Pennscam

Future Forsaken by John D. McGinnis makes several salient points on the scam being pulled on taxpayers (and eventually public employees) in Pennsylvania (and eventually everyplace) by public pension systems perverted by the political and actuarial establishment.  Amazingly, it was written by a politician.

Notable excerpts:

I ran for the office of state representative in 2012 thinking that our state government is quite bad, and everything I’ve seen since I took office has confirmed what I thought.  I had low expectations, but they were much too high. As bad as I thought the pension problem was in 2012, I’ve come to learn that it’s much worse given the seemingly intractable forces opposed to real and necessary reform. The impending financial catastrophe appears politically entrenched and unavoidable. (page 16)

The irony of the taxpayers’ situation should not be missed: in a world where they often have available only a DC plan for themselves and have all the responsibilities to manage it, they are also being asked to shoulder ongoing and open-ended financial protection for the DB plans of public sector workers. Who is the master and who is the servant in this relationship? (page 24)

The ultimate defect of our state pension plans is they are defined-benefit(DB) plans without any enforceable requirement to be properly funded. (page 32)

I should point out the economic folly of Keynesianism. Whether through taxes in the present or taxes over time (borrowing), government spending comes at the cost of private sector spending. There is little evidence, beyond some minimal level of government spending for securing property rights, that the benefits of government spending exceed the opportunity costs of choices lost by the private sector. In other words, government spending is almost always a drag on the economy simply because it crowds out the knowledge and wishes of the very people it exists to protect. (page 33)

rather than have the wisest and best investors spending their money under the discipline of providing value for society, you have politicians taking that money and spending it for political gain. (page 33)

Instead of the principles of current funding, affordability, and predictability, it is not unfair to say our state pensions are built on the three D’s: Dissemble; defer; distract. (page 36)

And how many elected officials lied to the public and to themselves about Act 120? Its entire motivation was to put less money into already atrociously underfunded pensions, and it passed overwhelmingly. (page 37)

As an insider, I can assure you that what motivates almost all pension reform legislation (the obvious exception being HB 900) is the desire to figure out a way to put less money into the funds. (page 37)

The actuaries hired by SERS, PSERS, and the governor – their meal ticket goes away with DC plans. (page 41)

Actuarial risk is the underfunding that stems from inaccurate actuarial assumptions. I’ve seen this laughed off at House budget hearings when testifiers reference that retirees are living “too long,” but that little “problem” does seem to keep catching the plan administrators off guard year after year. A fair thing to do would be to clearly present a table of assumptions that shows how much the assumptions have deviated from reality over time, and how much that has cost the pension systems. The fact that such a report is not easy to find suggests that the folks making the assumptions might not want to own up to their errors. The consequences of these errors fall to future taxpayers, so we have a situation of moral hazard in play. (page 56)

From the 2007 CAFR of SERS: “Our investment success is a direct result of an innovative and diversified investment strategy…” Diversification is the exact opposite strategy of innovation. When an investor diversifies, he or she is trying to become more like the aggregate market and less individualistic, but innovation is an attempt to be different than the aggregate market. (page 57)

Of course, underfunding is just one of the bad behaviors that stems from the moral hazard of agents, with short horizons, making decisions that affect the long-term prospects of the principals of the commonwealth. Cost of living adjustments, plan design benefit enhancements (prospective and retroactive), and even pension obligation bonds – perhaps, the worst public policy idea with respect to pensions – all become enticing to elected officials. They view such things through the prism of public relations benefit. (page 63)

The only reason that pension reform is being discussed is to reduce the escalating payments mandated by Act 120…..All proposed pension bills that have made it to the floor of the House or Senate in the last decade have had one main purpose, which is to reduce the legislated contributions that are required to be made. (page 64)

Obviously, commitments are not commitments for those in elected office, as any p0olicy or existing legislation can be reversed by new legislation. (page 64)

Yet, while New Jersey’s public pensions continue to be badly managed and horribly underfunded, worse even than Pennsylvania’s, the state is now considering the creation of a public sector pension plan for private sector workers. (page 66)

