Will Stockton Trigger Bankruptcy Run?

MARCH 2, 2012

By WAYNE LUSVARDI

Stockton … Hercules … Lincoln … Milpitas.  The list of cities has grown to four in the span of one week.  These are all cities in California recently threatened with budgetary insolvency — where expenses exceed revenues.  All have started to explore filing bankruptcy or drastically reducing their budgets and effectively doing the same, as would happen in a bankruptcy court.

AB 506, by Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont, became law in 2011 to prevent or delay just such a run of bankruptcy filings.  The California Legislature does not want a run of cities filing bankruptcy because the state budget continues to run a $20 billion annual deficit and is unable to bail out insolvent cities.

AB 506 prohibits a municipal government from filing a federal bankruptcy unless they it either:

  1. Undegoes a neutral evaluation conducted by a third party and involving all interested parties, including unions and creditors. This applies to the cities of Stockton, Hercules and Lincoln; or
  2. Declares a “fiscal emergency” that threatens the health, safety or well-being or residents without bankruptcy protections. This applies to the city of Milpitas.

The city of Stockton has initiated the mandated neutral evaluation process preparatory to filing bankruptcy.   The city of Milpitas has declared a “fiscal emergency,” preparatory to raising taxes or filing bankruptcy if a tax ballot initiative fails.  The cities of Hercules and Lincoln have drastically reduced their budgets, as they would be forced to do by a bankruptcy judge.   But they are all in the same “fiscal” boat with budget deficits.

The Start of the Great California Muni Bankruptcy Run?

Stockton Hercules Lincoln Milpitas
Population 290,000 26,000 43,248 66,790
Median Household Income $47,946 $87,869 $60,883 $92,694
Budget Deficit $20 – $38 mil. $1 mil. $2 mil. $5.2 mil.
Percent Budget for Salaries & Benefits 82% 51%60% 1 yr. ago 83% 84%
Percent Median Home Value Decline 65% 62% 50% 33%
Deficit Reduction Strategy Determine bankruptcy feasibility Reduce 37% of employees Consultant hired to reduce costs Declare fiscal emergency prior to poll to raise taxes or file bankruptcy
Deficit Drivers:
  1. Lost $2.3 mil. in property taxes;
  2. Retiree costs grew from $8.5 mil. to $16.8 mil. in 3 years
$1.85 mil. bailout of Redevopment Agency created deficit New $16 mil. library created deficit City had to bail out Redevelopment Agency for $39 mil.

 

Each city has its own unique story as to how they ended up with an insolvent budget.

Stockton

For Stockton, it was overbuilding of homes during the Mortgage Bubble, reliance on redevelopment projects that now have gone bust and the fast growth in public pension costs.   Retiree pension costs have risen from $8.5 million per year in 2007-08 to $16.8 million in 2010-11, and the proportion of costs may continue to rise.  The median home value has dropped about 65 percent compared to about 33 percent on average in California since 2006 (CityData.com).

In 2011, Stockton had a $3.98 million hole in its operating budget to patch. The sources of that hole were: $2,323,600 in declining property taxes, a $1,047,000 loss of vehicle license fees and $700,000 in fire department overtime.  SB 89 diverted $130 million in vehicle license fees statewide from cities to counties to help pay for prison realignment.

Hercules

For the City of Hercules, located in the north San Francisco Bay, the median home price has plummeted from $650,000 in 2006 to $250,000 in the third quarter of 2011 (CityData.com).  That reflects a whopping 62 percent decline and a decreasing property tax base.  Hercules took a $1.85 million hit to bail out its redevelopment agency when Gov. Jerry Brown ended redevelopment this year. That bailout pushed the city into a $1 million deficit on its budget balance sheet.   Hercules lost $87,107 in vehicle license fee revenues under prison realignment.

Lincoln

For Lincoln, a small community north of Sacramento, it was the debt on a new $16 million library that pushed its budget into a $2 million annual deficit. According to CityData.com, the median home value in Lincoln dropped from $500,000 in 2006 to $250,000 in the third quarter of 2011, a 50 percent decline. Lincoln lost $146,154 in vehicle license fees under prison realignment.

Milpitas

Milpitas, a suburb of San Jose located in the South Bay, was hit with a $39 million cost to bail out its redevelopment agency, which shoved the city budget into a deficit.  Median home values have declined relatively more modestly in Milpitas, from $600,000 in 2006 to $400,00 by the third quarter of 2011, reflecting a 33 percent decline, according to CityData.com.  Milpitas lost $252,859 in vehicle license fees under prison realignment in a city running a $5.2 million budget deficit.

Bankruptcy as ‘Reputational Stain’

The biggest decline in municipal revenues has been in sales taxes, however, for all cities.  If it were not for Proposition 13, property taxes would have declined even further. Prop. 13 has a “circuit breaker” built in to it to prevent a free fall in property taxes. Cities also lost the revenues from vehicle license fees in 2011.

State Treasurer Bill Lockyer was quoted in the Wall Street Journal saying he wants to avoid the “reputational stain” of a wave of municipal bankruptcies because it would make it difficult for the state to raise funds in the bond markets.  Bond underwriter Richard Larkin of Herbert J. Sims Co. said that, as the number of bankruptcies mounts, bond interest rates will rise.  AB 506 may not be enough to push back a tidal wave of bankruptcies and higher bond borrowing costs from happening.

In turn, those higher bond interest rate costs will be added to the debt line item in city, county and state budgets, putting more pressure on other line items in each budget.   Cities are caught in a downward spiral of revenues that local tax initiatives may not be able to entirely fix.  As revenues continue to ratchet downward any, “tax fix” may only be temporary, requiring yet another and another tax fix.  Bankruptcy, or voluntary budget reductions, may be a better way to go because either offers a way to control costs instead of a death spiral that tries endlessly to raise revenues — even as the tax increases themselves drag the city down.

88 comments

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  1. David H
    David H 2 March, 2012, 08:49

    The pension bubble must burst like every other. It’s unsustainable. The only way it won’t burst is if government intervention shifts the cost to private sector workers.

    Reply this comment
  2. Rex The Wonder Dog!
    Rex The Wonder Dog! 2 March, 2012, 09:49

    The only way it won’t burst is if government intervention shifts the cost to private sector workers.

    Do you mean by the pension sales tax Clown wants?? The “temporary” tax that will last forever???

    Good luck with that, won’t pass, and even if it did pass it would not cover even 10% of the pension underfunding anyway.

    Reply this comment
  3. Bill-San Jose
    Bill-San Jose 2 March, 2012, 11:09

    City of San Jose Councilman Pierluigi Oliverio stated at a meeting some two years ago that every cent of property tax collected by the city goes to cover the pension liability. He also stated that by 2015, every cent of sales tax collected will be needed to cover the pension mess.

    Next bankruptcy please.

    Reply this comment
  4. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 2 March, 2012, 11:13

    Meredith Whitney was a little early to the game but she called this over 2 years ago.

