Restoring COLAs Will Not Bankrupt NJ Pension System

By any reasonable measure the New Jersey retirement system is already bankrupt so it is not the $1.2 billion in restored Cost-of-living-adjustments (COLAs) that concerns politicians:

State Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester) told The Star-Ledger’s editorial board Thursday that a victory for the retirees and the restoration of COLAs would bankrupt the pension system, but he predicts the state will prevail.

It is what overturning the COLA theft means for future ‘reforms’ which, if not allowed, WOULD move the system to pure pay-go.

If the State Supreme Court overturns the lower courts and approves doing away with COLAs it will set a precedent for future cuts which some would  view as ‘saving’ the system. If a COLA promised to a retiree can be eliminated why not the base pension through a benefit-cap that decreases as necessary?

Now that the Supreme Court has its marching orders from Governor Christie and now Senate President Sweeney it appears likely to obey and the next questions are:

  1. which judge gets the assignment of thinking up the twisted rationalization; and
  2. what is a decent interval before the next set of benefit cuts?

70 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Anonymous on August 29, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    Good point but the COLA is a separately and subsequently granted benefit so a distinction can (operative word) be made.

    Furthermore, why wouldn’t the State proactively put forth a fall back plan of allowing 100% employee/retiree subsidized COLA’s just in case.

    Well I guess you already answered that, the NJSC has their marching orders, case closed.

    Reply

    • Posted by S Moderation Douglas is Wrong Again on August 30, 2015 at 1:30 pm

      A “distinction” could be made, but that would stop the real purpose, to cut base benefits. In fact lawyers can find millions of distinctions in nearly any case. I think Bury KNOWS Christie, public employees and many others read his bog, understand his analysis and would probably put him on the payroll if they were not getting his expertise for free here….

      Reply

  2. Posted by S Moderation Douglas on August 29, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    New Jersey COLA paradox analogy:

    Butch Cassidy: Alright. I’ll jump first.
    Sundance Kid: No.
    Butch Cassidy: Then you jump first.
    Sundance Kid: No, I said.
    Butch Cassidy: What’s the matter with you?
    Sundance Kid: I can’t swim.
    Butch Cassidy: Are you crazy? The fall will probably kill you.
    Sundance Kid: Oh, shit…

    Reply

  3. Posted by Tough Love on August 29, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    Quoting …. “If the State Supreme Court overturns the lower courts and approves doing away with COLAs it will set a precedent for future cuts which some would view as ‘saving’ the system.”

    I view it not so much as “saving” the system as ELIMINATION of the unnecessary, unjust, unfair, and unaffordable gross excess reflected in currently promised pension & benefit levels …… negotiated in collusion between the insatiably greedy Public Sector unions and NJ’s self-interested Elected Officials, with NOBODY rightfully looking out for Taxpayer interests.

    Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on August 29, 2015 at 3:16 pm

      Oh do I sense a bait and switch on the P&B Commission’s reform recommendations?

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on August 29, 2015 at 3:37 pm

        Not at all.

        Do as the P&B Commission recommended …….. a DB Plan freeze (for ALL current workers, replaced for future service with a DC (or Cash Balance) Plan no greater than what Private Sector Taxpayers typically get from their employers), together with reduction in healthcare all the way down to what Private Sector workers typically get (with typically NOTHING once retired) and I’m fine with Taxpayers sharing the pain of PAST service pension liabilities …. but ONLY if the P & B Comission’s shift of costs from the State to Localities is IN EVERY YEAR indeed offset by the proposed healthcare reductions …. with any shortfall in that offset reverting BACK to the State as THEIR liability.

        Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on August 29, 2015 at 5:23 pm

      TL=Christie= BS

      Reply

  4. Posted by MJ on August 29, 2015 at 3:16 pm

    John, with all due respect why does it seem that you might be one of the only ones who believes that this a crisis going off of a cliff? Other than a few people on this blog no one seems to be overly concerned. Is it me or are these articles going round and round in circles always coming back to the same thing. Are the NJ pensions insolvent or not? Will more reforms (cuts) be made or not? Will the Fed bail them out or not? I feel like I am in Ground Hog Day.

    Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on August 29, 2015 at 3:28 pm

      Common sense (being the problem) pensions as is are heading for insolvency, more reforms are inevitable, and Fed loans highly unlikely.

