De Leon clueless on why people can’t retire

Kevin De Leon themeMarch 14, 2013

By John Seiler

A story in Roll Call magazine, which reports on the U.S. Congress, inadvertently explains why Democrats don’t get what’s going on in California. It reports:

“Kevin de León, a California state senator, likes to tell the story of a 74-year-old San Diego woman who takes two buses to the wealthy enclave of Coronado to clean houses several days a week. Despite a lifetime of hard work, her Social Security check does not cover her living expenses, he says, forcing her to put off retirement.

“That woman, his aunt, motivated de León to push for an automatic retirement program for California workers whose employers do not offer 401(k)s or other retirement plans.

“’She’s worked all her life,’ he said. ‘She hasn’t asked the state or the federal government for a single penny in terms of any type of assistance, and she’s not had the opportunity to build up any assets over the course of time.’”

What he doesn’t point out is that it’s the state government itself that has made it impossible for his aunt to retire. And the culprits include both his fellow Democrats and the now-superminority Republicans.

The first problem faced by all Californians except the very rich is the high cost of housing. The main culprit is extremist environmental laws and regulations, in particular those imposed by the California Coastal Commission. The commission was foisted on the state by clueless voters in 1972. Most of those voters now are dead lo these 41 years later. Yet today we’re forced to live under its continuing repression.

The commission’s meddling severely restricts building along the coast, which greatly increases prices at least 40 miles inland, including all of San Diego. It’s Econ. 101: Decrease supply and the price goes up.

Other regulations also restrict the supply of housing.

Beside housing, massive high taxes and regulations on every aspect of California life make jobs creation difficult. Again, it’s supply and demand. Taxes and regulations kill jobs, which increases the number of those unemployed. More people looking for work drives down wages. So de Leon’s aunt is paid less then she otherwise might be, meaning she has less savings.

De Leon’s response to the high cost of government interference in our lives? Even more government! Roll Call:

“After years of trying, de León, a Democrat representing the Los Angeles area, was able to muscle a bill through the Democratic-run Legislature creating a statewide dedicated retirement account for private-sector workers. Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill into law on Oct. 1.

“De León’s measure, the first of its kind in the country, has attracted attention from lawmakers in other states and in Congress and has turned the first-term senator into a rising star. Retirement savings have taken a hit in the recession, just as baby boomers are getting ready to leave the workforce.”

Roll Call doesn’t even report on how California has done managing its existing retirement programs. The reality: state pension funds suffer $500 billion in unfunded liabilities.

Putting the California government in charge of private pensions is like putting your retirement savings in the safe keeping of a mafia loan shark.

Actually, the best way for Californians to save for retirement is to move to a state with no state income tax and low housing costs. Then you can save your money for your golden years.


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  1. us citizen
    us citizen 14 March, 2013, 11:21

    Social Security is NOT meant to retire on! Its a supplement. you still have to save yourself…….even without a 401K. Whats the matter, she couldnt save $10 a week for her entire life?

    I am so tired of people thinking they can skate through life without any responsibility for their own being. They expect to be taken care of. There is no such clause in any law anywhere. If you havent taken that responsibility then dont decide the rest of us are responsible!

    Its about time that in school, kids are taught this. Maybe then when they grow up, they wont be so damned stupid.

    Reply this comment
  2. CalWatchdog
    CalWatchdog Author 14 March, 2013, 14:04

    DeLeon has told this same story hundreds of times. Sometimes the housekeeper is his mother, other times the housekeeper is his aunt. And he used this same story with his fitted sheet bill — “The fitted-sheet bill is the brainchild of State Senator Kevin De Leon (a Democrat from Los Angeles), whose mother suffered back pains while working as a hotel maid,” reported The Blaze.

    Prior to holding public office, DeLeon worked for the CTA and NEA. He’s another cradle-to-grave slug living on other people’s money. Sadly, he now gets to legislate how taxpayer money is spent – with the help of the CTA, the NEA and the SEIU, which sponsored the fitted sheet bill.


    Reply this comment
  3. Hondo
    Hondo 14 March, 2013, 18:26

    My retirement is to step in front of a bus. I got slammed in every stock market crash, 87, the dot com bust, and the crash of 08. I’ve got nothing.
    I’m sure my liberal friends here are saying ” why wait till you retire to step in front of that bus”.

