about any of those promises, which is why nearly 80% of Californians disapprove of the job he is doing.  With David Crane’s latest statement, we add his alleged concern about taxpayer contributions to public pensions to the large pile of issues in which the Governor was merely a poser.”

About the Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Association
The Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Association represents more than 425 sworn police officers and firefighters of the Los Angeles Airport Police Department assigned to protect and serve Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), LA/Ontario International Airport (ONT) and Van Nuys Airport (VNY).  Its Mission is to maintain a leadership role in organizing, empowering and representing the interests of all current and retired members.

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