      Step into the shadows and you we see the light for just beyond the raindow lies eternal life @ANNON

      Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on August 29, 2015 at 3:46 pm

      The “Public” Sector, not being subject to the riggers of true GAAP accounting, and it’s administrators and elected officials having little fear of being held CRIMINALLY (or even Civilly) accountable (as would Private Sector executives under Sarbanes-Oxley) for their actions, has enable the current system to fester and grow into the giant sore we see today.

      These Plans sure ARE going “over the cliff”, but the “Public” Sector has FAR more avenues to deny and defer the inevitable than would the Private Sector.

      Witness Detroit …. right up until the end, they STILL claimed that things were quite manageable.

      Reply

    • Posted by william allen on August 30, 2015 at 2:42 pm

      The other 49 states are not going to permit a Federal bailout.

      Reply

  5. Posted by S Moderation Douglas on August 29, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    “If a COLA promised to a retiree can be eliminated why not the base pension through a benefit-cap that decreases as necessary?”

    I (almost) hate to go there. It comes under the heading of:

    “You can’t HANDLE the truth.”

    And, to be clear, IF pension reductions were absolutely necessary (a very big IF); I have no objection to cutting those pensions at the top, rather than the lower pensions.

    Usually when you see these cuts suggested, they recommend NOT cutting those under $50,000 a year. A rather arbitrary number.

    Kinda makes sense, right? You get $100,000 a year, or more, maybe a 5% cut won’t seriously cramp your budget. Even 10%,……….maybe?

    But to the guy with a $50,000 pension, a 5% cut could be pretty serious. And, trust me, there are a LOT of “full career” workers retiring this year with pensions of $30,000 or less.

    But, as has been, sort of, alluded to in various articles, and as TL and I have discussed, generally speaking:

    Those public workers with a full career pension under $40,000 are the ones who have the greatest relative compensation advantage over the private sector.

    And,

    Those public workers with pensions over $100,000 most likely earn LESS in total compensation than equivalent private sector workers. MUCH less, at the extremes.

    When some economic studies claim that “on average” public sector workers are “overpaid” (a misleading term) the public workers raising that average are those in the lower quintiles. And it is largely due to health care and retiree healthcare.

    Quoting Juvenal451, who said it much more concisely:

    ” …….. you are just wrong about the comparison of public sector and private sector total compensation (except at the level which requires no education–sorry for giving them benefits other than Medi-Cal)”
    ___________________________________
    Caveat: The studies refered to usually do not include safety workers.

    Disclaimer: My pension is under $50,000.

    Reply

    • I would probably not have a problem with current pensions up to $60K per annum with one caveat: can’t begin receiving benefits until age 66 (or down to age 62 with per annum haircuts like SS). Pensions higher than $60K would be crammed down to that level. Some old geezer in NY gets a $500K per annum pension because he taught for 60 years. What kind of public sector nonsense is that? In my world it would be TS for him.

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on August 29, 2015 at 6:00 pm

        Be careful when picking a dollar amount of annual pension income below which you would not call for any pension reduction. A few things to consider:

        (1) A $60K pension is (to begin with) an unusually high pension in the Private Sector. This is so because even the richer Private Sector pensions usually do not pay more than 40% of final average salary even after long career. Hence a $60K pension is consistent with a $60K/0.4 = $150K salary ….. hardly the salary of the typical Private Sector worker.

        (2) While COLAs are now suspended in NJ, that is a recent development (that may yet be reversed) and almost ALL Public Sector DB Plans throughout America are COLA increased while it is almost unheard of for a Private Sector Plan to include annual COLA increases. The inclusion of a COLA-increase provision to an otherwise identical Plan without COLA increases it’s “value'” by 25% to 35% with the higher %s corresponding to the younger retirement ages (e.g., Police Officers). My point is that a PRIVATE Sector worker’s pension would need to be in the $75K – $81K range just to be EQUAL IN VALUE to a $60K PUBLIC Sector pension.

        (3) All 3 of the following NJ workers might get a $60K annual Public Sector pension;
        (a) A non-safety worker who has worked 35 years with a final salary of $94K
        (b) A non-safety worker who worked in the Private Sector for 15 years followed by 20 years in the Public Sector with a final salary of $165K
        (c) A Town Councilman who has gained 32 years of “service credit” in NJ Public Sector pension system followed by 3 years in a full-time position making a final salary of $94K.

