Judge: Pensions can’t be cut, but pay can

Judge: Pensions can’t be cut, but pay can

U.S. bankruptcy courtCalifornia still is a long way from resolving its pension crisis, in the courts and elsewhere. But here’s an important new development:

“SAN JOSE — In a landmark ruling that could help shape city budgets around the state, a judge invalidated key parts of San Jose’s voter-approved pension cuts but upheld other elements that could still save huge taxpayer costs.

“Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Patricia Lucas’ tentative decision released Monday prohibits the city from forcing current employees to contribute significantly more toward their pensions, as called for in last year’s Measure B. But the ruling allows the city to cut employees’ salaries to offset its increasing pension costs.”

However, unlike San Bernardino, San Jose isn’t in bankruptcy court. Judge Lucas is a California judge, who must follow California law on pensions — or at least the common current interpretation that the California Constitution prevents cuts to pensions.

As Detroit’s bankruptcy has shown, federal bankruptcy judges are under no such constraints.


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  1. Donkey
    Donkey 24 December, 2013, 09:38

    There are few that reside inside the RAGWUS that are going to side with the private sector, and that includes tax feeding judges at the state level. This will be a given until most cities are in BK and federal judges decide on what the debt of the entity truly is at the moment of collapse.

    It is a revelation reading the posts of the RAGWUS feeders on the San Jose Mercury site, what a bunch of Union creeps, all defending their ill gotten gains they have stolen with their crooked collective bargaining schemes and created with the thieving lying politicians they paid for with private taxpayers hard earned money.

    Have a Merry Christmas all and a Happy New Year, unless you are a rabid defender of the RAGWUS system of stealing, if this is the case I hope that you can regain your soul and instill a moral compass that points to goodness, honesty, truth, integrity, principle, self-respect, and honor!!!

    To become a good ex-RAGWUS member you must Drop your evil ways, move from your deceptions, greed, and practices of wrong doing. Admit the treachery, lying, stealing, and falsehoods extolled by your cabal, and turn from the deception, dishonor, fraud, corruption, and evil for your remaining days. 🙂

    Reply this comment
    • S Moderation Douglas
      S Moderation Douglas 24 December, 2013, 12:58

      We have met the enemy and he is us.

      Public vs private sector worker is a false dichotomy.

      MOST “public sector” workers are in reality private sector workers for most of their working lives.

      Honest to God taxpaying productive members of society.

      The average length of service for public sector retirees is 20 years. They didn’t start their working life at 30 and retire at 50. Many worked for years in the private sector before moving to the public sector. Or started in government jobs then moved to the private sector, largely dependent on differing business and employment cycles.

      Fewer than 20% of public sector retirees have over 30 years service, and even that is not their full working life. VERY few are like SeeSaw, who, as I understand, spent all or almost all her working life as a public employee. Bless her and thank her for her service. I have known one or two who started a government job as a teenager and retired at 65 or older. These are typically very hard working dedicated employees.

      Interestingly, this movement between sectors also causes a misconception in the “early” retirement statistics for public sector workers. What CalPers lists as “average retirement age” (60) is actually average “pension” age. A close acquaintance is a typical example. She worked for a county government for about eight years, then moved to a private sector job at age 30. Since she was vested, she was able to leave her investment in the system and draw a pension when eligible. She could begin drawing 8% (of her last salary) at 50, or 16% at age 60. Like many others, she chose the earlier age.

      (Yes, she is one of the reasons the “average” pension is about $2,000 a month. Her formula is 1%, and based on a salary from over twenty years ago. Inflation takes its toll )

      From my experience, very few public sector workers actually retire until their mid sixties, just like regular folk. It just isn’t economically feasible for most. I seldom worked alongside firefighters, but had a lot of interaction on the job with police and CHP, and most of them that I knew worked into their 60s also, even though CalPers lists the average “pension” age for safety workers as 57.

      RAGWUS may be your bogeyman, but you are your own worst enema.

      Reply this comment
      • Donkey
        Donkey 24 December, 2013, 13:27

        Sorry Teddy Steals, but the sad story you wrote is nothing but tripe taken right out of the PS safety book of lies on union tactics.

