Government ‘investing’ in government

Oct. 6, 2012

By Katy Grimes

In order to stimulate the inert economy, we now have the government investing in government. The public sector is trading public dollars for public dollars.

“How will you spend your future?” the California State Teachers Retirement System logo asks. I wouldn’t spend it on a solar plant. Nor would I voluntarily spend my future with CalSTRS.

‘Infrastructure investments’

Nearly every time I pick up the newspaper, the headline screams that another solar plant has closed and the business gone under. Yet I see that the California State Teachers’ Retirement System is investing $42.8 million in a large solar plant in Sacramento.

“Investing” was the term used.

A Solar plant’s primary revenue stream is tax credits. So why would CalSTRS be interested in tax credits? And why would a retirement system need tax credits? …especially when much of the solar industry has been totally discredited as phony investments propped up by federal “stimulus” money.

“The California State Teachers’ Retirement System said the investments are part of its 2-year-old commitment to infrastructure,” the Sacramento Bee reported. “The pension fund has $750 million invested in the field.”

Something smells fishy.

According to one Capitol insider, CalSTRS thinks they are following all the safe money.  They apparently are also banking on a guaranteed return because of the 2011 Renewable Portfolio Standard, which requires that 33 percent of all of California’s energy will need to be from renewable resources by year 2020.

CalSTRS balance sheets lately aren’t looking really hot.  Some political insiders are predicting that there will be a “Green” Swan moment in 2013, and investors will really be looking for guarantees then.

The Certified Annual Financial Report for CalSTRS 2011 reported, “We have been working with the Legislature and Governor to raise awareness of the system’s $56 billion funding shortfall, the cost of waiting to address it and the ultimate risk failing to do so presents to the state’s General Fund. The funding shortfall can be managed, but it will require a thoughtful, strategic solution involving increased contributions, which can be gradual, predictable and fair to all parties.”

So why would CalSTRS, worried about a shortfall, “invest” in a solar plant? Solar is a bubble that cannot be sustained without huge government subsidies.

Could it be that politics is involved here? Does the state need the state’s pensioners to prop up the unstable and unreliable green energy industry?

This is not a stretch since wind and solar power is unreliable. The state must have and maintain an equal amount of natural gas energy in order to back up the entire energy grid on a moment’s notice.

“The California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) today announced the expansion of its infrastructure program that includes a $42.8 million commitment to four California investments,” CalSTRS said in it’s press release yesterday.

I wonder just how much smoke CalSTRS blew up its members skirts over this “infrastructure investment.”

A teacher I know is not happy about the solar plant investment. “If Proposition 30 passes, at least the losses from the solar company investment will be covered,” he said. “Either way, it’s still taxpayer money.”

It’s still government investing in government, which is never a good investment.

21 comments

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  1. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 5 October, 2012, 17:20

    Lets hope it doesn’t go BK like Solyndra, b/c you know who they will want to cover the costs.

    Reply this comment
  2. us citizen
    us citizen 5 October, 2012, 18:51

    NO on any new taxes. Period.

    Reply this comment
  3. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 5 October, 2012, 20:16

    You will find your fellow citizens think schools are more important than the manic ravings of chubby bottom righties!

    Reply this comment
  4. The Africanized Swarm of Ted Steele System
    The Africanized Swarm of Ted Steele System 6 October, 2012, 09:32

    Poodle– I know that your nobody’s fool, but maybe someone will adopt you?

    Reply this comment
  5. Wayne Lusvardi
    Wayne Lusvardi 6 October, 2012, 10:52

    Daniel Henninger of the Wall Street Journal pointed out this past week that Europe offers free advanced education for everyone — but at a price of 20 percent structural unemployment. Investing in government education in California seems to be on the same track — hamburger flippers with PhD’s in environmental science or some politically correct college major.

    In my experience there is so many makeshift jobs programs in government in California — especially in state environmental agencies, regional and local water districts, and in K-12 public schools “categorical” jobs. These are what economists call “deadweight” investments. There is no social dividend let alone an economic dividend from many government jobs.

    Reply this comment
  6. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 6 October, 2012, 23:25

    Good comment Wayne. Too bad the troughies wont get it, AND never will. Just look at the garbage Teddy posts here,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    Reply this comment
  7. The Africanized Swarm of Ted Steele System
    The Africanized Swarm of Ted Steele System 7 October, 2012, 06:53

    Wow– Poodle can’t help but comment about me—-i continue to live in his tiny skull…….mmmmmmmm

    0 for 13 ™ and he still can’t bring himself to acknowledge his pension lawsuit prediction losses!!!!!

