Is 2014 the best year for pension reform?

Is 2014 the best year for pension reform?

DeadParrotI politics, timing is everything. In 1973, Gov. Ronald Reagan pushed Proposition 1 to cut state income taxes 7.5 percent. It lost, 54 percent to 46 percent. Even the Great Communicator couldn’t push it over the top.

November that year was the high tide of the 1946-73 economic boom in the United States. It seemed to be Morning in California. No reason to deprive government of funds for all the wonderful things it does.

In 1974, a severe recession struck the country, intensifying battles over budgets ever since.

In 1978, California passed Proposition 13 overwhelmingly, 63 percent to 37 percent. It sharply cut property taxes and has been controversial ever since. By that year, grandmas were being expelled from their homes by property tax collectors. People were ready for a tax revolt.

Pension reform

So it is with pension reform in California. In 2012, city reforms passed in San Jose with 69 percent and San Diego with 66 percent.

Now San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, a Democrat who successfully passed his city’s reform, is pushing a statewide reform for next November’s ballot. It “would give California cities and other public agencies power to negotiate changes to existing employees’ retirement benefits. Employees would keep the benefits they had earned up until their contract changes but could see reduced benefits going forward,” according to the Mercury News summary.

Is the timing right? It might not be.

It’s coming in the midst of Gov. Jerry Brown’s “California Is Back” re-election theme, modeled on Ronald Reagan’s 1984 “Morning in Ameica” campaign, which will be taken up by every Democrat in the state. Nothing but happy faces here.

A minor pension reform was passed in Sept. 2012 to preclude criticism that the Proposition 30 tax increases on the Nov. 2012 ballot would go to pensions instead of to K-12 schools. Same thing next year. No doubt Democrats will pass a “reform” in Sept. 2014 in the run-up to the Nov. 2014 election.

Already, 19 California mayors have lined up against Reed’s initiative.


And writing on Fox & Hounds, Democratic operative Steve Maviglio cites polls showing the initiative not doing well:

“For all the political chatter about pensions, California voters remain strongly opposed to gutting the retirement benefits of teachers, firefighters, police officers, and other public employees.”

Actually, Reed’s initiative wouldn’t be “gutting” the pensions. It only would make the pensions reasonable so they don’t bankrupt cities; and more in line with the pensions received by the tax slaves in the private sector paying for everything.

“According to a new statewide poll conducted by the Washington, D.C.-based GarinHartYoung Research Group, San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed’s proposed ballot measure that gives cities the ability to slash the retirement benefits of existing public employees has the support of only 36 percent of California voters.”

And that’s before the CTA, CFT, SEIU, cop unions, fire unions, etc. start their propaganda efforts that easily will top $100 million against.


If Nov. 2014 isn’t a good time, when is? When the economy turns sour, we start getting more municipal bankruptcies and the pension situation gets worse. Post World War II economic recoveries have lasted an average of 4.5 years. The current one began in 2009, so we soon could be due.

The Chapman University economic forecast, which is one of the most accurate, expects about 2 percent growth to continue in 2014. But after that, a recession is possible.

The next recession finally could tip giant Los Angeles into bankruptcy, making Detroit’s recent bankruptcy look like a picnic on a Lake Erie beach.

Meanwhile, Treasurer Bill Lockyer, who looks at the numbers every day, has been warning that the California State Teachers Retirement System is running out of money. In a speech last week in Thousand Oaks, he said:

“California is a ticking time bomb of issues that must be resolved in order to secure the economic and social future of the state…. The teacher retirement system, in 30 years, implodes. If it doesn’t get fixed, there won’t be a teacher retirement system in 30 years. We are currently $5 billion a year short of what we have to do just to keep it solvent.”

Meanwhile, in the Motor City, a federal judge ruled pension reductions for existing and retired workers can be included in settlements. The ruling is being appealed. And the California Public Employees Retirement System insists the parrot isn’t dead, it’s only “pining for the fjords” (see YouTube below).

What all this means for Reed’s initiative is that Nov. 2016 might be a better time for putting the initiative before voters. By then we could be in a recession. Los Angeles could be leading a cascade of California cities into bankruptcy. And a Republican tide could be sweeping into office President Rand Paul.


