Trumping Union Pensions


Donald Trump and Carl Ichan do not want to pay into the Pension Plan of the National Retirement Fund from which employees of Trump Taj Mahal get their pension and health care benefits and a judge is with them while union representatives are taking it personally:
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But examine the funded status of that plan and you will see that it’s just business and doing business with a union that sponsors a multiemployer plan these days is not healthy.

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Too Late For the Truth


Patrick Colligan, president of the New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association, argues in an opinion-piece today:

It was disappointing to see that the Governor’s Pension and Health Benefit Study Commission initial report doesn’t provide any true detail as to how well funded parts of the pension system are………The truth is the New Jersey pension system is not one monolithic fund that is hemorrhaging cash daily. In fact, the state manages five pension plans for State and local employees. Of those five, the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System (PFRS) is financed mainly by local governments who, unlike the state, have been making their required pension payments……….If this Commission is truly focused on the health of the pension system they would spell out the differences in the system and focus on the funding ratios, level of benefits and employee/employer contributions of each plan. If they were to offer the public those facts, it would undermine their proposal that benefits must again be rolled back or employees must face the elimination of their pension plans.

If you really want the truth…..

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Post-Defining Fair Share


Governor Christie was on his monthly radio program last night when he got a call from Bob questioning why the son of the Essex County Executive (and Chrisite political backer) Thomas DiVencenzo got a $92,000 per year NJ state job.  Christie never answered the question (though he claimed he did to justify his diversionary tirade) but seeing from the screen that Bob was a retired public employee he had the opening he needed to advance his benefit cut talking points:
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Bob was barely able to defend himself on a topic he did not expect (or else he might have mentioned that Chrisite has also shorted the pension system by more money – $14.8 billion – than any other governor in history and that current NJ taxpayers would not have to be paying for current retiree benefits if these plans had been funded with any sense of responsibility) but what he elicited could have clued us in to what Christie’s grand plan for public benefits reform will look like.

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Bashing New Jersey Public Employees


In a youtube clip that got a lot of views since it was included in an nj.com story Governor Christie almost broke down when explaining how the NJEA publicized that he hates his children:
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If you want hatred see what Christie, through his Attorney General’s office, said about public employees (retirees especially) in the State’s Reply Brief in Support of the Cross Petition for Certification filed today in the Berg / NJEA consolidated cases.  Among the vitriol spilled:

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Christie the Victim


Yesterday Governor Christie gave a speech at the NAACP New Jersey State Conference’s annual membership event (full video at the bottom of this blog) and his focus was on bail reform and giving drug addicts second chances.  Were I in that audience my thoughts would have run something like:

  • Rather then keeping suspected lawbreakers in a virtual debtor’s prison for lack of $250 bail money why not get more competent judges out there to work on that ‘speedy trial’ angle of the constitution.
  • Why is he telling me this? Does he believe these are the issues that effect me?
  • Is this the speech he gives in Iowa?

Then he took a swipe at the New Jersey Education Associations (NJEA) in a manner that revealed more about his own convenient misinterpretations of reality:

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When Accountants Dummy Up Actuaries’ Numbers


Union County paid Brown & Brown $20,000 to do a GASB 45 valuation for 2007 and the accountants have been using that report ever since.

The 2013 audit is now out and after I pointed out how comical the 2012 OPEB numbers were:
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Note 15 on OPEBs changed considerably this time. No interceding actuarial valuation seems to have been done so the accountants were left to their own devices and this is what they came up with.

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Call the Propagandists’ Bluff


If Governor Christie really intended to replace the defined benefit system in New Jersey with 401(k)s for public employees then a report slapped together by a couple of liberal think tanks might have done him a big favor.  Think about it. The scare headline these union-backed toadies want to get out there is:

Ending pensions could cost NJ taxpayers $42 billion

Of course that’s a bogus number taken from some study on the Pennsylvania plan and based on sheer conjecture.  But, if it were true…….

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