Brown vows to start debate over teacher pensions

Gov. Jerry Brown holds up a chart showing California's long-term liabilities during a news conference Thursday where he unveiled his proposed 2014-15 state budget in Sacramento. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Gov. Jerry Brown holds up a chart showing California's long-term liabilities during a news conference Thursday where he unveiled his proposed 2014-15 state budget in Sacramento. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

— SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Gov. Jerry Brown has promised to start paying off California's massive liabilities, but the largest single unfunded debt will not see any additional pay-down in the coming fiscal year.

The unfunded liability for teachers' pensions stands at more than $80 billion.

The gap grows by $22 million a day, yet Brown has no plans to start closing it in the coming fiscal year. Instead, the governor says he will meet with the key players over the next year to create a plan for long-term solvency.

The proposal, which he discussed Thursday as he released his annual budget blueprint, is likely to include higher contributions from teachers whose future pension checks might otherwise be in jeopardy.

Brown acknowledges that trying to find a solution is "going to be daunting."

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Topics

Comments » 56

BigZ writes:

Cancel the pensions and move everyone to Social Security. It's going to happen sometime might as well be now! Can't pay people not to work. just won't work!

Traditional-2 writes:

Did Brown have an epiphany - reregister as a Rep? First showing caution on spending the state's ill-gotten gains and now talking pension reform? If he keeps this up his Dem minions won't support him in November.

Mina writes:

I can't even believe this. How many times do California teachers have to take a hit to make up for Sacramento's mistakes.

How did our teacher's become the whipping boy for all the State's fiscal problems?

The right wing likes to say the Democrats think they can solve any problem by applying money, well the Republicans think they can solve any problem by withholding funds!

Especially when it comes to schools. They hate schools and teachers with a vengeance.

Please next time anyone complains about how lazy and incompetent teachers are, think about the fact that they not only face the kids and the crazy parents, but also the constant threats of layoffs, the multiple forced furloughs, the threat of a right wing fanatic shooting up the classroom, the constant micro-management of the classroom by people who don't even have kids, and threat that the school district may put them on public trial and air their dirty laundry even if they've done nothing illegal.

Maybe if we treated teachers like honored professionals we wouldn't need to dangle so much money to attract good ones. I bet kids would be better behaved too.

Mina writes:

in response to Traditional-2:

Did Brown have an epiphany - reregister as a Rep? First showing caution on spending the state's ill-gotten gains and now talking pension reform? If he keeps this up his Dem minions won't support him in November.

If Brown had become a Republican there would be no money to argue over.

Mina writes:

Here's another initiative proposal in the pipeline:

13-0063

"(d) Today, there are plenty of high quality teachers available, but local school districts are not able to make sure all of our children have access to a high quality teacher because local districts are currently forced to retain teachers based on how long they have been on the job rather than based on whether or not a teacher is doing a good job of teaching in the classroom.

(e) California is just one of eleven states that bases teacher layoff and
reappointment decisions primarily on how long someone has been teaching, which led to a finding by the nonpartisan, independent Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) that such a system can lead to a "lower quality of the overall teacher workforce." (LAO, "A Review of the Teacher Layoff Process in California, "Mar. 2012, p. 17.) California needs [1] to follow the lead of states like Massachusetts, Florida, Tennessee, and several others and put in place a system which identifies and retains teachers based mainly on an objective, comprehensive, and fair review of whether the teacher is doing a good job of teaching children in the classroom. "

https://oag.ca.gov/system/files/initi...

waynes-world writes:

in response to Mina:

If Brown had become a Republican there would be no money to argue over.

Right because there wouldn't have been yet another tax increase

SgtSpanky writes:

the threat of a right wing fanatic shooting up the classroom,

Read more: http://www.vcstar.com/news/2014/jan/1...#ixzz2q8ZCsLkc
- vcstar.com

Mina, once again you are just wrong on your talking point. The recent shootings have not been carried out by "right wing fanatic". Rather they have been carried out by mentally ill individuals, who lean toward the left.

If you would like anyone to think you have something substantial to say, please get your discussion points from a factual location.

I do wish the Star would implement an "ignore" button, so I do not inadvertently read your rants.