Write a comment
  1. Ted Steele DD
    Ted Steele DD 19 December, 2013, 08:23

    So long as it’s Constitutional– no worries! That pesky darn Constitution! The pension theft crew HATES it!

    Reply this comment
  2. Ted Steele DD
    Ted Steele DD 19 December, 2013, 08:23

    They’re pining for the fiords!

    Reply this comment
  3. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 19 December, 2013, 09:02


    Work 30 years in public service managing the carnage in an ever more challenging “civilization” and be dumped in the street to a life of miserable dependency…..

    Good job Doomers… proud of yourselves.

    Reply this comment
  4. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 19 December, 2013, 10:15

    Well, it looks as if the pension gravy train is about to come to it’s final stop and get mothballed. lol. The mollycoddled passengers who’ve enjoyed the free ride will be forced to deboard. Oh, there’ll be some wailing and weeping and hiney-hurt from the entitled riders, but all things must pass.

    As far as the constitution is concerned, if you’ve kept your eyes wide open you’d know that the constitution has been reduced to a piece of mere scribble without much practical meaning or protections anymore. And as our most sacred document has been eroded via bogus interpretation and outright refusal to enforce black-letter law many of you remained silent. Now your chickens are coming home to roost.

    Besides, if push comes to shove, it’s far easier to change the constitution than it is to pay bloated retirement benefits with public funds that are simply nonexistent. lol. A single California judge can overturn the vote of the people. What makes you think you’re so special? lol.

    And the oligarchs have bigger priorities today ….. like financing trillions of deficit spending, funding ObamaCare on the backs of the working middle class and ensuring our growing illegal foreign population get their free healthcare and education. Your funding has been redistributed. The public pensioniers have been moved to the back of the bus. lol.

    Reply this comment
    • SeeSaw
      SeeSaw 19 December, 2013, 20:58

      You’re having quite a dream there, LIC. What did you take?

      Reply this comment
      • Rex the Wonderdog!
        Rex the Wonderdog! 20 December, 2013, 00:30

        Seesaw, your poor hubby must want to shoot himself every night when he hears you whine like a lil oinker pig…..all that trough feeding.

        Reply this comment
  5. Rex the Wonderdog!
    Rex the Wonderdog! 19 December, 2013, 14:58

    I don’t think it will pass in 2014. We are not in the dumps enough yet. But in 3-5 years I predict we will be and all the public trough feeder $$$ in the world won’t save the public pension scams.

    You will see Detroit type cuts. Pensions cut on a sliding scale based on amount and age, just like the PBGC does, where the MAX pension is $54K and the minimum age to get that Max $54K is 62. You won’t see 50 y/o FF or cops with $100K pensions, more like $10K pensions based on their ages.

    Reply this comment
    • SeeSaw
      SeeSaw 19 December, 2013, 21:00

      You can go join LIC in his dream, Rex–cause your fantasies are all you got.

      Reply this comment
      • Rex the Wonderdog!
        Rex the Wonderdog! 20 December, 2013, 00:31

        That trough feeding is getting to your pea sized brain seesaw, cause all you got is a trough feeder mentality and a HS education, and you are STILL dumber than a bag of rocks!

        Reply this comment
        • SeeSaw
          SeeSaw 20 December, 2013, 01:17

          I completed two years college Rex. You must really resent the fact that you didn’t get in on a public sector pension. No need to take it out on me. I worked a long time and earned my pension. After giving 45% of my pension take-home to the Medical Insurance Co. there really isn’t much left to feed on.

          Reply this comment
  6. Queeg
    Queeg 19 December, 2013, 17:30

    Doomers are a fascinating lot.

    Doom always in the immediate future.

    Never materializing.

    Boo hoo.

    Hum bug!

    Reply this comment
  7. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 19 December, 2013, 20:54

    Reed can go stuff himself! He has done enough damage to his own city’s public workers, and he wants to do the same to all public workers in CA. He has visions of becoming the, “Dictator of California”. We had pension reform in 2013, and that is going to have to suffice, for you haters!