    All these bankrupted municipalities who acted irresponsibly will get bailed out by you, the state taxpayer. The losses will be spread around the horn. Higher taxes and fees imposed upon the innocent who had nothing to do with the fiscal mismanagement that placed these cities between a rock and a hard place. YOU WILL PAY FOR IT. Mark my words. All of you should be able to understand how the game is played at this point. If you don’t, you aren’t paying attention.

    Listen, the White House can post forged BC’s on their website as determined by a 6 month long scientific forensic investigation conducted by LE and legal forensic experts who specialize in the examination of documents for their authenticity – and the major media networks totally ignore the story and the findings. Nothing on the 6 o’clock news. Nothing on the 11 o’clock news. Nothing on CNN, Fox, MSNBC – all the new anchors are gagged. Moscow replayed.

    We live in a completely different world today, folks. The game is rigged. Nothing is on the up and up anymore. The system is untrustworthy. I really feel sorry for the kids. We have failed as a generation. The young people will be forced to pay for our sins. God help America!

    Reply this comment
  5. Andy
    Andy 2 March, 2012, 12:23

    Not looking good, is it?

    Reply this comment
  6. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 2 March, 2012, 12:42

    There is no one in any elected office (repub or dem) who will admit that the system is completely broken, that it was deliberately broken & that it is corrupt all the way to the core.

    I follow the news closely and always think objectively. I always consider BOTH sides of an issue. I am not beholden to any political party or set of ideological beliefs. I only look at what the facts are and form an opinion based upon the facts.

    The last several years (based upon the facts) have really solidified my belief that the government is just a front for a systemic looting operation that they’re willing to do anything to maintain the status quo.

    Sorry. The ‘of, by and for the people’ is gone. Like truth teller George Carlin once said “The owners of this country know the truth. It’s called the “American Dream” – because you have to be asleep to believe it”.

    RIP, GC.

    Reply this comment
  7. David H
    David H 2 March, 2012, 13:26

    Reform is needed on every level. Until each agency and regulation(financial and anti-trust) is managed to be responsible and law abiding as a positive benefit to citizens as a whole the politicians will continue to play the game of moving things around to “hide” or dilute the crisis in one area or the next, scooping off money for “special” persons (interests) as they go. The long term effect without reform will be the devaluation of the dollar. Your money won’t buy as much as it should. Since the fed bailed out the bankers, I would not be surprised if they bail out the state employees if it came to that. But as I said, the long term effect will be to devalue the dollar.

    Reply this comment
  8. Rex The Wonder Dog!
    Rex The Wonder Dog! 2 March, 2012, 13:49

    What Beels said!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply this comment
  9. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 2 March, 2012, 14:11

    “The long term effect without reform will be the devaluation of the dollar. Your money won’t buy as much as it should”

    That’s the plan, David H.

    The debasement of the dollar is essentially a hidden tax imposed upon the masses. The average American does not understand this. You can vote “no” for taxes on the ballot. But you cannot vote “no” to stop the quantitative easing and the monetary policies that are devaluing your money. It is an insidious form of theft. That’s how they plan to pay for all the bailouts and bankrupcies to come. Look at the price of gas. I paid $4.35 yesterday. Do you believe the gas prices have skyrocketed because of the phony claims of imminent war between Iran and Israel??? See, whenever gas prices shoot up they always throw out a bogus reason and most of the sheeple buy it.

    BTW, the NY Times reported today that two US Senators (Graham and Kerrey) have submitted sworn affidavits that the SAUDI GOVERNMENT was behind the 911 attacks! 😀 Over 10 years after 911 and they finally came to that conclusion when 17 of the 19 hijackers were SAUDI CITIZENS!!! HAH! You see, there is a multi-billion dollar lawsuit against the Saudi Gov and the Senator’s affidavits have been incorporated into that lawsuit. 😀

    Perhaps the Saudis have threatened to stop selling their oil in dollar denominations? If such a thing happened it would virtually destroy our economy.

    What else would prompt the American government to turn on their sugar daddies? These are the same goons who were kissed on their lips by Bush II on American soil. 😀

    Reply this comment
  10. Rex The Wonder Dog!
    Rex The Wonder Dog! 2 March, 2012, 15:02

    ??? See, whenever gas prices shoot up they always throw out a bogus reason and most of the sheeple buy it.

    Bell’s, you LEFT OUT the Senate and house Congressional hearings, which they ALWAYS convene when gas goes through the roof. I have seen this 5 times in the last 15-20 years. All show. Nothing EVER changes.

    Watch, you will see some Senator call for hearings on this anytime now.

    Reply this comment
  11. Rex The Wonder Dog!
    Rex The Wonder Dog! 2 March, 2012, 15:04

    Since the fed bailed out the bankers, I would not be surprised if they bail out the state employees if it came to that.

    Remember-94% of ALL Americans were AGAINST the TRAP bailouts-that is as close to 100% as you can get-I have never seen any issue in America in my lifetime that had that much support-yet TARP was still passed.

    The Feds won’t be able to make that same claim stick with regard to the states and their gold plated salary and pensions. Won’t happen liek TARP. The jig is up. The PONZI scheme is up, and that is exactly what these pensions were-a Ponzi scheme made by politicians being bribed.

    Reply this comment
  12. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 2 March, 2012, 15:14

    Not only that, rex. They will start to talk about using the emergency reserves too. But that won’t happen until it hits $5/gal. And it won’t even make a dent in the price.

    As the price of gas rises – so do the taxes you pay on each gallon of gas. Currently we are paying about $0.85-$0.90 in taxes on each gal of gas in California. If the price goes to $5/gal it will be $1 a gal or more in taxes.

    These people are master manipulators. They know exactly how far they can go until the people start revolting.

    Now when gas goes back to $3.50 a gal we think we are getting a bargain!!! 😀 It goes back to the frog in the old pot of water on the stove. Human beings are easily conditioned and manipulated.

    But the price of gas has NOTHING to do with Iran-Isreal. That’s just the excuse they use. Smoke ‘n mirrors. I’m surprised that haven’t used the ‘refinery fire’ excuse yet. That’s another common bogus line of BS.

    Reply this comment
  13. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 2 March, 2012, 15:22

    I remember when the price of gas was as low as $0.25 a gal. You could fill up your tank for less than it costs to buy a gallon of gas in SoCal today.

    No exaggeration. That’s the honest to God truth!

    Reply this comment
  14. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 2 March, 2012, 21:21

    Check this out:

    “In Ventura County, where the pension system is underfunded by $761 million, 84% of the retirees receiving more than $100,000 a year are receiving more than they did on the job”

    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-county-pensions-20120303,0,7934595,full.story

    Reply this comment
  15. Rex The Wonder Dog!
    Rex The Wonder Dog! 2 March, 2012, 22:56

    Check this out:

    “In Ventura County, where the pension system is underfunded by $761 million, 84% of the retirees receiving more than $100,000 a year are receiving more than they did on the job”

    These are not pensions, they are wealth accumulation vehicles paid for by taxpayers.