The reality is that the self-interest of politicians dominates public sector decision-making. (page 70)

While the desire for elected officials in the present is for insufficient pension funding, when the future arrives, they will be clamoring for even less funding and looking for scapegoats such as financial markets, actuarial science, and greedy unions.  For the record, markets do, at times, behave poorly – they go up, and they go down.; actuaries can be operating on bad assumptions, and union members, like all human beings, will be greedy. These are all realities known to politicians administering defined-benefit pension plans. They can no more blame these variables than we can blame gravity for airplane crashes.  (page 91)

Can we do worse funding than the ARC calculated as Choice C?  We absolutely can if we are in Pennsylvania (or New Jersey or Illinois). (page 94)

The Pew Foundation reported in 2012 that Pennsylvania ranked 49th out of the 50 states in proper pension funding with only New Jersey rated worse. (page 97)

Although there is a case for the use of public debt in the purchase of long-lived, capital assets, compensation for the services rendered by public sector employees would not fall into that category. (page 101)

“Thank you John. Whether $44 bill or $100 billion, it is a huge problem which we can no longer neglect.”  The discouraging takeaway for me was not [Majority Leader Mike Turzai]’s lack of interest in what I could add to the team, whether the team be the task force, the House Republican Caucus, or the pension reform movement but, rather, his insouciance about properly measuring the size of the debt. It didn’t seem to matter whether the debt was $44 billion or $100 billion, only that it was a problem we could no longer neglect. If you aren’t interested in the correct measurement of things, how successful can your course of action be? And if you are not interested in correctly measuring the problem, can it be that you are not really focused on solving it? (page 109)

The hubris of politicians, bureaucrats, and lobbyists still astounds me.  They are ever so confident in their abilities to manage the situation despite the obvious evidence that the disaster is one that came about through their own mismanagement. (page 115)

The sad thing is such nonsense, published by a respected and influential special interest, carries weight with otherwise ignorant legislators. (page 118)

HB 1471 was about honesty, but pushing an agenda of honesty in Harrisburg is like clear-cutting a field or the floor of a forest – the snakes are not going to be happy. (page 119)

It could be worse, I suppose. New Jersey governor, Chris Christie, haas opted for the complete bald look by refusing to put any of the funding that he promised into his state’s pensions. It’s small consolation for Pennsylvania, but there are tow states with worse credit ratings than the Keystone State, as I write this in the fall of 2015 – New Jersey and Illinois. Perhaps, they will be the “canaries in the coal mine” for Pennsylvania, but whatever we learn from them won’t be of much help for us because we are just too close to them to avoid the same financial calamity. The other 47 states see three canaries in the coalmine. (page135)

The problem was created by those who have served in state government and continues to get worse as those currently serving in state government dally and delay on enacting proper pension reform. (page 147)

In one sense, Act 120 was Lincolnesque. In his famous Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln freed” the slaves in the rebellious states, but he kept in legal bondage those slaves residing in the states loyal to the Union. In other words, the proclamation applied to slaves where Lincoln had no practical authority to secure their freedom, but it did not apply to those slaves he actually could have emancipated. Similarly, Act 120 applied to future employees that were unconnected to the underfunding problem, and where it could have addressed the problem, Act 120 made it worse through a reduction in the contributions schedule. (page 15)

the UAL [Unfunded Accrued Liability] is the accumulation of past expenses with interest that have not been paid. While funding requirements are based on estimates on future variables, the UAL is in no way a projection about the future but, rather, it is a recognition of past failure. (page 167)

To be fair, Tom Corbett [Pennsylvania governor 2011-2014] is, as most elected officials, not a particularly deep thinker. He and they operate on instincts and prejudices, some in the public interest and some not. The large majority of their time is spent on policy implementation for political survival. This si the prism through which nearly all legislation passes, and this means that even a problem such as the pension crisis will be viewed only as a political issue to be managed rather than a problem with constitutional, moral, and economic imperatives.  (page 175)