    Reply this comment
    • Rex the Wonderdog!
      Rex the Wonderdog! 20 December, 2013, 00:33

      seesaw, you are the typical low life, bottom feeder gov trough feeder, and it shows in every comment you make. You are dumber than a bag of rocks. Your hubby must hate his life, dealing with a trougher like you all day long must be hell.

      Reply this comment
      • SeeSaw
        SeeSaw 20 December, 2013, 01:26

        Your resentment and anger toward all public workers shows in every comment you make Rex. I recommend that you make an appointment with a mental health counselor. He or she can help you feel a lot better about yourself.

        Reply this comment
  8. Donkey
    Donkey 19 December, 2013, 23:05

    Two years ago I predicted this would all come to a conclusion in five years. I am still very confident that the RAGWUS will continue to place added weights around their necks and successfully drag the state, county, and city pensions to the bottom of the Salton Sea.

    I do understand that the RAGWUS feeders live in an
    alternate reality, devoid of rational thought and common sense. Anyone with an IQ of 100 or more can see the drain put upon the private sector by the RAGWUS feeders greed. Middle class people leaving, business leaving, and companies that build products are running away at an increasing rate. The doers have had enough, the weather isn’t even enough to keep working people here anymore!! 🙂

    Reply this comment
    • SeeSaw
      SeeSaw 20 December, 2013, 01:31

      Donkey, you need to join Rex in the Counselor’s office. If I recall, you were making preparations to move out of CA two years’ ago. What is keeping you here?

      Reply this comment
      • John Seiler
        John Seiler Author 20 December, 2013, 09:18

        It’s like the song Hotel California says: “You can check-out any time you like, But you can never leave.”

        Reply this comment
        • Donkey
          Donkey 20 December, 2013, 19:40

          The Eagles rock, I still live part time in Cali, but their is no future for young families, most will never own a home or be able to keep one as the RAGWUS sucks the cash out of the private workers! 🙂

          Reply this comment
      • Donkey
        Donkey 20 December, 2013, 19:32

        SeeSaw, I have bought another home outside of California, and the wife and I have been traveling the seven seas as of late. The rest of the world, including the other 49 states, or as Oblamy would say “54 states,” do not really care for California and the way they run the store. I can say that by standing from afar and looking in at California the state is being run into the ground by liberal progressive fools!! 🙂

        Reply this comment
        • S Moderation Douglas
          S Moderation Douglas 20 December, 2013, 19:40

          “The rest of the world, including the other 49 states, or as Oblamy would say “54 states,” do not really care for California and the way they run the store.”

          That’s commonly known as observation bias.

          And it’s 57 states.

          Reply this comment
          • Donkey
            Donkey 20 December, 2013, 19:42

            Depends what video you watch and whether or not he had just finished a bowl Ted!! 🙂

  9. Queeg
    Queeg 20 December, 2013, 10:31


    Poodle somrhow gets out of his little white coat…this is so so unfortunate. His truck stop corn dog franchisee employer should be notified….unsuspecting doomer customers st risk?

    Reply this comment
  10. NTHEOC
    NTHEOC 20 December, 2013, 16:22

    Bring it on little anti pension soldiers!!! Our PAC fund is overflowing with $$$$ and is ready for another beat down on the Doomers! Prop 32 wasn’t enough for ya huh,lol!! These out of state billionaires will be exposed again and the people again will choose to support labor over billionaire teabaggers! I personally can’t wait to shine up my badge and boots, press the uniform, and walk districts educating people. I hope you little anti pension soldiers come out and do the same but I doubt you will put any effort into your cause. Btw, California is BOOMING!!!! Love my [email protected] and The laws protecting it!!!! And before you start crying,WE ARE NOT DETROIT!!!!

    Reply this comment
  11. Ted Steele, CEO
    Ted Steele, CEO 20 December, 2013, 19:57

    LOL– Doomers HATE article 3– and that pesky little thing we call-


    OH MY

    Reply this comment
  12. Ted Steele, CEO
    Ted Steele, CEO 22 December, 2013, 07:55

    Calpers 278.5 Billion today!

    Reply this comment
  13. Ted Steele, CEO
    Ted Steele, CEO 23 December, 2013, 19:20

    279.1 billion today!

    Reply this comment

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