    BTW Beelz, saw a GOOD interview on Bill Moyers tonight-I have never watched this guy but was told about this segment;

    “Winner-Take-All Politics” by authors Hacker & Pierson

    In its premiere episode, Moyers & Company dives into one of the most important and controversial issues of our time: How Washington and Big Business colluded to make the super-rich richer and turn their backs on the rest of us.

    Bill’s guests – Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson, authors of Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer — And Turned Its Back on the Middle Class, argue that America’s vast inequality is no accident, but in fact has been politically engineered.

    http://billmoyers.com/episode/on-winner-take-all-politics/

    Awesome! It is exactly what we have been saying all along, the system has been hijacked by special interest money. Big time. They had your boy Bill Black on there too.

    Reply this comment
  16. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 3 March, 2012, 07:51

    “How Washington Made the Rich Richer — And Turned Its Back on the Middle Class, argue that America’s vast inequality is no accident, but in fact has been politically engineered”

    Thank God somebody is talking about this. You would never see this on the 6 o’clock news and you would never see this discussed in the editorial section of any major US newspaper – even though it’s as obvious as the nose on our faces. It was a CLEAR merger of State and corporate powers which = fascism. There is no getting around it. It took a complicit effort between government and Wall Street to pull off this meltdown. It was intentional and totally avoidable. This is not tin foil or black helicopter crap. It’s simple common sense. People who really believe in truth will say it. The REAL evidence is that the culprits who caused it to happen were never punished. As a matter of fact, they were REWARDED! That was the final nail that PROVED to me that the entire thing was orchestrated.

    Reply this comment
  17. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 3 March, 2012, 09:07

    I watched the program in it’s entirety, rex. Other than Bill Black none of them talked about failure to criminally prosecute the financial crimes. And there is absolutely no question that BIG financial crimes were committed. All the way from laundering 100’s of BILLIONS in drug money for the mexican cartels, to ignoring financial fraud laws re: selling poisoned investments to unsuspecting investors to actually removing customer funds from segregated accounts to fill financial holes on the institution’s books.

    If all the sudden the cops stopped enforcing laws against home burglaries what would you get??? A HUGE SPIKE IN HOME BURGLARIES!

    So if the Wall Street goons know that they are PROTECTED by the so-called regulators is there any hope that any of this will turn around??? NOPE!!!

    The richest 1% own 42% of America’s wealth. The richest 5% own 69% of America’s wealth. The richest 10% own over 90% of America’s wealth. The bottom 80% own 7% of America’s wealth.

    So when they tell you that the middle class is king in America call them on their BS.

    This won’t change by writing or calling your congressman. They are in on it.

    Reply this comment
  18. Tough Love
    Tough Love 3 March, 2012, 09:11

    Do the following … which would STILL leave the workers with BETTER pensions and benefits than 90+% of their Private Sector Taxpayers

    (1) Cut all pensions by 50% and end retiree healthcare subsidies.

    (2) Then cut more if that cannot balance the budget w/o tax increases.

    Reply this comment
  19. Rex The Wonder Dog!
    Rex The Wonder Dog! 3 March, 2012, 10:59

    Other than Bill Black none of them talked about failure to criminally prosecute the financial crimes.

    Of course not, that is part of the scam-if the gov actually procesuted the top 1/10 of the 1%ers they would be in prison and the scam would end.

    Reply this comment
  20. SkippingDog
    SkippingDog 3 March, 2012, 13:05

    California has 58 counties and 482 cities. Add San Diego and San Jose to the cities in this story and you still come up with only 6. Add in Bell, Stanton, Costa Mesa and maybe 5 more just for the sake of discussion, and you still only have 14-15, most of which are relatively small and should probably have been annexed to one of their larger neighbors anyway.

    That gives us an overall percentage of 2.7%, hardly the doomsday you’re all apparently hoping for.

    Reply this comment
  21. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 3 March, 2012, 13:38

    “That gives us an overall percentage of 2.7%, hardly the doomsday you’re all apparently hoping for”

    Those are only the ones we absolutely know about Mr. SkippingDog. Los Angeles is in big trouble too. Look at their pension debt.

    You see, the only way things can improve is if the economy grows. The only thing fueling the economy today are (1) $1.4 trillion deficits, (2) multi-billion dollar bailouts and (3) quantitative easing. If those continue the nation implodes financially. We are now paying $4.35/gal for gasoline. That will further erode the economy. Retail sales are down. Property tax revenues are down. Cities and counties live and die on property tax revenue. Real estate prices continue to fall as they flood the market with more foreclosures.

    The main point here is that they have no way to pull forward demand any longer, Mr. SkippyDog. They’ve run out of economic bullets. They did it temporarily with the dot com bubble. Then they did it temporarily with the real estate bubble. Now they are out of ammo. Other than the 3 artificial methods being used to stimulate the economy that I mentioned above – they have run out of tricks.

    The only other way out of it is to cause a World War and to destroy the productive capacity of our competitor nations – like we did in WW2. Naturally, that comes at a HUGE RISK when we aren’t the only player in the game any longer with atomic warheads on interballistic missiles.

    Once our global neighbors decide to stop buying oil in US currency denominations we’re effective finished.

    Reply this comment
  22. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 3 March, 2012, 13:57

    Oh, I forgot something in the previous post. There is a another artificial method being used to grow the economy (4) ZIRP (zero interest rate policy). ZIRP is essentially another form of theft from the middle class savers. It is more transfer of wealth from Main Street to Wall Street. Very insidious. Add ZIRP to the other three.

    Reply this comment
  23. Tough Love
    Tough Love 3 March, 2012, 15:23

    Skippy,

    The snowball has just started rolling downhill.

    Reply this comment
  24. SkippingDog
    SkippingDog 3 March, 2012, 16:15

    You guys crack me up, but at least you’re consistent. The end is near. Be very afraid.

    Reply this comment
  25. Hondo
    Hondo 3 March, 2012, 17:43

    Beezlbub:
    I remember gas being 19 cents a galleon. But for every what ever increase in taxes received from gas, kali loses far more in an economic recession spikes in gas prices would bring. And people will drive less too.
    There is no cure short of total fault now. I’ve looked at the numbers and 2015 seems the drop dead year. The hockey stick graf spikes upword ( so I cant spel, Im a grad of kali schoels). Unless you null and void all public union contracts now, you have no chance. The dems are trying to just get past this election then the lights go out in Kali. No more money.
    Good luck.
    Hondo

    Reply this comment
  26. Hondo
    Hondo 3 March, 2012, 17:46

    That ‘every’ in my second sentence needs to be gone. Bad editing on my part. I blame Kali schools.

    Reply this comment
  27. Rex The Wonder Dog!
    Rex The Wonder Dog! 3 March, 2012, 17:59

    You guys crack me up, but at least you’re consistent. The end is near. Be very afraid.

    The funny thing is this is EXACTYLY what the cps and ff;s said in Central falls RI, right before they took a 55% cut in current pensions.

