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Pension Reform Dead - HSR approved -State Broke

Original post made by Arnold, Another Pleasanton neighborhood, on Jul 7, 2012

CalPERS has just ended their fiscal year losing 10 billion dollars while projecting they would earn 18.6 billion, for a net loss to the taxpayers of 28.6 billion (just this past year ending June 30, 2012). CalSTRS lost about 6 billion while not earning about 12 billion, for a net taxpayer loss of approx. 18 billion.

In the meantime the union controlled democrats have done nothing with Jerry Brown's 12 point pension reform plan, which was unveiled in November, unless you consider burying it in committee away from public view and dousing it with water as something (watered down). The democrats could have come up with a plan in time for the November Ballot if they had a plan by June 28. They didn't do that. Now they've left Sacramento for a one month vacation/recess while accomplishing nothing. If what has been leaked is any indication of what they've been doing they aren't doing anything that amounts to real pension reform - not even close.

What they have done is look for ways to upend and overide the "voter approved" pension reform efforts of both San Jose & San Diego. According to U/T San Diego, "Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, confirmed discussions have been open to pre-emption of local measures." While Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, is on record acknowledging that those conversations have taken place he has only backed away from the comments after receiving very pointed letters from the Mayors of San Diego and San Jose. Here is what the mayors had to say:

From: San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders
To: Assembly Speaker John Perez (D), Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D)

"As a charter city, it is our right and our duty to ensure that our fiscal house is in order," Sanders wrote in the letter, obtained by U-T San Diego. "Any statewide effort to undo the reform passed by an overwhelming majority of San Diegans violates the tenet of charter cities and usurps the will of the people of our city."

Regarding 66% of San Diego voters approving measure B, Sanders goes on to write, "Clearly they have spoken. Any attempt to nullify their vote would be a slap in their face and an outright insult to the Democratic process."

From: SJ Mayor Chuck Reed
To: Assembly Speaker John Perez (D), Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D)

"The people of San Jose have decided that reducing the cost of pensions is far better than continuing to reduce services and employee pay," Reed wrote. "The Legislature should respect that decision, and a similar decision in San Diego, as it attempts to deal with the statewide issues… Any legislative effort to override the reforms approved by our voters would be a travesty of the democratic process and a violation of the voters' Constitutional rights."

Now that these two mayors have spoken Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D), is backing away from the heat. But then there is this from his spokesperson saying that his boss respects the will of the voters and any pension legislation coming forward would "grandfather- in any future pension reform legislation."

WHAT? If you read between the lines what he is really saying is that the pension reform legislation being crafted by the democrats will set a floor for what cities, counties, and special districts can do in the way of future pension reform. They are working on handcuffing local politicians efforts to contain costs. Ultimately the only option left for cities that are struggling will be to cut services, raise taxes, or sell city assets. That is unacceptable.

The Flies hovering over this pile of legislatures are clearly the union controlled democrats, public employee unions (private sector unions are beginning to understand how these benefits are harming them), and CalPERS - who is a big part of the problem and more than willing to swing their substantial political weight around for the public employee union cause. After all, the CalPERS Board of Directors is dominated by the unions and they, CalPERS and the Public Employee Unions, consider massive deferral of cost and ever increasing amounts of investment risk as justifiable as long as the taxpayers are guaranteeing they'll cover losses, which we are.

It is the equivalent of staking someone in a high-stakes poker game and agreeing to cover the entire loss while allowing the "PLAYER" to keep all the winnings. It works well for the Player that can't lose but eventually the person bankrolling the no-win bet wakes up.

Between the lack of pension reform and the force fed and manipulated HSR vote that will cost this states taxpayer 100's of billions, I don't know why anyone trusts anyone in control of Sacramento. Apparently this state is awash in money. It's either that or we will be looking at massive tax increases in the not to distant future if we're to fund what's been promised.

Comments (42)

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Posted by Arnold
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 7, 2012 at 9:56 pm

But of course we are NOT awash in money! We are awash in debt, and the flood hasn't even hit yet. Man up and ready for the tsunami, boys!

