2017 Election Results for Public Pensions

There were at least four ballot questions across the country and one race in Southern New Jersey that impact public pensions. Here are the results:

  1. New York State Proposal 2: Forfeiture of Pension of Criminal Officials YES
  2. Maine Proposal 4: Extend Unfunded Amortization PeriodYES
  3. Houston $1 Billion Pension Obligation BondYES
  4. New York State Proposal 1: Constitutional ConventionNO
  5. Sweeney v. NJEA in NJ 3rd Legislative District: Sweeney wins

51 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Tough Love on November 7, 2017 at 11:19 pm

    So all the kings men …. the NJEA’s MONEY ….. could;t defeat Sweeney. Gotta Love It. If the Teachers had any brains, the throw out their extremely overpaid Union President.

    What did they “waste” …$10 Million ?

    Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on November 8, 2017 at 7:53 am

      Well then time to stop blowing the politicians are in the Union’s pockets horn.

      Reply

    • Posted by BH on November 8, 2017 at 8:13 am

      Oh my lord… how happy I am today.
      All I need to say is…. I told you so. Lololololololol. It took years. But now we get our redemption. Lol. I’d love to be a fly on the wall in TLs house last night. Pucker up. Pay back is here…..

      Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on November 8, 2017 at 10:48 am

        Welcome back their taxes are your pension ticket out…..swat – oops guess TL got that fly!

        Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on November 8, 2017 at 10:51 am

        BH any celebration is premature. Remember both parties failed to fund their ‘promises’ so let’s wait and see if political marketing results in real policy actions!

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on November 8, 2017 at 11:37 am

          You’re right, celebration IS premature, and also, now that Murphy won the election ……. AND doesn’t need Union money ….. if he wants to do the right things for ALL of NJ’s taxpayers, not just for the Unions (e.g., extending the 2% Police arbitration cap), nothing can stop him.

          Reply

          • Posted by BH on November 8, 2017 at 1:21 pm

            He’s going to push many things forward that were stalled by crispie. Most importantly is allowing the PFRS to leave state control that was a bipartisan deal gone wrong at crispiests desk. These things will no longer be an issue because the Dems control everything.

          • Posted by BH on November 8, 2017 at 1:22 pm

            Chapter 78 will begin to fizzle as the unions tear apart each issue. Within 100 days the 2% arbitration cap will be gone. Wanna bet?

          • Posted by Anonymous on November 8, 2017 at 3:23 pm

            Let’s recap the 2% cap. It excludes Locals’ pension contribution yet their pension funds are far from being ‘fully funded’. Albeit significantly better than the State’s, which somehow can legally mandate Locals to do what the NJSC ruled the State is not required to do.
            IF I’m a mayor and/or have majority council support I’d stop ALL Local employer pension contributions and take my case to the same NJSC who ruled the State is not required to make its contribution. Bottom line, IMO, lifting the 2% cap will result in salary increases at the Local level and, by default, less Local employer contributions. Something gotta give, taxes will go up but their is a breaking point. BTW, some already think NJ is beyond the breaking point.

          • Posted by Tough Love on November 8, 2017 at 5:06 pm

            NJ’s LOCAL Police (the group that directly impacts our property taxes) “deserve” a pension comparably to those granted Private Sector workers who have comparable experience, education, skill, and knowledge. And RIGHT NOW in NJ, for the Police Officer who retires at age 55 with 25 years of service, the Taxpayer-paid-for-share of the Police Officer’s pension and retiree healthcare benefits are just about 4 times (yes 4 TIMES) greater in value upon retirement that the retirement security granted that COMPARABLY SITUATED Private Sector workers by their employers.

            I demonstrated that 4 TIMES relationship here:

            https://burypensions.wordpress.com/2017/11/04/dumping-sweeney-job-number-one-for-njea/#comment-40062

            Note that I initially calculate the multiple as 3.65 times ….. only considering pensions …. but after deducting out the share of the Officer’s pension that THEY paid-for via their own contributions, and adding in the value of their retiree healthcare (noting that almost nobody in the Private Sector gets retiree healthcare subsidies any longer), the final Multiple was 4.01 times … see the comment timestamped November 6, 2017 at 1:09 pm.

