tear public pension down over time State, National, International, posted by liberalarry, a resident of the Mohr Park neighborhood, on Nov 14, 2011 at 9:08 am
I may have a solution to the current public pension problem. If we issue pensions that teer or scale down over a period of time. The problems seem to be with the huge pensions that upper level government employees get when they retire. Why can't the pension be scaled. These pensions where never designed to make someone rich. But if you calculate what the list of current retired city (Pleasanton) employees are going to amass over their lives is not fair. And heath care! It seems a little skewed. Lets just say the employees retire with over a hundred thousand a year are reduced every year to till it hits 30 or 40 k. Any thoughts?
Posted by Hankies for everyone, a resident of the Amador Estates neighborhood, on Nov 14, 2011 at 2:53 pm
Oh my, now the (fat and lazy) Entitled is claiming he's being victimized by the unemployed! Entitled? Entitled to what? Crying about how the world has changed and you can't feel as Entitled as you once did?
Just wait. Entitled's next post will talk about all the undocumented victimizers, and all the minority student victimizers, and all the victimizer teachers who work for a reasonable salary. He'll tell us how we need to go back to the good ol' days when people of color knew their rightful place and whites could expect entitlement status based upon the "exceptional" nature of their skin color alone.
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on Nov 14, 2011 at 3:18 pm
Hankies (Mr. Slippers, Jane, Dean), Only you, again, take everything to extremes. No, I'm not defending Entitled either. No one said anything about people of color (or those on the rest of your list)--always the provocateur.
Liberalarry, Some government agencies have gone to two-tiered systems where the newest hires get less in health benefits (and in rare cases retirees are being pushed in this realm as well), so it's not a new or even outrageous idea. I imagine it will take some greater force to make those kinds of changes at the pension organizations, though, because the majority of their members are represented by unions.
Posted by Hankies for everyone, a resident of the Amador Estates neighborhood, on Nov 14, 2011 at 4:15 pm
Kath, Kath, and Kath. Twas a prediction, my dear. And, yes, sometimes a little provocation is what it takes to draw the head of racism or support of right-wing threats and violence out of its protective covering. It's an educational thing, Kath.
So, speaking of violence, when you say "it will take some greater force" are you intentionally resorting to a poor choice of words? Guess I would have used something more along lines of "it will take more concerted political action" or "it will take greater political influence" or "greater political pressure may need to be applied" or some such. I ask because, as a result of our conversations, it appears to be increasingly obvious that you aren't as careful with your words as most of us. (See above paragraph.)
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on Nov 14, 2011 at 4:32 pm
So, you don't think OWS has been a force or the Tea Party (original and recent)? Really, fill in some name here, the only conspiracies are the ones you invent to provoke some conversation you would rather have. There was no indication of threats or racism until you introduced them. Please do us all a favor and take your social experiment, editorial skills (not), and penchant for putting words in people's posts where some might appreciate them (can't imagine where that would be). Until then, I will be out here to call you on it every time.
Posted by Hankies for everyone, a resident of the Amador Estates neighborhood, on Nov 14, 2011 at 4:41 pm
My! Yes, OWS and Tea Baggers have indeed been a force [noun]. Talking about either one using force [verb] is quite another matter for most of us. Kath's reference, of course, was about the latter, which she has now been called on. Can't really tell whether Kath is a full exponent of the latter or is simply semantically challenged.
Posted by Hankies, a resident of the Amador Estates neighborhood, on Nov 15, 2011 at 8:07 am
Look at the bright side, Hostage. Looks like the NYPD last night had their way with all the arrogant and cocky attitudes being expressed by OWS and the media that was covering them. Sheeeesh. I bet 'Hostage' isn't even your real name! Is that "Hostage" as in yet another victim, like the self-alleged victim "Entitled" who rages about living in a "victim society?"
ps I bet "Entitled" isn't even _his_ real name either. Face it, you and the other righties on these posts can't stand to have your ideas receive the ridicule they so richly deserve.