Some of you may question my, em, mathematical conclusions in the first paragraph above. But in the face of the flood that threatens us, I am oblivious to such questions, as I live in my own private little mathematical universe in which mathematical conclusions are based not on principles of truth but rather are formed and used in the service of my TEA PARTY convictions. Today, we are moored in Boston Harbor, and now it isn't the Brits we have to fear, but rather it is that mountain of water bearing down upon us.

Thank you, and God Bless America by giving us all life preservers.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Arnold
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 7, 2012 at 10:39 pm

"Some of you may question my, em, mathematical conclusions in the first paragraph above"

Apparently you don't have enough confidence in your own pathetic self to (A) use your own name to share your views, or (B) dispute the claims I made in my first paragraph (or anywhere other comment for that matter).

Let me take this opportunity to correct a mistake I made.

Replace this: "But then there is this from his spokesperson saying that his boss respects the will of the voters and any pension legislation coming forward would "grandfather- in any future pension reform legislation."

With this: "A spokesman for the Sacramento Democrat had said earlier that his boss "respects the will of the voters. ... It is presumed that any local initiative passed this year will be grandfathered-in to the eventual pension-reform legislation."

It is only every initiative that is passed after November that will be blocked. The democrats are just to busy doing the bidding of CalPERS and the Public Employee Unions to care about the damage they're inflicting on the real middle class - everyone actually in the middle class not earning 60 to 200K in pensions benefits, at age 50-55, with lifetime medical.

The real middle class is just expected to pay for this real BS!


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Posted by Arnold
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 7, 2012 at 11:49 pm

Sorry, I'm confused and make a lot of mistakes. When I said "real middle class" I meant not govt workers, because they are not middle class. Well, they're not REAL middle class. I hate to argue with myself on this matter because, frankly, I can't think beyond the links I shamelessly quote from (usually sans quotation marks because, heck, an idiot like me wants other idiots to think maybe I know what I'm talking about). But to reiterate: anyone who isn't really middle class is just making us all drown in debt. What IS "real middle class"? I haven't the foggiest. But it sounds good, and the bloggers I'm plagiarizing haven't bothered to define. The rest of you are pathetic cowards.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Arnold
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 8, 2012 at 12:08 am

"CalPERS has just ended their fiscal year losing 10 billion dollars while projecting they would earn 18.6 billion, for a net loss to the taxpayers of 28.6 billion (just this past year ending June 30, 2012). CalSTRS lost about 6 billion while not earning about 12 billion, for a net taxpayer loss of approx. 18 billion."

To fake arnold: I thought you had an issue with the above statement. What is your concern with the numbers? Are you disputing my contention that the combined loss of the two biggest pension funds will cost taxpayers a combined 46 billion - for this one single year that ended June 30, 2012?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Arnold
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 8, 2012 at 8:25 am

My friend and namesake, Arnold, plays bingo a lot. He thought he was going to WIN 100 dollars last night but in fact he LOST 100 dollars. THEREFORE: The real Arnold (the dumb one) really lost a net of 200 dollars. Yes, such reasoning is idiotic, I know; but such serves him and his tea party pig farmer crowd just fine thank you.

In high school, Arnold missed two free throws and the other team then went down court and scored a bucket. His coach said the other team actually scored 4 points on that bucket -- the two points for scoring, and two points for Arnold's missed free throws. The high school coach was an idiot, of course, but unfortunately Arnold believed him. Later in his life Arnold acted on such gullibility and became a Tea Bagger.

Does the self-alleged REAL Arnold tell us what counts as REAL middle class? Who belongs, who doesn't, and by what criteria? No. Why? He can't find a blog that will help him out. All he has is anger for the state and anyone associated with it after it shut down part of his pig slaughter operation because of the stink it was causing throughout the neighborhood.