            There is simply ZERO justification for this ludicrous level of “generosity” and I’m quite sure VERY few of NJ’s Private Sector Taxpayers are aware of it.

            NJ’s LOCAL Police pension Plans are funded in the high 60% range (if I recall correctly), and with localities being 100% ARC payers, assuredly more than half of the funding level arose from Taxpayers contributions. That means (noting the 4.01 times greater Police pensions & benefits referenced above) that Taxpayers have funded MORE THAN 100% funded a pension EQUAL in generosity to what they get ……… which means that NONE (yes NONE) of the current underfunding (of roughly 30% to 35%) should be the responsibility of the Taxpayers, being nothing but unjustified excessive pension promises. .

          • Posted by S Moderation on November 8, 2017 at 11:04 pm

            GIGO

            Keep bringing it up, I will keep shooting it down. Which brings up my second question, regarding a post by PatB (BuryPensions, April 17, 2016)

            “Of the actuaries and accountants who must read this blog, I can remember no one defending your math. Maybe this is the time for them to come to your rescue, for the sake of truth, which there seems to be so little of in public pensions.”

            Has anyone, or have they not?

          • Posted by Tough Love on November 8, 2017 at 11:41 pm

            LOL, SM-Whatever is back ……………..

            Bring up WHAT …………..an accurate description of 4 TIMES greater-in-value upon retirement NJ Police pensions & benefits …. and that NJ’s Taxpayer have ALREADY contributed 100% of the funds necessary fund a pension & benefit Plan EQUAL IN VALUE to what a similarly situated Private typically gets from THEIR employer.

            The only thing you “shoot” is your mouth, and rarely it’s often misleading, often omits material facts, it often seemingly incapable of understanding BASIC math/economic concepts, and is very often just plain wrong…… but is ALWAYS is supporting the insatiably greed of Public Sector workers (like you, a CA Public Sector retiree) and with an extraordinary sense of entitlement.
            *******************

            And as to my math ………….

            (a) I hide nothing and try to include enough detail for readers to follow the steps, understand the logic, and question my methods and assumptions, and

            (b) I welcome critique (good or bad) on my math demonstrations from Mr. Bury.

            ********************************************
            Good enough for you SM-whatever?

          • Posted by S Moderation on November 9, 2017 at 2:44 am

            Not even close.

            First, I reiterate, it is not your math I questioned, but your logic. You cannot compare pensions outside the context of total compensation. In your purposely provocative example, each worked 25 years to earn their pensions, which would statistically be about 30 years each (both retiring at 55). It is generally true that public pension formulas are greater than those in the private sector (if you ignore certain multi – employer pensions and “golden parachutes”), but by comparing only the pensions, you are artificially increasing the multiple. In your scenario, each did not work 25 years and earn just a 30 year pension. They earned a pension PLUS their salary for 25 years. That brings the multiple down far below your “4.01 times” (seriously, two decimal places?)

            Moreover, you did not “include enough detail”, even for a hypothetical comparison. Except for some vague “all but the 10% to 20% of Total Pension Plan costs”, you did not consider the employee contributions or the resulting Social Security earnings.

            Biggs 2014 study discussed the many methodological problems of comparing compensation, and you provided a stellar example of “getting it wrong”.

            Then, you posited the employees retired at the SAME age, with the SAME wages, and the SAME years of service.

            In real life, public and private workers with the SAME wages rarely have the same qualifications (human capital). Biggs gave actual (nationwide) quantifiable examples where public workers clearly have much higher pensions, yet still have much lower total compensation. That being in the professional level. I think we l agree that at the lower skilled level, public workers often have similar wages, but higher pensions and benefits which actually do somewhat fit your scenario.

