Buying Fluff

At the bottom of the front page of the Saturday Star Ledger there was an advertisement promoting a discussion of pension reform on New Jersey Public television which sounded like it might be interesting to bring to you so I went to the NJ Capitol report website to find air dates.  It was supposed to be on NJTV and Verizon Fios1, which I have, but it was not.  Instead on Saturday Fios1 ran a half-hour local newscast that mostly covered a flea market on a loop for the whole day.

After a little digging I was able to locate a youtube version of the portion of a Sweeney interview on pension reform related to some NJ Capitol Report program (full youtube at bottom of this blog):



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All fluff.  Throw up an open-ended question that returns a campaign spiel with no time allotted for detail or relevant follow-up.  There are some real questions that would take a minimum of research (and some guts) to express that never get asked when the people you would be asking are those who ultimately pay your salary.

Then what does the media have the money (and inclination) to cover? The lead story in today’s Star Ledger was a detailed account from the point of view of a convicted sex-offender (male teacher having sex with a 15 year old female student) who claimed to have been similarly abused when he was 15 years old (by a 42 year old female teacher now living in Florida).
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On the word of this convicted felon:

A reporter and videographer made several attempts to reach her for comment, visiting the ranch-style home four times over three days.

I am not qualified to pass judgment on this child molester but, of more importance, neither is the Star Ledger. While the impending bankruptcy of the New Jersey pension system will impact at least two million people directly plus every taxpayer in the state in some way we get absolutely no exposition of the issues by a media obsessed with keeping either their direct funding or legal-ad revenue.
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Full youtube of Sweeney/Adubato softballs:
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13 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Anonymous on November 9, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    When CC and company took over they as former public employees were fully aware of public employee benefits ie pension and healthcare. They were aware of past pension raids and nonfunding of the State contribution for years. The compromise devised was fine until CC looked politically forward to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and sold himself to his new billionaire pumps. I don’t think CC and company fully understood collective bargaining agreements protections, so in frustration he decided to demonize public employees as greedy, please note all NJ public employees receive benefits. In broke ads NJ the ACA exchanges should have been established from the gate, New employees, spouses and families health coverage should have been transferred to Obama are as contracts are renewed. NJ needs to exit the pension business and transfer employee family health coverage to the exchange. Sweeney is correct he must respect the existing employment contracts and agreements, they are legal and binding. Good faith in the power/protection of contracts. So no the Senate President shouldn’t make public statements that undermine contracted benefits.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on November 9, 2014 at 5:11 pm

      Did you note Mr. Bury’s words ….. “While the impending bankruptcy of the New Jersey pension system…”.

      These “contracts” and the terms of NJ’s RICH pension formulas and GENEROUS provisions were all “negotiated” between the Public Sector Unions and Elected Officials BOUGHT-OFF by these same Public Sector Unions (with campaign contributions and election support).

      Taxpayers have wised up to the financial pension/benefit “mugging” that has been perpetrated upon them. Shoring up rich/generous Public Sector pensions SO UNJUSTLY OBTAINED is definitely NOT even on their radar screen of reasonable expenditures. Mr. Bury’s prediction is right on target. Three, maybe five years to go ….. tick-tock, tick-tock ……

      Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on November 9, 2014 at 5:45 pm

        Not going to happen!!!!!!

        Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on November 9, 2014 at 9:18 pm

        Just where did you get your pension expertise experience TL? You’re a mean a grinch, you must’ve studied through a sketchbook correspondence course couldn’t imagine you interacting effectively with other humans, you’re claws would be distracting..

        Reply

        • Posted by Anonymous on November 9, 2014 at 9:20 pm

          matchbook correspondence course.

          Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on November 10, 2014 at 12:31 pm

          Why a “mean grinch”…. all I have ever called for is EQUAL Total Compensation (cash pay +pensions + benefits) in comparable Public/Private Sector jobs.

          If you have a problem with “EQUAL”, it is YOU who is the grinch.

          ———————————
          And if EQUAL means that you have to get 50-75% less than the grossly excessive pensions & benefits you get now …SO BE IT !

          Reply

  2. Posted by hondo on November 9, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    No more tension enjoying my pension! Tick- tock,tick-tock. TL gets a kick out of that.

    Reply

  3. Biggest rip off is cruel NJ School Property Tax System.

    Reply

  4. Posted by Anonymous on November 9, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    hey tl, the collapse of the dollar will occur before pension system goes belly up, 2016. then u will have marshall law put ur head in the sand tl, ask john about this

    Reply

  5. Sweeney kept saying that they gave Christie a budget but he chose not to make the payment. Why not pay? According to Sweeney, the money is there. Home stead rebates were gone long before this. What is this guy talking about?

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on November 10, 2014 at 4:47 pm

      Sweeney is a “politician”, and like all politicians, he speaks with forked-tongue. Especially now (with his eyes on the governorship, and kissing any Union ass nearby) nothing from his mouth can be trusted.

      His latest proposal …. funding NJ’s pension Plans up to a “funding goal” of 85% (rather than the 100% that the American Academy of Actuaries has stated is the proper goal) is MORE kicking the can down the road.

      Oh don’t get me wrong …….. we don’t have the money to fund EITHER 100% or 85%. It’s the grossly excessive pension promises (made in collusion between the Unions and our taxpayer-betraying politicians) that is the ROOT CAUSE of the financial mess NJ is in. “Funding problems” is not a “cause” (as many claim), it’s a CONSEQUENCE of that excessive, unnecessary, and unjust pension GENEROSITY.

      The ONLY effective “solution” is a VERY material (50+%) REDUCTION in that pension generosity applicable not only to NEW workers, but to the future service of all CURRENT workers. Anything less is just fluff, smoke-and-mirrors, and MORE kicking the can down the road.

      By FAR, the BEST solution is to freeze the DB pension plans applicable to all CURRENT workers … ZERO future growth….. and replace them for FUTURE Service with a DC Plan with a MODEST 3%-5% of pay taxpayer match typical to what is granted Private Sector workers by their employers. If that is deemed not possible (but only AFTER trying all legal avenues to do so), we must reduce the pension accrual rate for the future service of all CURRENT workers by AT LEAST 50%.

      Reply

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