Fresh evidence that Jerry Brown’s pension fix fixed little

bizarro.jerryJuly 10, 2013

By Chris Reed

The aura of self-congratulation surrounding the governor’s office is particularly intense when it comes to the pension reform measure that Jerry Brown got through the Legislature in September.

But I’m not like some other Cal Watchdog contributors who consider the measure a feeble joke. Its provision requiring that public employees eventually must foot half the bill for their pensions — unless it is repealed — will someday lead to public employees asking for smaller pensions so they can have more take-home pay.

That said, I too thought the governor oversold the sweep of his reform measure and was crazy to depict it as anything but the first step of several to address the pension tsunami. Now California Common Sense has come forward with a study that shows the law hasn’t changed the trajectory of California’s pension crisis at all.

“California Common Sense, a nonprofit and nonpartisan watchdog group, recently released a study pointing out that despite glowing reviews for Brown’s 2013-2014 budget — which predicts a $1.7 billion general fund surplus — the state’s unfunded retirement liability has increased 5 percent since February.

“According to the study, California’s major retirement systems now have $222.2 billion in unfunded pensions, up from $211.4 billion five months ago. The report says that number was $110 billion in 2007-2008, meaning the state’s unfunded pensions have doubled in six years.”

Officials numbers grossly understate liabilities

That’s from the Sacramento Business Journal — which also had the good sense to note the official estimates of unfunded liabilities may well be little more than happy talk.

“In January, Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters used figures from a Moody’s to estimate that California ‘could have unfunded pension debt approaching $300 billion, plus another $100 billion for retiree health care.’ In 2010, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s administration claimed the pension overhang for California State Teachers’ Retirement System, California Public Employees’ Retirement System and theUniversity of California Retirement System was $500 billion, a number they based on a study by a group of Stanford University students, according to the Los Angeles Times. A Stanford professor later claimed that local government retirement pensions are short by $200 billion.

That Stanford professor was Joe Nation, a former Democratic state senator. His candor got him called names by Bill Lockyer, who for all his reputation for outspokeness and contrarianism is an abject CalPERS apologist.

Here’s a link to my whining the day that Lockyer joined Team Maviglio.

Here’s a link to the California Common Sense study.


Write a comment
  1. Chrisxman
    Chrisxman 10 July, 2013, 09:18

    The drawing of our governor looks like the drawings of visitors from outer space. Which goes with his original “handle”; Moonbeam”. Nothing much has changed from then to now I might add. .

    Reply this comment
  2. Rex the Wonderdog!
    Rex the Wonderdog! 10 July, 2013, 09:20

    But I’m not like some other Cal Watchdog contributors who consider the measure a feeble joke.

    Teddy IS a joke 😉

    Reply this comment
  3. Bob
    Bob 10 July, 2013, 14:14

    And CHP just got a 6% raise.

    Mommas don’t let yer babies grow up to be private sector workers. Gettem’ on the gummit gravy train.

    That otta be a country western song.

    Reply this comment
  4. Bob
    Bob 10 July, 2013, 14:17

    The only thing that is certain is that before it is all over the taxpayers are going to get Mavigliod good and hard.

    Reply this comment
  5. Rex the Wonderdog!
    Rex the Wonderdog! 10 July, 2013, 14:36

    Bob, don’t get Steve going…you know he spins…errr….comments here all the time 😉

    Reply this comment
  6. Rex the Wonderdog!
    Rex the Wonderdog! 10 July, 2013, 19:07

    Chris as much as I like the portrait of Clown, he is now bald!!!!

    Reply this comment
  7. S Moderation Douglas
    S Moderation Douglas 10 July, 2013, 20:04

    And yet, CalPERS will LOWER state and school contributions by $102.8 million. 


    Ironically, because of :

    “slower-than-expected salary and payroll growth and higher out-of-pocket contributions from employees under the pension law that took effect Jan. 1”

    The glass is at least half full. 

    Reply this comment
  8. Tough Love
    Tough Love 10 July, 2013, 21:29

    S Moderation,

    So is that $102 Million off the $4.5 Billion INCREASE in funding they have said they need ANNUALLY for the next 30 years to pay off the unfunded liability?

    Reply this comment
  9. S Moderation Douglas
    S Moderation Douglas 11 July, 2013, 00:37

    $4.5 billion is STRS. They don’t have plenary authority like CalPERS does.

    Reply this comment
  10. Rex the Wonderdog!
    Rex the Wonderdog! 11 July, 2013, 02:32

    STRS needs $4 BILLION/yr more or it will be BK in 31 years…..

    Reply this comment
  11. Queeg
    Queeg 11 July, 2013, 13:33

    Poodle get a government job…..and save us from the naive posts…ugh!

    Reply this comment

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