The siren song of socialism is that politicians can make promises and not pay for them. It may not have been for the right reason, but the proper verdict on Tom Corbett was registered on November 4, 2014. He failed his biggest test. Now, if we could only get rid of the other elected officials who have failed theirs. (page 180)

Steve Jobs was a brilliant and talented man, but if he had spent his life in the public sector instead of the private, think how much poorer this world would be. That would be, by most people’s calculations, far too high a price to pay for a talented public sector workforce. The draw of overly generous DB plans, however, can entice successful private sector employees into the public sector, and that can well produce a net loss for society. (page 186)

“Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.” – HL. Mencken (page 199)

51 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Eric on November 23, 2015 at 12:22 am

    John:
    I would love NJ to manage my private sector pension plan. Perhaps some Puerto Rican bonds sprinkled with those from Detroit and Atlantic City. When can I sign up?
    Eric

    Reply

  2. Posted by unanimous on November 23, 2015 at 12:43 am

    If you’re looking, the book is available as a paperback from Amazon for $5.95.

    Or as a downloadable (free) PDF from:

    http://johndmcginnis.com

    Reply

  3. Posted by Tough Love on November 23, 2015 at 3:11 am

    Wow….. awesome summary of Dr. John D. McGinnis’s new book Future Forsaken.

    Of course, notwithstanding the authors credentials (a PHD in finance, a Chartered Financial Analyst, and a Certified Financial Planner), and his many references to how/why NJ is in even WORSE shape than Pennsylvania, I’m quite sure the Public Sector “Anonymous” commentators in THIS blog will find a way to ignore, downplay, and discredit his work.

    No ….. ignorance is NOT bliss.

    Reply

  4. Posted by S Moderation Douglas on November 23, 2015 at 3:49 am

    TL the eternal cynic.

    Far be it from me to argue with a PhD. With his credentials, we all should defer to his judgement.

    Except, there are other apparently equally qualified PhD s who do disagree with many of his assertions, which, from what I have read so far in the book, are pretty much right down the party line.

    I haven’t read the entire book, but what I have read repeats the same old talking points.

    One of my favorites, chapter 3, suggests that employees today prefer (or should prefer) defined contribution plans:

    “The upshot is that individuals are best served by taking on the responsibility of managing their own retirements as they manage their own careers. The portability, flexibility, and suitability of DC plans help employees do that.”

    There is a handy chart showing an employee with a total contribution plus match totaling 10% of pay will have a substantial nestegg of $534,394 which, with social security, will give him or her 85 to 100% replacement of final salary. Any idea what the average 401(k) balance is in America today?

    So far, I haven’t seen anything new in the book. Politics is corrupt. According to McGinnis, Pennsylvania politics is corrupter, and they did not make the required ARCs.

    And, of course, New Jersey is even worse.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on November 23, 2015 at 5:08 am

      SMD,

      While you don’t post here under “Anonymous”, your above comment certainly met my expectations that ………… “Anonymous commentators in THIS blog will find a way to ignore, downplay, and discredit his work.”

      No matter that it’s a VERY VERY VERY accurate of the Public Sector pension picture playing out in PA, NJ, and many other States and Cities across America.

      Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on November 23, 2015 at 9:32 am

        Here’s an ANNON one for you, once again it’s opinions that you agree with or the highway. You and yours are so full of yourselves. Nice try misrepresenting yourself as a working middle-class individual representing the majority taxpayers’ greater good. Same BS other 1%’s have tried in the past, we ain’t falling for your trickle down crumb feeding economics – period!

        Reply

        • Posted by Sean on November 23, 2015 at 10:58 am

          Guess what Anon? YOU are in the 1%. The fact that you try to masquerade as one “defending the poor ‘working class’ people” belies your profound ignorance. I guess if I was that ignorant, I would post as “anonymous” as well.