            Stop me if you’ve heard this. At the lowest educated level, public workers on average earn more in total compensation than their private sector counterparts. At the higher educated level, the opposite is true. Logically, if this is true, (it is) then there must be a cohort in the middle where total compensation is roughly equal.

            This is true…

            Even
            In
            Those
            Cases
            Where
            Your
            “Multiples”
            of
            Pensions
            is
            True.

            Therefore, your mathematical demonstration is “Ignoratio elenchi”, an irrelevant conclusion. More colloquially, it is also known as missing the point.

            You cannot compare pensions outside the context of total compensation.

          • Posted by Tough Love on November 9, 2017 at 4:13 am

            Quoting SM-Whatever………

            “First, I reiterate, it is not your math I questioned, but your logic. You cannot compare pensions outside the context of total compensation.”

            I agree completely, and even when I used YOUR chosen statistic … LIFETIME Total Compensation (while working AND in retirement) …. the one that results in the smallest Police to Private-worker compensation multiple, it still came out to 1.76 times greater for the Police Officer.

            So tell me, do your really believe that a Police Officer should make 76% more in each and every year encompassing perhaps 60 years in total than a Private Sector worker with equivalent education, experience, skills and knowledge?

            To get in front of your answer …. because you might indeed say “yes” …. I say (as a Taxpayer being called upon to pay for it) ………… hell NO !

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

            Quoting the idiot (again) ………..

            “Moreover, you did not “include enough detail”, even for a hypothetical comparison. Except for some vague “all but the 10% to 20% of Total Pension Plan costs”, you did not consider the employee contributions or the resulting Social Security earnings.”

            The share of the Police Officer’s pension paid for with his/her own pension contributions (INCLUDING all the investment earnings thereon) WAS subtracted out in determining the 4.01 Multiple. Re-read it for yourself !

            And with respect to Social Security, did you miss where I stated the following (or did you just choose to ignore it)?

            “NJ Police Officer’s do not participate in SS. They neither pay FICA taxes nor receive SS benefits. Our Private Sector worker does (now paying 6.2% of wages up to the maximum wage base). SS is completely irrelevant to the comparison because one side PAYS FOR something THEY GET and the other side DOES NOT PAY for something THEY DO NOT GET.. That being said, with Police Officer wages far greater than average, and and with the SS income-replacement-ratio (Google SS “bend points”) decreasing as income rises, SS provides a VERY lousy “return-on-investment” for higher-income wage-earners and it should be considered an ADVANTAGE to the Police Officer that he/she does NOT have to contribute 6.2% of his wages to SS and can instead invest it on his own, very likely with a better financial outcome.”
            *******************************************************************
            Then you go back to repeating more irrelevant nonsense.

            =====================================

            Oh, and in responding to my original comment with that demonstration you stated:

            “I thought you had written many times that police and fire deserve no pension a tall, because they were so overpaid in salary alone. ”

            To which I responded:

            “If you cannot provide a link to such a statement from me, consider yourself a liar.”

            Well, it almost 4 days and you haven’t produced a link to such a statement from me …… so you your a LIAR !

          • Posted by S Moderation on November 9, 2017 at 5:49 am

            “it still came out to 1.76 times greater for the Police Officer.”

            According to your stipulations, and in this particular scenario you posit as being “typical”. Your assumptions are incomplete. If, the police officer contributed 7% toward his pension while the private worker contributed 6.2% to SS, then their take home pay would be roughly equal, while the private worker still has the advantage of S’S income.

            “one side PAYS FOR something THEY GET” (Social Security) and that same side DOES NOT PAY for something it GETS. (pension)

            We still have the the fact that you are assuming they have the SAME wages AND similar qualifications. Sorry, without actual data backing up your “assumptions”, your output is garbage.

            And how do you perform this comparison when the private sector gets no pension? As you say is the case with 85 percent of the private sector? Does your 4.01 ratio become infinity? Ridiculous. No. Face it, you stumbled upon a meaningless “statistic” that supports your preconceived bias.