Posted by steve, a resident of the Parkside neighborhood, on Nov 15, 2011 at 8:29 am
Just stay on course with the current pension programs and their overly generous, unfunded plans. Once the govt files for bankruptcy, the courts can negate all of the union coerced benefits and we can get back to reality. Back to the realization that no public employee should be making more in salary of benefits than private sector employees. Then, hankie/jane/slippers can practice shoveling a different form of social excrement (experiment). C Ya.
Posted by Arnold, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Nov 15, 2011 at 1:12 pm
Pension expert Girard Miller analyzes the governors pension plan vs. two potential pension ballot measures that are being proposed by a group called California Pension Reform. I can’t wait to sign the petition.
Pension Prop 13
California’s pension hawks file a detailed, alternative plan to the governor's that builds on his proposals.
“Last week I discussed the primary features of California Gov. Jerry Brown’s thoughtful 12-point plan to reform the state’s unsustainable pension mess. The night before my column published, a group called California Pension Reform (or CPR, an artfully chosen name) filed two ballot proposals that called the governor’s bid and raised him two. Their plan is to test the waters with two proposals and pick one to begin collecting petition signatures. This is the long-awaited “Pension Prop 13” -- the pension-reform descendent of the legendary grassroots tax-limitation measure that swept through California and several other states three decades ago. It is the most comprehensive pension reform language ever filed in any state in the country, yet less severe than Rhode Island’s recent narrower, sharper proposals to actually freeze, modify and cut incumbents’ benefits.
In this column, I will explain the key features of these two proposals, how they differ and how they compare with the governor’s plan. Then I’ll try to analyze what may happen next, as these two announcements are just the opening act of what will be a year of political theatre in the Golden State.
To set the stage, the Democrat-controlled Legislature adopted a law in October that essentially forces all ballot proposals in 2012 onto next November’s ballot, where they feel that voter turnout on their side will be stronger with President Obama running for re-election and a higher turnout favoring a vastly larger statewide number of registered Democrats…”
A must read for concerned taxpayers and city council: Web Link
Posted by hoops, a resident of the Mohr Park neighborhood, on Nov 15, 2011 at 6:43 pm
Another example of greed is people who can afford to pay the same taxes as everyone else benefitting from prop 13.I would like someone to explain the fairness of that in today's world.I am not talking about a 75 year old widow on SS so please do not throw that at me.
Posted by Been There, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Nov 15, 2011 at 11:10 pm
Prop 13 was passed because property taxes were going up so much and so quickly in the late '70s that people couldn't keep up with the tax payments and were being taxed out of their homes. It put a reasonable cap/increase into effect so homeowners could count on a set increase in their property tax - then they had some certainty and could plan for the future with a capped tax figure in their financial plan. Hoops- you benefit from this too. Your neighbors who bought their home 20 years ago may pay less than you do but you will be paying less than someone who buys next door to you 5 years from now.
The point is: if you can afford a home and the tax that goes with it, you will be pretty sure you can afford the tax going forward. There won't be any exorbitant, outrageous surprises that will make you run out and try to sell your house before the next tax bill is due. Some members of my immediate family had to do that in New York. If they had lived here after Prop 13, they would still be enjoying their home at Thanksgiving and Christmas with brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews around...instead of having to move to Florida. The weather is awful there. If you want Florida, Texas or Arizona...go for it.
Posted by Hankies for everyone, a resident of the Amador Estates neighborhood, on Nov 16, 2011 at 8:41 am
Pensions and benefits in the private sector are so unfair too. Why should I have to pay higher prices for goods just so that private sector workers get their fat cut? And don't tell me I should know better. Because I can't look at my McRib sandwich and know how much is going toward their lazy workers. I've been there. I know that I work harder than a McDonalds worker. Yet he gets the benefits? Not fair!
As a small businessman, no one is paying for MY pensions and benefits. This isn't fair. Pensions and benefits should be no one's concern except yourself. If I don't collect pensions and benefits, then no one else should either. Because that's not fair.
Posted by GX, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Nov 16, 2011 at 9:01 am
When I hear the recurring themes of these defenders of a clearly broken and unjust public employee pension system, I get the impression that they fundamentally don't understand market dynamics and competition. Which is quite surprising given we live in silicon valley, one of the most market oriented place on the face of the planet. We all have benefited tremendously from this competition.