        I would argue that ALL of them should be subject to pension reductions ….. because of what I stated in (1) and (2) above, but CLEARLY there is a HUGE difference between the workers (a), (b), and (c).

        Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on August 29, 2015 at 5:32 pm

      (1) Quoting S Moderation Douglas …….. “And, trust me, there are a LOT of “full career” workers retiring this year with pensions of $30,000 or less.”

      Those retiring now with a “full career” (which I call 35 years .. not 20, not 25, and not 30) are under NJ’s 1/55 =1.81818% of final pay formula, giving a pension of 35 x 0.0181818 = 63.6363% of final pay. The final salary consistent with a starting pension of $30,000 is then $30,000/0.636363 = $47,192.

      Such a salary would be quite low for someone at the end of a 35-year FULL-TIME care in NJ’s Public Sector, and I really doubt that your statement ……..”And, trust me, there are a LOT of “full career” workers retiring this year with pensions of $30,000 or less.” ……… is accurate.

      (2) Quoting …. “Those public workers with pensions over $100,000 most likely earn LESS in total compensation than equivalent private sector workers. MUCH less, at the extremes. ”

      While that may be true for some of our big City’s and County’s highest level administrators and certain professionals (e.g., SOME attorneys), it’s certainly NOT true for NJ’s LARGEST GROUP of those with the greatest pensions ….. Police officers and other “Safety” workers). This group is anything BUT under-compensated, with the contrary being far more likely ….. that they are VASTLY over-compensated.

      Reply

      • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on August 29, 2015 at 5:45 pm

        Quoting Moderation:

        “Caveat: The studies refered to usually do not include safety workers.”

        (“referred” Moderation was using windows notepad….no spellcheck)
        ……………………………………………….
        Caltrans Salary
        In USD as of Aug 28, 2015
        Caltrans Electrician $52,000
        Caltrans Highway Maintenance Leadworker $48,000
        Senior Transportation Engineer Caltran $103,000
        Caltrans Landscape Maintenance Worker $35,000
        ………………………………………………
        Please believe me, I worked alongside some of these men, And there are countless clerks, secretaries, etc., who WISH they could retire with $30,000.

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on August 29, 2015 at 6:10 pm

          Perhaps in CA, but not likely with 35 years of Public Sector service in NJ.

          Reply

          • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on August 29, 2015 at 6:30 pm

            Quoting Tough Love:

            “I really doubt that your statement ……..”And, trust me, there are a LOT of “full career” workers retiring this year with pensions of $30,000 or less.” ……… is accurate.”

            I anticipated that you would doubt that, little one. Which is why, I reiterate, you are becoming as useless as Surfpuppy.

            I have no doubt that there are “a lot” of full career New Jersey public workers who have pensions below $30,000.

            But, don’t forget the salient point: These are exactly the workers who earn MUCH more, relatively speaking, than their private sector counterparts. These are the workers primarily responsible for your obsessive “23% advantage” meme. These are the workers, if I recall correctly, you would have no trouble reducing their compensation*:

            Tough Love:
            ……………”I’m fine with raising the compensation of Public Sector workers now under-compensated …. as long as IN TOTAL for all Public Sector workers taken together, their Total Compensation is REDUCED by their current 23%-of pay advantage. It’s an unnecessary, unjust, unfair, and affordable Taxpayer-rip-off that must end.

            And no, I’m NOT going to feel sorry for the lower paid (but vastly OVER-Compensated vs their Private Sector counterpart) Public Sector worker that would have to give up their Platinum+ healthcare and rich pension formula …. because they deserve no more than similarly situated Private Sector workers …. on the Taxpayers’ dime.”

            http://www.contracostatimes.com/daniel-borenstein/ci_28661313/daniel-borenstein-attorney-general-kamala-harris-is-right

            ……………………….
            *reducing their compensation; meaning reducing health insurance and pensions. Because reducing their cash pay enough to eliminate the “advantage” would violate minimum wage laws. Or has Chris Christie already declared those unconstitutional, too?

          • Posted by Anonymous on August 29, 2015 at 7:43 pm

            TL is wrong.

