NJ Gubernatorial Debate on Pensions – Part 2

In the first debate New Jersey’s next governor claimed to have a ‘very, very credible plan’ to fully fund the state’s public pensions. At tonight’s second, and last, debate he was asked what it is:

Apparently it hinges on unwinding tax breaks for his opponent’s hedge fund buddies.  Were there another debate perhaps Murphy could be asked what he believes Guadagno was lying about.

28 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Tough Love on October 18, 2017 at 9:34 pm

    I watched the debated, and Guadagno missed a big opportunity……

    Murphy kept harping on helping NJ’s middle class, but where most of his planned ramp-up in expenditures will go is to help only the 15-20% of NJ’s Middle Class that are families with active or retired PUBLIC Sector workers…………. based on observing whose ass he has been licking for the past few months.


  2. Posted by MJ on October 19, 2017 at 7:44 am

    I still want to know what is up with Phil’s teeth? Obviously he is a public sector union lap dog but at least Guadagno acknowledged there is a problem and public workers down the road will not get paid……….let taxes go through the roof and and then we will see what happens……….people are just beginning to understand the enormity of this pension and healthcare mess.

    As far as pensions, I could care less who gets what and anyone who is stupid enough to believe anybody in government and their IOUs then they deserve what they get.

    Phil didn’t speak of his plan because there is no plan and there is no plan because there is no sustainable way to maintain the current system. Obviously, Guadagno is trying to split police and fire fighters to fair more favorably than other public workers………time will tell


    • Posted by Anonymous on October 19, 2017 at 8:15 am

      I think the worst thing that could happen to taxpayers is to allow the police and firefighters to manage their own pensions. (that and relief of the arbitration cap rule). Each municipality will be held hostage to their own police/fire contracts and we’re right back to 5-7% annual COLAs. Also, there would be no “appeal” or compromise. Local taxes will go up and up as each police and fire contract will set a new “minimum gurantee” and each will feed off the other. Back to business as usual…..


      • Posted by Tough Love on October 19, 2017 at 11:07 am

        This time Guadagno did suggest that letting Police & Fireman manage their own Plan would be with THEM taking on the risk ……. but w/o specifics.

        The SPECIFICS is what is VERY VERY VERY important to understand before this deal goes forward.

        The fiirst time this shift was brought up, it was worded to always say “manage”, and only talking about managing their investment portfolio, but digging into the details, we found that it included almost full authority over every aspect of their Plans, INCLUDING the level of pension benefits and the level of employee contributions, and nowhere saying that the risk of poor investment returns became an incremental obligation of the workers (not the Taxpayers).

        It was off-the-wall absurd to even consider a transfer on such terms.

        There are problems even IF they were ONLY granted control over the investment of Plan assets. Unless they take on the risk of under-performing assets and are responsible for back-filling poor investment returns, what stops them from shooting-for-the-moon with extraordinarily risky investments? it’s a heads-they-win, tails the-Taxpayers-lose scenario.

        And giving them management control over level of pension benefits and the level of employee contributions would make NJ’s Taxpayers the ultimate “sucker”. I guarantee they’d find a way to giggle the Plan’s financials to justify reinstating their COLAs in short order. And on, and on, and on ………….

        Taxpayers are DEAT-MEAT if such a transfer happens.


    • Posted by stanley on October 19, 2017 at 1:52 pm

      As pensioners, we might keep in mind that we are unsecured creditors. We might fare better than bond owners in some cases, but I would argue that there is a haircut on the way for most of us.


      • Posted by skip3house on October 19, 2017 at 2:03 pm

        ….Peace of Mind if…..
        NJ public pensions unfunded $135B. Just change all to individual accounts giving piece of mind, replace ‘defined benefits’ with 401k type ‘defined contributions’ to include interest earnings, employee deductions, and whatever NJ contributes that year. NJ $135B unfunded political promises/fables ‘gone’!


        • Posted by Tough Love on October 19, 2017 at 7:52 pm

          Moving all CURRENT Public Sector workers to from DB to DC Plans for their future service is a NECESSARY step in a larger Plan to address NJ’s massive pension problem, because doing so would at least STOP the digging of the financial hole we are now in even deeper every day (by granting even MORE grossly excessive and unaffordable pension accruals).

          However, it won’t manke the existing unfunded liability go away. Given how ludicrously excessive, unnecessary, unfair to taxpayers, and unaffordable NJ’s Public Sector Plans have been FOR DECADES, the taxpayers will need to have a serious discussion with both actives and retirees as to how THEY must be a BIG part of addressing that problem ……. via material “givebacks”.

          And a refusal to do so should be met with CLOSED POCKETS from the Taxpayers……. just lets the Plans fail and see how that works out for them.