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Posted by get real
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 8, 2012 at 9:42 am

Who cares about the math? The fact is that the pensions have got to go. San Jose and San Diego voters are to be admired for doing something to stop the rape of the taxpayers by the chosen few.
3% at 50 is theft, plain and simple. 2% at 65 is reality if and only if the workers have made the payments into the pension fund. Cops and firemen claim they cannot work past age 50 -- then they take other jobs as soon as they get their golden pensions.
Stop the rape, stop the pensions.


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Posted by Arnold
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 8, 2012 at 9:49 am

Forget the math! Forget reason! Who cares when the false middle class is raping the true middle class. The flood is coming and we're all going to be raped.


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Posted by Taxpayer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 8, 2012 at 6:38 pm

You didn't really think these whxxxs in Sacto would do what is morally right and fiscally sound...did you ??? Surely not. They sold themselves, body and soul, long ago to the unions. taxpayers be damned.


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Posted by b
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 8, 2012 at 8:12 pm

LOL. <scroll, scroll> Arnold babbling to himself. <Back button>


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Posted by Arnold
a resident of another community
on Jul 8, 2012 at 9:49 pm

I'm NOT babbling with myself! I'm babbling with my significant other who is me but the false me. I didn't raise those questions I refuse to answer, he did. I mean I did. It's all in the math!


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Posted by Taxpayer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 8, 2012 at 10:59 pm

How dare these elected idiots override individual cities that have VOTED to no longer feed the beast!! What arrogant axxes! Stockton goes bankrupt, and these clowns write new stuff to neuter voters in individual cities...cities that should be able to determine their own futures, with the votes of 'their' people.
We are tax slaves, being held hostage. Sacto is a one party city...state assembly, stage senate, and govenor...all Dem. working with the public unions. We the people, taxpayers, and voters, have no voice in our own futures. Outrageous gall for them to march right on making new ways to make it impossible for cities to survive.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jul 9, 2012 at 8:25 am

Stacey is a registered user.

The HSR project is suffering from bad timing. It's politically unpopular due to the state of State finances and the 2008 recession created a low ridership scenario that makes the project nonviable, especially without the Federal money. Throw into the mix the historic low interest rates and hot bond market, which won't be there in the future. So it became both stupid to approve now and stupid to wait.

I think the biggest drawback of the project is the new blended transportation plan.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jul 9, 2012 at 8:35 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Kathleen,

Simitian needed to oppose it because of his constituency: Palo Alto. Most of the Peninsula has been notoriously against rail projects. They were behind the push towards the blended transportation plan because they didn't want new tracks for HSR.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jul 9, 2012 at 8:38 am

Stacey is a registered user.

It's easier and less expensive to build new track on some farmer's land than on the Peninsula. I wonder if all the EIR stuff is going to get waived too. Is EIR only good enough when the project is not your favorite shiny new toy?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sock Puppets United
a resident of California Somerset
on Jul 9, 2012 at 8:46 am

OOPS! Looks like Stacey/Kathleen forgot to switch accounts when holding a "conversation" with herself on this thread, addressing her earlier post under the name "Kathleen" when she actually posted as "Stacey."

I guess this proves what people are saying. Shame on you!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jul 9, 2012 at 8:56 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Sock Puppets, GROW UP!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jul 9, 2012 at 9:15 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Again, SPU et al, do the homework. Stacey is responding to my comment on the other thread.

No reason to believe there are mounting problems in California: Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jul 9, 2012 at 9:20 am

Stacey is a registered user.

I'm also frustrated by the fact that the HSR plan doesn't attempt to connect two high density population centers in its first phase. It's like if they built Eurostar only between Dover and Calais.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sock Puppets United
a resident of California Somerset
on Jul 9, 2012 at 9:24 am

Do my homework? The evidence is right here!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jul 9, 2012 at 9:27 am

Stacey is a registered user.

