Who’s Being Fooled Here?

In boasting about fiscal responsibility New Jersey Governor Christie likes to point out that he has (or by next June will have) put more money into the pension system than any other governor in state history:
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But what he leaves out, which the state’s bond disclosure filing does not, is:

nj pension contributions
Removing those two Corzine budget years leaves us with $17,678.7 million of Annual Required Contributions (ARC) for 2011 through 2015 of which $2,890.1 million was (or might be) deposited. That comes to 16.35% of the ARC being deposited and $14,788.6 million (plus interest) for some future administration to come up with (or not).

Of course ARCs for years after missed contributions would be lower if the full deposits had been made since money not entirely invested with campaign donors who run hedge funds would augment trust assets thus lowering those ARCs but Christie did not make that point when excoriating prior governors who only put in 20% of their ARCs so let’s lock his contribution ratio at that 16.35%.

Now the question I have of you people out there, and it directly hits on Christie’s governing style, is why would he say something so obviously idiotic when the facts on the hypocrisy of his claim are out there and fairly easy to check?


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For those still keeping track, it’s now 8 downgrades. Recapping:

…………….Fitch…………Moody’s…………S&P
2010……….AA………………AA2……………AA
2/9/11…………………………………………….AA-
4/27/11………………………AA3
8/18/11……AA-
4/9/14……………………………………………A+
5/1/14……..A+
5/14/14………………………A1
9/5/14……..A
9/10/14…………………………………………..A

35 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Tough Love on September 10, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    Perhaps he’s trying to accurately point out than his predecessors (mostly Democratic) are the root cause of the problem . by promising MORE they could EVER afford, or was necessary.

    Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on September 10, 2014 at 5:38 pm

      TL removing all blame from Republican governors who put less into the system than democrat governors. But of course less contributions and downgrades are the way to go.
      As far as Christie, what he knows is that NJ citizens expect him to lie. It is just that simple

      Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on September 12, 2014 at 3:44 pm

      Root cause became a moot point with bipartisan pension reform. In the here and now we need an investigation of fees for NJ Dept of Investment contractors. The Chairman public response to union ethics charges failed to address management fees, campaign contributions and influence in choosing investment firms. More fuel for further downgrades and an SEC investigation about conflicts of interest and executive level pay to play by unpaid influential volunteers who also happen to be a top campaign advisor. The deception web is getting bigger. There are curious issues with NJABP which Prudential serves as a vendor, all of this financial inbreeding is very suspect. The scandal is moving to Newark and back to Trenton. We reap what we sow.

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on September 12, 2014 at 6:08 pm

        The Root Cause of our pension/benefit mess (being NJ’s Public Sector Union-bought-off elected officials promising of way MORE than NJ could EVER afford) becoming a “moot point” via “bipartisan pension reform” is nonsense ………. simply because the pensions “reforms” (with the exception of the COLA suspension which now looks like it will be reversed by the Courts) were a joke ….. by applying only to NEW workers, not to the FUTURE Service of all CURRENT workers.

        The latter was “NECESSARY” to have any real financial saving, and without that, the “reforms” were just a bad “joke”.

        And the rest of your comment is simply intended to divert the readers attention from the PRIMARY issue at hand … VERY materially reducing (by AT LEAST 50%) the pension and benefit accrual rate of all CURRENT workers … AND if financially necessary (and it likely is to avoid untenable tax increases) the PAST service accruals of current actives and those already retired.

        Greed HAS consequences !
        —————————————————————–
        And sure,we should go after ALL of the crooks and slimy operators that screw the Taxpayers, but by far, the Public Sector Unions (and the WORKERS as the financial beneficiaries of the Union/politician collusion) are at the TOP of that list.

        Reply

        • Posted by Anonymous on September 12, 2014 at 10:29 pm

          Not relevant, the reform measures were based on pension history, the reforms were to be corrective and forward moving. CC and company are fiscally challenged in managing the finances for the State of NJ, but gangster when devising schemes to provide management and investment fees in exchange for campaign donations to Wall St. investment firm. Looting by any means necessary administration. Millions in pension monies in exchange for thousands for the Republican coffers, there are spots in he’ll for receivers.

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on September 12, 2014 at 11:19 pm

            More “diversion” from the issue …. MATERIALLY reducing the grossly excessive pensions & benefits of all CURRENT workers.

          • Posted by Anonymous on September 13, 2014 at 7:44 am

            You should reduce your dependence on mindaltering substances, most NJ retires receive less than $30,000 per year after 25 years of service. Half a billion in administrative and investment management fees deserves a closer look. The NJABP which Prudential is a vendor should be included, people misuse their authority. Interfering with payout processes to collect administrative fees from NJABP vendor for the benefit of State of NJ coffers. The NJ Division of Pensions and Benefits needs a revenue raising review. What monies are realized from vendors for administrative services related to the NJABP? A little sunshine is a wonderful thing. Transparency is called for zero politics in pension services.