    Reply this comment
  28. Tough Love
    Tough Love 3 March, 2012, 18:43

    Skippy’s concern & fear (for his own pension) will certainly increase as time goes on, insolvencies increase, and the funding levels continue to decline …. likely culminating with the “actives” demanding that retires like Skippy take a haircut so that something will be left for them.

    Reply this comment
  29. Rex The Wonder Dog!
    Rex The Wonder Dog! 3 March, 2012, 19:58

    Public pensions are essentially a ponzi scheme. And like all ponzi schemes the winners are the ones in the beginning and the losers are all the ones that come after.

    I guarantee you that there will be no 3%@50 pensions for any cop, ff, or anyone else in this state in 5 years. I guarantee it. The money won’t be there.

    Sooner or later the ponzi scheme ends. We have never ween this in gov yet, but we have never seen this level of outright corruption on such a large scale either.

    Reply this comment
  30. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 3 March, 2012, 21:16

    Outright corrruption, Rex? Who has been arrested, and what are the charges?

    Reply this comment
  31. David H
    David H 3 March, 2012, 21:20

    I don’t know about tin foil hats, but there may be black helicopters. I had a friend in Arizona who had a black helicopter hover over his house, it rattled the windows and shook several pictures off the wall. It was the day after he and others distributed tens of thousands of copies of literature all over Tucson exposing the “New World Order.” The folks from out of town who had the truck of literature were staying in his home. http://www.stepstolife.org/tabloids/EnglishEFW.pdf

    Reply this comment
  32. David H
    David H 3 March, 2012, 21:30

    Skippydog, the end is near. We have been living in the time of the end since 1798 according to Daniel chapter 11. How are you going to escape all the trouble? Your pension won’t save you.

    Reply this comment
  33. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 3 March, 2012, 22:09

    I noted that gas at a OC 7-eleven today was priced @ $4.37/gal for regular unleaded. Premium was @ $4.65/gal.

    It’s only bound to go higher as we enter spring and summer. $5/gal is a distinct possiblity. I would put money on it. Again, the scam is to make you believe the Iran-Israel conflict is the cause. BS! The Fed monetary policy is the cause. It’s driving all prices upward.

    Gas prices are going to blow a hole in the economy. The price of most other things revolve around the price of oil. Transportation costs drive food and consumer items higher. Plane and train fares go up. It’s out of control.

    “I remember gas being 19 cents a galleon”

    You must be an old fart, hondo! 😀

    I remember when when we had party lines on our rotary telephone connections. Beat that!

    Reply this comment
  34. SkippingDog
    SkippingDog 3 March, 2012, 22:22

    You may want to review Matthew 24:36 –

    “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.”

    And then there’s Mark 13:32 –

    “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.”

    ————————-

    When the Contracts Clause and the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment are eliminated, TL, I’ll begin to be concerned about not only my pensions, but my other property as well. It’s not likely that’ll happen anytime soon, so it doesn’t warrant any concern. Those protections weren’t even touched during the Civil War, except for property that was in the form of human slaves. I don’t have any of those.

    ————————-

    What you keep forgetting, Rex, is that places like Central Falls, R.I. (and Providence) pay their retiree pensions directly out of the general fund of the city. The same is true about Prichard and Jefferson County Alabama. There are no California pensions that operate that way. Keep up the rants, though. You’ve been wrong about every prediction you’ve ever made here or on the old OCR site. No reason to change your streak now….

    Reply this comment
  35. Tough Love
    Tough Love 3 March, 2012, 22:38

    Quoting Skippy ….”Those protections weren’t even touched during the Civil War, except for property that was in the form of human slaves. I don’t have any of those.”

    Sure you do … they’re called Private Sector taxpayers.

    But they’re becoming increasingly unhappy with their lot, and a revolt is on the horizon.

    Reply this comment
  36. Rex The Wonder Dog!
    Rex The Wonder Dog! 3 March, 2012, 22:45

    When the Contracts Clause and the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment are eliminated, TL, I’ll begin to be concerned about not only my pensions,

    The airline pilots for United and American and Continental all said the exact same thing, they invoked the contracts clause the takings clause, the due process clause! The investors of Charles Ponzi said that too! What a coincidence!

    Now Skippy, what happened tot he airline pilots and the Ponzi investors????? They lost. They lost most of their pensions and all of their investments because the money was not there. You cannot force a gov entitled to RAISE taxes, and that is a fact. So if the money is not there for $10 million pensions for GED educated cops at age 50- then it is not here. Nothing can be done, by you, by public unions, by Jerry Clown, no one can cure that.

    Reply this comment
  37. Rex The Wonder Dog!
    Rex The Wonder Dog! 3 March, 2012, 22:48

    What you keep forgetting, Rex, is that places like Central Falls, R.I. (and Providence) pay their retiree pensions directly out of the general fund of the city.

    I didn’t buy this so I just googled it and you’re wrong. They BOTH have pension funds, but the funds are depleted.

    The Central Falls and Providnce RI pensions are NOT funded directly out of the general fund. The general fund makes contributions to the pension fund, just as the state and munis do to calpers.

    Reply this comment
  38. Rex The Wonder Dog!
    Rex The Wonder Dog! 3 March, 2012, 22:54

    I noted that gas at a OC 7-eleven today was priced @ $4.37/gal for regular unleaded. Premium was @ $4.65/gal.

    Beelz, funny you mentioned this today. I drive to my gym which is 14 miles each way. My vehicle, a truck, gets 18 miles per gallon (trucks are geared low for pulling, getting lower MPG). My truck is a 2.4 litre 4 banger. Gas was $4.50 today at my Chevron. So just this afternoon I was figuring out the cost just to drive to my gym- 25 cents per MILE, $1 every 4 miles. So at 28 miles RT it costs me $7.00 just to drive to my gym. I am shocked at that cost.

    Reply this comment
  39. Rex The Wonder Dog!
    Rex The Wonder Dog! 3 March, 2012, 23:01

    SeeSaw says:
    Outright corrruption, Rex? Who has been arrested, and what are the charges?

    I would ask you to watch this video and then tell me there was no corruption (it applies to public unions at the local and state level as much as Big Business does to Congress);

    Then watch this;

    Reply this comment
  40. Rex The Wonder Dog!
    Rex The Wonder Dog! 3 March, 2012, 23:06

    Then watch this;

    Reply this comment
  41. Rex The Wonder Dog!
    Rex The Wonder Dog! 3 March, 2012, 23:06

    I would ask you to watch this video and then tell me there was no corruption (it applies to public unions at the local and state level as much as Big Business does to Congress);

    Reply this comment
  42. SkippingDog
    SkippingDog 3 March, 2012, 23:11

    Look again, Rex. Those plans are local pension funds under the control of the government agency itself. There’s no separation or independence from the employing agencies, and the plans have been paying their obligations with a direct transfer of general funds.

    Read a little more closely before you post.

    California doesn’t have that kind of pension program anywhere, primarily because of Pete Wilson’s CalPERS funding raid in the early 90’s. That’s when every pension fund in our state became a fully independent agency with the single fiduciary obligation of protecting and preserving the pensions of its members. The local pension systems in R.I., Alabama, or even New York don’t have anything close to that level of independence and legal obligation to their members.