You call that evidence? Grow up, Sock Puppets.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sock Puppets United
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jul 9, 2012 at 9:30 am

Gee whiz, Stacey/Kathleen sure likes to give orders. Grow up! Do homework! Pay for my early retirement so I can spend all day on the forum lording it over others! Vote down entitlements I don't benefit from!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Larry
a resident of Livermore
on Jul 9, 2012 at 9:34 am

Calpers, the public workers unions, and the Democrats in Sac are in bed together. To resolve this problem, the pensions should be funded in advance, not in the future. If a public employee is going to retire, the money should be in the bank. So we pay as we go, see what happens when the cities run out of money with all these public sector programs. I don't have a problem with someone getting a good deal when retirement comes, but the money for them should have been saved already.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Pock Suppet
a resident of another community
on Jul 9, 2012 at 10:32 am

Sock Puppet, since you're fond of whining about other poster's sources of income, divulge where you receive the income you need to spend all day on PW all day long. You criticize posters personally and never provide coherent insight or suggestions to fix our broken state economy--broken by 50 years of dem majority rule.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sock Puppets United
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jul 9, 2012 at 10:35 am

@Sock Puppet: Do your homework! Eat your spinach! Pay no attention to the Kathleen behind the curtain! Respect my authoritah!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jul 9, 2012 at 11:43 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

SPU, It takes one anonymous phone call to the PW to determine if we are in fact two different people. Doing that, of course, would burst your little bubble and the opportunity to blather on about absolutely nothing.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nurse Shark
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Jul 9, 2012 at 12:27 pm

That's a great idea--maybe I'll try that later! Because, remember people, there's NO WAY Staceleen could spoof an IP address. In the mean time, I just called Barry Bonds' agent, and he told me Barry never did steroids, so that must be true, too! He also wanted me to pass along some advice that worked for Barry: he said that you should stick to a story long after everyone stopped believing in it. That's how Barry won back the respect of the fans, and why history will vindicate W's claim about Iraq's WMDs.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jul 9, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Nurse Shark, GROW UP!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gil
a resident of Civic Square
on Jul 9, 2012 at 1:30 pm

I'm shocked, absolutely shocked, that someone can sign in as, say, Kacey, on her desk top, and then sign in as, say, Sathy, on her lap top. I'll never again believe another word I read hear on these posts! It's okay, Kacey/Sath. I'm sure you're not the only ones doing it either.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jul 9, 2012 at 1:51 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

No expert here, but I don't have to be. As far as I know, our home has one IP. The PW (and sister papers) has been able to track people posting under multiple names and has removed those posts in the past and without much surprise from the multiple personality poster. Spin away, though, because quite a few people know the truth.

More on state budget: Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sock Puppets United
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jul 9, 2012 at 2:02 pm

If the IP doesn't fit, you must acquit. I repeat, if the IP doesn't fit, you MUST acquit!

Kathleen (and/or Stacey), thanks for reviving the "Chewbacca Defense."


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Vanessa
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jul 9, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Geez louise, this thread of comments veered so off-topic from the original post... unbelievable. This is a serious problem, no matter what your name is. And it is really disgusting that state legislators are actually trying to find ways to usurp the will of the voters. San Jose and San Diego voters got it right. How not shocking that the state would try to find a way to muck it all up! They must really want to drive this state into bankruptcy.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Arnold
a resident of another community
on Jul 9, 2012 at 3:48 pm

I've been trying to tell all of you this for years. The democratic party wants the state to fail. Most have been educated in UC bastions of socialism; most are bribed by the filthy rich unions; and others watch movies made by the leftist-communist moguls in Hollywood. Once the tsunami rolls over us, they'll come through in their tax-financed life boats collecting debris to sell at flea markets and yard sales to the bums that live under our overpasses who are now collecting my tax money for social security, disability, whatever. Because the bums will be the only ones left with any money. I heard that some of them who stand at the Interstate exits make upwards of a $1000 per day. Where's the justice in that? And I have to pay tax money to support this riff-raff?


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Posted by Arnold
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2012 at 4:40 pm

"(Reuters) - U.S. states and localities have run up more than $2 trillion of unfunded pension liabilities, Moody's Investors Service said on Monday, citing data on plans offered by 8,500 local governments and over 14,000 individual entities.