    Reply this comment
  4. jimmydeeoc
    jimmydeeoc 14 March, 2013, 18:36

    “…cradle-to-grave slug…..”

    LOL…..So true.

    Just for giggles I spent a few minutes deep in the bowels of wikipedia, clicking on State senators and reviewing their backgrounds.

    I just picked at random…6 or 8 R’s and 6 or 8 D’s. Some I had at least heard of. Others – not so much.

    Republicans: mostly small business owners, a fmr stockbroker, etc.

    Democrats: I found ONE that made an honest living NOT feeding from the public trough. He was an optometrist. The rest: legislative assistants, activists, union management, and of course – teachers. (I shudder to think how much venomous nonsense people like Wolk and Pavley infected their charges with over the years.)

    Reply this comment
  5. jimmydeeoc
    jimmydeeoc 14 March, 2013, 19:07

    Here’s something typical from Pavley:

    Let’s see if logic follows from paragraph 2 to Paragraph 3? (Hint: It doesn’t).
    SACRAMENTO–Senator Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) introduced SB 460 today, a measure that will require the California Department of Public Health to modify the prenatal testing program’s educational materials to include information concerning the importance of avoiding consumer products that are known to be harmful to reproductive health.

    “Pregnant women should have the right to the basic information they need in order to give their children the best chance at a healthy life,” Senator Pavley said. “Many of these exposures can be easily avoided, but only if women have the knowledge first. SB 460 will help give them that knowledge.”

    This bill will benefit the tens of thousands of pregnant women who are unaware of their exposure to chemicals that can be harmful to their health and the health of their unborn children. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s nationwide testing program found 100 chemicals in pregnant women monitored. Of these, 43 were found in all of the women, including chemicals known to be harmful to reproductive health, such as lead, mercury, and organochlorine pesticides.

    No doubt educating pregnant women on basic items to avoid is a good thing. We can agree on that. (I assume the medical community already knows this, and communicates it.) But Pavely’s press release exaggerates….

    If 43 of the 100 chemicals were found in ALL women, a cross-section of which presumably includes the ALREADY exceptionally-sanitary and chemically-aware as well as the slovenly ignorant, then no amount of SB 460 is going to prevent exposure to trace amounts of these 43 chemicals. The best this bill could do is help a small subset of the slovenly, at the very margins. Maybe.

    Just another Prop 65-style enormous waste of time, money, and energy.

    Great work Fran, you environmental whack job. Keep submitting useless, worthless bills.

    What an insane asylum our legislature is.

    Reply this comment
  6. art
    art 15 March, 2013, 07:06

    most democrats (and i am not partisan or registered) are cradle to grave low grade law school grads, who run for office while living at home to make a name for self and supplement income, and then once in get their whole family on the payroll. If they cant build their business practice enough they will then settle for a 100K commissioner job which is the most they could make hustling as a lawyer. Many lawyers make less than you think in private practice.

    Reply this comment
  7. PJ
    PJ 15 March, 2013, 08:48

    If we voted in the CA Coastal Commission, why can’t we vote it out?

    Reply this comment
  8. Reality Check
    Reality Check 15 March, 2013, 09:44

    us citizen – you are not only a mean-spirited Darwinian brute, but you are financially illiterate. It is not possible for someone making minimum wage and living in California to save enough to retire. Period.

    Seiler’s point, which you apparently missed, is what matters. California has a high cost of living because of regulations that artificially increases the prices for everything: housing, energy, water, telecommunications, food, health care, etc.

    Reply this comment
  9. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 15 March, 2013, 12:52

    Because we are not that stupid, PJ.

    Reply this comment
  10. eatingdogfood
    eatingdogfood 15 March, 2013, 18:36

    If The Democrats Didn’t Give ” Sweetheart Deals ” To Your Public Service Union.
    Goon Employees To Get Reelected; You Would Have Plenty Of Money and The.
    Taxpayer would have Some Spare Change in His Pockets! Democratic Hustler
    Politicians + Corrupt Union Goons = BANKRUPTCY BABY! Time To Bring.
    RICO Conspiracy Charges Against The Hustler Corrupt Democrats and the.
    Criminal Unions!

    Reply this comment

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