          Reply

          • Posted by Anonymous on November 23, 2015 at 12:05 pm

            What’s the difference Sean or whoever you and TL are, mine as well be an ANNON. Nice try but you won’t see me or a majority of public’s making the 1% cut. More than I can say for TL’s of this blog. Just meaningless BS to disguise your real identity and motivations!

          • Posted by Tough Love on November 23, 2015 at 1:49 pm

            Anon,

            Just most of your continued attempts to shift the FOCUS of the discussion (which is the purpose of this entire Blog) from the immediate need for VERY material Public Sector pension/benefit reform …. to the (irrelevant) misdeeds of the 1%.

            Sorry buddy, but it’s NOT working.

          • Posted by Anonymous on November 23, 2015 at 2:19 pm

            Tell that to the three Assembly R’s that lost their seats. The medicine is coming, it’s just a matter of how much sugar is needed to swallow.

            We’ll see after the next election or two. The hole will be deeper and the medicine tougher for all but when the D’s get control back the pain will be shared more equitable.

            The can has been kicked down the road and we’re approaching the cliff. We need to implement a P&B solution and/or increase TTFA funding and pave more roads so we can continue to kick the can – LOL!

          • Posted by Tough Love on November 23, 2015 at 2:50 pm

            Quoting Anon …… “the pain will be shared more equitable.”

            When have Public Sector Unions/Workers “equitably” shared anything ?

  5. Posted by Anonymous on November 23, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    P&B Commission reforms must be adopted now with a DBP option of a 50% future benefit accrual reduction and a dedicated revenue funding stream.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on November 23, 2015 at 1:56 pm

      Might work ….. if accompanied by elimination of ALL remaining loopholes, ability to spike pensions, under-costed elective pension provisions, ZERO retiree healthcare subsidy, and “active” healthcare subsidies no greater than the average of such provided to Private Sector workers by their employers.

      And of course all of the changes applying to all CURRENT workers/retirees.
      ———————————

      The financial noose is closing.

      Reply

  6. Posted by Anonymous on November 24, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    Let’s get it straight; previous posts on other blog topics mentioned concern over generation whine paying for SS and P&B for generation takers. Yet generation whine wants FREE college education and who is paying for that? Don’t expect generation takers to with your anti public’s suggestions here.

    BTW, I’m referring to Larry Littlefield and PSDrone on SS and P&BB, probably others which I’m sure they’ll be quick to chime in!

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on November 24, 2015 at 1:05 pm

      More of your attempts to distract from the issue at hand … the need for PUBLIC Sector pension reform.

      Putting aside the 1%, who essentially rips-off everybody equally, the PRIVATE Sector Middle Class rips-off NOBODY, while the PUBLIC Sector rips-off the Private Sector via the demand for pensions & benefits many multiples greater than they get.

      Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on November 24, 2015 at 1:17 pm

        Guess you’re 1% generation whine OR as you claim to be “not rich” like our delusional Governor. You are the MASTER distractor!

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on November 24, 2015 at 2:21 pm

          Distraction …. again.

          This is all you can offer when you have ZERO justification for the continued rip-off of PRIVATE Sector Middle Class Taxpayers to fund the grossly excessive pensions & benefits granted only PUBLIC Sector workers.

          Reply

          • Posted by Anonymous on November 24, 2015 at 3:02 pm

            See DD’s response and your unfair and unequal self justification that our non combat (majority of) military is an exception to what you propose. You’re misleading and distracting, constantly double talking and back peddling.

          • Posted by Tough Love on November 24, 2015 at 3:52 pm

            Anon, Lets pursue your NONSENSICAL point …..

            Which seems to be that because I do non advocate for reducing military pensions (even for non-combat military), THAT in your opinion means that it is unfair for Taxpayers to advocate for materially reducing State & Local Public Sector pensions & benefits that are UNDENIABLY 3x-4x (4x-6x for safety workers) greater in value at retirement that those of comparable Private Sector workers who retire at the SAME age, with the SAME pay, and the SAME years of service.

            Really ?

            What an absurd position to take.