        I have experience with PS workers that have retired on phony back injuries after only twenty years receiving over $60,000 a year and lifetime free for everything else. You need your local RA group Ted!! 🙂

        Reply this comment
      • SeeSaw
        SeeSaw 24 December, 2013, 20:04

        Thank you SMD. I never intended to have a career in public service or in the private sector either. I went to work part-time to help out my family, and I started at a very low wage–it just so happened that the job was a public sector job–I didn’t care where I would work. I did not get SS and there was no CalPERS in my municipality at the time either. I stayed there 41 years because I saw what commuting did to people–my husband worked in construction. I only had to drive a mile and a half to my office–and I was 72 at the time of my retirement. Things worked out great for me–I only wish they had turned out so well for my private sector spouse. It takes 45% of my take-home pension check to pay for our medical insurance premiums. Tell people like LIC and Donkey that, and they still call me a thief.

        Reply this comment
  2. Queeg
    Queeg 24 December, 2013, 09:59

    Get em Donkey! Get em.

    Those RAGWUS GED bottom feeders….so there….

    Reply this comment
  3. Queeg
    Queeg 24 December, 2013, 10:00

    Rizzo sends Seasons Tidings Donkey.

    Reply this comment
  4. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 24 December, 2013, 11:16

    Detroit was just the opening act. The prelude of what’s to come. Anybody who thinks that a bubble economy driven by bailouts, $400B in annual QE and artificially supressed interest rates is sustainable, sorry, you’re delusional. And the next time Humpty falls off the wall (Oh, and he will. It’s inevitable with the way this house of cards is being run) there won’t be any reserves left to finance another massive bailout. That will be the end of it. Either the pensions will go bye-bye or your dollar bill will be worthless. Your $100,000 pension won’t buy a weeks worth of groceries. lol.

    You don’t need to be a Nostradamus to predict what happens in Acts 2, 3 and 4. You just need to have a basic education about how money works in a large economy and a fundamental understanding of world history. What makes empires soar and fall. All the signs (socially, morally, economically, spiritually) are clear. We’re falling.

    That superb and insightful historian and philospher, Will Durant, once said:

    “Forced to choose, the poor, like the rich,
    love money more than political liberty;
    and the only political freedom capable of enduring
    is one that is so pruned as to keep the rich
    from denuding the poor by ability or subtlety
    and the poor from robbing the rich by violence or votes.”

    The tree hasn’t been pruned for decades.

    Reply this comment
  5. Ted Steele, CEO
    Ted Steele, CEO 24 December, 2013, 11:22

    John—This is a very good ruling and a wise contextual view of the Constitutional and statutory legal realities of compensation and the so called pension crisis—- OF COURSE pay is always on the table!!!

    Reply this comment
    • S Moderation Douglas
      S Moderation Douglas 24 December, 2013, 11:58


      OF COURSE, pay is always on the table.

      The name of the game is total compensation. You can cut the pension normal cost formula, OR you can cut salaries (which will automatically also reduce total pension costs as well).

      Either way, you control total employee costs. One way is legal, the other (Reed’s way) is not. AND, you don’t even need to “cut” wages. Just don’t increase wages with the increase in CPI.

      Just ask me. The SB400 formula increased my pension formula by about 3%. Five years with no COLA or other wage increases REDUCED inflation adjusted pension by more than 10%.

      San Jose could be a good testing ground. Let them decrease wages and see if they can still retain or attract qualified employees. I hear they already have trouble keeping safety personnel.

      Frankly, I don’t think SJ has the political will to cut pay. We shall see.

      Merry Christmas. (from an agnostic)

      Reply this comment
      • Donkey
        Donkey 24 December, 2013, 12:36

        Ted, there is no shortage of people looking for a RAGWUS feeding job at any position, so I am troubled with the words taken out of your union talking points.

        As to you contending that SB400 cost you money, I say BS!! SB400 is one of the main reasons we are in this mess. And just so you know, almost no one in the private sector receives any kind of COLA whatsoever, for any reason.

        You RAGWUS feeders are living in a fantasy world, you really have no idea where wealth comes from at all. 🙂

        Reply this comment
        • S Moderation Douglas
          S Moderation Douglas 24 December, 2013, 22:24

          Non sequitur

          Reply this comment
        • Ted Steele, CEO
          Ted Steele, CEO 25 December, 2013, 09:41

          Union talking points?

          Exactly which sentence was a union talking point?

          Reply this comment
        • Ted Steele, CEO
          Ted Steele, CEO 25 December, 2013, 09:54

          no idea where wealth comes from?


          1. In private life from people producing goods and services

          2. In government from tax and tariff.

          Any questions little buddy?