            You have a hypothetical case with imaginary numbers which “proves” what everyone has already stipulated. Benefit costs for state and local workers are a higher percentage of compensation (36.7) than for the private sector (30.2).
            (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

            Congratulations! You just reinvented the wheel. Too bad you ran out of gas.

            “…it almost 4 days … so you your a LIAR !” ?

            What that do mean, even?

          • Posted by Tough Love on November 9, 2017 at 3:02 pm

            Quoting SM-Whatever ………

            “According to your stipulations, and in this particular scenario you posit as being “typical”. Your assumptions are incomplete. If, the police officer contributed 7% toward his pension while the private worker contributed 6.2% to SS, then their take home pay would be roughly equal, while the private worker still has the advantage of S’S income. ”

            TWICE I’ve pointed out that BOTH issues are properly addressed ….. (a) the share of the Police Officer’s pension bought with his OWN pension contributions (INCLUDING investment earnings thereon) have been deducted, and (b) that SS is not relevant because Private Sector Taxpayers pay for something they get while the Police Officer does not pay for something that he/she don’t get.
            I have nothing to add, you just seem incapable of understanding.

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

            Quoting SM-Whatever ……….

            “We still have the the fact that you are assuming they have the SAME wages AND similar qualifications. Sorry, without actual data backing up your “assumptions”, your output is garbage. ”

            The whole “point” is to compare the compensation of 2 individuals with …”reasonably comparable education, experience, skills, and knowledge”……. to determine if 2 “equals” are similarly compensated. And are you AGAIN suggesting that NJ’s (VERY highly paid) Police Officers make less in “wages” than equally “experienced, educated, skilled, and knowledgeable” Private Sector workers ….. often $135+K after only 5 years ? Really ?

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

            Quoting SM-Whatever …………

            “And how do you perform this comparison when the private sector gets no pension? As you say is the case with 85 percent of the private sector? Does your 4.01 ratio become infinity? Ridiculous. No. Face it, you stumbled upon a meaningless “statistic” that supports your preconceived bias. ”

            Final Average Salary DB pensions (the type Public Sector workers get) are indeed getting rarer and rarer in the Private Sector. While many are now and will be paying out pensions for MANY years, finding an employer that allows NEW workers to participate in such Plans is indeed difficult, and many other employers have frozen their Plans, meaning that current workers earn no further accruals. The 1.5% per-year-of-service formula-factor that I used for the Private Sector worker is representative of those typically used in Private Sector Plans. The point you raise that few (especially new) workers get such Plans today DOESN’T help your argument, because the 401K-plans that replaced them are without-question LESS GENEROUS. That being the case, any re-calculation of EITHER of the 2 ratios (Police/Private LIFETIME income or Police/Private Retirement Income) would result in HIGHER ratios, meaning a GREATER Police Officer compensation ADVANTAGE.

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

            Quoting SM-Whatever …………

            ““…it almost 4 days … so you your a LIAR !” ?

            What that do mean, even?”

            You responded to my original comment with the demonstration stating:

            “I thought you had written many times that police and fire deserve no pension a tall, because they were so overpaid in salary alone. ”

            To which I responded:

            “If you cannot provide a link to such a statement from me, consider yourself a liar.”

            Well, it almost 4 days and you haven’t produced a link to such a statement from me …… so you your a LIAR !

            Now it 5 days. if you make such a statement …… but can’t prove it, your a LIAR , and no, you don’t get a “pass” because you added the qualification ……… “I thought”.

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

            And hopefully for the last time……….

            Yes, TWO ratios of NJ Local Police officer compensation to that of a comparably educated, experience, skilled, and knowledgeable Private Sector workers were calculated, one the ratio of LIFETIME income (including both 25 years working and 30 years in retirement), and the other, the ratio of RETIREMENT income (only including the assumed 30-year retirement period).

            It is useful to examine and analyze problems/issues from multiple perspectives, and rarely is there only one (and only one) appropriate statistic to consider.
            Both of the statistics calculated (the 4.01 and the 1.76 Police Officer to Private Sector worker compensation MULTIPLES) are useful and provide perspective.