          • Posted by Tough Love on September 13, 2014 at 8:39 am

            Your $30,000 figure is extremely misleading as it includes:
            (a) those who retired long ago on lower pay scales and lower pension formulas
            (b) short career workers
            (c) part-time workers
            (d) 50% suvivorship beneficiaries of deceased workers

            The properer comparison is what a full-time, full-career, worker would get if retiring today….. Public vs Private Sector.

            Your denial and distortion of the facts won’t change them ……… at EVERY pay level whether the final salary is $30K. $80K or $150K, the NJ pension of a full career Public Sector worker will ALWAYS be AT LEAST 2x greater than that of a comparable Private Sector worker retiring at the SAME age, with the SAME years of Service, and the SAME final pay, will MOST OFTEN be 3x-4x greater, and for safety workers will USUALLY be 4x-6x greater.

            And all while most such public Sector workers make no less and often far more in “cash pay” than their Private Sector counterparts.

            There never was, there isn’t now, and there never will be justification for this politician-enabled Public Sector Union/worker financial “mugging” of the Taxpayers.

            It will change … as the MATH leaves no alternative.

        • Posted by Anonymous on September 12, 2014 at 10:35 pm

          Reduce the management and investment fees to politically connected investment firms, first. Millions of dollars that should be reinvested to enrich the pension funds. Snuggle up to the fact that this gifting might trigger a federal militancy investigation. Wrong is wrong.

          Reply

          • Posted by Anonymous on September 12, 2014 at 10:45 pm

            Tough Love you must be puffing medical marijuana, the deceivers are the political operatives in CC’s administration and Wall Street investment firms pumping the NJ Investment Council. They are the ones positioned to take the media reported walks of shame. How do you justify stealing public employees retirement funds? NJ second Reality TV show, The Real Crooks of NJ.

          • Posted by Anonymous on September 12, 2014 at 10:46 pm

            Multiagency

          • Posted by Tough Love on September 12, 2014 at 11:26 pm

            Quoting … “How do you justify stealing public employees retirement funds?”

            I’m advocating for the Taxpayers taking BACK that which YOU GUYS stole from the Taxpayers via your Unions’ buying of the votes necessary to grant your grossly excessive pension & benefits.

            And I’m talking BILLIONS in unnecessary and unjust pension/benefit promises, not MILLIONS in unnecessary fees.

            Just more of your “diversionary tactics”.

        • Posted by Anonymous on September 12, 2014 at 11:00 pm

          2014 CC and company devised a way to abuse the pension investments before the money is realized in the pension coffers. The past involved borrowing this involves taking it off the top. Seriously, who in their unmedicated right mind would defend this misconduct, benefiting from one’s public position and many other violations of the State ethics code. Stop it Tough Love, the greed is no the employees with contracted rights it is CC,the Republicans working in the contracted investment firms.

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on September 12, 2014 at 11:29 pm

            Yeah….. “contracted rights” via collusion between your Unions and our bought-off elected officials.

            Taxpayers will be telling you to “go stick it”. Your pensions are “toast”.

          • Posted by Anonymous on September 13, 2014 at 7:25 am

            You are delusional, public pensions won’t disappear. NJ public employees under the reform continue to contribute to their retirement accounts per the negotiated contract, the Governor dropped the ball. The reforms increased the employee payroll deductions for healthcare per legislation. You sound like a certified hater, public employees are taxpayers and voters.

          • Posted by Tough Love on September 13, 2014 at 8:46 am

            Your correct than Public Sector pension won’t “disappear”, but they will without doubt be a great deal less generous for CURRENT workers (and quite possibly those already retired) in just a few years.

            First up ….. big reductions and/or premium increases in your retiree healthcare “promises” …. completely absurd, as (with the exception of modest $300-$500 employer contributions into a retiree HSA) nobody in the Private Sector gets employer-sponsored retiree healthcare any longer ………. and there is ZERO justification for Taxpayers to pay for yours.

  2. Posted by bpaterson on September 10, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    third choice is: from past 20 years history, he knows the new jersey citizenry are ignorant and gullible..put that in the polldaddy and smoke it JB1

    but youre right, raw numbers mean nothing, one has to go by %’s for proper comps.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Anonymous on September 10, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    His status as head of the Republican Governors has inflated his ego, he feels above his failed NJ position as Governor. The position keeps him constantly in motion outside of NJ. He can’t escape his truth, he is a fiscal failure, the leader of a failed administration.

    Reply

  4. Posted by Javagold on September 10, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    Are we still believing the Blue team vs. Red team myth around here ??

    I thought you were all much smarter than THAT.