          Reply this comment
          • Donkey
            Donkey 26 December, 2013, 23:25

            No Steals, wealth does not come from taxes. You need to read from something other than your little red union book!! 🙂

          • S Moderation Douglas
            S Moderation Douglas 27 December, 2013, 12:59

            The CalTrans worker clearing an accident on 101 in the rain so traffic can get moving again is NOT creating wealth. He is a union thug sucking at the public teet.

            The “producer” who makes porn movies for the internet and caused the accident because he was drinking and/or texting….HE produces wealth. (Doesn’t necessarily pay taxes, though.)

      • Ted Steele, CEO
        Ted Steele, CEO 25 December, 2013, 09:40

        I agree 100% Douglas!

        Reply this comment
  6. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 24 December, 2013, 12:20

    Of course the ones already retired and collecting pensions would be in favor of cutting the public employees pay but keeping the pensions intact. lol.

    There is no loyalty in the business of greed. It’s all for one and one for all! Let the ones still working eat cake! lol.

    This is what I find most disgusting. All of this is about self-interest. That’s the reason the nation is in the mess we’re in. Gimme, gimme, gimme. Let the other guy take the hit!!! lol.

    And that’s the reason we’ll fall.

    Reply this comment
    • Ted Steele, CEO
      Ted Steele, CEO 25 December, 2013, 09:42

      Collapse– I just call em as I see em– the law is the law little buddy—- have a look sometime! Every contract starts and ends and compensation is bargained for each time– sorry!

      Reply this comment
      • LetitCollapse
        LetitCollapse 25 December, 2013, 21:51

        The law is the law? Obviously, you haven’t been paying attention. Tell that to the millions of Main Streeters who lost their jobs and trillions in collective wealth due to the financial fraud on Wall Street made possible by the blind eye of their puppet cronies on The Hill. None of them were punished for it. Quite the contrary, they were rewarded with trillions in taxpayer bailouts and QE which continue to this very day. Yet, if a Main Streeter writes a bad check for $300 the DA is on him like white on rice.

        Ask Edward Snowden who fulfilled his sworn oath and committment to defend the US Constitution before the American people if the “law is the law”. He’s exiled for the remainder of his life with espionage charges hanging over his head. Yet, James Clapper, Director of Intelligence, who lied through his teeth under sworn oath before Congress and the American people, as confirmed by sitting senators, keeps his job and still has his full congressional testimonial privileges intact. lol.

        Tell that to some prospective foreign immigrant overseas who filled out his paperwork, paid his fees and took his tests for a shot at legal residence and the American dream, only to be put on hold for 10 years while some freeloader who broke into the country is on the fast track for a path to citizenship. lol.

        Tell that to the taxpayers who have paid countless millions for ‘abuse under the color of authority’ cop violations while the actual violators walk away without a scratch. There’s a new violation reported practically everyday.

        So your ‘the law is the law’ might make for a good fireside Christmas story in front of a group of 4rd graders. But don’t throw that junk out on this board without expecting a challenge.

        The law protects the ones with the money. The elite and the powerful insiders. And it’s used as a whipping post against the weak and the poor. How many times have you heard the phrase ‘America’s got the best justice system that money can buy’? People chuckle when you say it because there’s often humor in truth. It’s the little dirty secret that everybody knows. Some are candid enough to admit it. Some aren’t.

        Btw, the Federal bankrupcy judge ruled that the Detroit pensions are fair game for a nice haircut. I suppose you’re going to tell us that he’s wrong. lol.

        Reply this comment
    • Ted Steele, CEO
      Ted Steele, CEO 25 December, 2013, 09:45

      oh— and calpers is 278.1 billion today— Merry Christmas little buddies?

      Reply this comment
  7. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 24 December, 2013, 18:47

    Sorry LIC–I am in favor of people, and I do side with the private sector. I want those working in the private sector to have the same benefits as public sector workers. I am in favor of collective bargaining–if pay is cut, that’s how it is done.

    As I recall LIC, the last massive bailout went to the private sector. Maybe it would be the public sector’s turn next. As far as recessions go–nobody in their right mind wants that. Yes, I fear there is going to be one and the cause is still because of the crooked mortgage brokers and loan officers who took advantage of those unsophisticated borrowers who didn’t know what their lenders knew. You have an OCD Complex toward public workers–a hate-complex.

