Randy Rudy

The Giant game and a Ronald Regan movie on TCM precluded me from watching the debate (though most anything would have done the trick) so if anyone out there watched it and either pension bailouts or other multi-trillion dollar debts was touched upon, do tell.

But, speaking of touched upon, the Borat movie is on those sites my family warns me against but, on the belief that using less than 30 seconds of a clip is fair use, here, before youtube pulls it, is the pertinent portion of the Rudy Giuliani part.

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Economic Freedom: Grading America’s 50 Governors

The American Legislative Exchange Council came out with their first ever Governors ranking, the 2020 Laffer-ALEC Report on Economic Freedom. The scorecard ranks America’s 50 governors based on policy performance and result, as well as executive leadership before and after the start of the COVID-19 health crisis.

I know many of you may be skeptical considering the source as am I since New Jersey, though prominent, did not finish last in this one.

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State Business Tax Climate

The Tax Foundation released their 2021 State Business Tax Climate Index and coming in last….again:

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NJ Trying to Tax Wall Street

New Jersey democrats want Wall Street to come up with $500 million for two years (though originally they wanted $1.25 billion forever through A4402) and on Monday there was a hearing of the Assembly’s Committee on Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee where Chairman John McKeon recited the party line:

The standard objections were reported but I have two to add.

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Worst Funded ‘Nonendagered’ Multiemployer Plans

The Pension Benefit Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) keeps track of troubled multiemployer plans and form 5500 filings have these MB actuarial certifications where the plans assign risk classifications to themselves. A few years ago we did a blog based on 2015 MB data and developed this spreadsheet. These were the four multiemployer plans with the largest unfunded liabilities based on 2015 data:

Downloading MB data does not yield plan name (possibly on purpose) but it is easy enough to find with the EIN. 36-6044243 is Central States which admits to being in risk category D (Critical and Declining) while the next three reported their status as N (Not Endangered or Critical). But are they really?

You decide:

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Lone In-Review MPRA Filing

In late July the Building Material Drivers Local 436 Pension Fund  out of Valley View, OH was the last multiemployer plan to file to cut benefits. According to the the MPRA website they are the only plan currently in review and, with a Biden-bailout looming, may be the last applicant ever under this program.

But, for now, they may have another problem that could deplete more of their dwindling assets.

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NJ budget process showed a complete lack of governance, transparency

So was titled an opinion piece in app.com by Michele Siekerka, CEO and president of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association, but was this year really that much worse of a budget season? Whose voices were silenced?

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Debating Pensions

There have to be thousands of debates going on prior to election day in this country and the various pension crises have to be mentioned in at least a few of them. Or at least that’s what I thought when I went searching for an easy blog post in the midst of the 5500 crunch (26 forms to go) but all I could find was one – from the 36th district race for state senate in Connecticut:

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Houston, We Have a Problem

Not necessarily with the Houston Firefighters’ Relief and Retirement Fund itself but with the reporting on it.

While the fund’s board of trustees assumed a 7.25% rate of return for its actuarial valuation report in May 2017, the City Council subsequently passed a budget that used the Senate bill’s assumed 7% rate of return, a discrepancy that caused the fund to sue the city, Mr. Turner and other city officials.

…….

Pension reform has reduced the city of Houston’s obligation from $8.2 billion to $4.07 billion.

Maybe it’s sloppy journalism, or innumerate politicians, or 5500 fatigue on my part (65 to go) but if ever a pension article had power to flummox it would be the one quoted above.

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New Jersey’s pension plan costs too much

That is how nj.com titled the opinion piece of Tony Howley, the state director of Americans for Prosperity- New Jersey, that started off with:

This legislative session, our state senators will have the opportunity to vote on Senate Bill 861, which provides a solution to the pension fiasco that many never thought would be resolved.

The piece included some useful perspective but these S861 tweaks are not the solution to a $200 billion problem:

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