    Reply this comment
  8. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 7 October, 2012, 08:36

    More garbage from the sock puppet master, can’t handle the Rotti’s 125-0 record.

    Reply this comment
  9. The Africanized Swarm of Ted Steele System
    The Africanized Swarm of Ted Steele System 7 October, 2012, 15:49

    LOL Zero the Poodle still can’t talk about his losses! Must be REAL sensitive!!! LOL Oh My!!!

    0 for 13 ™ !

    Reply this comment
  10. Ulysses Uhaulpoodld
    Ulysses Uhaulpoodld 7 October, 2012, 15:57

    Poodle….Big Betty clocking out at the truck stop. She is coming to show you her 1957 Miss Boron trophy, shoulder ribbon and the commerative case of Pabst Blue Ribbon……it’s on ice…

    Prost!

    Reply this comment
  11. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 7 October, 2012, 16:02

    Teddy, I lked you much better at he OCR when you used a different sock puppet everday 😉

    129-0 BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply this comment
  12. the Africanized Swarm of Ted Steele System
    the Africanized Swarm of Ted Steele System 7 October, 2012, 17:09

    Hmmmm— you got the boot at the OCR remember? and of course I guess you still can’t talk about your failed lawsuit predictions? Just too painful? lol mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    Reply this comment
  13. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 7 October, 2012, 21:05

    Teddy, your 100 sock puppets/split personalities, and your wild belief that I worked at the OCR still makes me a chuckle everyday!

    You said you KNEW I “worked” at the OCR b/c you had a”friend” who worked there and confirmed it!!!!! Bwhahahahaa…it still puts a smile on my face.

    Anyway, hope you’re doing good and the daily meltdowns don’t cause you to lose more brain cells, lord knows you can’t afford any more losses there 🙂

    You goofed up your “Queeg” gimmick account today by typing in “Queen”……of course if you didn’t have any gimmick accounts you wouldn’t need to re-type the names….. 😉

    Reply this comment
  14. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 7 October, 2012, 21:06

    BTW you still banned over at CALPENSIONS?

    Reply this comment
  15. The Africanized Swarm of Ted Steele System
    The Africanized Swarm of Ted Steele System 7 October, 2012, 21:20

    mmmmmmmmmm

    still dreaming about me I see……. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    Reply this comment
  16. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 7 October, 2012, 22:13

    131-0 BABY 😉

    Reply this comment
  17. The Africanized Swarm of Ted Steele System
    The Africanized Swarm of Ted Steele System 8 October, 2012, 08:14

    lol— the poor troll has me on the brain!

    and you have to ask yourself, after being called out so many times….why won’t he comment on his law suit prediction losses yet he still claims to be undefeated in predictions? Hmmmmmmmmm.

    Zero the Poodle makes it so easy on the Ted System!

    Reply this comment
  18. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 8 October, 2012, 08:53

    132-0 BABY 😉

    Reply this comment
  19. The Africanized Swarm of Ted Steele System
    The Africanized Swarm of Ted Steele System 8 October, 2012, 20:22

    Poodle– DSo you think that the same legal arguments you made in the OC case will support your pension litigation fantasies in the future?

    Oh my!

    0 for 13 ™

    Reply this comment
  20. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 8 October, 2012, 20:50

    Sean you gotta shake your “programming”.

    They have inslaved your mind!

    Reply this comment
  21. Accounting Avenger
    Accounting Avenger 10 October, 2012, 14:37

    Katy, you were onto the real motivation behind these investments when you alluded to the renewable portfolio standard. Behind the renewable portfolio standard are regulations governing all public utilities; they are designed to guarantee the consumer a stable price for service and the investor a stable return. If you read the fine print you will probably see a return to investors somewhere in that otherwise unachievable 7.5% per year range. There aren’t a lot of investments left in this debt saturated world where treasury bills are issued at rates lower than inflation. What better way to help shore up a failing public employee pension plan than by mandating consumers pay far, far more for solar electricity than they pay for conventional electricity, then investing in the solar utilities to get a fixed return? It’s much easier to raise consumer prices for electricity to shore up obscenely generous pensions for government workers than to simply raise taxes.

    Reply this comment

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