          • Posted by Tough Love on August 29, 2015 at 7:44 pm

            Quoting …. S Moderation Douglas …”I have no doubt that there are “a lot” of full career New Jersey public workers who have pensions below $30,000.”

            Oh there likely are …. those that retired YEARS AGO, and those that consider 20 or 25 years a “full career”. I don’t, and I made that clear in my above comment.

            It was pretty obvious that I was talking about those retiring today after 35 years.

            And YES, I have absolutely no problem calling for the reduction in the compensation of all workers (INCLUDING the lower paid) who are now compensated more than that typicality granted their Private Sector counterparts.

            I’m not saying that we should let such low earners go without food, shelter, and medical care. What I’m saying is that addressing those (potential issues) via greater compensation than the “market rate” for such jobs is the wrong way to address it. Such problems (should they arise) should be addressed via Social Services just as they are right now for similarly situated low-income Private Sector workers.

            Got problem with NOT being treated better, and “special”?

          • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on August 29, 2015 at 8:53 pm

            ¡Ay, caramba!

            Did you really think I would post that if I hadn’t verified at least a sample in both California and New Jersey, SurfPuppy? I told you, I WORKED with these people

            And you really want to take away the health insurance and pensions of the lowest paid cohort of public workers, and put them on Medicaid and food stamps?

            Got a problem with logic or common sense?

            I sincerely hope you have adult supervision.

          • Posted by Tough Love on August 29, 2015 at 9:26 pm

            S Moderation Douglas,

            YOU didn’t work with them in NJ. You’re a CA Public Sector “retiree”.

            Quoting …..”And you really want to take away the health insurance and pensions of the lowest paid cohort of public workers, and put them on Medicaid and food stamps?”

            Let’s see………

            Rich pensions (as a % of pay) and Platinum healthcare for low-income PUBLIC Sector workers

            VS

            Modest 401K plans and average healthcare while “active”, and typically ZERO employer-sponsored healthcare while retired for low-income PRIVATE Sector workers
            ————————————–
            YES, the low-income Public Sector workers’ pensions and benefits to a level EQUAL to that of their Private Sector counterparts and address shortfalls in food, shelter, and healthcare via Social Services … just like the similarly situated private Sector worker must do.

            You’ve repeated the SAME thing over and over, each time getting the SAME response. Don’t you “get it” …. Public Sector workers are NOT “special” and deserving of a better deal on the Taxpayers’ dime.

          • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on August 29, 2015 at 10:32 pm

            Take it to Christie and the legislature. Should be a breeze. Do the math first, that’s forty percent of government workers “overcompensated” by as much as 20%, aggregate. That could very well clear up your whole “23%” obsession, and maybe leave some left over to bring the lawyers, doctors, managers, up to private sector pay level, and the other lawyers.

            I’ll watch for it in the papers.
            …………………………………….
            I never worked with anyone in New Jersey. My spot check was the first pay data that popped up on a web search.

            Glouster County appears to have about 1400 employees. There appear to be about 400 with a base pay under $47,000, your cut-off for a $30,000 pension.

            Building maintenance worker………$28,600

            Clerk 1………………………..$28,600

            Cemetery caretaker………………$30,700

            Laborer 1………………………$32,200

            Clerk 2………………………..$34,900

            Senior librarian………………..$38,300

            Animal attendant………………..$41,500

            Emergency medical tech 1…………$43,100

            Truck driver……………………$44,200

            Public safety telecom……………$45,973

            Traffic maintenance worker……….$46,800

            Morgue attendant………………..$47,395

            That last guy is over your calculated $47,192, but if he retires after 34.5 years, still $30,000 pension.

            When I say “I worked with these guys, I am saying that many of these are entry level, and the worker will promote to some degree and may retire wirh a pension over $30,000, but I have worked with many at this level who never promoted, or perhaps only one level, and retire after 35 years, or more, wih a pension under $30,000. Greedy bastards.

          • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on August 29, 2015 at 10:35 pm

            For life.

          • Posted by Tough Love on August 29, 2015 at 11:56 pm

            S Moderation Douglas,

            We were talking about FINAL YEAR Salaries at the end of a long career (35 years). Are the salaries you quoted above ONLY for those at the very tail end of a 30+ year career ?

            I really doubt it.

        • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on August 29, 2015 at 10:35 pm

          And free health care.

          Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on September 9, 2015 at 2:46 pm

        FYI – that 63.6363% of final pay would only hold true for a retiree that selects the maximum pension with no named beneficiary. Very few retirees select that retirement option. Instead if you select an option where your benefiiciary will receive say 50% of your pension or 100% of your pension upon your death, the pension amount is reduced 7-14%. By far, most retirees select one of these plans.

        Reply

    • Posted by S Moderation Douglas is Wrong Again on August 30, 2015 at 1:32 pm

      And, trust me, there are a LOT of “full career” workers retiring this year with pensions of $30,000 or less.
      Only in your dreams Pinocchio….

      Reply

    • Posted by william allen on August 30, 2015 at 2:43 pm

      This makes sense. Those at the top of the pension ladder can best afford a pension haircut. That’s where it needs to start.

      Reply

  6. Posted by Anonymous on August 29, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    Nice to see a lot of the usually suspects participating, maybe we can reach triple digit postings!!!

    Reply

  7. Posted by Anonymous on August 29, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    Just curious? Let’s assume ALL of the P&B Commission’s reform recommendations are implemented, including a constitutional amendment for funding. Why wouldn t you want a 2% Federal loan, again assuming the Feds would approve such a loan?

    Because you think it’s more prudent to dollar cost average into the market?

    The concern over reverting the P&B or the State not meeting its financial obligation will no longer be valid because the constitutional amendment will clearly and legally address both.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on August 29, 2015 at 6:18 pm

      I’d be fine with it IF all of the P&B Changes were implemented …. AND never subject to increase thereafter, something the availability of the federal loans would make easier to do.

      Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on August 29, 2015 at 6:30 pm

        Understandable but again that can ALL be addressed with an iron clad constitutional amendment.

        I’d be more concerned about what to do with the boat load of money, especially considering the recent market volatility?

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on August 29, 2015 at 8:44 pm

          That’s a BIG problem, because the Public Sector workers’ position will be as it has always been ….. HEADS, the workers “win”, and TAILS, the Taxpayers’ “lose”.

          The “win” for the workers would be the significant financial boost (in funding ratio) because the obligation to pay off the loan would likely fall to the Taxpayers, not the Plan itself. So shouldn’t the Taxpayers ask for something IN RETURN ?

          I suggest some “skin-in-the-game” …. e.g., in any year that the investment return on outstanding Federal Loan assets is less than the loan rate, that the workers must increase their pension contributions to pay off HALF of the earnings shortfall over say 5 years.

          Reply

          • Posted by Anonymous on August 29, 2015 at 11:21 pm

            Probably need to do some sort of 3 to 5 year running avetage before the increased contribution kicked in?

          • Posted by Tough Love on August 29, 2015 at 11:58 pm

            Yes, the way unfunded pension liabilities are SUPPOSED to be amortized.

          • Posted by Anonymous on August 30, 2015 at 8:34 am

            Also need a trigger clause when market loss is recouped?

          • Posted by Tough Love on August 30, 2015 at 2:21 pm

            Nope, on the trigger to stop increased employee contributions on earnings less than the 2% int rate on the fed. Loan.

            The gains ABOVE the 2% are already earmarked ….. to keep your pensions alive. No siphoning off of gains for other purposes.

          • Posted by Anonymous on August 30, 2015 at 2:38 pm

            Well probably doesn’t matter much if your using a 3 to 5 year running average. Also investment risk should be scaled back, no hedge funds, etc. more representative of a solid balanced mutual or index fund.

          • Posted by Anonymous on August 31, 2015 at 9:39 am

            Oh Tender Loving noone can deny your wisdom. Not since Professor Irwin Corey has there been a better explanation of fact. Your video on how 7×13=28 is a classic. We can finally default on all those ungodly obligations promised to greedy worker types. To the old, frail and poor, we can dance around the fire like frenzied natives and throw their bones in to decrease the surplus population. Are there no jails ? Are there no workhouses ? Lets decrease the surplus population.

            However, we still have the inconvenient truth that Governor Moldering Mass of Miasmic Protoplasm, has caused his State to undergo 9 credit downgrades despite not paying into the pension system. Oh Tender Loving, there is only one solution. Ignore those festering ungodly bond obligations. Refuse to pay for the good of the taxpayer. Default on those bonds oh ye righteous, that were floated to fund a tunnel to AC and a ski slope in the Meadowlands. Save the taxpayer, through nonpayment. Regain the trust of the public by defaulting on legal obligations. Only then can the righteous rise once again. My heart soars at the thought of such freedom. Hail to thee oh Tender Loving.

