CalSTRS hearing underscores Mac Taylor’s destructive happy talk

CalSTRS hearing underscores Mac Taylor’s destructive happy talk

mac-taylor-02-300x186An Assembly committee hearing Wednesday on the immense underfunding problems facing the California State Teachers’ Retirement System also illuminated another strange problem in Sacramento: the emergence of Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor as a civic arsonist.

As John Myers reported, one of Taylor’s staffers provided key testimony at the hearing, going over findings from a new LAO report:

“[It] concludes that CalSTRS needs $900 million in additional contributions from all sources in the 2015-16 fiscal year, rising sharply to $5.7 billion a year by the summer of 2021. And that’s just to cover current liabilities.

“What happens if lawmakers continue to delay taking action? The LAO report (PDF) pegs just delay beyond 2015 at an additional $150 million a year for the following 30 years … and $300 million a year if waiting just two years beyond 2015.

“The message: the hole gets deeper every year. And it’s a bigger problem than other long-term state debts.

“‘This liability tends to grow much faster,'” said analyst Ryan Miller in Wednesday’s hearing.

‘The state’s structural deficit … is no more’

But then, of course, there is the contrary view that looks at the state’s fiscal future and predicts surpluses for years to come … also courtesy of the LAO:

“’The state’s budgetary condition is stronger than at any point in the past decade. … The state’s structural deficit – in which ongoing spending commitments were greater than projected revenues – is no more.’”

That’s what Mac Taylor said in November in testimony to the Legislature. Evidently, pension debt isn’t an “ongoing spending commitment.”

This isn’t a minor problem — a knucklehead lawmaker mouthing off about a topic about which he knows nothing. This is the head of the state’s (previously) most respected watchdog agency offering a grossly deceptive description of the state’s financial health and providing cover to those who want to ramp up spending.

Taylor should be embarrassed. I’m sure Ryan Miller looks at his boss’ November testimony and feels like throwing up.


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  1. Donkey
    Donkey 20 February, 2014, 11:27

    The RAGWUS hides the numbers so as to act as if their is no problem, but in the end it will be over a one trillion dollar problem plus.

    In a short span of five years there will be close to one million RAGWUS feeders pulling between eighty and one hundred and forty thousand dollars a year from the state pension funds, start adding in those zeros and you can see just how long calpers is going to last!! 🙂

    Reply this comment
  2. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 20 February, 2014, 17:17

    The fact is CalSTRS is too far gone, it is in the “Death Spiral” because the funding level has dropped to well below 50%.

    This state does not have $5-6 BILLION every year for the next 30 years to fix it. I doubt CalSTRS will see more than $1 billion from the state annually. And once we hit another recession, due soon (not withstanding the fact we never really came out of this one), it is curtains.

    Reply this comment
  3. Donkey
    Donkey 20 February, 2014, 19:41

    Rex, as usual you are your erudite self! Add in the baby boomers that are jumping into the retirement fray and it is going to make social security look good.

    Does anybody at Calpers have math skills, at least addition and subtraction? If the funds oversight was not done by RAGWUS feeders SB400 would have never happened. 🙂

    Reply this comment
  4. Queeg
    Queeg 20 February, 2014, 20:10

    Donkey and Poodle hee hawing as usual about sinister conspiracies, envy of hard working government workers and calling for pension destruction of the little people.

    The subject is beat to smithers Bro’s….there are so many doomer articles on pensions that the site should change their name to

    Reply this comment
    • Donkey
      Donkey 20 February, 2014, 21:09

      Sorry TCS but the subject of RAGWUS pensions is only beginning.

      The crooks, criminals, and con artists that inhabit the RAGWUS are in for an awakening as the private sector citizens become aware of what they have done with their tax dollars.

      Keep up the happy times, NFL. Ask Al Gore about the end, or has his trail gone cold? 🙂

      Reply this comment
  5. Queeg
    Queeg 20 February, 2014, 22:03

    Back to the barn Donkey…..goodnite!

    Reply this comment

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