            The details yielding the 4.01 and the 1.76 are here, pasted from my e-mails of a few days ago here:

            https://burypensions.wordpress.com/2017/11/04/dumping-sweeney-job-number-one-for-njea/

            4.01 = (30 x (82,875 + 30,000)) / (30 x 28,125)

            1.76 = =(2,500,000+30 x (82,875 + 30,000)) / (2,500,000+30 x 28,125)

            Regardless of which you prefer, I don’t know how EITHER statistic can lead to a conclusion OTHER THAN that the Local NJ Police Officer is ludicrously over-compensated.

          • Posted by S Moderation on November 9, 2017 at 4:53 pm

            “I thought you had written many times that police and fire deserve no pension a tall,”

             Yes, “I thought” is a sufficient disclaimer. No, I was not able to find such a quote. Perhaps I was remembering quotes such as “I don’t know how EITHER statistic can lead to a conclusion OTHER THAN that the Local NJ Police Officer is ludicrously over-compensated.”

            How very presumptuous of you to presume I was lying, instead of remembering incorrectly.

            A pox upon your house.
            =====================
            “BOTH issues are properly addressed …..”? no, not properly addressed. You do not have enough information to properly compare their compensation, and what you do have, you made up yourself.
            =====================
            And how do these calculations apply to private sector workers with NO pension?

            Mr. Love…
            “The point you raise that few (especially new) workers get such Plans today DOESN’T help your argument, because the 401K-plans that replaced them are without-question LESS GENEROUS.”

            Au contraire mon frère , that’s the whole point. (Stop me if you’ve heard this before.)

            “You cannot compare pensions outside the context of total compensation.”

            Public workers are known to receive a higher percentage of their total income as benefits. (BLS)
            SO you are comparing public pensions to private pensions that are already commonly recognized as being lower and, worse yet, comparing them to non-existent pensions.

            1) In general, public workers have higher pensions than equivalent private sector workers.

            2) In some cases, those higher benefits mean the public worker earns more in total compensation than his private sector peer.

            3) In many cases, the higher pension does NOT compensate for the lower pay. It is entirely likely for many public employees to have a pension three or four times higher and still earn less in total compensation.

            4) Not just likely, but verified by National data. You cannot compare pensions outside the context of total compensation.

            Unless, of course, you are just looking for shock value.

          • Posted by Tough Love on November 9, 2017 at 5:10 pm

            SM-Whatever……………..

            I “thought” you were an idiot. How silly of me to include (in that statement) such a “sufficient disclaimer”

            No, I’M SURE.

            And Oh No …. he put ….. a pox upon my house.

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

            As to the rest, just MORE of the same, and you sure do live in a different reality than the rest of us.

          • Posted by S Moderation on November 9, 2017 at 7:43 pm

            ” the rest of us.”

            being… “all the actuaries and accountants who must read this blog”, coming forward to defend your math?

            It would be “True but irrelevant.”

            If it were true.

          • Posted by Tough Love on November 9, 2017 at 7:58 pm

            No, “the rest of us” in my above comment meant the 85% of all workers who are employed in the PRIVATE Sector, don’t get promised an ludicrous excessive level of pensions & benefits (with a third party with no effective say in the matter forced to pay for it), and aren’t sucking at the taxpayer’s teat.

          • Posted by S Moderation on November 10, 2017 at 6:13 am

            The 85% in the private sector. Now there’s a can of worms. You could find more disagreement there than in the pension mess.

            First of all, in the lowest income groups of that 85%, you will find they pay no net taxes at all (they do pay, but receive more in services and subsidies than they pay.)

            The top one percent pay most of the taxes, but they earn much more than any public sector worker will ever earn… and… they generally pay a lower percentage of their income in taxes than other income groups.

            The “middle” (including most public workers) pays a higher percentage of wages in taxes, but a relatively small portion of total taxes.

            In other words. The Koch brothers are paying a lot more of my pension than you could even dream of. No wonder they’re pissed.