          • Posted by Tough Love on August 31, 2015 at 10:35 am

            Quoting our Public Sector gravy-train-riding sector poet …. “We can finally default on all those ungodly obligations promised to greedy worker types.”

            Yes, the taxpayers should ONLY fund (or pay, when Plan assets run out in just a few years) that share of promised Public Sector pensions and benefits that would have been granted in the absence of the COLLUSION between their Unions and our Elected Officials …. and when factoring in BOTH the rich pension formulas AND the very generous provisions (e.g., VERY young full/unreduced retirement ages, and COLA increases …. now suspended in NJ) the “share” that should NOT be funded or paid is easily 1/2 to 2/3 of the current promises …. and easily demonstrable (as I have already done on this Blog).

  8. NYC experienced a de facto bankruptcy in the mid 1970s and without a vast overhaul of the way the City conducted its business a judicial bankruptcy would have occurred. So what did the unions, the mayor, the legislature do? They worked together and came up with a plan–the intricate part of it being the Emergency Financial Control Board. All this was done without a single court proceeding. Why do the NJ powers refuse to learn from the NYC de facto bankruptcy?????

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on August 31, 2015 at 7:27 pm

      The Feds had a LOT more money in the 1970’s to deal with incompetent self-interested Elected Officials mismanaging our Cities & States.

      The proposal for a Federal “loan” (which anyone with a brain would realize that NJ, Ill, etc. would NEVER be able to pay off) is preposterous.

      We must either Freeze NJ’s DB Pensions or VERY materially (by 50+%) reduce the pension accrual rate for the future service of all CURRENT NJ Public Sector workers. UNTIL such changes are put in place for ALL State & Local workers, Christie (AND NJ’s Taxpayers) should refuse to fund these grossly excessive Plans.

      NJ’s Taxpayers are Fed Up with being the “sucker” in the equation.
      ——————————————————————————-

      The piggishness of NJ;s Public Sector workers is overwhelming. Just TODAY an article described a Saddle River Police Lieutenant (now making $177K in base pay …… yes S. Moderation Douglas, you read that correctly) suing the Town because he was passed over for promotion to Captain. I’ve worked in the Private Sector my entire career, and such a lawsuit would be ludicrous (unless a Constitutional provision such as race, religion, etc. was demonstratively violated).

      Why should the Taxpayers even be subject to the costs of defending against such BS, let alone a likely settlement because (like so many decisions in the Public Sector), it’s easier to just settle because it’s not THEIR money …. it’s simply the Taxpayers’ money?

      Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on August 31, 2015 at 8:52 pm

        This entire mess, like many others, can be summed up in one word – ELECTIONS!!!

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on August 31, 2015 at 9:02 pm

          No …… it GREED and a Taxpayer-be-damned attitude by the Public Sector Unions/Workers AND our self-serving, vote-selling, contribution-soliciting Elected Officials.

          Reply

          • Posted by Anonymous on August 31, 2015 at 9:09 pm

            I’m confused, you’ve previously stated on numerous occassions, private workers far outweigh public workers and public’s P&B are grossly excessive. It should be a slam dunk that ELECTIONS would win out over GREED?

          • Posted by Tough Love on August 31, 2015 at 9:53 pm

            If a REDUCTION in the future service pension accruals of CURRENT PWs in NJ were ever put to a vote of it citizens, it would win hands down …. even WITH 100% of the worker/retirees and their families voting to defeat it.

            It’s NJ’s in-the-Union’s-pocket Democratic Legislature that will never allow such a vote …… which is one of the reasons that I advocate to STAVE these grossly excessive , unnecessary, unjust, and unfair “promises” of further funding.

          • Posted by Anonymous on August 31, 2015 at 10:04 pm

            Again I’m confused, if your saying NJ citizens would vote yes for PW P&B reforms then why wouldn’t that same logic apply to voting the representatives in to do it?

          • Posted by Tough Love on August 31, 2015 at 11:30 pm

            It’s primarily the voter turnout …………

            While PWs always turn out in VERY high percentages to vote for what personally benefits THEM, the voter turnout among Private Sector residents is typically VERY low, 25%-40% being quite common.