    BTW, Rex, one of the big differences between government pensions and private pensions is that the Constitution itself protects people from arbitrary government actions, even if those people are government employees. That’s not true for private pension funds like those you list, so you’re making another false comparison to try and save what face you have remaining.

    Charles Ponzi was a private individual engaged in a criminal fraud scheme. There’s nothing comparable in public pensions, except perhaps the attempt by your buddy Moorlach to illegally avoid a contract obligation to the OC deputies. That cost the County over $5 million in just legal expenses.

    In the final analysis, governments are ongoing entities that have the power to raise revenues through taxes and user fees. Even though you hate it, you know that’s eventually going to happen in California because the bills must be paid.

    ————————————

    You may be many things, TL, but you’re certainly not a slave. Even suggesting such a thing makes you appear foolish and ignorant about the true evil that was the institution of slavery in the U.S.

    Just for the sake of our ongoing discussion, do you really believe a generally content population that watches American Idol and doesn’t even know the name of their own Congressman is really going to “revolt”? Now that most people don’t have any military service experience, how long do you think the gun-show nut jobs are going to be an effective force in such a conflict? 15-20 seconds?

    If you want to say dumb things about slavery, threaten a revolt, and live in a low tax and low government service state, you need to get in your car and move someplace south of NJ – maybe Mississippi?

    Reply this comment
  43. SkippingDog
    SkippingDog 3 March, 2012, 23:16

    Ratigan is an entertainer, Rex. His schtick is just a cleaned up riff that could have been originally performed by Sam Kinison as a rant.

    Just like those goofy guys on KFI in the afternoon….

    Reply this comment
  44. Tough Love
    Tough Love 3 March, 2012, 23:45

    Skippy, Don’t be foolish. You know that I didn’t mean a military revolt, but a depth of protest (combined with the clear and growing financial crisis) that will finally get politicians to do something about it. At some point the politicians will shift sides and throw you guys (and your overstuffed pensions) under the bus.

    Reply this comment
  45. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 3 March, 2012, 23:54

    Excellent video w/ Law Professor Bill Black, Rex. God bless that man.

    We all know that Professor Black was the chief prosecutor during the S&L crisis of the 1990’s. He knows his stuff. The S&L crisis was 1/70th the size of the 2008 financial meltdown. And at that time Special Prosecutor Black put nearly 1000 financial criminals in jail. Yet not one financial criminal from the 2008 Wall Street financial meltdown has been indicted or prosecuted, let alone incarcerated. Not even John Corzine who headed MF Global that literally stole $1.6B in segregated accounts to fill the financial holes in that organization when their bets went bad.

    You notice SkippyDog didn’t mention Bill Black in his response to you. He knows better. The Obama administration is corrupted. We know that. Look at ‘Fast and Furious’ where the govt send thousands of assault weapons across the Mexican border that were used by the drug cartels to kill innocents – to include a US Border Patrol Agent. AG Holder knew about it and was said to lie about his knowledge of the operation when he testified under sworn oath before Congress.

    If this ponzi scam continues I think we will see OWS x 1000 within 3 years. No way can they keep this financial train in the tracks.

    You cannot solve a debt crisis with more debt. The ending is ALWAYS ugly. Real ugly. History taught various governments that lesson many, many times over the course of a millenium. When in doubt open a history book.

    Reply this comment
  46. Rex The Wonder Dog!
    Rex The Wonder Dog! 4 March, 2012, 00:30

    Charles Ponzi was a private individual engaged in a criminal fraud scheme. There’s nothing comparable in public pensions,

    #1-I don’t think there is much of a difference between what Ponzi did in the private sector and what public officilas and public unions have done iwth public pensions today. I think it IS a crime, just a crime that is not prosecuted. I think a reasonable person can say that what the politicians have done, over promised pensions with no way to pay, IS a Ponzi type scheme in the public sector.

    My point about Ponzi investors was that the money was gone, so they didn’t get paid in the end. This is also true of these public pensions, the money is gone (well it was never there to start with) and they won’t be paid, at least not at 100 cents on the dollar.

    Reply this comment
  47. Rex The Wonder Dog!
    Rex The Wonder Dog! 4 March, 2012, 00:32

    Ratigan is an entertainer, Rex. His schtick is just a cleaned up riff that could have been originally performed by Sam Kinison as a rant.

    Dylan Ratigan gets it, he knows the problem, and if you think that is “schtick” then we are light years apart on policy -nothing new.

    Reply this comment
  48. Rex The Wonder Dog!
    Rex The Wonder Dog! 4 March, 2012, 00:37

    AG Holder knew about it and was said to lie about his knowledge of the operation when he testified under sworn oath before Congress.

    Holder has NO BUSINESS running DoJ. He is a joke. Geithner and Bernanke also have NO BUSINESS in the position they occupy either. All 3 should have been fired years ago-why they are allowed to keep their jobs makes no sense to me.

    Like Ratigan says, money has killed our democracy. If we want to survive we need to get money OUT of the system, or we are doomed.

    Reply this comment
  49. Mrs. White
    Mrs. White 4 March, 2012, 08:41

    Because of frequent triumphs, Satan is becoming more bold and defiant in his rebellion against God. The rapid development of evil, the confusion among the laboring classes, reveal that men are rapidly taking sides. They are being bound up in bundles to be burned. The labor unions are quickly stirred to violence if their demands are not complied with. Plainer and plainer it is becoming that the inhabitants of the world are not in harmony with God.

    Reply this comment
  50. Mrs. White
    Mrs. White 4 March, 2012, 08:43

    The injustice in our world, the masterly power man has taken unto himself, the oppressive, man-made unions that bring confusion and violence and strife, and the manipulation of a power to rule men and to acquire means through underhand deceptions–these conditions God cannot pass by with silence. Those who are under the influence and teaching of the great deceiver will find that although God has borne long with their deceptive acuteness, He has not been deceived, and He will reward every transgressor according to his works. He keeps a strict account of every lie framed, and when He takes matters in His hand, He will deal in accordance with every man’s secret and hidden devising.

    Reply this comment
  51. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 4 March, 2012, 10:03

    Well worth taking 30 minutes to watch this politically unbiased interview of former Republican insider who was Reagan’s budget manager, David Stockman.

    He describes the problem and at the end offers solutions.

    This nation is sick and totally dyfunctional.

    http://billmoyers.com/segment/david-stockman-on-crony-capitalism/

    Reply this comment
  52. Scott Zwartz
    Scott Zwartz 4 March, 2012, 11:26

    Any city that files for bankruptcy due to the abolition of the CRA’s should have its elected officials all investigated for criminal fraud, RICO, and other criminal activity. The investigations should go as far back as the statute of limitations allow.

