NJ Legislators on “Path to Progress”

New Jersey Assemblymen John Burzichelli (D) and John Dimaio (R) discussed the chances of having a FY20 budget this week with a nod to the danger of ignoring pension and benefit reform:
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Yet nothing is being done in this budget other than putting a constitutional amendment on a ballot in a year when it is likely to fail as public employee unions marshal their anti-Trump forces.

Full “Path to Progress” clip from On the Record:


47 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Tough Love on June 16, 2019 at 12:01 am

    Off Topic …………

    El gaupo,

    You, I, and Stephen Douglas (the retired CA light-bulb-changer and supporter of all things Union) were talking about TOO MANY Public Sector workers and too high compensation………..

    Just saw an article TODAY re the roll-down of the BIG American Flag on the George Washington bridge for Flag-Day. By-the-way………. it rolls down BY WINCH from the roll that it’s on, not hung manually, so one wouldn’t think that it’s that big a deal.

    But the Public Sector (with their need to justify TONS of high-paid workers) thinks otherwise. Quoting from that article ………………

    “The job requires 15 minutes, four winch cables, seven electricians, three structural engineers, two bosses, and one of the most dramatic backdrops for any flag anywhere.”

    Oh PLEASE …………. “seven electricians, three structural engineers”

    Really ?????????????????????????????
    —————————————-

    I wonder whether those 7 + 3 professionals were brought in on Saturday with OVERTIME just to roll down this flag (a 15 minute operation) for which they (per Union rules) would likely get paid for a minimum of 4 hours. If so, themanagers who approved it should be fired.

    Reply

    • Posted by E on June 16, 2019 at 7:36 am

      Here is the thing….they are NOT public employees though. Paid for by your $15 toll every time you go over that bridge. (YES Stanley, things are expensive here. Lol). They work for the Port Authority. A favorite patronage pit, especially for YOUR boy Gov Christie. The PA cops were the ONLY ones to endorse his reelection bid. Gee I wonder why?? Could David Sampson and David Wildstien have anything to with that?? They created a job out of thin air for Wildstein at $245,000 and Sampson(a former attorney general for Christ sake) bullied his way into a private United
      Flight. It is why I really can’t take anything about the Port seriously. (But but but Christie didn’t know about bridge gate). Christie and Couno worked to make PA the bad guy and have them look like heros when the tolls were jacked up to $15. If u remember, PA “asked for higher and the 2 gov came in and said NO. Lol. Such bs. It was proven that PA only wanted $15 and that a show was put on to make Christie look good. No matter what you think of the police or teachers. Those guys were as dirty as it comes. Please please please tell me you didn’t buy his book. I honestly will lose all respect for you (and yes I do respect you, beleive it or not)
      And I agree that appears overkill. I do. But considering it is the busiest bridge in the world I do think you would need an extra couple of guys. Can’t imagine 7 electricians though.
      And the same corruption happens on Wall Street all the time too… Lehman bros, Maddoff. etc. you make not like our pensions. I get that. But please, we have the same percentage of shitbirds in the public sector as we have in the private sector. Too often those high up the food chain with no oversight are not the pillars of society that we aspire them to be. Most are decent folk.

      Reply

      • Posted by E on June 16, 2019 at 7:48 am

        Took the wind outta your sails on that one huh?
        And they rolled the flag down on the 14th. That was Friday. Flag day.
        Could you imagine if it came loose and fell down on the upper level?
        I agree it seems like overkill and it probably is. I don’t trust the PA either like you do. But it is a private entity. And as far as that bridge goes, it is the best maintained bridge in the area BY FAR. It handles more traffic than any bridge in the world. And is 90 years old. (Okay 88) and in great shape. Contrast that with the Tappen Zee bridge which lasted 50 years. And was designed to only last 50, due to steel shortages at the time. And now we have the Cuomo bridge. Really? We have to change the damn name and confuse everyone? Bullshit. Should just be the Tappan Zee bridge. That’s what folks will call it anyway. Same as the Queensboro bridge being renamed the RFK bridge. And they didn’t even replace that one.

        Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on June 16, 2019 at 9:12 am

        Quoting El gaupo …………..

        “Here is the thing….they are NOT public employees though. Paid for by your $15 toll every time you go over that bridge. ”

        lol ………..PA worker are not “Public Sector workers” ? BS

        ————————————–

        The PA is (at best) a Public/Private entity, but the employees have all the same (actually even BETTER wages, pensions and benefits as you do). If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck ……….. it’s a duck.
        —————————————

        And in essence your 2 WHOLE comment falls under the tactic ……. the best DEFENSE (when you really have NO defense) is a good OFFENSE.