In private sector, competition keeps a lid on prices and therefore puts downward pressure on costs including salaries/benefits. If a company creates something of value and therefore can pay their employees more, so be it. They will attract the necessary customers. But competition will keep a check on this - a very good thing. $500 computers are better for society that $5k computers.
Most importantly, I have a choice. If I don't like the value/price a particular company is offering, I can look elsewhere.
It is completely different for the public sector. There is very little choice and government agencies know this. That is why there is very little effort by this sector to provide better/cheaper services. Instead they grow as much as can be sustained and enrich the members of this sector. And that is why you end of with the equivalent of mid-level managers of small departments with multi-million dollar pensions and lifetime medical.
It will take continued pressure from aware and active citizens to help bring this in balance. In the meantime, defenders and beneficiaries of the system will try to throw up all sort of FUD.
But in the end, I am confident the right thing will be done. How can the public sector with a straight face ask the private sector to raise taxes on themselves to fund public sector retirements that the private sector can only dream of? Every incremental dollar of taxes siphoned off to support this system is one less dollar the private sector will have for their own retirements.
The broader public has woken up to this gross unfairness and there is no going back.
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on Nov 16, 2011 at 9:12 am
As pointed out, you don't have to buy a given product--don't want McRib; go to Arby's or Carl's Jr. or Burger King. No such choice about paying taxes to support the public sector.
What happened to not kicking down and being more aware and open to 'other'? You don't want a worker at McDonalds--who is probably happy to have a job over living on the street or may be trying to save money over the summers to eventually get a Ph.D.--to also get benefits?
Posted by Hankies for everyone, a resident of the Amador Estates neighborhood, on Nov 16, 2011 at 9:12 am
Just like consumers can choose between Wendys and Burger King, I can choose to live in another community. Heck, I can even leave the country.
But I don't want to make such a choice. It's easier just to scream 'The pensions are coming! The pensions are coming!'
Warren Buffet has said it best: Winners, he says, include corporations, who have seen good equity returns, as well as the wealthiest American citizens. The losers? The housing market and average American worker.
He continues: "Through the tax code, there has been class warfare waged, and my class has won," Buffett told Business Wire CEO Cathy Baron Tamraz at a luncheon in honor of the company's 50th anniversary. "It's been a rout."
Oops. Well, you see my point. Sort of? Who wants to criticize the rich and how they screw us every which way they can when it's so much easier bellyaching about a teacher's salary and pension and, most sinful of all, lifetime medical benefits. Take away pensions and lifetime medical benefits from teachers and cops and firefighters and we'll all be better off. Even the teachers and cops and firefighters who will learn what it is to suffer, like me.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Nov 16, 2011 at 9:29 am Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Sorry Jane, no one here is buying it from you. Everyone here knows that your interest in sewing FUD here has been to protect something you directly benefit from because you consistently attack others who even agree with you on criticizing the rich and abuses on Wall Street.
I think Girard Miller put it best in his recent column:
"Nationwide, many of today’s unfunded pension liabilities are directly attributable to these retros. Anybody who opposes this reform is either greedy or unteachable."
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on Nov 16, 2011 at 9:47 am
Here is a clip of an interview of Buffett (keep in mind that even going after the top 400 won't solve the problems this nation and all the states are facing): Web Link
BUFFETT: . . . People say, well, that won't solve it if you just tax the rich. Of course it won't solve it. But nothing by itself is going to solve it. It's going to take a number of steps. And it's going to take steps in terms of changing the terms of Social Security over time and means testing it and doing various things. It's going to require— the biggest thing it's going to require is an attack on medical costs. Not on Medicare. I mean, Medicare is part of it. But we have a system that's taking 2.7 trillion out of the economy, and the very nature of medical costs is the government's going to participate one way or another in a big way. So if our medical costs are 17 percent of GDP, and other countries are 10 percent, that is the biggest problem we have.
BECKY: Warren, when you say tax on the rich, I mean, that's the argument, too. Who's rich? Is it $250,000, as the Obama...
BUFFETT: No, 250— 250,000 isn't rich. But I'm rich.
BECKY: So where do you draw the line? Where would you draw the line?