    In Los Angeles, every council member knew about the vast corruption at CRA/LA, yet they approved project after project in the face of clear and convincing evidence of fraud. The councilmembers simply gave away money to their patrons, e.g. Eli Broad got $52 M for a parking garage, CIM Group got $30 Million to rehab the new Kodak Theater. Other corrupt deals were everywhere as Ron Kaye Blog relates about the Garcetti-CRA fraud with respect to 1610 N. Vine.

    Californians took a giant step against multi-BILLION dollar corruption by abolishing the CRA’s, and we need to press on and criminally prosecute the people who have stolen so much money and caused such harm to our cities and state.

    Unless we continue to be aggressive, the crooks will re-enact a new CRA statute to steal what little money we have left.

    Reply this comment
  53. Tough Love
    Tough Love 4 March, 2012, 11:28

    All Public Sector pensions … including those of Current retirees … should be capped at 60% of BASE PAY (for a 35 year career, with proportionately less for less service) payable at no earlier than age 62 (or with a full actuarial reduction of 5-6% per year to collect earlier).

    Why ?

    Because that’s about the MOST GENEROUS Private Sector pension you will find, and with:
    (a) taxpayers responsible for all but the 10-20% of the total Plan costs actually paid for by Public Sector workers (INCLUDING all the investment income earned on their contributions over their career), and
    (b) Public Sector workers making no less than Private Sector workers in “cash pay” (per the US Gov’t BLS)

    there is ZERO justification for continued Taxpayer funding of greater pensions and better benefits.

    Reply this comment
  54. SkippingDog
    SkippingDog 4 March, 2012, 11:29

    You of course remember, Beelzebub, that David Stockman was among the first of the Reagan officials to openly admit that the supply-side, trickle-down, “starve the beast” approach championed by Reagan was, in fact, nothing more than Voodoo Economics and would cripple our nation.

    At the time he said it, is was such apostasy that he was “taken to the woodshed” by Reagan for stating the truth.

    Reply this comment
  55. Tough Love
    Tough Love 4 March, 2012, 11:33

    Quoting Scott Zwartz …”Californians took a giant step against multi-BILLION dollar corruption by abolishing the CRA’s, and we need to press on and criminally prosecute the people who have stolen so much money and caused such harm to our cities and state. ”

    Clearly, the Public Sector Unions are the worst offenders who have, in your words “caused such harm to our cities and state”.

    Public Sector Unions are a CANCER on society and should be outlawed.

    Reply this comment
  56. SkippingDog
    SkippingDog 4 March, 2012, 11:34

    When things get as bad as you hope, TL, the politicians will certainly switch sides. It won’t be the realignment you expect, but one much more consistent with the OWS movement. That will mean a return to marginal tax rates to the same levels they were in the 1940’s and 1950’s, when we were paying off the second world war and ramping up the military industrial complex for the Cold War.

    A 90% marginal rate on income over $250k wouldn’t at all be surprising, and it would be entirely appropriate as well.

    Reply this comment
  57. SkippingDog
    SkippingDog 4 March, 2012, 11:43

    “Dylan Ratigan gets it, he knows the problem, and if you think that is “schtick” then we are light years apart on policy -nothing new.”

    You apparently have never caught on to the fact that TV and radio are ENTERTAINMENT mediums. The sole purpose of programs like those you post is to gather and audience and then sell them something. When you confuse entertainment with objective and reasoned thought, you do yourself and your country a disservice.

    Reply this comment
  58. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 4 March, 2012, 12:08

    “….David Stockman was among the first of the Reagan officials to openly admit that the supply-side, trickle-down, “starve the beast” approach championed by Reagan was, in fact, nothing more than Voodoo Economics and would cripple our nation”

    David Stockman is a rare bird. One of the only former political insiders who is painfully honest and attacks everyone equally regardless of party affiliation or political ideology. I would like to know more about his personal life and motivations. There is something special that separates him from the rest. For some reason he became uncorruptable. Almost too good to be true.

    The nation is running a $1.4T deficit – yet the corrupted politicians extend the FICA tax cut, extend the tax cuts for the rich and refuse to make any meaningful cuts to the massive budget. It’s as if they keep the accelerator pushed all the way to the floor as we speed closer and closer to that financial brick wall. Instead of preventing financial crises it appears that their intent is to deliberately manufacture them and then use them to transfer tremendous amounts of wealth from the working class to the oligarchs and the rulers.

    No wonder the US government refuses to go after those off-shore banks that hide those secret bank accounts held by American citizens. I’m sure the account holders use fictitious names too. How many of the 535 congressmen and women do you think have one of those secret accounts?

    Reply this comment
  59. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 4 March, 2012, 12:23

    Dylan Ratigan goes where 99% of all other TV news hosts are unwilling to go. He ruthlessly attacks the financial institution, crony capitalism and the bought off politicians. Why do you think he got booted by CNBC – a network that is owned lock, stock and barrel by the Wall Street oligarchs?

    We really have no ‘free press’ in America anymore. Look at the recent scientific forensic investigation on Obama’s birth certificate. Totally ignored by the TV media even though the investigation detailed specific scientific evidence (same as used for exposing fraudulent documents in our courts of law) that Obama’s BC and Selective Service Cards are forgeries! If our President is using forged legal documents to represent himself – shouldn’t that be BIG NEWS?

    But it’s much easier to attack and defame the messenger than it is to look directly at the EVIDENCE and demand answers.

    Reply this comment
  60. Tough Love
    Tough Love 4 March, 2012, 13:25

    Skippy, While you and I agree that marginal tax rates on the wealthy should rise, that’s where our agreement ends, as I feel that not one dime of any tax increase should go towards supporting the Public Sector pensions that are CLEARLY excessive.

    Freeze any further growth in these pensions FIRST, THEN we can talk about it.

    Reply this comment
  61. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 4 March, 2012, 14:06

    Go look at the pension formulas for the County of Orange. All are 2.7%@55. That means after 30 years they get 81% of their salary for the rest of their natural lives. I scanned over Page 1 of the document. A fing common painter who works at John Wayne Airport (run by the County) make $57,000. At 55 yoa that painter can draw a $46170 annual pension. Over a normal lifespan of 25 years to age 80 that painter collects $1,154,250 in pension income! And I am not factoring in COLA and all the other spikes these laborers add into their pension benefits. And that’s just for a common Painter. The painter’s supervisor probably makes $80,000 or more.

    Check this out:

    http://lgcr.sco.ca.gov/CompensationDetail.aspx?entity=County&id=10993000000&year=2010&GetCsu=False

    How can these wealth accumulation benefits possibly be sustained?

    The other day I posted an article that showed 84% of Ventura County Gov employees with pensions over $100,000 are actually collecting more money in their pension benefits annually than they made on the job!!!! 😀

    This is absolultely NUTS!

    Reply this comment
  62. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 4 March, 2012, 14:40

    That’s because they are on the 37ACT County pension plan, and they are allowed to spike their pensions with overtime, and vacation time. CalPERS ended that type of spiking in 1993.

    Reply this comment
  63. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 4 March, 2012, 15:11

    Private sector workers don’t belong to any special taxpayer-group, TL. They belong to the same group, that public sector workers, belong to.