        No different than your construction-site gigs where NJ residents pay for YOUR $1,000/day via higher-than-necessary Utility Rate instead of taxes . The EXCESSIVE wages are STILL coming out of our pockets.
        ————————————–

        Reply

        • Posted by E on June 16, 2019 at 9:53 am

          And you can’t admit you were wrong and off base. The Port Authority while intertwined with state government, in part because politicians ( NOT hard working local cops) can award their cronies plumb spots, is 100%, yes 100% a Private entity that receives NO money from your state and local taxes!!! This private entiity is of course regulated by both state govts. Heavily in fact. You have an ally with the argument that they are corrupt and overpaid. That is paid for by your bridge and tunnel tolls as well as airport fees. You know that. And while you can compare them somewhat to cops and construction jobs etc. they are in fact private sector workers. Not unlike Passaic county sewer etc. run by corrupt political hacks. Not hard working career public servants that you have disdain for. You’re losing your mind here, and it shows. Flag day was Friday not Saturday. PA is private sector folks. You’re taxes don’t pay their salary. Tolls do. And I agree. I think that the PA is full of bloated unneeded positions at the top. But when you are wrong and then say that I have. K defense, you are grasping at straws.

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on June 16, 2019 at 11:22 am

            Bottom line (Public, Privater, or in the middle)……….. They get the SAME excessive compensation (ESPECIALLY the ludicrously excessive pensions and benefits) as Public Sector workers, and ALL on the “Tollpayers'” dime.

            The is ZERO justification for THAT excess, just as their is ZERO justification for YOUR ludicrously excessive compensation.

            Reply

  2. Posted by skip3house on June 16, 2019 at 11:02 am

    These way underfunded great benefit plans for all (disguising the enormous cost for highest-paid public workers) were done ‘Legislatively’, so can be undone, too. High paid can fund own beyond average public workers.

    Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on June 16, 2019 at 11:05 am

      Huh? Did you skip English class in high school?

      Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on June 16, 2019 at 12:35 pm

      They also disguise the enormous cost for lowest paid public workers.

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on June 16, 2019 at 1:35 pm

        True.

        Public Sector pensions (AND benefits) are ALWAYS excessively generous, and hence VERY VERY costly. At that is true are EVERY income level.

        Few Taxpayers understand that VERY high cost, TYPICALLY 3 to 4 times (4 to 6 times for Safety workers with the richest pensions) greater in value upon retirement than those granted the lucky few Private Sector workers still accruing benefits in similar DB Plans, and who retire at the SAME age, with the SAME wages, and the SAME years of service.

        The financial rape of the Taxpayers ……….. typically responsible for all but the 10% to 20% of Total Plan Costs actually paid-for by the workers’ own contributions (INCLUDING all the investment returns on their contributions) ………. is palpable.

        Reply

        • Posted by Anonymous on June 21, 2019 at 1:10 pm

          Show your source for your statement that public pensions are typically 3-4 times greater in value upon retirement than private pensions.

          Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on June 16, 2019 at 1:54 pm

        1 Enormous cost does not necessarily mean excessively generous.

        2 “3 to 4 times (4 to 6 times for Safety workers with the richest pensions) greater in value ” is meaningless. It is invalid to compare pensions outside the context of total compensation.

        3 Failure to properly fund public pensions with conservative assumptions is the primary reason for the current “crisis”. In New Jersey, Illinois, Kentucky, etc., the reason is rosy assumptions and near criminal breach of duty.

        Reply

        • Posted by E on June 16, 2019 at 2:20 pm

          She still doesn’t get it that her first “off topic” comment was a dig on too many PUBLIC sector employees to unfurl a flag.
          When shown that these are not public employees paid by the taxpayer she changes the argument back to the tried and true copy and paste. Lol. Why? Because as she once admitted on here, she loathes apologizing(or admitting she is wrong) to ANY public employee. Loathes it. Even when she is wrong, which is more often than she likes to admit.
          She is just venting because she is jealous and can’t stand it anymore.

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on June 16, 2019 at 6:00 pm

            Quoting El gaupo ………….

            “She still doesn’t get it that her first “off topic” comment was a dig on too many PUBLIC sector employees to unfurl a flag.”

            No “dig” at all. I posted that comment because I (and I believe anyone else with common sense) believe that having 7 electricians and 3 structural engineers on hand to unroll by winch (a 15 operation per the article) is patently ludicrous … and supports my position that there are simply TOO MANY Public Sector workers and in higher than necessary positions………… AND that the Public Sector managers in general don’t care one iota about managing work-assignments, and therefore cost, efficiently.

            Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on June 16, 2019 at 6:03 pm

            The PA is NO Different than a Public Sector agency (even if it’s “technically” Private). If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, (and has a pension like a Public Sector worker ………. which they DO) ….. it’s a duck !

            Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on June 16, 2019 at 5:46 pm

          Stephen ,

          How many times have you stated that … 50, 100, 200? Yet YOU KNOW that in BOTH our home States of CA and NJ, per the AEI Study, the Public Sector has (for all workers taken together …. the correct basis to determine the financial impact upon Taxpayers) a 23%-of-pay ADVANTAGE on a TOTAL COMPENSATION basis …. and with that 23% rising to 33%-34% if the MUCH greater value of Public Sector job security is included.

          Are you EVER going to stop trying to hoodwink the readers?

          Reply

          • Posted by E on June 16, 2019 at 7:57 pm

            Are you ever going to admit that the Port Authority is not paid for by tax payer dollars?
            You are like the FBI agent at the end of My Cousin Vinny when he is proved wrong.
            I’m Gambini saying “I know go ahead, I know”. While he is on the stand and was proved wrong. Lol.

            Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on June 16, 2019 at 8:27 pm

            Quoting El gaupo …………..

            “Are you ever going to admit that the Port Authority is not paid for by tax payer dollars?”

            Got a short memory or a reading comprehension problem ? I did above and have pasted my earlier comment right below:
            —————————————————————-
            “Posted by Tough Love on June 16, 2019 at 11:22 am

            Bottom line (Public, Privater, or in the middle)……….. They get the SAME excessive compensation (ESPECIALLY the ludicrously excessive pensions and benefits) as Public Sector workers, and ALL on the “Tollpayers’” dime.

            The is ZERO justification for THAT excess, just as their is ZERO justification for YOUR ludicrously excessive compensation.”
            ===============================

            Remember …………… if it walks like a DUCK and quacks like a DUCK …..IT’S A DUCK !

            Reply

          • Posted by Rex the Wonder Dog! on June 18, 2019 at 12:52 am

            EG vs TL… Round #1 🙂

            Reply

  3. Posted by E on June 16, 2019 at 8:02 pm

    And look who is the Chairman now: Kevin O’Toole. A Christie hack who is in the N.J. legislature. Funny how that works. He is about as qualified as you or me. A joke. Sampson wasn’t enough I guess. And you wonder why the fuck we wanted S5 signed into law. Who the fuck trusts these guys? Do you?

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on June 16, 2019 at 8:36 pm

      I “trust” those guys about the SAME as I trust you to hoodwink and cheat the taxpayers at any and every opportunity to unjustly enrich yourselves.

      Just to be clear, that was not direct at you personally, but what I expect of Public Sector workers as a group (noting, that not all of you are so conniving).

      Reply

      • Posted by E on June 16, 2019 at 8:55 pm

        How lovely of you. To lump a bunch of rank and file folks in the same boat as David Wildstein and Sampson and anyone very close to Christie. The dems are just as bad as well. Those guys are criminals TL. Criminals. Get a grip. No comparison between them and guys like me(as a group).

        Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on June 16, 2019 at 8:57 pm

        Example ………….. who but the poor and Public Sector workers AFFIRMATIVELY ADVOCATE for Tax INCREASES ?

        Nobody. We know why the poor do so, because they pay no taxes yet like free stuff. But the advocacy from Public Sector workers is more insidious. While they don’t really like the idea of personally paying more if tax rates are increased, they VERY clearly understand that for every $1 in incremental taxes that THEY pay, they will directly or indirectly get back about $5 in incremental pay and benefits …… because almost ALL of the revenue generate from the increased taxes from BOTH Public and Private Sector workers will go towards increased Public Sector wages, towards firming up your woefully underfunded pensions, and towards enabling a continuation of retiree healthcare benefits unheard in the Private Sector.

        Yeah ………… you guys CANNOT be “trusted”.

        Reply

        • Posted by E on June 16, 2019 at 9:02 pm

          Uh….with the government as my employer (they offered me the job, no one put a gun to their head, and we all agree we need cops and teachers, right Stanley?—or are you gonna take care of that for free), who else would pay my salary? And who else should i petition for a raise in salary and /or benifits? You don’t expect me to do this for nothing do you? Or next to nothing? Well? Who else but your employer would go to to ask for a raise? You make no sense sometimes.

