by CalWatchdog Staff | December 18, 2012 8:48 am
Dec. 18, 2012
By John Seiler
America still mourns the victims of the Newtown mass murder. It’s predictable that anti-gun Democratic ideologues would use the tragedy to advance their position — at the expense not only of our Second Amendment “right to keep and bear arms,” but at the expense of taxpayers.
California Treasurer Bill Lockyer now is insisting that state retirement funds divest themselves of investments in gun companies. He said: “STRS and PERS should not be investing in any company that makes guns that are illegal in California, especially ones used to kill 20 innocent children and 6 innocent adults.”
If he had been forthright, he would have said, “California taxpayers should be forced to pick up the tab for my anti-gun ideology. Because twisting investment strategies in that direction will mean lower returns on fund investments, which must be made up by taxpayers.”
If we are to have these retirement funds whose performance is guaranteed by the taxpayers, then the funds should have one purpose: to maximize investment return so the taxpayers don’t have to pick up more of the tab than they already are.
Already, taxpayers are being socked for $6.5 billion a year to make up for pension shortfalls. That amount is more than the $6 billion the just-passed Proposition 30 is supposed to bring into the state.
How much are we supposed to pay to subsidize Lockyer’s ideology?
If he’s really so anti-gun, then he should openly campaign to repeal the Second Amendment.
But so long as investing in gun companies is a profitable and legal investment, then state pension funds should be free to own their stock to reduce the taxpayers’ liability.
And as to banning companies that make something illegal in California, that would mean emptying almost everything in the retirement funds’ portfolios — because so many things are illegal here. For example, California’s minimum wage is higher than in most states. So any company with workers in, say, Mississippi or Alabama not paying a California-high minimum wage to those workers should be divested.
And California investment officials should go to China to make sure factories there are complying with AB 32 in China.
Finally, here’s a thought. If Lockyer hates such dirty investments so much, how about getting the state entirely out of the pension-investment business? Let’s convert all pensions, including those of current employees and even those already retired, into 401(k)-style plans that would allow the retirees themselves to direct their own retirement funds.
That way, if some employees like Lockyer — and he will get a massive pension should he ever leave government — want to divest themselves of gun-company stocks, they would be free to do so. But taxpayers would not be forced to pay for their ideology.
Source URL: https://calwatchdog.com/2012/12/18/lockyer-anti-gun-ideology-would-hit-ca-taxpayers/
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