    Reply this comment
  64. Tough Love
    Tough Love 4 March, 2012, 15:16

    Seesaw, Private sector workers sure do belong to a special taxpayer-group, a group that does NOT get back pensions and benefits (sourced from Taxpayer dollars) of about $5 for each $1 they pay in taxes.

    Reply this comment
  65. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 4 March, 2012, 16:09

    Well, then, I’m in both groups–I am married to a carpenter to worked in the private sector, for 50 years–good enough for you?

    Every public, pension dollar that is put back, into the economy, doubles, and is used to buy products, from the private sector.

    You are wailing about nothing, TL. Whole families are being swept away in the midwest, and you are whining about having to pay a few taxes. Shame!

    Reply this comment
  66. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 4 March, 2012, 16:48

    “Every public, pension dollar that is put back, into the economy, doubles, and is used to buy products, from the private sector”

    Excuse me, but that is really a stupid comment. I mean really stupid.

    If spending money is such a good thing then the government should just print a couple billion dollars a month and divide it equally among the American population to spend. We could all just go to the mall and spend money. Or we could just create 17M new makeshift gov jobs and put all the unemployed to work with 2.7%@55 pensions. If what you say is true we should have 0% unemployment. Better yet, the gov should just give each household a money printing machine so we could all print however much we need to spend. Then we could all quit our jobs and spend money at the mall all day long. Hell, if we put all that money to work it would double by buying products from the private sector! 😀

    Reply this comment
  67. Rex The Wonder Dog!
    Rex The Wonder Dog! 4 March, 2012, 16:52

    Seesaw, Private sector workers sure do belong to a special taxpayer-group, a group that does NOT get back pensions and benefits (sourced from Taxpayer dollars) of about $5 for each $1 they pay in taxes.

    Tough Love, while that 5-1 ration may be true for general gov employees, the public safety class, which usually accounts for 60%-80% of local budgets, usually get back a 20-1 ratio, that is if they pay ANYTHING.

    The majority of the public safety class employees don’t pay a dime of their own side of the pensions costs (already only 15% of overall costs), their side is “picked up” but he employer, aka taxpayer.

    Reply this comment
  68. Rex The Wonder Dog!
    Rex The Wonder Dog! 4 March, 2012, 16:53

    “Every public, pension dollar that is put back, into the economy, doubles, and is used to buy products, from the private sector”
    Excuse me, but that is really a stupid comment. I mean really stupid.

    It is beyond stooopid, it is totally false. And she knows it.

    Reply this comment
  69. Tough Love
    Tough Love 4 March, 2012, 18:04

    Quoting Seesaw ..”Every public, pension dollar that is put back, into the economy, doubles, and is used to buy products, from the private sector. ”

    And would those dollars be less beneficial to the economy if kept (via lower taxes) and spent by Private Sector workers, instead of by Civil Servant from their excessive pensions ?

    Reply this comment
  70. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 4 March, 2012, 18:39

    I have seen the stats that CalPERS received, from the Pew Center, Rex. Actually, every pension dollar spent in the economy, multiplies, more than double. I am dealing with reality, Rex. You are in a crazy dither.

    Reply this comment
  71. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 4 March, 2012, 18:41

    That is true, Beez. In order for the economy to work, people need to spend.

    Reply this comment
  72. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 4 March, 2012, 18:53

    Rex:

    The Economic Impacts of CalPERS Pension Payments in 2010
    This study shows how CalPERS benefit payments rippled through the California economy last year, generating $26 billion in economic activity and supporting more than 93,600 jobs across the State. Here are the key findings of the study:

    •CalPERS sent $11.566 billion in retirement checks to 431,373 California residents last year.
    •The payments spurred an additional $14.615 billion in induced business revenue, generating a total of $26.18 billion in economic activity in the State.
    •The economic activity supported 93,651 statewide jobs with a total compensation of $4.795 billion.
    •The number of State jobs supported by retirement payments is greater than the number of jobs supported by the air transportation, broadcasting and utilities industries.
    •State retirees receiving CalPERS payments generated $1 billion in state and local taxes including almost $620 million in property and sales taxes.
    •Each dollar contributed by state and local governments to the CalPERS Fund is invested, grows over time and when paid to beneficiaries in 2010 generated $10.79 of activity in the California economy.
    Full Study (PDF, 3.67 MB)
    Download the entire study.
    Executive Summary (PDF, 178 KB)
    Read the executive summary and key findings.
    Economic Impact by County
    View a closer look at how pension payments generate economic activity and jobs in California counties.
    Economic Impact by Region
    CalPERS retirement benefits generate $26 billion in economic impact across nine California regions.
    Region and County Impacts At-A-Glance (PDF, 64 KB)
    View a comprehensive breakdown of regional and county pension economic impacts.
    Dated: 07-15-2011

    What was it that I know, Rex?

    Reply this comment
  73. Rex The Wonder Dog!
    Rex The Wonder Dog! 4 March, 2012, 19:29

    What was it that I know, Rex?

    You don’t knwo anything about economics seesaw, you just cut and paste-or parrot- the CalTURDS website talking points and propaganda, which you found here;

    http://www.calpers.ca.gov/index.jsp?bc=/about/press/news/economic-engine/econ-impacts/home.xml

    ALL GARBAGE TALKING POINTS from a fraudulent organization. CulTURDS is a FRAUD, a criminal organization, they should be prosecuted from fraud in both civil and criminal courts. In fact they should be sued under the RICO act in BOTH civil and criminal court.

    Reply this comment
  74. Rex The Wonder Dog!
    Rex The Wonder Dog! 4 March, 2012, 19:31

    That is true, Beez. In order for the economy to work, people need to spend.

    People cannot spend when the trough feeders are stealing all of their hard earned money.

    Reply this comment
  75. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 4 March, 2012, 19:32

    It is a Study, comissioned by CalPERS Rex. Who do you commission, to determine what comes out of your mouth?

    Reply this comment
  76. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 4 March, 2012, 19:35

    No-one wants people to have jobs, more than I do, Rex. You are praying for more downfall, so that you will not be alone, in your misery. You are pathetic!

    Reply this comment
  77. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 4 March, 2012, 19:42

    If they ran the public sector like a regular business the government could literally cut the public workforce in half and not lose any productivity whatsoever. Yes, half of the public workforce currently employed is deadwood.

    In the private sector it is common for workers to actually show up on a Saturday to finish up work they did not complete during the workweek for no extra pay. If a public sector worker went to the office on a Saturday without overtime and the union found out about it that worker would probably get a nasty call or email from the union rep that next week. Workers in the public sector are encouraged NOT TO PRODUCE. The senior workers who get paid the most are the laziest since they know that they are bullet proof and can’t get fired due to union protection. Once that probation term expires it’s guaranteed lifetime employment regardless of how lazy or incompetent a public worker might be.

