What NJEA Bought

On Thursday I witnessed seven of eight Union County politicians, against the will of the majority and common sense, repaying their campaign donors.

Today nj.com focused on the cautionary tale of New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney who crossed the teachers’ union and has wound up fighting against their money. In his defense (and including an astounding admission):

“No one can question my loyalties to organized labor and working people,” Sweeney, who by trade is an official with an ironworkers union, told NJ Advance Media. “It’s frustrating because they’re not being truthful. They’re making a lot of accusations that are not true. It’s politics.”

…..

The NJEA was first angered by the 2011 overhaul of the state’s public-worker pension system that Christie and Sweeney teamed up to enact.

Baker said the initiative “devastated our members.” It required government workers to pay more into their pensions and for health care in exchange for the state fully funding a system that past governors had ignored for years. While Christie has put in more than his predecessors, his administration has not fully funded the system.

Sweeney said “it had to be done” to avoid the pension system from going bankrupt.

Retirees would be having their pensions cut as we speak — not three years from now,” Sweeney said. “I couldn’t let that happen.”

According to NJEC data the NJEA has made $12,073,098 in political contributions over the years of which $2,150,335 went to Republicans, $41,200 went to Sweeney and, of the $202,780 in total contributions made for 2017, $66,500 went to Republicans so far.

That supposedly bought them three more years.

24 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Anonymous on September 17, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    So the cockroaches have come out in to the light and finally admitted it’s not “for the kid” but really for themselves ……a great ending for them all .

    Reply

  2. Posted by bpaterson on September 17, 2017 at 5:55 pm

    the NJ taxpayers sadly are actually footing the donations above as the money is paid in teacher salaries, then filtered thru the NJEA union donations to whatever politicians pockets the NJEA wants to grease.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Tough Love on September 18, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    Nah, we’re not overcompensating them.

    Go ahead, just believe the “deniers” like SMH.

    http://nypost.com/2017/09/13/cops-massive-salaries-are-robbing-taxpayers-blind/

    **********************************

    P,S. And they make even MORE in many NJ towns.

    Reply

    • Posted by Earth on September 18, 2017 at 1:34 pm

      Earth to TL:

      Today’s topic is “What NJEA Bought”. It’s about union political contributions.

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on September 18, 2017 at 1:42 pm

        John,

        I believe it is a BIG negative to your Blog to allow commentators to post under more than one handle.

        EARTH is Clearly SMH=SMD=SMA= ???

        Reply

      • Posted by Earth on September 18, 2017 at 2:44 pm

        Earth to TL:

        ‘Observe due measure; moderation is best in all things’
        Hesiod (c.700 bc)

        Is it also a negative for many commentators to post under the same handle? (Talking about you, Anonymous.)

        True, it is hard to tell the players without the program, but what is said is more important than who says it.

        (IMHO)

        Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on September 18, 2017 at 3:28 pm

      Mauldin:

      ” We hear stories about retired police chiefs and teachers with lifetime six-digit pensions and so on. Those aberrations (if you look at the national salary picture) are a problem, but the more distressing cases are the firefighters, teachers, police officers, or humble civil servants who served the public for decades, never making much money but looking forward to a somewhat comfortable retirement. How do you tell these people that they can’t have a livable pension? We will see many human tragedies.”
      ———————————-
      Mary Pat Campbell:

      “Yes, there are all sorts of other reasons as well, such as spiking, early retirements, sluggish payroll growth, optimistic valuation assumptions, etc.

      But ultimately the reason the pensions are so little funded is because the state didn’t put in enough funds.

      And they knew it.

      They knew it for years.

      It’s not because of investment fees, though those should be more transparent. It’s not because of part-time board directors who get a lifetime pension for very little work, though that doesn’t help. (I’ll address why these aren’t significant problems in a later post.)

      DON’T PAY THE BILLS, THE DEBT GETS LARGER”

      Reply

      • Posted by Seesaw Junior on September 18, 2017 at 3:43 pm

        But ultimately the reason the pensions are so little funded is because the state didn’t put in enough funds.
        1) And if the State employees retired at a normal age, 65-67- the state did put in enough.

        2) If the State did not gift out retroactive pension hikes of 50% there is still enough.

        3) If the State did not give COLA’S when they is a deficit there is still enough.

        Underfunding ALONG with these other issues all contribute mightily to the red ink, it is not just the underfunding.

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on September 18, 2017 at 4:11 pm

          Ah, I see that you UNDERSTAND the thieving Union/Elected Official collusion ……. that has resulted in such ludicrously EXCESSIVE and hence ludicrously COSTLY pensions ……………. THAT being the ROOT CAUSE of the pension mess in which many Cities and States now find themselves.

          Reply

  4. Posted by Tough Love on September 18, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    So, they’re not overcompensated?

    http://wkyufm.org/post/lawmakers-tell-public-employees-dont-do-anything-rash-pension-town-hall#stream/0

    Quoting …………….

    “Sixty-six-year-old George Scott, a retired captain from the Bowling
    Green Police Department, came to the meeting concerned about another
    recommendation to roll back previously awarded cost-of-living
    adjustments, or COLAS, to some retirees.

    “I retired in 1993. If they took all the COLAS, I’d lose 26 percent of my pension and I can’t afford that,” explained Scott.”

    ***************************************

    Let’s see. He’s now 66 and he retired in 1993. So he retired at 66 – (2017-1993) = 66-24 = 42.

    Retired at FORTY TWO, and ALL of his OWN pension contributions (including all the investment earnings thereon) likely paid for no more than 10-15% of his pension.

    What would a comparably paid Private Sector worker with the SAME years of service received in retirement benefits is he “retired” at age 42?

    It’s WAY past time for KY’s taxpayers to stop being the sucker in this equation.

    In THIS case, I believe a 50%-75% reduction is the MINIMUM the Taxpayers should be seeking.

    Reply

    • Posted by Seesaw Junior on September 18, 2017 at 1:13 pm

      Retired at FORTY TWO, and ALL of his OWN pension contributions (including all the investment earnings thereon) likely paid for no more than 10-15% of his pension.
      If he “retired” at age 42, and started at age 21, that is 21 years of service. 2017-1993= 24 years of “retirement” to date, three years MORE than actual work. I would estimate he contributed LESS than 3% of his overall pension costs. Which he pulled out his first year of “retirement”. Biggest scam of all-time

      Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on September 18, 2017 at 1:28 pm

        “Twenty and out”

        Exactly like the U.S. military. 50% of final pay, with COLAs and healthcare. And they contribute zip-dot-nada.

        Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on September 18, 2017 at 1:30 pm

        I included the value of the investments earning on his own contributions over his working career.

        Politicians (Christie for one) often fail to do that, but adjusting for the time value of money is the “proper” thing to do.

        Yes, the mathematical sum of his own contributions is likely about 5% of the VALUE of his pension, and a smaller % of the mathematical SUM of his expected lifetime payouts, but when adding earnings on his own contributions up to his retirement date and discounting expected pension payments to that same retirement date is the correct way to estimate the share of his total expected pensions that he actually paid for.

        Reply

        • Posted by Seesaw Junior on September 18, 2017 at 3:39 pm

          I included the value of the investments earning on his own contributions over his working career.

          So what- you include the roi from their paltry contributions and it is still ALL pulled in iin the first 1-3 years.

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on September 18, 2017 at 4:22 pm

            YES, and if we take the middle of your 1 to 3 year period (2 years) and compare that to the DISCOUNTED VALUE of their pension, we would get the Share that the worker pay for.

            Looking at an annuity table used for retirement payout, even for a person retiring at an early age (mid-early 50s), a modestly COLA-increased pension’s VALUE is rarely more than 20 times the initial starting annual payout.

            So in this example, if you divide 2 by 20, you find that the worker paid for 10% of their pension.

          • Posted by Anonymous on September 18, 2017 at 7:14 pm

            Huzzah !!!

            ” you include the roi from their paltry contributions….”

            ” and if we take the middle of your 1 to 3 year period…”

            “mathematical sum of his own contributions is likely…”

            “I would estimate he contributed…”

            ” if you divide 2 by 20…”

            And, you have absolutely no idea whether he contributed 5%,10%, or zero.

            From the article:

            “The salary cops make in their final year is often used to calculate pension size.”

            Often? They know his final salary, but don’t bother to check whether, in reality, his OT and vacation are pensionable?

            As long as we’re ass-uming, why don’t we just assume his feet stink and he hates Jesus?

            All that math, and no common sense.

            The gall is palpable.

          • Posted by Tough Love on September 18, 2017 at 7:43 pm

            Yikes Anon, you seem to have gone over the cliff.

    • Posted by PS Drone on September 18, 2017 at 7:26 pm

      George Scott should be ashamed of himself. If he can’t afford the COLA haircut he should go back to work – if he can still figure out what that means.

      Reply

  5. Posted by Tough Love on September 18, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    Go ahead, SMH, let’s hear you make up some (absurd) justification for this …. noting that WAGES alone in Suffolk County NY(the Eastern half of Long Inland) are VERY high.

    Go ahead SMH………. I’m in the mood for some more of your BS.

    Not in the mood ? Send in your alter-ego “EARTH” to answer.

    http://www.newsday.com/opinion/editorial/suffolk-county-s-expensive-health-care-headache-1.14180160

    Reply

  6. Posted by Earth on September 18, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    Earth to TL:
    Today’s topic is (still) “What NJEA Bought”. It’s about union political contributions.

    Reply

  7. Posted by S Moderation Honestly on September 19, 2017 at 3:27 am

    Mary Pat Campbell,,,

    “Yes, there are all sorts of other reasons as well, such as spiking, early retirements, sluggish payroll growth, optimistic valuation assumptions, etc.”

    And healthcare costs, etc.

    You are, of course, welcome to share all your articles about early retirees, six figure pensions, and other obsessions. But please remember that the plural of anecdotal evidence is not data. All pension systems are not the same, any more than the “average” private sector worker is Jeffrey Dahmer, or Edmund Kemper.

    Sensationalism sells

    SMH

    Reply

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    Reply

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