Archive for the ‘New Jersesy Pension’ Category

Christie Can’t Win

Since the fights he’s picking are with an unbeatable foe………………….reality.

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Arrogance of Naivete

In response to a Star Ledger editorial agreeing with the current New Jersey governor that former New Jersey governors are to blame for the state’s pension mess a former New Jersey governor dashed off a rebuttal that appeared in today’s paper:

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Christie Talks Sense…..To Those Who Don’t Think

To the rest of us it’s nonsense.

From yesterday’s town hall meeting in Whippany:
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As reported Christie continued his response:

“I want to be the guy who – you may say he’s an SOB, I can’t believe what he’s doing – but 10 years from now, when your pension’s there, you can look up my address on the Internet and send me a thank-you note,” Christie said. McClain later called Christie’s answer “honest.”
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In the format of a town hall meeting where questions are rarely specific and Christie is free to answer as he sees fit with no follow-up you get some outrageous assertions, if you think about what he is saying:

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Four Faces of a Dysfunctional Pension System

“It has great symbolic importance, however,  as the double-dippers have become the ‘face’ of a dysfunctional public pension system. For this reason, the task force should consider ways to further limit this practice.”  NJ Pension and Health Benefit Study Commission report, page 31

Mark Lakerqvist of NJWatchdog in a story today makes Patrick Higgins, a 1999 state police retiree who retired a second time (this time on disability) this month from a job in the Sussex County prosecutor’s office, and every other similarly situated double-retiree that face judging by the picture he selected to illustrate his piece:

double dipper

The pension system would have been paying out the same amount had Sussex County hired a different detective, presumably less qualified, but it would have been paying it to two separate people.  Patrick Higgins is not destroying the New Jersey pension system.  These are the faces who are:

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Disabled Disability System

shane streater

Shane Streater timeline taken from a workerscompensation.com story which is more complete than what is on nj.com:

  • December, 2007: car struck fire-truck
  • March, 2008: fire truck hit a pothole
  • February, 2009: Streater applied for an accidental disability pension
  • Sometime in 2009: “Based largely on statements from Streater regarding his inability to engage in physical activity, an independent doctor found he had a total and permanent disability. The doctor concluded, however, that his disability was from a preexisting condition and not work related.”
  • January 9, 2010: Ordinary disability pension awarded
  • Sometime in 2010: Streater appealed looking to get the higher benefits under accidental disability and an investigation ensued.
  • April; 9, 2012: Streater’s disability pension was revoked when a YouTube video of Streater participating in the highly competitive Grapplers Quest Mixed Martial Arts Tournament in June 2010, at which he won a bronze medal was found and it was learned that Streater was awarded his black belt in jiu jitsu in 2010
  • March 18, 2015: Streater was charged with second-degree theft by deception

Shane Streater is being portrayed as the villain of this piece but consider:

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Christie Appealing to Iowa?

A Notice of Motion for Leave to Appeal has been filed in the pension payment case and some see that as presidential.

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CF12: The Missed Step

Half the sorrows of the world, I suppose, are caused by making false assumptions.

H. L. Mencken; Selected Prejudices, page 78

The Christie-Freeze roadmap to pension reform in New Jersey breaks down to three steps with the first two both necessary and possible:

  1. Get rid of the defined benefit concept with the state picking up the $200 billion shortfall which they will get from….
  2. Moving the cost of teacher pensions and health benefits back to the localities who will pick up the $200 billion needed from…..
  3. Saving on the cost of health benefits for their employees.

Yes defined benefit plans need to go away for public sector employees since politicians and their enablers will always underfund them.  Likewise localities should be picking up all costs for their school districts rather than negotiating benefits that oblige income-tax payers.

But believing that local governments will generate their $200 billion to kick off this process by a combination of higher employee contributions and instituting wellness programs is nuts.  There is a better way.

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