          • Posted by Anonymous on November 24, 2015 at 5:24 pm

            You’re the ridiculous one with your incomparable comparison approach.

            If DBPs are, in your opinion, acceptable for ALL military personnel. And no matter how you slice and dice it military personnel are PUBLIC employees. Then there is no reasonable justification, except in you and yours twisted minds, to lower ALL public employees to a P&B level lower than those YOU declare deserving of such.

            Your self serving rationale is a two way street so get on your own side of the road – freaking hypocrite!

          • Posted by Tough Love on November 24, 2015 at 7:05 pm

            Anon, Incredulous ….

            NJ’s State & Local Public Sector workers are NOT deserving of greater TAXPAYER-FUNDED pensions and better TAXPAYER-FUNDED benefits than the Private Sector workers who you want to pay for your pensions & benefits.

    • Anon – I am most certainly not a member of “generation whine” by which I take it you mean Millennials. I am, however, for fiscal reality, whether it be SS, Medicare or public sector pensions – state, city, federal, military et al. When we all have to take the painful walk through the financial valley of the shadow of death, we need to have a mature and rational mindset on what “sharing the pain” really means. And continuing to get a “pension” (vs. a payoff) of 90 percent of bloated comp at the age of 55 is not going to make it.

      Reply

  7. Posted by dentss dunnigan on November 24, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    But we already knew that .The Sweet Gig of Being a Bureaucrat
    The average federal worker’s compensation is worth $119,934, nearly 80% higher than the average in the private economy…….http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-sweet-gig-of-being-a-bureaucrat-1447978181

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on November 24, 2015 at 4:32 pm

      Silly comparison without comparing only workers in COMPARABLE jobs or in jobs with COMPARABLE risks and education/experience/knowledge/skill requirements.

      Such articles only give those opposing the VERY needed State/Local Public Sector pension reform ammunition to distract readers by point to misleading studies.

      Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on November 24, 2015 at 5:27 pm

        Oh I see conflicting opinion to your skewed conclusion – who made you judge and jury! Your continued posts only further undermine your credibility and true motivations!

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on November 24, 2015 at 7:16 pm

          Anon,

          Interesting, you are in such a RUSH to complain about ANYTHING I say, you didn’t even stop to think that I was CRITICIZING the referenced WSJ-reported Study because (by not being apples-to-apples) it OVERSTATED the extent to which Federal pay exceeds Private Sector pay.

          Reply

          • Posted by Anonymous on November 24, 2015 at 7:58 pm

            There you go again, JIVE TALKING…….you now how the song goes…….

          • Posted by Tough Love on November 24, 2015 at 8:24 pm

            Anon, You make so little sense, that at any moment I expect to see you trumpeting …. ROCKY ! ROCKY ! ROCKY !

      • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on November 26, 2015 at 1:05 am

        “Considering how many Private Sector workers who hold minimum-wage (and often part time) jobs (e;g. fast-food), I do not find the statement ……….. ““In 2014 federal workers earned 78 percent more, on average, than private-sector workers” …. surprising at all, because few such low-wage/part-time-wage jobs exist in the Federal workforce.
        In that quote, I don’t see the works “private-sector workers” filtered to include only those jobs (or only those with education, experience, and skills) comparable to those held by Federal employees.
        I’m also sure you’re VERY aware of the apples-to-oranges nature of this comparison. But rather than brush it off as such with a brief explanation as to why it is irrelevant (as I just did above), you seem to be harping on it …. as though there is some mileage to be gained (for your agenda to discredit ANYTHING that support greater Public Sector compensation ….. even the properly-conducted studies) by appealing to the few who you can still fool with your misinformation, omissions of pertinent facts, distortions, and lies.”

        Which is it?

        Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on November 24, 2015 at 5:30 pm

      Guess you got skowlded for posting a link that contradicts the MASTER’s directives – oh what a tangled web……..

      Reply

  8. Posted by Anonymous on November 24, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    One thing for sure, TL may not be a bureacrat but evey time their fingers touch the keyboard they sure sound like one.