Patron writes:

in response to waynes-world:

Right because there wouldn't have been yet another tax increase

WW, for the first time Meana got something right. If Brown were republican he would still have to contend with a Super Dem legislature. There wouldn't be arbitrary dollars raised by fiat. What there would be,if the branches were republican, is a sane environmental policy and a willingness to allow business to expand, be profitable and employ our citizens. That would lead to real revenue to fund the state, not just "money".

poncho writes:

As a retired educator, I can see the point. There are many (not me in this bunch) who are collecting mega bucks - and I, for one, do not believe that a pension should put you in the upper tax bracket. That being said, many of my first responder friends, and I have several, are raking in the big bucks, often on disability, and laughing all the way to the bank. How about reeling them in?
Further, the entitlement program is polishing us all off. Why should an illegal alien (aka undocumented emigrant) be totally sanctioned and supported by my and your tax dollars?
So go ahead, trim my pension, but while you're at it, quit giving away the store to a bunch of lazy bums and illegals!
NOBODY, as somebody on this VC Star comment section has said, should be reaping more than the governor in yearly salary. But our hero first responders have stolen the holy grail, and have made off with the State's treasure. Look at the facts - our top administrators, firemen, and cops, have padded their salaries without regard to the mess in their wake. Meanwhile, the top administrators (state reps and senators) have given the rest away to the indigents.
Oh, and one more thing... How about the prison guards (Brown's friends and contributors), who continue to pad their pensions?

waynes-world writes:

in response to poncho:

As a retired educator, I can see the point. There are many (not me in this bunch) who are collecting mega bucks - and I, for one, do not believe that a pension should put you in the upper tax bracket. That being said, many of my first responder friends, and I have several, are raking in the big bucks, often on disability, and laughing all the way to the bank. How about reeling them in?
Further, the entitlement program is polishing us all off. Why should an illegal alien (aka undocumented emigrant) be totally sanctioned and supported by my and your tax dollars?
So go ahead, trim my pension, but while you're at it, quit giving away the store to a bunch of lazy bums and illegals!
NOBODY, as somebody on this VC Star comment section has said, should be reaping more than the governor in yearly salary. But our hero first responders have stolen the holy grail, and have made off with the State's treasure. Look at the facts - our top administrators, firemen, and cops, have padded their salaries without regard to the mess in their wake. Meanwhile, the top administrators (state reps and senators) have given the rest away to the indigents.
Oh, and one more thing... How about the prison guards (Brown's friends and contributors), who continue to pad their pensions?

It will never change, the politicians are owned by the unions.

ms_reason writes:

Poncho, if you know people who care committing fraud and not being honest about their disabilities and collecting retirement checks, you should report it.

And please do not compare Public Safety to a teacher. That's a ridiculous comparison.

And to reply to this article, it is only fair that any classification whether it be a teacher, cop, firefighter, etc.. should have to pay more into their retirement if the pensions are unsustainable and the budget calls for it.

Mina writes:

in response to SgtSpanky:

the threat of a right wing fanatic shooting up the classroom,

Read more: http://www.vcstar.com/news/2014/jan/1...#ixzz2q8ZCsLkc
- vcstar.com

Mina, once again you are just wrong on your talking point. The recent shootings have not been carried out by "right wing fanatic". Rather they have been carried out by mentally ill individuals, who lean toward the left.

If you would like anyone to think you have something substantial to say, please get your discussion points from a factual location.

I do wish the Star would implement an "ignore" button, so I do not inadvertently read your rants.

So you're saying the guys who think killing random people can fix things are really peaceniks in disguise?

Mina writes:

in response to Patron:

WW, for the first time Meana got something right. If Brown were republican he would still have to contend with a Super Dem legislature. There wouldn't be arbitrary dollars raised by fiat. What there would be,if the branches were republican, is a sane environmental policy and a willingness to allow business to expand, be profitable and employ our citizens. That would lead to real revenue to fund the state, not just "money".

It wasn't by fiat - Brown put it to a vote by the people because the Republicans refused to do what's right.