The Wall Street credit agency said that according to its estimate, the total liabilities for fiscal 2010 were more than three times the amount reported by local governments."

""Pension liabilities are widely acknowledged to be understated," Moody's Managing Director Timothy Blake said in a statement."

- Why is Moody's reporting the actual debt is 3 TIMES the amount reported by local governments? What numbers are local governments reporting that have so severely understated the debt? Who will be affected by the proposed changes from the rating agency?

I'll try to answer the first two questions tomorrow, but here is an excerpt from the article regarding the last question:

""Moody's is seeking public comment through the end of August on four major changes it plans to make in how it treats pension liabilities. The negative impact of the modifications - which will start taking effect in the fall - will hit local governments such as counties, cities and towns, as well as school districts, most heavily - unless Moody's significantly alters them after reviewing the public comments… Cities and counties are likely to see downgrades, Blake said."

The post above that begins, "I've been trying to tell all of you this for years", is from the troll with a penchant for impersonations.


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Posted by Arnold
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2012 at 6:41 pm

Thanks for the selectively chosen quotes usually taken out of context. For those who tire of reading and re-reading tired, rehashed quotes selectively taken from varied sources, let the following suffice:

A tide is coming. Instead of the black guy going after the victimized top 2% of wealth holders in this country, he should be cutting all fed jobs to minimum wage. Until he does this, we're going to drown in debt. Even if the economy improves, we're still going to drown. And the life preserver is to cut teacher salaries and pensions. I work for minimum wage on my dad's chicken farm. All fed and state employees should work for the same.

Nobody should make a higher pension than Kathy Reugsnubber. Because she deserves it. But no one deserves higher. Don't return your ungodly pensions, Kath. You've earned it!!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jul 9, 2012 at 6:58 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Arnold the troll, Again, outrageous and worthless statements about Obama and teachers and what people actually have suggested. Must be blissful in the vacuum you live in--no problems with the direction the state or country are facing in there. Lalalalalalalalala.

Shifting to 401k plans won't hurt public employees--it would likely only begin with new employees anyway, which is a typical approach to that kind of change. I have consistently suggested teachers should be paid more.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Arnold
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2012 at 7:31 pm

Oh get off it, Kathleen. You're just angry because your Arnold persona has been exposed for the imcompetent schlub you are.

I'm with you regarding teacher salaries, however. I'm all for it. Just make sure you take away their pensions first. Ha-ha-ha. But I DO, I really really DO want them to get a higher salary.

PS And don't you dare ask me to support a parcel tax.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Vote Against November Taxes
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2012 at 10:42 pm

We have one last chance at this.

Be sure to vote against all of those Leftist taxes on the November ballot. Ignore all their threats to shutdown schools, etc.

They can take all the money they just spent on waste and rechannel it to our schools, and other valuable government resources.

While this is being done, they can save further funds by defunding every government agency, then put the few we really need out to bid.

Tell your friends!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Arnold
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 10, 2012 at 6:03 am

Yes, don't vote to improve schools; don't vote to help save the planet; don't vote to ensure women's health care; don't vote to feed hungry children; don't vote to maintain prospects of world peace.

Rather, vote to lower your taxes because, at the end of the day, before the apocalyptic, rapturous flood crushes down upon us, it is only lowering your taxes that counts.

Wowsa! I LOVE the way people use their brains on this forum!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jul 10, 2012 at 7:19 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

We aren't voting to lower our taxes; we are hopefully voting to stop increasing them. No more feeding the lumbering, ravenous, insatiable beast more than the family can afford.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jul 10, 2012 at 8:19 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Here is an editorial from today's Tri-Valley Times regarding HSR: Web Link

Tim Hunt has also posted this morning on the topic of the state budget/HSR.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jul 10, 2012 at 8:29 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Also covered this morning, Brown's tax plan gets top billing on the November ballot (despite a lawsuit by the opposing measure for education). I think that will make it easy to vote no and move on to the rest of the ballot.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by M
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 10, 2012 at 11:32 am

The actual pension poll Web Link


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