            To the 85%…

          • Posted by Tough Love on November 10, 2017 at 10:07 am

            SM-Whatever,

            An what was that, an attempt to justify the unjustifiable (specifically, the ludicrously excessive, unnecessary, unfair to taxpayers, and clearly unaffordable Public Sector pensions & benefits, 80% to 90% of the total cost of which is now the responsibility of the Taxpayers) ?

          • Posted by Whatever on November 10, 2017 at 11:16 am

            An what was that?

          • Posted by Tough Love on November 10, 2017 at 11:50 am

            SM-Whatever,

            Unless very material pension reform is implemented soon (Including material reductions for all CURRENT workers), the newly hired Police Officer will one day (perhaps 10 or 20 years from today) will be knocking on the door of the 10 or 20 year already-retired Officer yelling at him …… you rotten/greedy thief, you stole MY future !

          • Posted by S Moderation on November 10, 2017 at 2:13 pm

            You won’t need no husband, won’t need no wife
            You’ll pick your son, pick your daughter too
            From the bottom of a long glass tube

            And…
            You will be speaking Chinese.

          • Posted by Tough Love on November 10, 2017 at 2:53 pm

            SM-Whatever,

            Love all those funny pictures you keep posting…………

            Here’s one I like:

  2. Posted by George on November 8, 2017 at 11:05 am

    NY Constitutional Convention loses by 83%. Sort of funny that the 83% worry that their constitutional convention might go out of their control. I suspect a lot of the no votes were from people that regularly vote no on all initiatives. But it also shows general support for the current status quo, especially government employee benefits.

    https://ballotpedia.org/New_York_Proposal_1,_Constitutional_Convention_Question_(2017)

    Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on November 8, 2017 at 11:08 am

      Tell TL it ain’t so…..

      Reply

      • Posted by Pat W on November 8, 2017 at 8:13 pm

        COMPARABLY SITUATED Private Sector workers.. Those are the same private sector workers who routinely face the possibility of being shot or assassinated? Private sector workers run away from danger while COPS run towards it! Where is the premium for that? How much would you demand in salary if your competition was sporting automatic weapons? There is no comparison. Even the military allows “hazardous duty pay” in dangerous combat zones. Question: What is the life expectancy of a COP vs. that of any “comparable private sector worker”? LOL>

        Reply

        • Posted by George on November 8, 2017 at 8:32 pm

          possibility of being shot or assassinated?

          They get workers comp and life insurance like everyone else. Workplace shootings are probably more common among private sector workers.

          Private sector workers run away from danger while COPS run towards it!

          Recently in Southerland Texas a citizen armed with his own rifle and his buddy stopped a mass murder by someone armed with an AR-16 knockoff. To stop the massacre the citizen had to fire a bullet through the gap in the murder’s body armor, which sounds like a difficult shot. The Las Vegas massacre was probably stopped when a hotel security guard spooked the shooter.

          Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on November 8, 2017 at 9:50 pm

          The “hero card” doesn’t work, nor the claim that Police work is particularly dangerous. In fact, Police work isn’t even on the list of the US Gov’t BLS list of the most dangerous jobs (see below), ALL of which (perhaps with the exception of MAJOR Commercial Airline Pilots) make MUCH MUCH less in total compensation the Police Officers.

          And in the 90+% of NJ, mostly being “bedroom Communities”, there is VERY little violent crime and police work mainly consists of traffic violations, some accidents, an occasional drunk, and minor vandalism.

          1. Logging Workers
          2. Fishers And Related Fishing Workers
          3. Aircraft Pilots And Flight Engineers
          4. Roofers
          5. Refuse And Recyclable Material Collectors
          6. Mining Machine Operators
          7. Driver/Sales Workers and Truck Drivers
          8. Farmers, Ranchers, And Other Agricultural Managers
          9. Electrical Power-Line Installers And Repairers
          10. Construction Laborers
          ************************************************
          And now that we addressed the hero card, perhaps you want to bring up the often heard (but DISPROVEN by none other than CalPERS Chief Actuary) the Public Sector Union Bull Sh** that Safety worker typically die 5 years after retiring.