BUFFETT: Oh, I would— well, you certainly change it on capital gains and dividends. I mean, if you take the 400 richest Americans and the 400 people who paid the greatest income tax— the Treasury's been putting those figures out for 15 years or so. If you go back 15 years, the average income of the 400 top people— the 400 top people's around 45 million. They paid about 27 percent. Now it grew, the most recent figures, to 350 million. That is incredible. And that's nothing like's happened to the rest of the world. The tax then was 16.6. So while they've gotten ungodly richer, the rate has come down 11 points. Now, that is a big tilt in the world. And I would go after the very rich.
Posted by Hankies for everyone, a resident of the Amador Estates neighborhood, on Nov 16, 2011 at 9:47 am
One of you teabag goofs yesterday posted salaries of Cal State Ebay profs and administrators. The list confirmed that the overwhelming majority of profs' salaries were well below triple figures. As for the administrators? These are competitive jobs. You want quality to go down? Send out the message across the country that CSU system will be paring down salaries (i.e., pensions).
You want to pare down cop salaries? Watch quality decline, and then the city will find itself paying up the nose for police shootings, police brutality, and other surefire outcomes of declines in the profession.
Public sector workers becoming top 1% says GX? What a joke. And Stacey? Nothing to say, as per usual. A sad joke. Boo-Hoo.
Now, let's get back to criticizing the price of Wendys AND Carls AND Burger King because some of their workers get salaries PLUS benefits. That costs all of us fastfood grazers. I don't get benefits in MY job. This is unfair. Just another entitlement. Just like the Pleasanton librarians and the Cal State assistant professors, the Wendys workers are going to pass us by and be part of the upper 1%. Where's the fairness in that?
Posted by Hankies for everyone, a resident of the Amador Estates neighborhood, on Nov 16, 2011 at 9:58 am
Typical ostrich-like head-in-the-sand approach from an apologist for the rich. Taxing the top 400 won't (entirely) solve (all) the problems faced by nations and states, so therefore we should not talk about taxing the top 400. And god forbid we should talk about raising the tax rates for the top 4000, or top 40,000, or top 20%, or top 30-40% because, well, like I say, statistics show that even if we taxed the top 1% at 100%, it wouldn't entirely solve our problems. That's the "logic" such that it is. ... Now, let's get back to criticizing the ungodly salaries being paid to public workers. Oh, and ps: screw the voters in Ohio (and soon to be Wisconsin), cuz nobody's buying this attempt to stave off our public servant lynching effort.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Nov 16, 2011 at 10:08 am Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
"You want to pare down cop salaries?"
Who said that?
"Taxing the top 400 won't (entirely) solve (all) the problems faced by nations and states, so therefore we should not talk about taxing the top 400."
Ah Jane's being disingenuous again in order to protect a broken system she benefits from. Reforming public pensions won't (entirely) solve (all) the problems faced by nations and states, so therefore we should not talk about reforming public pensions.
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on Nov 16, 2011 at 10:24 am
Hankers, You quoted Buffett--I'm just pointing out he has lots of ideas, including firing lawmakers if they don't solve the debt issue.
Back to the insults--I briefly had hope there. I posted the salary link so people could look at the information about what was being paid and to whom. Yes, the cost weighs heavily to the administration--who are cutting the raises to the professors.
I think, overall, people are stating that teachers, police, fire fighters, most professors, etc., are worth more to the society while they are working. Trade offs for higher salaries are to contribute to a 401k (403b in public sector) and step away from defined benefit plans with no retirement at 50 or 55, and are not so controversial really. Tenure and step and column are more controversial.
Yes, Ohio (and maybe Wisconsin) voted for themselves. And we'll see how that plays out when they have to pay the bills.
The problem is complex; just taxing any percentage of people is NOT enough. Other change has to occur, including the public pension liabilities Web Link Without both sides of the conversation, we keep doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Nov 16, 2011 at 10:29 am Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Ah, I see. Jane is trying to make some point by confusing the terms "salary" and "pension". Everyone should rightly be angry about this. SB400 retroactively increased "salaries" and teachers and other public employees still could not afford to live in Pleasanton, worse yet, there was no increase in quality of service!