    Reply

  9. Posted by Javagold on November 24, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    Tick Tock. Public Takers. Tick Tock.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on November 24, 2015 at 7:30 pm

      Greed HAS consequences …. and oh how it’s coming, IN SPADES !

      Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on November 24, 2015 at 7:57 pm

      Sounds like you’re referring to a bomb where the injured include unintended victims. Good luck with that if you or your business is in Zoo jersey!

      Reply

      • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on November 25, 2015 at 1:34 am

        Anonymous, you are correct. From McGinnis book:

        “There is little evidence, beyond some minimal level of government spending for securing property rights, that the benefits of government spending exceed the opportunity costs of choices lost by the private sector. In other words, government spending is almost always a drag on the economy simply because it crowds out the knowledge and wishes of the very people it exists to protect.”

        “rather than have the wisest and best investors spending their money under the discipline of providing value for society, you have politicians taking that money and spending it for political gain.”

        From this and other writings, it seems Mr. McGinnis is from the school of “make government so small you can drown it in a bathtub.”

        Apparently, the public sector workers who build and maintain the road system are “takers”. The private sector worker who builds the cars (and their CEOs and stockholders) are “makers.”

        Even though, without those roads, the cars would be worse than useless.

        A porn producer in the LA suburbs is a “maker” providing value according to the wishes of society; A New Jersey fireman is a “taker” crowding out the knowledge and wishes of the very people they exist to protect.

        The government will protect you (and tax you for that protection) whether you want it or not. (Keep in mind, others have said on these boards they don’t need firemen or police and are perfectly capable of protecting their own home.) Never mind the fact that if your home catches fire and you don’t put it out, your neighbors just might appreciate the firemen stopping the spread.

        This ain’t the wild west. We’re all in this together. There will be taxes. You personally may not approve of all those taxes, or any of them.

        I do agree with Mr. McGinnis on this:
        “The ultimate defect of our state pension plans is they are defined-benefit(DB) plans without any enforceable requirement to be properly funded.”

        What New Jersey needs (has needed for two decades) is an “enforceable requirement to be properly funded.”

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on November 25, 2015 at 2:40 am

          Quoting SMD …… “Apparently, the public sector workers who build and maintain the road system are “takers”. The private sector worker who builds the cars (and their CEOs and stockholders) are “makers.” ”

          I don’t know how it works in crazy California, but Public Sector workers don’t “build” roads. Roads are “built” by Private contractors who also take care of all but the most minor “maintenance”.

          Of course Public Sector workers do plow the snow (and “shovel” quite of bit of other stuff …. especially on this blog).

          ———————————————————————

          Quoting SMD ……. “What New Jersey needs (has needed for two decades) is an “enforceable requirement to be properly funded.””

          I agree, but only to fund a pension (with a Taxpayer paid-for share) no greater in “value” (taking into account the generosity of BOTH the formulas AND the Plan provisions) than those typically granted Private Sector taxpayers.

          I believe NJ could actually afford that ….. because the generosity (and hence cost) would be close the 1/4 of what it is today.

          Reply

          • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on November 25, 2015 at 8:38 am

            From “The Costs of Tax and Spend

            How free are Americans when the tax burden is so high?”

            John McGinnis, 1993

            “It has been claimed that there is a cultural war going on in America. In truth, that battle is part of a larger conflict, the war of public sector versus private sector. Currently, the public sector appears to be winning. It is growing much faster than the private sector and its growth insidiously retards private enterprise.”

            The public sector to which he refers is not just public sector workers, but all public expenses or costs, direct or indirect. The “Private contractors” who build the roads are the public sector. Any expenses complying with government regulation is “public sector”. Not just the fireman, but the company that builds the fire truck, is “public sector.”

            McGinnis:

            “Hence, all government spending, however financed, crowds out private enterprise. It also sacrifices market decisions, and all the knowledge that the market brings to bear, in favor of decisions made by politicians, whose motivations may be questionable, and whose wisdom is necessarily inferior to that of the market.”