            I believe the turnout from Private Sector residents would be MUCH higher in a referendum to reduce FUTURE Service pension accruals, enough to overwhelm the block-voting of the PWs. This has indeed been the outcome in several City/County votes in CA.

          • Posted by Anonymous on September 1, 2015 at 6:57 am

            I get it but logically it makes no sense. If voter referendum = pension reform and majority of voters know GOP = more likely and significant pension reform them there’s something wrong.

      • It’s because many police are civil service. This takes away that old problem the private sector has, just like your hero gov does with all his pals making millions off the taxpayers….. It’s called nepotism. There is no room for getting buddies promoted just because you can. You look at all these things like the problem!!!!!! When in fact all these mechanisms were put in place to weed out the criminal crap that goes on in the private sector. You act as if you’re any better…….

        Reply

        • Posted by Anonymous on September 1, 2015 at 7:52 am

          Understood not the point I’m discussing but that doesn’t really address the referendum rrsults put forth by TL versus election results scenario.

          Reply

          • Posted by Anonymous on September 1, 2015 at 5:21 pm

            Perhaps I can help explain it to you. Lets take for example Christie, since he is a big topic of discussion.. He promised to reform pensions and public sector health care etc, The COLAs were suspended, the 2% caps, yadda yadda. Everybody voted for him. Pensions are still going belly up, taxes still going up, NJ still last in business development, home prices continuing to slide downwards…….most of those in the private sector work longer hours, less sick days and vacation, etc. The taxpayers are tired and weary. They have turned out for those who have promised reform only to be disappointed. Clueless and apathetic. However, you must also understand that the weary taxpayers are only just beginning to realize that these public leeches get to retire 10-15 years earlier than they do, have much better benefits and job security and much better retirements that most will have to work until they are 85 to pay for. I consider this current situation an awakening, a pin prick of the true magnitude and when people finally have had enough and the tide begins to turn, that is when the real reforms will take place as anyone with even half a brain knows are inevitable. This is only the very beginning of the end. Too many publics, doing way too little for way too much promised with no viable way to pay for it.

          • Posted by Anonymous on September 1, 2015 at 5:29 pm

            Hey great that really puts into perspective, so GOP wins in a landslide the next three November’s?

          • Posted by Tough Love on September 1, 2015 at 6:11 pm

            Responding to … Anonymous on September 1, 2015 at 5:21 pm,

            Well Said …… and like I have been saying for a LONG time.

          • Posted by Anonymous on September 1, 2015 at 7:10 pm

            And like I said just a bunch of BS unless it equates to results at the polls. Words are meaningless unless put into action. Well said indeed, happy Election Day!!!

          • Posted by Tough Love on September 1, 2015 at 8:16 pm

            Hy Anon (whoops, I mean BH),

            The comment to which you replied is a perfect assessment of what has been going on for years ….. and the comeuppance for your ilk for your insatiable greed and arrogance toward NJ’s Taxpayers is just round the corner.

          • Posted by Anonymous on September 1, 2015 at 10:40 pm

            Nope and we’ll see who it’s a November to remember???

          • Posted by Tough Love on September 1, 2015 at 11:11 pm

            BH,

            I’m not talking about an election …. the around-the-corner (and OH so well deserved) comeuppance will be to your over-sized pensions & benefits.

            Better dust-off that “Plan B” for your retirement.

  9. As far as voter turnout, why do you all think the unions and politicians are scared shitless to put the pension issue to a vote? BTW, there are many publics who believe that significant reforms are needed any many don’t want to be forced into a ponzi pension scheme. Many publics beleive that they should be paying into the system, at least the ones I know.

    Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on September 2, 2015 at 10:06 am

      Why would a referendum matter if you privates have the voter tide against public’s P&B you speak of, something a miss with the message???

      Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on September 2, 2015 at 10:13 am

      I to agree with the P&B Commission recommendations but know that it’s hard enough to accomplish with the Union hurdles add to it a Governor no one trusts. I’m confident if the Governor would disengage himself from this process an agreement on the P&B reforms will be reached.

      Reply

  10. That is a very good tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere.
    Simple but very precise information… Thanks for sharing
    this one. A must read post!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: