Christie the Blabbermouth

At a breakfast hosted by the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey:
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This from someone who spent 40% of his time as governor of New Jersey running for election either to this office or a higher one. Which brings to mind…

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Sweeney Running In Place

Two things are becoming clear from State Senate President Steve Sweeney’s travels:

  1. He is going the Christie-town-hall route to campaign for higher office, and
  2. pension reform is his principal MacGuffin of choice.

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Full video from the NJTV report:

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Chicago Symphony Pension Games Update

According to Crain’s Chicago Business:

Today marks the 37th day of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians’ strike. They walked off the job March 10 and on April 5 rejected the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association’s “last, best and final” offer for a settlement.

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Under the new defined-contribution plan, CSOA would contribute the equivalent of 8 percent of the musicians’ base salary annually, at a cost of at least $1.4 million a year. That’s in addition to its current pension-fund obligation, $35 million over eight years.

We looked at Chicago Symphony Pension Games last month but being a June 30 year-end an updated 5500 form had to be submitted by today. It was and there were more games:

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MPRA Approved Plans Update

So far there have been twelve plans approved for benefit cuts under MPRA:

  1. Alaska Ironworkers Pension Plan, Second Application – June 8, 2018
  2. Intl Assoc. Of Machinists Motor City Pension Fund – December 13, 2017
  3. Iron Workers Local 17 Pension Fund – January 27, 2017
  4. Ironworkers Local 16 Pension Fund, Second Application – September 24, 2018
  5. Local 805 Ibt Pension & Retirement Plan Second Application – November 16, 2018
  6. Mid-Jersey Trucking Industry and Local 701 Pension Fund – March 21, 2019
  7. New York State Teamsters Conference Pension & Retirement Fund – September 13, 2017
  8. Plasterers & Cement Masons Local 94 & Pension Fund –  December 20, 2018
  9. Southwest Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters Second Application – March 21, 2019
  10. Toledo Roofers Local No 134 Pension Plan – March 21, 2019
  11. United Furniture Workers Pension Fund A – August 31, 2017
  12. Western States Office & Professional Employees Pension Fund Third Application – September 14, 2018

And one plan that got a Proposal Approval letter but not a Final Authorization letter:

  1. Plasterers Local #82 Pension Plan – November 8, 2018

We now have data on one plan that has gone through a full year of benefit cuts as reported on their 5500 filings.

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Public Employee Salary/Benefits Growth

Andrew G. Biggs of AEI released a paper examining the last 20 years and here is what I took from it:

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Following Up On Inanities

One of the most frustrating aspects of media coverage of important issues made artificially complicated is that the most inane pronouncements go unchallenged when they should be rightly ridiculed because the moderator may not have the time, knowledge, or inclination to call out the preavicator.

Some recent video examples….

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More of the United Federation of Musicians Purple Haze

Good morning gentle reader. Mr. Bury published “Musician Pensions on Brink of Being Slashed”. As I looked at this pension I responded to his post.  Thank you to all of the replies to my writings-comments and emails.  I am continuing to study your pension.

It is my belief your pension has one of the highest investment income portfolios, greater than your actuarial assumed rate of return.  Why are you destitute?  And make no mistake, you will be.

Music is the king of the humanities, the crown jewel of the liberal arts.  Your craft is the center of my life.  It is not fitting you musicians retire to skid row.  Let’s figure this out in 300 words.

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