    Reply this comment
  78. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 4 March, 2012, 20:28

    I did that many times. What’s more, no union ever kept tabs on our workers. You have a very skewed view of what public work is all about, when it comes to unions. Everyone is not in the union. The end of redevelopment has started a new wave of unemployed–thousands of workers, in both sectors will be without work. The layoffs, at my former entity, are in progress right now. That should make you happy. I worked in the public sector for many years–and I saw employees fired–your idea that getting a job in the public sector means lifetime employment, is ridiculous!

    Reply this comment
  79. Tough Love
    Tough Love 4 March, 2012, 20:44

    Seesaw, While I doubt you’ll understand, layoff in the Public Sector is a good thing. Employment in the public Sector should ONLY be in positions not reasonably filled by Private Sector workers (e.g., Police). Many jobs currently filled by Public Sector workers should properly be filled by Private Sector companies & workers, one very good example being Corrections, easily filled Privately at half the cost ….. and very likely the best example of Union power out of control.

    Public Sector employment in many locations has morphed from on;y filling appropriate jobs to widespread make-work positions for the marginally employable ….. all at huge and unnecessary cost to taxpayers.

    Reply this comment
  80. Rex The Wonder Dog!
    Rex The Wonder Dog! 4 March, 2012, 20:45

    If they ran the public sector like a regular business the government could literally cut the public workforce in half and not lose any productivity whatsoever. Yes, half of the public workforce currently employed is deadwood.

    Don’t leave out that there would be no $74K per year parking lot attendants either.

    hey Beelz, that David Stockman interview was awesome, and so on the money. Int he end, minute 34-35, he said the exact same thing that the other Moyer interview said, with the two authors of Winner Take All Politics, that MONEY MUST be taken out of politics, not just Big Business but also public unions.

    Reply this comment
  81. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 4 March, 2012, 21:15

    “hey Beelz, that David Stockman interview was awesome, and so on the money”

    Yep. David Stockman is the real deal. He has no loyalty to any of these political clowns. He’ll even go after his old boss, Ronny Reagan. At the end of the video Stockman said in order to solve the problem we have to take all the big corporate and union money out of politics. And he’s not naive. He knows that the chances of that happening are slim and none.

    You would never see a guy like Stockman appointed to a cabinet level position again, Rex. No doubt he is viewed as a pariah and traitor by the big dem and repub powers in Wash DC. I have no idea what motivates the guy. My guess is that he is just a good, decent human being who adheres to a moral compass. No wonder he has been ostracized by the DC crowd.

    Reply this comment
  82. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 4 March, 2012, 22:36

    hey rex, did you read that the family of Marine Sgt. Manuel Loggins retained a civil rights atty and is in the process of suing the OCSD???

    Why would OCSD care if turns out to be an unjustified shooting and the family wins $10M in court? OCSD and the cop who killed Loggins won’t pay a nickle of the judgment. The OC taxpayers will foot the entire bill. So why would OCSD change their ‘shoot first’ policy? The killer gets a few months of paid admin leave and vaca time. The Sheriff gets her full budget for the next fiscal year. All compliments of the taxpayer.

    What a f’ed system, eh?

    Reply this comment
  83. Rex The Wonder Dog!
    Rex The Wonder Dog! 4 March, 2012, 22:58

    At the end of the video Stockman said in order to solve the problem we have to take all the big corporate and union money out of politics. And he’s not naive. He knows that the chances of that happening are slim and none.

    The first thing I started to think of at the end when Stockman said the money MUST be removed ($100 max contributions) was the Citizens United SCOTUS ruling.

    CU said spending unlimited money was a 1st Amendment right, and that included corporations, 90% of Americans disagree with the CU ruling by the SCOTUS. Stockman proposed a constitutional amendment to cure the big money spending problem, and under CU I don’t know if such an amendment would be ruled constitutional, not under the SCOTUS’s current make up.

    Like Bill Black said, we need to change the make up/philosophy of the SCOTUS if they keep making rulings/law like CU. Corps are not people and they should not have a right to spend unlimited amounts of money, neither should public (or private) unions, no artificial entity should have that right.

    Reply this comment
  84. Rex The Wonder Dog!
    Rex The Wonder Dog! 4 March, 2012, 23:12

    hey rex, did you read that the family of Marine Sgt. Manuel Loggins retained a civil rights atty and is in the process of suing the OCSD???
    Why would OCSD care if turns out to be an unjustified shooting and the family wins $10M in court? OCSD and the cop who killed Loggins won’t pay a nickle of the judgment. The OC taxpayers will foot the entire bill.

    You know, it is funny you should mention this today. I was thinking about two cases today, the OC social workers case and the $12 million judgement that San Diego lawyer Shawn McMillan got against OC, and the Michael Kerkeles police/DA corruption and misconduct case in San Jose, the case where the cops and DA fabricated fake evidence and then committed perjury in court. Nothing happened to any of the parties in either of those two cases of egregious and outrageous abuse of government misconduct. No one was fired. No one was disciplined. And who pays?? You, me, the public, and what happens next?? More of the same because then the Bat Signal goes up that no matter how much misconduct you engage in as a government employee, no matter what a civil court rules in terms of liability, the government employee will face no discipline and will view that as a green light to do it over and over and over again. And criminal charges are RARELY brought.

    I predict that he fat deputy that shot an unarmed innocent Marine will be held liable for millions in civil court (no criminal charges), and that he will get promoted. In government the Peter Principle works at full force, incompetent people are the ones currently employed, they then hire other incompetent people (while competent applicants are DQ’d, never hired), and then the incompetent employees get promoted and hire more incompetent employees. Rinse, repeat cycle, rinse, repeat cycle over and over.

    Reply this comment
  85. queeg
    queeg 4 March, 2012, 23:33

    Bk for poorly run cities GOOD!

    How can so many posts waste time….make a living….bk is good.

    Reply this comment
  86. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 5 March, 2012, 11:32

    hey rex, did you read that George Jarimillo (Felon ex-Sheriff Mike Carona’s assistant sheriff and right hand man) won a recent lawsuit against OC for $362,000 in retroactive pay plus benefits because the County failed to advise him of his appellate rights under the Police Officer Bill of Rights? 😀

    I believe this is the same thing ex-acting Sheriff Galinsky is suing the County for. She will probably win too.

    Jarimillo convicted of corruption charges in the Carona scandal and did local time.

    Whoever failed to do their job and advise Jarimillo of his appeallate rights is not being sued. Chances are he or she will walk away totally unscathed. This should have gone through human resources too and been checked with a fine toothed comb. The innocent taxpayers get screwed again while the ACTUAL VIOLATORS who FAILED US are not named or punished.

    The whole system is a scam.

    Reply this comment
  87. Rex The Wonder Dog!
    Rex The Wonder Dog! 5 March, 2012, 11:39

    Yes, Jaramillo won that just like you said- the so called Police Officer Bill of Rights, a joke. They are “special”. They already have bullet proof civil service protections, so there is/was no need for more. Just more evidence that we need to get the $$ out of the system.

    He is still disbarred-for now, but that won’t last for long either.

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