We got exactly what he promised.

michaelait#793630 writes:

Unlike business, there is NO flexibility in government negotiations. It practically takes a 9.0 earthquake to make changes. Something along the lines of ridding a school district of a child molesting teacher. Teachers are wonderful people. We should be thankful for them.
The REAL problem is these hideous teacher unions. The USA must get rid of these unions.
Why any sane citizen thinks its a grand idea to have state employees pay into a union to corrupt a state government, is being the pale.
For the children, for the tax payers, for the State, for the nation. Let's work to kill off teacher unions!

michaelait#793630 writes:

Make that "beyond the pale" thx

HearMeOut-Thanks writes:

It cracks me up about how people just don't know the facts. It was Jerry Brown in the late 1970s who signed the Ralph C. Dills Act giving public employees and teachers union bargaining power.

Proof: A semester class fees, parking and ASB, medical (at a CA state university) back when Brown signed the Dills Act, cost a mere $103...yep for a whole semester load of classes. Now, because of the over-paid, over-benefitted and exorbitant retirements, college students pay thousands of dollars for their tuition. And, all they get is the liberal, progressive, socialist brainwashing.

When Social Security was instilled back in the 1930s, all workers paid into the system. The dirty little secret is that millions of public employees and teachers who DON'T pay into the social security system, thus making the private sector employees (taxpayers)work longer, while the fat cat public employes and teachers can retire in their 50s and then collect private sector taxpayers' monies for 30 some odd years.

The guy who screwed us all, not thinks he can fix his mess he started. Yah, right.

SgtSpanky writes:

in response to Mina:

So you're saying the guys who think killing random people can fix things are really peaceniks in disguise?

No, I said I think you are pulling information out of your backside. You post nonsense and think everyone will believe your rants.

Mina writes:

in response to SgtSpanky:

No, I said I think you are pulling information out of your backside. You post nonsense and think everyone will believe your rants.

I post the truth and I back it up with evidence.

Mina writes:

in response to HearMeOut-Thanks:

It cracks me up about how people just don't know the facts. It was Jerry Brown in the late 1970s who signed the Ralph C. Dills Act giving public employees and teachers union bargaining power.

Proof: A semester class fees, parking and ASB, medical (at a CA state university) back when Brown signed the Dills Act, cost a mere $103...yep for a whole semester load of classes. Now, because of the over-paid, over-benefitted and exorbitant retirements, college students pay thousands of dollars for their tuition. And, all they get is the liberal, progressive, socialist brainwashing.

When Social Security was instilled back in the 1930s, all workers paid into the system. The dirty little secret is that millions of public employees and teachers who DON'T pay into the social security system, thus making the private sector employees (taxpayers)work longer, while the fat cat public employes and teachers can retire in their 50s and then collect private sector taxpayers' monies for 30 some odd years.

The guy who screwed us all, not thinks he can fix his mess he started. Yah, right.

Brown signed the Dills act in the seventies and then California's economy expanded for the next 30 years until we were fool enough to replace Gray Davis with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The Unions aren't the problem. The problem is the Republican conviction that California workers don't deserve to be paid a fair wage.

The Republicans created this economic crisis in order to crush unions and pensions. We need to get them out of office before they take away all customary benefits in California.

Mina writes:

in response to waynes-world:

It will never change, the politicians are owned by the unions.

Republicans say things like that to distract from the money they get from corporate lobbyists and the military-industrial complex.

I'd rather elect someone who represents teachers than people who devote their lives to the pursuit of profit.

Mina writes:

in response to waynes-world:

It will never change, the politicians are owned by the unions.

Oh, and something big is going to change, this year, when we throw the rest of the Republicans out of office.

Humble_Beginnings writes:

Pay the teachers what they are worth and they can save for their retirement in an IRA.

sionygriffith#401167 writes:

Mina and Poncho,

You are right on this one, 100% right. Mina, you even sound like you might have spent time in the "Blackboard Jungle" yourself. I taught for nearly forty years in an Oxnard junior high. I enjoyed my job and felt that my compensation, including retirement incentives, was worth the years of university study and the classroom energy that I invested. Where is the commotion over public safety compensation? The public is willing to allow that abuse to continue because fire and police keep us safe. What are you going to do when nobody wants to go into teaching anymore because the job keeps getting harder while the pay gets smaller. I like the post that suggests that we pay teachers what they are worth and then allow them to establish their own retirement portfolio.

governmentleech writes:

Just go to the internet and look at the ridiculous amounts of pay that people like junior college teachers and bosses get paid in comparison to what they do! The salary of a dean, which averages about $12,000 a month! Who do you know in the real, tax-paying world gets paid that much? They work 2 days a week, at best. The presidents? If you lumped all thee salaries, you could pay off Oxnard's national debt In less than one year. The faculty? $120,000 a year, for working 3 days a week, but mostly in their Jammies doing so-called on- line teaching. And to make matters worse, voters passed that prop "whatever" that gave them a signal that voters don't care how much they are paid, so raises went around the ranks!

