Bizarro Day for New Jersey Pensions

There were hearings yesterday where New Jersey legislators were told that there the state might be able to scrape together another $200 million to put into a pension system that that has an accrued deficit of $166 billion (using realistic assumptions).  But it gets weirder.

At the end of the njspotlight story on the hearings it is reported:

[Paul Sarlo] was also one of many lawmakers to offer [David] Rosen encouragement as he readies for retirement after a lengthy career as a legislative analyst.

“We cannot thank you enough,” Sarlo said. “This is a committee that is very grateful for your service.”

Yes, David Rosen, who just finished testifying that New Jersey is a fiscal basket case that will not be able to fund public pensions is being congratulated as he anticipates receiving his $82,000 annual pension for what might be a few months.

Then there is the reference in the WSJ story to the pension payment case which was initiated June 5, 2014:

A lower court judge allowed the administration to cut one year’s payments but required Mr. Christie to work with lawmakers to comply with the law. The Supreme Court took up the case and heard oral arguments earlier this month. A decision is expected by the end of June.

June 30, 2015 is when that payment would be due.  If true as to the timing then the decision is already made.

Then there was the politickernj story about a breakfast meeting set for 8:45 a.m. on June 4 for Republican state legislators at Drumthwacket:

“There was another breakfast meeting in January, and I can’t recall another time over the past four or five years that he’s had two breakfast meetings for legislators within a few months of each other,” the statewide Republican source said. “I anticipate that it’s either going to be about the budget fight, or it’s going to be about his future presidential race plans.”

Or it could be to draw straws to see who spearheads that ballot question initiative that would guarantee pension payments (as well as allowing for benefit cuts but that part would be in very small print).

Finally, there is yesterday’s Christie video which I felt needed another touch:
.

38 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Jim Buettner on May 20, 2015 at 10:25 am

    Nice touch, John.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Anonymous on May 20, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    In all honesty it was great. You could be on to something. Let’s market this imbicile to Hollywood as a big tragic comedy with all proceeds going towards P&B funding, including reforms.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Tough Love on May 20, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    Quoting …”Or it could be to draw straws to see who spearheads that ballot question initiative that would guarantee pension payments (as well as allowing for benefit cuts but that part would be in very small print).”

    If by “benefit”, you are not referring to pensions, but only healthcare benefits (for actives and retirees),cutting just “benefits” is woefully insufficient. While it’s not yet clear if we will need cut to PAST Service pension accruals, we MUST very materially reduce the pension accrual rate for the FUTURE Service of all CURRENT workers.

    EVERY DAY we delay we dig the financial hole we are in even deeper….. and will never climb out.

    Reply

  4. Posted by Anonymous on May 20, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    Maybe NJ should merge with WI or TX, why not CA?

    Reply

  5. Posted by MJ on May 20, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    Dear Lord would somebody grow a pair and make the tough painful choices and cut pensions and benefits starting top down asap so that thus state can try to get back on track!!! When will the drama end. Way too much was promised to way too many for way
    Too long.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on May 20, 2015 at 1:56 pm

      OK “takers” …. jump in and tell how you :

      * ‘were “promised”
      * are “special” and deserving of “MORE”

      Reply

      • Posted by BH on May 20, 2015 at 2:31 pm

        When they started their careers… Pension deductions came out automatically and were supposed to be put into the system to find it.
        Not their fault government used the money for other things. They are still owed a pension. Plain and simple….
        Is this really too difficult to understand???

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on May 20, 2015 at 6:47 pm

          NOT for FUTURE Service ….. your pensions need to be frozen, just as recommended by the NJ pension commission.

          Reply

          • Posted by Anonymous on May 20, 2015 at 7:03 pm

            Not MY pension, but hey….
            And enough of this frozen nonsense!!! You know it ain’t happening.
            Let’s add to your list, Equal, Fair, Frozen!!!

      • Posted by BH on May 20, 2015 at 2:35 pm

        It’s not more….. It’s what was negotiated. Can’t change the rules 3/4 of the way through the game. Not when the parameters have been fixed with no input or deviation allowed from employees. Who’s to say that if the money deducted…. In most cases over $1,000 per month, that money would not be invested and worth millions individually today or at retirement???
        Too bad!! They took it out. They owe the pensions….

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on May 20, 2015 at 6:48 pm

          Is is more … TYPICALLY 3x-4x greater than what similarly situated Private Sector workers … as I clearly demonstrated in my comment of a few days ago.

          Reply

          • Posted by Anonymous on May 20, 2015 at 7:05 pm

            What private sector job is “similarly situated” to a firefighter, teacher or cop??
            No sense, you make!!!

          • Posted by Tough Love on May 20, 2015 at 7:15 pm

            There are Private Companies that provide Fire Service at 1/2 the cost …. primarily because THEIR employees don’t get the GROSSLY Excessive pension & benefits that we (the Taxpayers) are forced to pay Public Sector workers.

          • Posted by BH on May 20, 2015 at 8:39 pm

            Oh really?? Please tell me who provides private fire service and how that’s going…

        • Posted by Anonymous on May 20, 2015 at 3:49 pm

          I agree these Corporations need to stop taking greedy taxpayer welfare $ to fund their executive’s multimillion dollar salaries/bonuses.