    Time to retire that stupid acronym, Donkey. We are all as hardworking, country and state loving, and honest as you! There are some bad apples–just like in the private sector. If you can’t, then get your head checked!

    Reply this comment
  8. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 24 December, 2013, 20:07

    Same to you, Donkey. And you too, LIC.

    Reply this comment
  9. Queeg
    Queeg 25 December, 2013, 20:18

    Donkey pensions are off the table. Just get back to your corral and water down…..your posts irrelevant.

    Reply this comment
  10. Queeg
    Queeg 25 December, 2013, 20:30

    Bagdad Collapse….it would be beneficial not misleading readers that everything in the world is awful every blooming day.

    Pensions were earned. Pensions will be paid.

    Reply this comment
    • Donkey
      Donkey 25 December, 2013, 21:00

      Pensions will be cut, SB400 was an illegal money grab!!! 🙂

      Reply this comment
      • Ted Steele, CEO
        Ted Steele, CEO 25 December, 2013, 22:26

        bwahahahaha— poor Duncey!

        Reply this comment
        • Donkey
          Donkey 26 December, 2013, 23:39

          I am not poor as of today, but the ransacking of the nation will not last forever, or really very much longer Steals.

          You are going to find out, just as you are with Obamacare, that people are just not going to pay for the cost of your pensions. Greed is in the process of undoing your RAGWUS cabal!! 🙂

          Reply this comment
  11. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 25 December, 2013, 22:17

    My guess is that once the good Lord returns to earth instead of repeating another ‘cleansing of the temples’ he’ll go to a government-public union collective bargaining negotiation and start turning over the tables.

    How could anyone call these collective bargaining negotiations legitimate when you’ve got Charlie “Lucky” Luciano on one side of the table with Thomas “Butterfingers” Moran on the other? lol.

    The only taxpayer advocate who gets in that room is the kid who delivers the pizzas for lunch! lol.

    On the anniversary of his birth it is worthy to quote the Lord from the Good Book:

    “Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

    Luke 18:25.

    Another good one is:

    “Render unto Caesar the thing’s that are Caesar’s, and unto God the thing’s that are God’s”.

    Mark 12:17.

    Maybe it’s about time for Caesar’s run to come to an end.

    Reply this comment
    • Ted Steele, CEO
      Ted Steele, CEO 26 December, 2013, 10:14

      Let it Collide–

      You do know that thw actual returning to earth of Christ our Lord is metaphorical….ah…….er……..don’t you?

      Reply this comment
  12. Ted Steele, CEO
    Ted Steele, CEO 25 December, 2013, 22:26

    Have u been drinking again letitcollide?

    Reply this comment
  13. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 25 December, 2013, 22:59

    I expect some of the retired public pensioniers to throw the youngin’s under the bus. Take theirs! Keep your hands off mine! lol. Like the politicians who have no interest in protecting the young and future generations by raising debt ceilings, promoting trillion dollar deficits, supressing interest rates, enticing young people to sign away their lives for student loans to grow the economy through credit bubbles lol.

    I knew it would come to this sooner or later. I expected the brotherhood to rip apart at the seams when decisions had to be made over who takes the hit….the young or the old. lol. This is how it always starts. And from there it just snowballs. lol. Like two brothers fighting over who gets dad’s Rolex. lol.

    Old German proverb: Greed and envy are 2 branches that grow from the same tree.

    Reply this comment
  14. Ted Steele, CEO
    Ted Steele, CEO 26 December, 2013, 10:16

    Let it Combine—

    Do you think the pensioners want to throw the new employees under the bus…..or does the anti pension crew want to cancel the young workers pensions?


    you can do better out here collide o man!

    Reply this comment
    • LetitCollapse
      LetitCollapse 26 December, 2013, 11:25

      The retired public pensioniers will throw the young public workers under the bus just as fast as they’ve thrown the taxpayers under the bus with their massive unfunded liabilities that keep growing by leaps and bounds year after year until the system finally implodes. Unbridled greed has no loyalties. It destroys families. It destroys marriages. It destroys businesses. It destroys workplace alliances. Eventually, it destroys nations.

      Have you ever heard of a retired public pensionier collecting a pension of over $100,000 volunteer to take a 10% cut to take the heat off the young public workers so that they aren’t turned into sacrificial lambs?? lol. Don’t hold your breath. They’ll eat their young they turn over a lousy thin dime.

