Field Poll: Cut Pensions

John Seiler:

A new Field Poll shows that Californians back unions — but want pensions rolled back.

As often is the case, the results are contradictory. It’s immense union power that, over the past 12 years, spiked pensions to unsustainable levels. There simply is no way state and local governments can function without large reductions in pension payments.

Voters statewide in 2009 and 2010 rejected tax increases. If tax increases are on a June ballot, voters likely will reject them, too.

There’s a reason why Jack Dean calls it a Pension Tsunami. The earthquake already has occurred. The wave is about to wash away your fishing village. You’re running as fast as you can inland from your boat on the dock. You can hold an election among your fellow villagers, as all of you keep running, on whether or not the wave will carry you away. But you know the wave will wash you away anyway.

Here’s the Field Poll summary from the Bee:

California voters don’t have a problem with unions, but they’re not so keen on public employee pensions promoted by organized labor, according to a new Field Poll.

Nearly half of registered voters – 46 percent – believe unions do more good than harm, while only 35 percent believe the opposite.

But strong majorities support capping public pensions, increasing what government workers pay toward their benefits and hiking their minimum retirement age. And by a narrow majority, they support a state government commission’s controversial idea to alter pension formulas for current employees.

“Public pensions are now seen as too generous,” said poll director Mark DiCamillo.

Reports about pay and pension abuses in Bell, University of California professors’ complaints about their six-figure pension terms and last month’s Little Hoover Commission report that concluded retirement obligations are “crushing” state and local government all fuel that perception, DiCamillo said.

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