          Reply

          • Posted by Anonymous on May 20, 2015 at 5:25 pm

            Yes!! And instead fund the pension!!!

          • These “pensions” (aka Grand Larceny) are in the same hair-brained category as a “guaranteed annual income” that a number of imbecilic liberals are currently recommending. Another unfunded scheme thought up by DF’s who would last about 24 hours running anything in the private sector.

            I guess money really does grow on trees.

        • Lets get rid of all those subsidies for private plane and yachts, etc and let’s reform the public pensions too. This would really put us back on track economically.

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on May 21, 2015 at 10:53 am

            Good suggestions …. with Public Sector pensions & benefits being reduced ALL THE WAY down to a level EQUAL TO but NO GREATER than what a Private Sector worker would get if retiring at the SAME age, with the SAME pay, and the SAME years of service.

            EQUAL …. but NOT better.

    • “Dear Lord would somebody grow a pair and make the tough painful choices.”

      It may not be the choices you approved of, but the last NJ Governor to make choices people didn’t like on behalf of the future was Jim Florio. Remember him?

      He ended up in the political landfill. Christie Whitman ended up with a cabinet appointment.

      It’s not just the politicians who are guilty in the era of Generation Greed.

      Reply

  6. Posted by Anonymous on May 20, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    Hey let’s not pick & choose. If we’re going to start knocking walls down, let’s bring the whole house down, public & private – do it!

    Reply

  7. Posted by Anonymous on May 20, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    Gotta crash and burn before ya learn.

    Reply

  8. Posted by Anonymous on May 20, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    Starbucks, America’s model against Corporate GREED. Free perks (don’t tell Chris), healthcare, free 4 year degree. OK so no DBP but they do have an employer match 401k and they actually fund it.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on May 20, 2015 at 7:17 pm

      Yup likely a 3-4% of pay “mach” vs the 30-50% of pay TRUE cost of your DB pensions.

      Reply

  9. Posted by Anonymous on May 20, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    Guess we never learn, Europe’s been thru this and they have a name for it – Social Revolution!

    Reply

  10. Posted by Tough Love on May 20, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    Hey Anon & BH ….

    It’s called PAYBACK ………….. coming to NJ real soon:

    http://www.pe.com/articles/city-767628-fire-firefighters.html

    Reply

  11. Posted by Tough Love on May 20, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    Hey Anon & BH ….

    “The 10 Deadliest Jobs in America” …. I don’t see Policemen or Firefighters on this list, do you ?

    No, you’re NOT “special” and deserving of a better deal … on the Taxpayers’ dime.

    Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on May 20, 2015 at 8:34 pm

      San Bernardino is privatizing its fire dept.
      Not so special after all. In addition, many other depts. there are in line to be privatized as well.

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on May 20, 2015 at 8:44 pm

        The Taxpayer response where current Public Sector workers refuse to agree to a freeze of their unnecessary, unjust, unfair (to Taxpayers), and unaffordable DB pension Plans (with ZERO future growth) should be to OUTSOURCE all but Police…. and to freeze police wages for at least 10 years … to drag their total compensation out of the clouds over time via inflation.

        Reply

  12. Posted by Anonymous on May 20, 2015 at 8:41 pm

    It’ll never happen….

    Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on May 20, 2015 at 9:08 pm

      I bet you said privatizing fire dept. would never happen either. There is a new breeze blowin

      Reply

  13. Posted by Anonymous on May 23, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    TL and devout followers; individuals presenting a right wing conservative perspective based on half-truths and lies.

    TL continual posts repetitive misinformation citing sources with extreme ideology. Yet sumarial dismisses other posts with conflicting opinions and sources.

    Specifically, purposely misstated the tax status of public pensions in the following post; https://burypensions.wordpress.com/2015/05/22/christie-curses-out-nj-media/#comments When called to task tried to double talk their way out of it. Standard operating procedure for most of their commentary.

    Fair and equal for all is the mantra. Fair enough, but not when I suggest Federal workers and members of our beloved Armed Forces be part of the bigger conversation. The response, they’re different. But why, because they risk their lives like first responders at home. Their DBP are paid with Federal tax dollars as opposed to State or Local. Everyone knew the job risks when they accepted employment. But they also knew what their salary, pension, and benefits were supposed to be.

    To blame and demonize public workers for the current situation is unfair and untrue. Do politicians make “deals” with unions that don’t always have the taxpayers best interest? I think everyone knows the answer to that is yes. But politicians are always making “deals” it’s what they do. Just ask the various segment market corporations; defense spending (lucrative contracts), farming (subsidies) and the list goes on and on.

    Your bully tactics and demeaning attitude only motivate me more to push back your parties ridiculous vision for NJ and America. Yes I’m sure John knows all of our IP address, so you and your business name can be exposed as well.

    The purpose of continually posting this comment is to allow the counterpoint perspective to be heard. I will no longer personally engage your comments tit for tat.

    Reply

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