Patron writes:

Government work, including teachers and public safety, in early years payed a fair wage with good benefits and a retirement package that allowed someone to be comfortable. Workers lived modest lifestyles keeping cars for long periods and living in a home they payed off in 30 years. They didn't demand high salaries because they recognized the retirement pay was great.

Then the unions got involved. When the state had surplus the union demanded it be paid to the workers. That would have been fine except the pension plans are based on pay rate. Politicians wouldn't negotiate that employees contribute more for fear of losing the unions support. There should have been some give and take.

I know how my parents lived while they were working and how they live in retirement. They took the tortoise v. hare philosophy. Now "public servants" want it all.

livingthedream writes:

in response to governmentleech:

Just go to the internet and look at the ridiculous amounts of pay that people like junior college teachers and bosses get paid in comparison to what they do! The salary of a dean, which averages about $12,000 a month! Who do you know in the real, tax-paying world gets paid that much? They work 2 days a week, at best. The presidents? If you lumped all thee salaries, you could pay off Oxnard's national debt In less than one year. The faculty? $120,000 a year, for working 3 days a week, but mostly in their Jammies doing so-called on- line teaching. And to make matters worse, voters passed that prop "whatever" that gave them a signal that voters don't care how much they are paid, so raises went around the ranks!

Though Mina is probably certifiably crazy, at least she posts some type of references for the claims she makes. On the other hand, you, and Whereyoufromdude before you, just spout off claims right and left. There is never any basis in fact for your stuff.

If you really believe in what you say, show us where you learned these numbers, so that we can all get to the same level of incompetence and ignorance that you and Mina have reached.

waynes-world writes:

in response to Mina:

Oh, and something big is going to change, this year, when we throw the rest of the Republicans out of office.

Doesn't matter in this state. The Republicans may as well stay home, California is run entirely by Democrats. You can get off your soap box, you have your way, it's all Democrats, enjoy.

governmentleech writes:

in response to livingthedream:

Though Mina is probably certifiably crazy, at least she posts some type of references for the claims she makes. On the other hand, you, and Whereyoufromdude before you, just spout off claims right and left. There is never any basis in fact for your stuff.

If you really believe in what you say, show us where you learned these numbers, so that we can all get to the same level of incompetence and ignorance that you and Mina have reached.

Dear Livingthedream: Thank you first of all for being the staunchest supporter alive for over-fattened salaries of so-called "professors" and "managers" at the colleges. If you will kindly refer to a Money Magazine article, you will find that a survey said that one of the single-best jobs in the United States is that of a college professor at a junior college, the reason being, you get the highest pay possible for the least amount of time spent on the job. They ain't my words, they are from a notable publication, and therefore indisputable. Thank you for trying to correct me, but I am uncorrectable on this matter. Go to the website of the junior colleges, and with just a few clicks, you will be able to find the outrageous salary schedule.

cassandra9 writes:

California's problems are larger than the state. The whole economy fell into the toilet precipitated by the corruption visited upon us by deregulation and a climate of high living and gambling with other people's money.

The climate has not improved. The laws, best that could be accomplished with the 1%er's shadow on our halls of Congress, fell short.

In this commentary, one can see only the views of fools championing positions contrary to their own economic interest and that of our tattered democracy presented to them by Fox and other NewsCorp outlets. Mina's ventures into the neighborhood of fact, drives you to a frenzy of insults, sound and fury signifying only that you have been brainwashed beyond the reach of rational discourse.

cassandra9 writes:

CNN rightly stated that Fox was an instrument of the Republican Party, which in itself represents the plutocracy.