Posted by Hostage, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Nov 16, 2011 at 10:38 am
GX, what do you mean "WHEN' the public sector becomes part of the 1% ".
Look at our public retirements, $160K, 190K, 220K.. They are already quaranteed living LIKE 1%....and quaranteed to boot.
$4,000.000.oo, ( 4mil) base principle is needed to provide $200,000. annual return, at 5% interest rate. $ 3 mil holdings, to generate $150,000. annually. Neither I nor my friends have
$3-4 million going into retirement, since we're not part of the elite 1%.
Our esteemed public union members not only operate on that retirement assumption, in addition they have all they have accumulated during their 30 years...which has to be enormous. WHY? because everything has been provided FOR them on top,i.e. medical premiums all during their careers, their retirements 'contributions' have been made FOR them (not for any of us who pay our own way). So in addition to their above average pay thruout career, they were not self-funding like us. So, over and over they bought 2nd homes, boats, fanciest truck ,etc, etc, spending a greater percentage of their paychecks, than we who have to self-fund programs they are given.
Summary: Annual pay greater than most; freedom to invest and spend every penny of checks because basics like medical and retirement are paid for them; finally receiving generous retirements equal to 5% GUARANTEED returns for life from $3 - $4 million base equivalent.
Posted by Lugnut, a resident of the Ponderosa neighborhood, on Nov 16, 2011 at 10:53 am
We are to blame as we elected these Boobs who voted perks for Management. The City Attorney we have now started out making more than the guy that retired! How does that work? I remember the one time Bonus that Acosta got, like $10,000 which was already over and above her six figure salary. But, ah times were good then and Private Sector was making the Big Bucks and did not care what Public Sector was making, as it was still way less than they were bringing home. I would like see MGT pensions no more than 10% above the real "Workers", those who actually do the work at the bottom of the salary and benefits scale, those who do not have the opportunity to jack their pensions to the moon through MGT special comp. Why should they get such exhorbant salaries and perks because they are "Executive Management". All the do is retire and then become consultants who suck the city dry. Most have no practical intuition, they are Institutional driven. Car Allowance--can't they drive a city vehicle-we have lots of them. CM's and other Executive Mgrs. seem to have created this "Lawyer" industry where they keep jacking their salaries up and they keep this cycle going. City Council people are not experienced enough and drink the Kool Aid. Let's go to one year contracts. If you produce you get a reasonable raise, if you don't you get a pay cut. Then watch production. And why do Councilmembers get pay at all and pension contribution and Medical/dental? Aren't they just wanting to be good citizens and serve for the good of the community? 2012 is coming and I sure hope things change but won't hold my breath.
Posted by Lugnut, a resident of the Carlton Oaks neighborhood, on Nov 17, 2011 at 8:49 am
Hostage, you are full of it. The average worker on the street doing the real work is more interested in his bills and family. The Execs have the biulls taken care of but want more because they are the "professionals" and know everything. They end up as the money wasters. Unions contract for services rendered, Execs get the "Big Bucks" BECAUSE City Councils are inexperienced citizens who believe if the CM or other EXEC says it to be "true, it must be true"! Idiots. Consultants cost this city lots of money and guess who they mostly are? Retired City Management types, not trhe Leaf Blower, streets worker of police patrol officer. Start analyzing the top, not the bottom I say. That is where your problems lie. The Council let Acosta do what she did and you all voted for them. Blame yourselves. I blame me for voting these idiots into office. Union political activity is just like private enterprise lobbyists, no different.
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on Nov 17, 2011 at 10:29 am
Hankies, Above I tried to support you re: CSU raises. "I posted the salary link so people could look at the information about what was being paid and to whom. Yes, the cost weighs heavily to the administration--who are cutting the raises to the professors."
Here is today's editorial from the Contra Costa Times: Web Link
Posted by Pepper, a resident of the Danbury Park neighborhood, on Nov 18, 2011 at 11:33 am
When you really think about it nothing needs to be done because soon all the money will be gone and then it takes care of itself and just collapses. They, Sacramento and city officials all know it but don't want to be around when it comes crashing down. Watch europe because California is soon to follow.