          Reply

  3. Posted by MJ on November 8, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    Come on people, is this really any surprise? We have been on this blog for what 8-10 years?? Small changes with COLAs, publics paying a little more into healthcare, doom and gloom articles abound and what has really changed? Nothing absolutely nothing!!! Our taxes have continued to go up, worst business climate still, same old tired politicians being voted in year after year………..

    Come on now…..all I can say is that I am so glad we sold our high tax house 3 years ago and no real ties to NJ other than our history here…let’s wait and see what happens. We all know nothing will change other than taxes will continue to go up, cost of doing business will continue to go up and 8 years from now same old people will be around Trenton

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on November 8, 2017 at 1:26 pm

      FWIW, the COLA-suspension did NOT have a “small” impact, and unlike many other actions which are of an accounting/timing nature (and DON’T change the ultimate cost of promised pensions or benefits), the COLA-suspension was REAL money that NJ’s taxpayers have not had to pay. ………. saving us $Billions.

      THAT is why turning over “management” of Police pensions to their Unions is such a REALLY REALLY REALLY bad deal for NJ’s taxpayers. Assuredly they will find a way to get the COLAs reinstated ASAP.

      And as far as …… “let’s wait and see what happens.”……….., the SH** will REALLY hit the fan in a few years when the Teacher’s pension Plan runs out of assets (in about 5 years). If the pension checks are to continue in full, there are NO OPTIONS except, a huge tax increase, incomprehensible reductions in services, or ENDING retiree healthcare subsidies and using those funds to pay the pensions.

      Reply

  4. Posted by MJ on November 8, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    …….and let’s face it, as long as the US can keep printing money there is no problem it’s status quo into infinity

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on November 8, 2017 at 1:33 pm

      Definitely NOT at the State and Local levels, and likely not at the federal level as well …. as AMERICA DEPENDS on borrowing money from other countries.

      Reply

  5. Posted by MJ on November 8, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    You know what I think???? Run the state into the ground as fast and as efficiently as the Dems can and then let’s see what happens

    I’m not dependent on public services……….and my living costs are very low but when the rest of the debt ridden, overworked, underpaid non public citizens (and maybe some publics as lay offs may be inevitable) realize what is upon them, maybe things will change but somehow I doubt it so just learn to roll with it.

    Not much else to do at this time

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on November 8, 2017 at 3:13 pm

      I tend to agree that at the State and Local level, the NECESSARY and VERY MATERIAL reductions won’t take place until there simply is no money to cut the checks, and the greedy PSUs finally panic.

      Reply

  6. Posted by Ken Churchill on November 8, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    Keep up your efforts. It is worth it. This is what I found out happened in my county in California. http://www.newsonoma.org

    I have asked myself how long this can last. Something to keep in mind is that when Detroit went bankrupt their annual general fund revenues were $1 billion and their unfunded pension and healthcare liability was $17 billion. It would take 17 years of the entire budget to pay off their pension and healthcare debt. And they were still paying out the 13th check every year.

    In other words, don’t expect may folks in government to figure out they are headed for financial disaster and change course.

    Then the lawyers swooped in and made off with $230 in legal fees. And the City took a 10 year into the future pension holiday. That should help get it back on track.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on November 8, 2017 at 7:40 pm

      I look at the Detroit “settlement” as just more reason for Public Sector workers to NOT agree to material reforms …. especially for those who participate in SS and will be eligible for Medicare at age 65.

      While many lost their retiree Healthcare subsidy (not a huge deal for those eligible for Medicare), the reduction in their pensions was minimal (especially for Police). Compare this to Bond holders, some of whom were offered only 1 cent on the dollar. It clearly sent a message to the Public Sector Unions/Workers …. “don’t worry, we’ve got your back”

      What’s needed for the Public Sector Unions to begin negotiating pension/benefit reductions in earnest, is an understanding that they REALLY may lose a large chunk of their pensions by seeing it actually happen in a major city…… with NOBODY coming to their rescue.