This is not to say that the other party does not as well, but to a lesser degree.

cassandra9 writes:

I have attended colleges locally for years, virtually all of them to improve skills and for learning new ones and also to explore areas of enrichment. Outside of UCLA, which seems truly special, community college instruction has been the best and the most practical. Indeed many of the instructors seemed downright inspirational to me. These people do not have the cushioning of job security of other levels and fit in on an as needed basis. Making their status less secure to save money appears a foolish economic gesture. But then such is what you "conservatives" specialize in--squeeze the vulnerable to enrich those who hardly need more.

cassandra9 writes:

in response to waynes-world:

It will never change, the politicians are owned by the unions.

Nonsense.

Politicians are owned by big money.

How many billions are funneled through Rove from the Kochs and other such? No union in existence has that kind of resources.

You are aimed by propaganda at unions and you foolishly oblige, landing on this poor particle and not seeing the mountainous shadow over us all.

waynes-world writes:

Get ready for another tax increase, that's always the answer.

Patron writes:

I love how the left doesn't consider Bill Maher, big Ed, Chrissy Mathews or the shrill Rachel Maddow instruments of the left, along with the entire MSNBC, NBC, CBS and abc affiliates. Delusional hypocrites.

pumpiw writes:

If we required public agencies to calculate the true cost of employees' compensation including the costs of benefits and pensions, the public would go crazy. A teacher working 10 months a year earning a nominal 60k would really be costing over 100k. Or course, the younger teachers are never going to get the "promise." The deficits will prove to be overwhelming and the only recourse will be some form of bankruptcy leaving today's younger teachers holding the bag.

Mina writes:

in response to sionygriffith#401167:

Mina and Poncho,

You are right on this one, 100% right. Mina, you even sound like you might have spent time in the "Blackboard Jungle" yourself. I taught for nearly forty years in an Oxnard junior high. I enjoyed my job and felt that my compensation, including retirement incentives, was worth the years of university study and the classroom energy that I invested. Where is the commotion over public safety compensation? The public is willing to allow that abuse to continue because fire and police keep us safe. What are you going to do when nobody wants to go into teaching anymore because the job keeps getting harder while the pay gets smaller. I like the post that suggests that we pay teachers what they are worth and then allow them to establish their own retirement portfolio.

It's all part of the right wing war on wages.

They think there's something holy about for-profit work that makes it more valuable than things like saving lives and inspiring children.

Mina writes:

in response to waynes-world:

Doesn't matter in this state. The Republicans may as well stay home, California is run entirely by Democrats. You can get off your soap box, you have your way, it's all Democrats, enjoy.

I think that's the smartest thing I've even seen you write.

CaptainAmerica writes:

in response to Mina:

It's all part of the right wing war on wages.

They think there's something holy about for-profit work that makes it more valuable than things like saving lives and inspiring children.

In an earlier post on this thread Mina writes, "I post the truth and I back it up with evidence", yet she then contradicts herself by making unsubstantiated accusations without evidence. What evidence has Mina provided to support her argument that any criticism of public sector pensions is "part of a right wing war on wages"? None.

I have pointed out numerous times that 84% of County of Ventura retirees earning six figure pensions actually have pensions that are greater than 100% of the final base salary. Last year former Ventura County CEO Marty Robinson cashed out unused vacation time and used other spiking methods to boost her pension to $272,000, which is well above her final salary of $228,000. Former VC Sheriff Bob Brooks used "longevity" bonuses and other perks to boost his pension to $283,000 per year, which is 20% higher than his final salary - yet, incredibly, Brooks is actually suing the county claiming that his pension should be $358,000. Former VC Undersheriff Craig Husband used unused vacation time to spike his pension to $258,000 per year, which is 30% higher than his final salary. Former VC Fire Captain T.N. Roberts also spiked his pension, retiring with a pension of $160,000, which is 84% higher than his final salary.

http://www.fixpensionsfirst.com/2012/...

Whenever anyone questions these types of outrageous benefits Mina attacks them by accusing them of being "part of a right wing war on wages". I think that any reasonable person should be able to admit that it is never appropriate for public servants to be retiring with pensions that actually exceed their final salaries. It is also important to keep in mind that these inflated benefits are crowding out funding for vital public services. We have to ask ourselves whether it is ethical for our local government to be funding these six figure pensions at the same time that they are simultaneously slashing services to the poor, homeless, and disabled.