          Reply

          • Posted by E on June 16, 2019 at 9:06 pm

            And again you are WRONG.
            Quite often school budgets are presented to the community and they are approved even with tax increases!!! How about the open space tax??? Approved by voters.
            New Senior centers are a big one too. You said nobody else advocates for tax increases, i once again proved you wrong. 12 months to go baby. Then i lock in pension and can leave any time I wish and begin collecting. Or stay and keep accruing…
            Leaning towards staying…wanna max out. Get the kiddies out of college.

            Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on June 16, 2019 at 9:37 pm

            Again, comments come in pairs …. really weird ?????????

            Anyway, yes, the gov’t is your employer, but those on the opposite side of the “bargaining table” IN EVERY INSTANCE are never there to represent the best interests of the Taxpayers …… which would be to pay you FAIR, but not excessive compensation from all components taken together. Those on the other side of that table are are Elected Officials (or their representatives) that are conflicted in a BIG way.

            First, they belong the the same DB Plans as other Public Sector workers and have ZERO incentive to limit the generosity (or INCREASE in generosity) of those Plans.

            Second, they are HUGELY desirous of BOTH the Union’s campaign contributions AND the Block votes from the Union members, and as a result will certainly NOT be pushing hard for a contract with the best terms … FOR THE TAXPAYERS.

            This structure is untenable and results in a royal screwing of the Taxpayers.
            ——————————
            Quoting …………. “And who else should i petition for a raise in salary and /or benifits?”

            Raise ? If police at your tenure didn’t get a compensation increase for 10 years, they’d likely STILL be overcompensated.

            Reply

        • Posted by E on June 16, 2019 at 10:26 pm

          Hey. Tried to be funny. Meant to only post one “do I do that” from before. Lol. I’m not crazy….my mother had me tested. (Big Bang reference)

          Reply

  4. Posted by Tough Love on June 17, 2019 at 6:26 pm

    John,

    Alerting you to this comprehensive study (likely worth it’s own Bury-pensions Blog-post):

    https://www.insidernj.com/press-release/sunlight-policy-center-report-really-understand-new-jerseys-pension-crisis/

    The Title is:

    “Sunlight Policy Center Report: Do You Really Understand New Jersey’s Pension Crisis?”

    It’s truly a MUST-READ.

    What comes up is a 1-page summary, but the study (accessible from the pagination arrows) is almost 30 pages long.
    —————————————-

    I don’t know how any non-Public Sector NJ Taxpayer could walk away from this with ANY conclusion other than that the NJEA should be outlawed and that Teacher pensions & benefits should be VERY materially reduced.

    Reply

    • Thank you. Would probably have only known about this when I get my insidernj email tomorrow morning but now I can read it tonight.

      First thing I noticed is that they got it wrong about NJ being the worst funded state system in the nation at 38%. Kentucky is worse but only because NJ has been playing games to get their CAFR funded ratio from 31% to 38% which is even more disturbing than actually being last – when you have to phony up numbers to get to next-to-last.

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on June 17, 2019 at 8:15 pm

        John,

        The following is a link to the Executive Summaries of 3 additional (recent) studies from the Sunlight Policy Center, also detailing the NJEA’s dirty deeds. Clicking on the BLUE button takes you to the full Executive summary, on which page is a BROWN button to get to the full study.

        After briefly going over these, I believe the BEST/immediate course of action to put BIG dent in such activities is for NJ to end dues-collection from NJEA members. The State of NJ should not make it so easy for the NJEA to use Taxpayer-sourced money AGAINST the best (or even reasonable) interests of those Taxpayers.

        https://sunlightpolicynj.org/policy-issues-category/the-taxpayer-funded-njea-political-machine/

        Reply

        • Posted by E on June 17, 2019 at 8:44 pm

          Speaking of reports, no matter what you think of Murphy, he is dead on in going after George Norcross III. The report, which Norcross tries hard to keep under wraps was ordered released in Mercer county court. Pretty damning corruption. Almost all of which happened under Christie’s watch. Murphy got Sweeney good here. Norcross is another dirty one.

          Reply

  5. Posted by Rex the Wonder Dog! on June 18, 2019 at 12:47 am

    “…at the end of her career would not have a pension after putting all that money in.
    Please, GED cops and firewhiners put in LESS than 5% of their total pension costs, who does thos Bozo think he is kidding???

    Reply

  6. Posted by geo8rge on June 21, 2019 at 10:17 am

    PR pension cuts provide a “pathway to 30 years of actuarial balance.” It seems the word ‘path’ is getting more usage these days.

    Paywall and I am not a subscriber but liked the “Path to Actuarial Balance” phrase.
    https://www.bondbuyer.com/news/puerto-rico-oversight-board-defends-proposed-pension-cuts

    Reply

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