  3. Posted by skip3house on October 19, 2017 at 8:18 am

    Social Security is not mentioned though certainly is an added benefit at age chosen by every individual NJ public retiree, 62-70?
    What of the monthly Medicare deduction from SS? Didn’t Kim mentioned $10 Bilion/yr for NJ retiree medical…plus the $5 Billion funding /yr of NJ Pensions…during her ‘close your eyes a moment’ pause?
    Medicare premiums are automatically deducted from our monthly SS, what happens to this money for NJ retirees with NJ Medical instead of our Medicare? Is the deduction still done, and then reimbursed somehow?
    Why a separate Medical system for NJ retirees when our Medicare can be used, and paid individually as we are doing? (very early retirees may need special handling until age ~65)? .


    • Posted by Anonymous on October 19, 2017 at 11:27 am

      The largest portion of NJ retiree medical benefits cost is for pre Medicare eligibles. All retirees must enroll in Medicare, which becomes their primary coverage, and State medical coverage is secondary. Consequently reimbursement cost for post 65 is significantly less than pre 65. Additionally, with a proposed changeover to strictly Medigap coverage, further reductions in future reimbursements will provide greater cost savings.


      • Posted by George on October 19, 2017 at 12:37 pm

        State medical coverage is secondary … and I bet very expensive.


        • Posted by skip3house on October 19, 2017 at 1:50 pm

          ‘… (very early retirees may need special handling until age ~65)? …’ Why does NJ even pay for early retirement here? Nor, pay for Medicare by refunding SS premiums? Treat all us old retirees the same….most of us pay Medicare and that add on for the 20% Medicare does not cover. … note: Medicare really controls costs per reading some of its billings.


      • Posted by MJ on October 19, 2017 at 4:56 pm

        The state reimburses public retirees for their Medicare…..another perk


        • Posted by Tough Love on October 19, 2017 at 5:23 pm

          Yup THAT (and ALL other such perks) should be added to the list for Public/Private Sector comparison in my comment below time-stamped … October 19, 2017 at 2:13 pm

          The decades-long “financial rape” of Private Sector Taxpayers by the insatiably greedy Public Sector Unions/workers, and ENABLED by our self-serving, contribution-soliciting, vote-selling Elected Officials ……… must end.


        • Posted by Anonymous on October 19, 2017 at 5:59 pm

          That’s been prospectively eliminated but great talking point. Rile up the crowd with more fake news!


  4. Posted by rdquinn on October 19, 2017 at 8:26 am

    The single largest fiscal issue facing NJ is public employee total compensation, including retirees. Any politician who gains the support of the unions will never fix the problem. Hedge fund fees are hardly the issue when funding is inadequate. How can a plan allow employee loans at an interest rate less than assumed fund return and expect not to have a problem?


  5. Posted by Anonymous on October 19, 2017 at 11:20 am

    Full disclosure, I didn’t watch the debate – so what’s Kim’s plan to save (or cut) her hubby’s cushy JRS? Remembering judges barely contribute, until recently, to their pensions! It’ll fly under the radar because the totality of JRS unfunded liability doesn’t even show up on the budget radar when compared to TPAF and PERS (State). And so the story goes…..


  6. Posted by George on October 19, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    Guadagno came close to admitting there was a problem. Well, that’s something.

    I don’t understand why Murphy thinks ‘the big companies’ will accept paying more. Maybe some state contractors and defense contractors. Maybe some finance businesses and professionals that must be near lower Manhattan. But other businesses and wealthy individuals can up and leave.

    Billionaire to save hundreds of millions from Florida move

    Genious idea, NJ can institute an ‘expatriation’ tax?


    • Posted by MJ on October 19, 2017 at 4:57 pm

      There already is an exit tax if one sells their home in NJ and moves elsewhere


    • Posted by Anonymous on October 19, 2017 at 5:15 pm

      NJ offered Amazon 7 billion in tax breaks .This ought to be illegal. This is a simple equal rights under law issue. If Mom & Pop shops don’t get these breaks, Amazon shouldn’t either.


  7. Posted by Tough Love on October 19, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    What NJ taxpayers should DEMAND is a complete list of ALL (yes ALLLLLLLL !) of the benefits (pensions, healthcare, ilife Ins., “allowances”, vacation days, sick times, etc ) granted NJ’s Public Sector workers get, and compare them to what large Corporate employers in NJ grant their workers.

    The goal should be EQUAL, but not better………. individually for each and every item on that list.

    And to satisfy SMD’s response sure to follow, I’m fine with an overall 4% increase in Public Sector cash wages if indeed NJ’s Public Sector workers are paid less (on average for all workers taken together … per the AEI study) than their Private Sector counterparts, because I’m very confident a PROPER Public/Private Sector side-by-side comparison of ALL benefits would “SAVE” taxpayers 20+% of wages for misc workers, and 30+% of wages for Safety workers.


    • Posted by PS Drone on October 19, 2017 at 7:42 pm

      If such a detailed list were made totally public, you and all the other NJ private sector taxpayers would need the Heimlich maneuver performed on you because of the incredible amount of gagging that would ensue.


      • Posted by Tough Love on October 19, 2017 at 7:59 pm

        I wouldn’t need it, because I’m ALREADY fully aware of the extent of the taxpayer ripoff.

        That’s why I so strongly advocate for Public Sector pension/benefit reform (and yes SMH …. reform meaning REDUCTION).


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