            Market decisions. The $13 billion generated by the porn industry is market decisions. Who are these politicians with there necessarily inferior wisdom to crowd out my porn with their damn fire engines?

            Porn producer = maker
            Firefighter = taker

            ???

          • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on November 25, 2015 at 8:41 am

          • Posted by Tough Love on November 25, 2015 at 1:35 pm

            Quoting SMD …… “The public sector to which he refers is not just public sector workers, but all public expenses or costs, direct or indirect. The “Private contractors” who build the roads are the public sector. Any expenses complying with government regulation is “public sector”. Not just the fireman, but the company that builds the fire truck, is “public sector.” ”

            Just more BS because the workers at those PRIVATE firms do not OVERCOMPENSATE their workers …. and those PRIVATE-Firm-workers that build our roads and firetrucks most definitely do NOT get Defined Benefit Pensions (of ANY type, let alone the grossly excessive ones routinely granted ALL “PUBLIC” Sector workers), employer-subsidized retiree healthcare, or “Platinum+” healthcare coverage while “active”.

          • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on November 25, 2015 at 5:13 pm

            LOL, all over again.

            In the first place, that’s not the point.

            In the second place, those PRIVATE firms, in many cases, compensate their workers better than equivalent public sector workers.

            Third place, I know with absolute certainty that many of those private workers do have Defined Benefit Pensions (and for many of those companies which do exclusively government contracts, it is):

            ALL

            TAXPAYER

            MONEY

            (They even pay their TAXES with taxpayer money. It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World)

            If my daughters father in law is any example, the pay and pensions are quite lucrative (retired IBEW)

            Fourth,”the grossly excessive ones routinely granted ALL “PUBLIC” Sector workers” is still:

            YOUR

            OPINION

            We have already shown, countless times that SOME public workers clearly earn less, even with their pensions and benefits, than their private sector equivalents. You say it’s a handful of PhDs. I say it’s a very large portion of the public sector. There are some public workers who do earn more total compensation, on average, than they might in the private sector, which does not automatically rise to the level of “grossly excessive.

            To paraphrase someone who shall remain nameless*, “Such (exaggerations and misstatements) only give those opposing the VERY needed State/Local Public Sector pension reform ammunition to distract readers by point to misleading studies.”

            *That would be “Tough nameless” AKA “No name Love”.

            No great loss, though, your credibility has been shot for some time now.

            My wife’s mother is 85 years old and her health care is still subsidized by her deceased husbands union. (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers)

          • Posted by Tough Love on November 25, 2015 at 5:27 pm

            Quoting SMD ……. :”In the first place, that’s not the point.”

            No that is EXACTLY the point.

            The Firemen and the Pubic Sector work who PLOWS the roads get GREATER cash pay than anyone with similar skills in the Private Sector and then gets layered on top of that grossly excessive pensions & benefits (80-90% paid-for by the Taxpayers), while the Private Sector workers that BUILD the firetrucks and BUILD the roads don’t …. because the PRIVATE Sector firm that employs them doesn’t have a 3-rd party sucker (the Taxpayers) who the can force to foot the bill to overcompensate their employees.

          • Posted by Tough Love on November 25, 2015 at 5:50 pm

            Quoting SMD ….”Third place, I know with absolute certainty that many of those private workers do have Defined Benefit Pensions ”

            This is a NJ-based Blog (focusing on NJ’s pension problems).

            The largest road-construction firms in NJ are Joseph M Sanzari, J. Fletcher Creamer, Bishop, and Railroad Construction.

            None has a Defined Benefit Pension Plan for their workers.
            ————————————————-
            MORE of your BS.

          • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on November 25, 2015 at 6:56 pm

            At least three of those companies are listed as active members of the Associated Construction Contractors of New Jersey.

            https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://www.accnj.org/wp-content/uploads/NJ-Construction.pdf&ved=0ahUKEwjFvdO0v6zJAhVQ2GMKHR6zAgcQFggaMAA&usg=AFQjCNGzZxiPs_gD8zhDVaoo5QwhBP8o7Q&sig2=WQzitms68YGyp-SxSMgBog

            “Why We Are Fighting To Protect The Multiemployer Retirement Plans”

            Are you seriously telling us that none of them participate in the Multiemployer Retirement Plans?

            By the by, this blog often discusses pensions in other states, most recently,

            wait for it………..

            Pennsylvania!!!

          • Posted by Tough Love on November 25, 2015 at 7:20 pm

            SMD, Boy are you streaking for a fallback to your BS.

            The Associated Construction Contractors of New Jersey isn’t a Union and their workers certainly don’t participate in Multi-employer DB Plans…..like truckers, etc.

            Speaking of which, the pension formulas/provision of the typical Multi-employer Plans are 25%-50% as rich as the TYPICAL Public Sector pension.
            ———————-

            Keep putting your foot in your mouth … this is fun.

          • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on November 25, 2015 at 9:50 pm

            The following unions, among others, are listed in the Associated Construction Contractors of New Jersey pamphlet, along with the contractors you specified. I have no idea what you mean by “streaking”,(I am fully clothed at this point, if that’s what you’re referring to.)

            The fact is, many, if not most, private sector workers doing construction and maintenance on New Jersey AND California roadways are covered by Multi Employer Pensions.

            And, if, as you said, “the workers at those PRIVATE firms do not OVERCOMPENSATE their workers”, at least I can assure you that no CalTRANS maintenance worker or Equipment Operator makes anywhere near $34 an hour, plus $11.15 in pension and defined contribution payments.

            Pretty sure Raker, Screedman, Tampers, and Smoothers are not college level positions. Although “Lute” may be in high demand and short supply. IDK

            International Union of Operating Engineers local 825

            http://www.825funds.org/documents/pension-spd.pdf

            quote: “The name of the plan is the International Operating EngineereLocal 825 Pension Plan (“Plan”). It is a defined benefit plan. (page 26)

            ______________________________________________
            Iron Workers local 11

            http://www2.ironnj.com/uploads/pdf/pension.pdf

            “The Pension Fund of the Iron Workers District Council of Northern New Jersey is a multiemployer defined benefit pension plan.” (page 37)

            Example. John has 20 Pension Credits when he retires on July 1, 2008 at the age of 62. Here’s how to calculate his pension:
            20 Pension Credits x $110 benefit level = $2,200
            John’s regular pension is $2,200 a month.

            (Since January 1, 1996, you earn one Pension Credit for each calendar year in which you work at least 1,000 hours in covered employment. If you work at least 250 but less than 1,000 hours, you earn partial Pension Credit)

            Can we agree that $2,200 per month after 20 years (plus Social Security) ain’t bad?

            ____________________________________________
            Construction and General Laborers’ Union local 172

            http://www.accnj.org/wp-content/uploads/B-29-13-New-Jersey-Construction-General-Laborers-Local-172-472-Asphalt-Labors-172.pdf

            Raker, Screedman, Lute 34.90 wages per hour
            Tampers, Smoothers, 34.65 wages

            Pension Fund 6.15
            Defined Contribution Fund 5.00

            ______________________________________________
            And, at this point, I must agree with one of those anonymouses:

            You are a moron.

          • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on November 25, 2015 at 9:53 pm

            I must be talking to SurfPuppy

          • Posted by Tough Love on November 25, 2015 at 11:35 pm

            SMD, I see lots of blathering, but nothing that shows that the workers of Joseph M Sanzari, J. Fletcher Creamer, Bishop, and Railroad Construction get DB pensions.

            ………… just blather.

          • Posted by Tough Love on November 25, 2015 at 11:37 pm

            SMD, I see LOTS of blathering, but nothing that shows that the workers of Joseph M Sanzari, J. Fletcher Creamer, Bishop, and Railroad Construction get DB pensions.

            ………. just lots of blather.

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