      And we should keep in mind that the Detroit Bankruptcy “settlement” was unique in that a huge Public/Private sum of money ($800 Million if I recall correctly) was contributed towards the settlement to protect the the DIA’s vast collection of artwork, sculptures, etc. Few other Cities OWN such collections to get the benefit of such side deals.

      Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on November 8, 2017 at 11:24 pm

      Sen. Sherrod Brown is simply appeasing a local voter-base. He know it hasn’t a snow-ball’s chance in hell of it becoming a Law.

      “Hey….I tried, I really did”

      Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on November 9, 2017 at 10:55 am

        Hey TL, you know what happens to snowballs once they get rolling down the Hill?

        Reply

        • Posted by Sean on November 9, 2017 at 1:10 pm

          Yup. They build up momentum, and they get bigger, until they reach the bottom of the hill, the end of the road, that point at which they cannot go any further. Then, eventually, slower than anyone would like, the sunshine comes and the snowball starts to melt. Slowly first, then faster and faster until the snowball just cannot fight the effects of being exposed to the light of day. Sooner or later, they too succumb to the laws of nature, and cease to exist.

          Thanks for the analogy.

          Reply

          • Posted by Anonymous on November 9, 2017 at 3:32 pm

            You forgot to mention everything they pick up and destroy that’s in their path both intentionally and unintentionally – your welcome and likewise!

          • Posted by Anonymous on November 9, 2017 at 3:37 pm

            Hey are you the Sean from the Windy City? If so I see you’re still following the Chicago Bull*hit….. Wishing you a White Christmas with lots of snowballs!

      • Posted by George on November 10, 2017 at 7:42 am

        Game Theory question:

        A) Should public unions support Sherrod’s bill to create a constituency for further bailouts of their pensions?

        B) Should public unions oppose Sherrod’s bill to preserve resources for further bailouts of their pensions?

        Or should the public unions publicly support one, while privately supporting the other?

        Bonus Question: Does it matter if public pensions are inflation adjusted?

        Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on November 9, 2017 at 5:30 pm

      Wow, I just took a look your linked ZEROHEDGE article. It is Sooooooooo telling that good chunk of it deserves repeating here:
      ***********************************************

      “Sen. Brown’s angle was naturally populist, and aimed squarely at those whose pensions are likely to recoup pennies on the dollar under the current investing climate: union workers. Brown told a group of retired Teamsters in Ohio on Monday that the bill will be out shortly.

      “It’s bad enough that Wall Street squandered workers’ money — and it’s worse that the government that’s supposed to look out for these folks is trying to break the promise made to these workers. Not on our watch. We won’t allow that to happen,” he said.

      No, instead what will happen “under his watch” is that funds collected from taxpaying Americans will be spent to satisfy the ridiculous retirement promises and obligations made over the past few decades, and while the immediate recipients of the funds, i.e. those looking at near-term retirement will be made whole, everyone else, i.e., taxpayers will lose.

      And now that the machinery for pension bailouts is finally in motion, we look forward to the next, and possibly final, tear in the American social fabric, that between workers who can’t wait to retire to the generous pension promises (see “Why Illinois Is In Trouble – 63,000 Public Employees With $100,000+ Salaries Cost Taxpayers $10 Billion” and “Mapping The $100,000+ California Public Employee Pensions At CalPERS Costing Taxpayers $3.0B”), and all those other unluckly taxpayers, who will have to fund these promises. ”
      ***************************************************

      And THIS paragraph in particular stands out….

      “No, instead what will happen “under his watch” is that funds collected from taxpaying Americans will be spent to satisfy the ridiculous retirement promises and obligations made over the past few decades, and while the immediate recipients of the funds, i.e. those looking at near-term retirement will be made whole, everyone else, i.e., taxpayers will lose.”

      Oh ……. can’t be true, just ask SM-Whatever.

      Reply

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