      I pray that the babyboomers who are a primary cause of the current fiscal crisis looming over America are forced to eat their own cooking. It would be a shame for the BB’s to die off and leave this huge mess behind for the younger generations to clean up. And by continuously kicking the can down the road that appears to be their plan.

      Reply this comment
      • Donkey
        Donkey 26 December, 2013, 13:39

        Greed has brought us to this point LIC, I agree with you, the RAGWUS feeders on the dole will be unwilling to pony any of their ill-gotten gains to support their crooked system.

        In a just society their pension would be capped, at about $40,000 a year, it just goes to show you how corrupt the public bureaucracies have become!! 🙂

        Reply this comment
        • Ted Steele, CEO
          Ted Steele, CEO 27 December, 2013, 06:30

          Duncey— Not sure it was the bureaucracies who gave us the pensions— you might check again– pretty sure it was the legislature and every Governor since 1889.

          lmao sorry little buddy!

          Reply this comment
  15. Ted Steele, CEO
    Ted Steele, CEO 26 December, 2013, 19:06

    Duncey! We’re dooooooooooomed— although Calpers nears 280 BILION!

    Reply this comment
    • Donkey
      Donkey 26 December, 2013, 23:44

      That’s all vapor paper Steals. The interest rates will rise at some point and your $280 billion will become a 1/4 of that, read a little Adam Smith and enlighten your feeble little mind.

      Join me in the right thing to do Steals, capping all RAGWUS feeders at no more than $40,000 a year, with no COLA’s. 🙂

      Reply this comment
  16. Ted Steele, CEO
    Ted Steele, CEO 27 December, 2013, 06:27

    280 billion bucks of cash little buddy! and they pay out 12 bil a year in pensions and take in 11—– we may be here for some time! That must just frustrate you to the core!


    Reply this comment
    • Donkey
      Donkey 27 December, 2013, 15:51

      It will be just like Pearl Harbor Steals, you won’t know what hit you, but it will all change for the better!! 🙂

      Reply this comment
  17. Donkey
    Donkey 27 December, 2013, 16:01

    You see Steals, take Twitter, it is being valued at $40 billion dollars, Facebook at hundreds of billions of dollars, yet neither has an ounce of infrastructure nor any material value of any kind. Yet in the RAGWUS fantasy of California you have $280 billion in your fantasy pension fund. I have moved all my money and investments from this state, except for the one house I still have here, but Calpers isn’t that bright and your greed will be your reckoning. 🙂

    Reply this comment
  18. Ted Steele, CEO
    Ted Steele, CEO 29 December, 2013, 16:20


    Care to make one of your famous losing predictions on a date that Calpers becomes insolvent little buddy?

    Reply this comment
  19. Ted Steele, CEO
    Ted Steele, CEO 29 December, 2013, 16:21

    Oh—ah—- Calpers value today?

    wait for it

    280.7 Billion Baby!

    Reply this comment
    • Donkey
      Donkey 29 December, 2013, 17:10

      Steals, my trough feeding little man, that vapor paper you are placing your faith in doesn’t even cover 1/5 of the debt this state have buried itself under. When the hammer falls, as it always does, your vapor paper or what is left of it will be used to cover debt that your RAGWUS created. 🙂

      As to your question of when it will happen, the day that all EBT cards refuse to feed their hosts. 🙂

      Reply this comment
  20. Ted Steele, CEO
    Ted Steele, CEO 30 December, 2013, 07:51

    Good thing the debt isn’t as high as you think and that it’s not due all on one day huh little buddy?

    oh my.

    Reply this comment
  21. Ted Steele, CEO
    Ted Steele, CEO 30 December, 2013, 07:52

    still can’t make a prediction? LOL OK—-but keep the open ended doom rant rolling please!

    Reply this comment
    • Donkey
      Donkey 31 December, 2013, 00:33

      Teddy Steals, read my reply under comment 19, my RAGWUS feeding friend!!! 🙂

      Reply this comment
  22. Ted Steele, CEO
    Ted Steele, CEO 30 December, 2013, 07:53

    Oh—- and hey—–

    news flash—-

    a BIG asteroid is going to hit the earth little buddy!

    but we don’t know when.

    Reply this comment
  23. S Moderation Douglas
    S Moderation Douglas 30 December, 2013, 13:47

    Can an asteroid get past a tinfoil hat?…

    Can you use “as?” and “roid” in the same word?

    Enquiring minds want to know.

    Reply this comment

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