    Reply

  5. Posted by Anonymous on September 10, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    definitely not a believer

    Reply

  6. Posted by Anonymous on September 13, 2014 at 8:34 am

    Since there is a union sponsored ethic complaint about administrative and investment management fees that names Prudential, let’s expand the inquiry and add Assistant Director NJ Division of Pensions and Benefits, in charge of NJABP, how much revenue is received by NJABP for administrative services from Prudential in exchange for allowing Prudential to milk NJABP and DROP participants with excessive administration and investment management fees. NJABP is a cash cow and the money extracted from participant accounts benefit the State coffers and Prudential a very hidden benefit at the expense of public employee participants. Contact Susanne Culliton at the NJ DIVISION of pensions and benefits 609-292-7524,ask her to share the financial records for fees paid to NJABP by vendors for administrative services, start with Prudential. Ask her what she turns a blind eye to in order to keep the funds flowing to the state treasury. There is no shame in this game, the unions should include NJABP in the ethics complaint.

    Reply

  7. Posted by Anonymous on September 13, 2014 at 10:55 am

    Why does all the budget news come out only in bond prospectus? I assume that it is because the feds came down on the state for withholding information, and someone would be held accountable for a repeat violation (i wonder who, the treasurer, gov, or lacky). I also wonder how much the ratings downgrades mean in real additional dollars. Someone might want to do a tally to see the taxpayer dollars lost to downgrades, lost funding, and financial manipulations that save now and cost much more later.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on September 13, 2014 at 11:18 am

      Quoting …”Someone might want to do a tally to see the taxpayer dollars lost to downgrades, lost funding, and financial manipulations that save now and cost much more later.”

      Whatever the “cost” of those items are, they pale in comparison to the true “cost” to taxpayers of fully funding your grossly excessive pension and benefit promises.

      But hopefully, we’ll be smart enough to continue to NOT fund these absurd promises.

      Reply

  8. Posted by Anonymous on September 13, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    Tough Love as a private sector employee didn’t you contribute the max to your 401k? What’s your real issue with mandatory public sector pensions, you didn’t save enough for retirement or your withdrawals are taxed as ordinary income. If the union lawyers do great research they will find that NJ’ s ethical issues with the State Investment Council Chair and other receivers was address in 2009 when NY reached a settlement with the Carlyle Group regarding pay-to-play, banned selling of access and put power brokers out of business, the settlement was to be effective nationwide since the SEC was involved, maybe CC and company didn’t get the memo, that’s no excuse for setting up the same operation with many hedge funds and investment funds in NJ. is
    Mr Grady connected to the Carlyle Group, he knows the deal. Tough Love CC, the NJ Investment Council and the NJABP, Division of Pensions and Benefits will be too busy explaining this glaring disregard of the nationwide settlement dealing with pension investment decision. Game on!!!!!
    .

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on September 13, 2014 at 4:04 pm

      Quoting … “What’s your real issue with mandatory public sector pensions”

      My ONLY ‘issue” with Public Sector pensions (and benefits) is that when the taxpayer-assigned share of your extraordinarily generous pensions & benefits is added to your “cash pay” (giving Total Compensation) the result is FAR FAR greater than that of comparable Private Sector workers. There is simply ZERO justification for this.

      As I have said MANY times, I strongly advocate for EQUAL Public/Private Sector total compensation in comparable jobs.

      What’s YOUR problem with EQUAL …. perhaps GREED ?

      Reply

  9. Posted by Anonymous on September 13, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    The jailed Governor of Illinois a Democrat also misused his office to manipulate the alternate pension investment program using political and hedge fund intermediaries to secure state pension monies. So the unions have solid examples of investment abuse by state employees, political operatives and hedge funds. The NJABP doesn’t have a board, so the DROP contract was negotiated by the Assistant Director, very high fees tied to retail level mutual funds $3000 annually for each $100,000. It’s a huge unchecked mess.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on September 13, 2014 at 4:10 pm

      More diversion from the issue at hand …. the grossly excessive pensions and benefits granted all Public Sector workers …. and with 80-90% of the true total cost assigned to NOT THEM, but to the Taxpayers.

      And ALL of the issues you raise ….. while they SHOULD BE investigated …. amount to a few $ Million (maybe even a few tens of $ Millions) …. while the unnecessary, unjust, and unsustainable share of your grossly excessive pensions and benefits is in the multi $ BILLIONS.

      Reply

  10. Posted by Anonymous on September 13, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    The issue at hand is the access to public employee pension monies, given to private equity firms by CC in exchange for campaign dollars to support Republican candidates. Mitt Romney stopped in to thank CC for his continued support of Bain Capital and its subsidiaries with other names that invest part of the funds entrusted to the NJ Investment Dept of NJ Treasury. Rich people are bold, who would think Mitt would be filling his off shore accounts based on fees Bain subsidiaries receive from NJ. All he had to do is critique Obama to throw the scent off him.

    Reply

  11. […] 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 […]

    Reply

  12. […] into the pension system than any other governor’ misdirection by asking which governor has skipped the most payments into the pension […]

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  13. […] stewardship of the pension system is nothing to brag about (unless you are addressing the […]

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