Archive for the ‘New Jersesy Pension’ Category

Media Watching Itself

I just came across a One on One with Steve Adubato program recorded last March where Andrew George of NJBIZ makes three valid points (two overtly):

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New Jersey Retirees Under Christie

New Jersey has updated their listing of retirees in  the state pension system. As of March, 2017 there were 325,937 retirees getting annualized benefits of $10,465,934,978. As of June, 2017 there were 328,932 retirees getting annualized benefits of $10,562,840,926.

Breaking down these retirements by year* we see an interesting pattern:

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Wizards of Lies In New Jersey Too

Watchdog.org had a piece on the Bernie Madoff story as told in the HBO documentary “The Wizard of Lies“:

A strong case can be made that public pensions are eerily similar to a Ponzi scheme, and that a similar collapse in some of the most underfunded systems in the country might be inevitable. That would mean an untold number of new victims that would make the Madoff case seem relatively minor by comparison.

The difference between a Madoff-like Ponzi scheme and the public pension crisis is that government is complicit in the latter, and that dedicated public servants, state retirees and taxpayers are the ones at risk.

I have been making that case for years and I see parallels between this:
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and this.

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Lottery Asset Lie

Governing calls it creative:

In New Jersey, the state is pledging its lottery — which an outside analysis determined was valued at $13.5 billion — as an asset to state pension funds. The action would reduce the pension system’s $49 billion unfunded liability and improve its funded ratio from 45 percent to about 60 percent, according to State Treasurer Ford Scudder.

It is also a gimmick testing the limits of stakeholder credulity.
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Nothing Bold on Horizon

Kudos to Steve Adubato for focusing on public pensions in New Jersey on his State of Affairs program, as in this week’s discussion with Alfred Doblin, Editorial Page Editor of The Record;
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Brickbats for the three-minute time limits and propagating pension newspeak:

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Lying Baster

First we got:

 

Then yesterday we got this official press release from the governor’s office focusing on what he has done for the New Jersey public retirement system:

Governor Christie today signed his eighth and final balanced budget, continuing his unprecedented support for New Jersey’s pension system and overdue transparency and accountability reforms of the state’s largest health insurer.

The Fiscal Year 2018 state budget includes the largest pension payment in state history, $2.5 billion, bringing Governor Christie’s total contributions to $8.8 billion more than 2.5 times the total contributions of all governors combined since 1995. This will be the first year that pension payments will be made quarterly, allowing the fund to grow more quickly toward solvency.

This is also the first year that lottery revenues will also be dedicated to the state’s pension system, under a policy proposed by the Governor during his February state budget address. The Governor today signed into law his measure, Senate Bill 3312, implementing the Lottery Enterprise Contribution that will generate $37 billion in pension funding over 30 years, provide an immediate reduction in the state’s long-term retiree obligations by $13.5 billion and reduce pressure on the state budget from ever-increasing pension costs.

This new law will immediately elevate the system’s Funded Ratio from 45 percent to 59 percent, while reducing the General Fund obligation to the system. It is projected to elevate the entire Retirement System’s Funded Ratio to approximately 90 percent by Fiscal Year 2047, years earlier than immediate full-funding of the actuarially determined contributions. It should lower the state’s borrowing costs.

These pension solvency actions for generations of current and future public employees and taxpayers build upon the Governor’s bipartisan reforms of 2011 that are providing $120 billion in 30-year savings to the pension and health benefits systems. Without debate, Governor Christie has resurrected the state’s pension system and done more to ensure its future solvency than any other governor.

All lies:

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Shutdown Chip

New Jersey has stopped providing nonessential services (which actually sounds like an admirable policy goal) with some of us adjusting better than others:
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The bottom line is that Governor Christie insists on seeing two bills (both of which passed the Senate on Thursday) before acting on the FY18 budget bill:

  1. S3312 the pension/lottery gimmick – passed the Senate (36-2)
  2. S4  the Horizon shakedown – passed the Senate (21-15)

S3312 is a sham reform that should do nothing more than convince the uninitiated that the state is as bankrupt of ideas as integrity when dealing with the worst funded pension system in the country. Both sides would gladly toss that chip in to get their way on S4 and here’s why:

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