Finally, it is important for everyone to recognize that we need fiscally sustainable government. I have gone on record many times stating that I support reasonable pensions for public employees. However, pension spiking and retroactive pension increases threaten municipal finances and put at risk the pensions of future generations of public employees. We all have a vested interest in fixing this problem, which is why it isn't helpful when people who speak the truth are continually insulted and attacked.

Mina writes:

in response to governmentleech:

Dear Livingthedream: Thank you first of all for being the staunchest supporter alive for over-fattened salaries of so-called "professors" and "managers" at the colleges. If you will kindly refer to a Money Magazine article, you will find that a survey said that one of the single-best jobs in the United States is that of a college professor at a junior college, the reason being, you get the highest pay possible for the least amount of time spent on the job. They ain't my words, they are from a notable publication, and therefore indisputable. Thank you for trying to correct me, but I am uncorrectable on this matter. Go to the website of the junior colleges, and with just a few clicks, you will be able to find the outrageous salary schedule.

It's just that Republicans don't believe people should be paid better just because they went to the trouble of educating themselves.

Mina writes:

in response to CaptainAmerica:

In an earlier post on this thread Mina writes, "I post the truth and I back it up with evidence", yet she then contradicts herself by making unsubstantiated accusations without evidence. What evidence has Mina provided to support her argument that any criticism of public sector pensions is "part of a right wing war on wages"? None.

I have pointed out numerous times that 84% of County of Ventura retirees earning six figure pensions actually have pensions that are greater than 100% of the final base salary. Last year former Ventura County CEO Marty Robinson cashed out unused vacation time and used other spiking methods to boost her pension to $272,000, which is well above her final salary of $228,000. Former VC Sheriff Bob Brooks used "longevity" bonuses and other perks to boost his pension to $283,000 per year, which is 20% higher than his final salary - yet, incredibly, Brooks is actually suing the county claiming that his pension should be $358,000. Former VC Undersheriff Craig Husband used unused vacation time to spike his pension to $258,000 per year, which is 30% higher than his final salary. Former VC Fire Captain T.N. Roberts also spiked his pension, retiring with a pension of $160,000, which is 84% higher than his final salary.

http://www.fixpensionsfirst.com/2012/...

Whenever anyone questions these types of outrageous benefits Mina attacks them by accusing them of being "part of a right wing war on wages". I think that any reasonable person should be able to admit that it is never appropriate for public servants to be retiring with pensions that actually exceed their final salaries. It is also important to keep in mind that these inflated benefits are crowding out funding for vital public services. We have to ask ourselves whether it is ethical for our local government to be funding these six figure pensions at the same time that they are simultaneously slashing services to the poor, homeless, and disabled.

Finally, it is important for everyone to recognize that we need fiscally sustainable government. I have gone on record many times stating that I support reasonable pensions for public employees. However, pension spiking and retroactive pension increases threaten municipal finances and put at risk the pensions of future generations of public employees. We all have a vested interest in fixing this problem, which is why it isn't helpful when people who speak the truth are continually insulted and attacked.

Like I said, the right wing is fundamentally opposed to pensions. Why do I have to prove it when you keep proving it for me?

CaptainAmerica writes:

in response to Mina:

Like I said, the right wing is fundamentally opposed to pensions. Why do I have to prove it when you keep proving it for me?

Where did I say I was opposed to pensions? The issue here is pensions that are clearly in excess to what is reasonable. I think that any reasonable person should be able to agree that public employees should not be retiring with a starting pension in excess of 100% of final salary, which is apparently common in Ventura County.

It is also important to point out that pension spiking and retroactive pension increases have become some of the biggest threats to the fiscal sustainability of public employee pension systems. Anyone that truly cares about preserving pensions for future generations of public employees should support reigning in the abuses, otherwise we risk defaulting on our pension promises, just like what is happening right now in Detroit. CalSTRS is already in serious financial trouble and ignoring the problem will only make it worse. If you are not part of the solution then you are part of the problem.

REALITY writes:

in response to Mina:

Like I said, the right wing is fundamentally opposed to pensions. Why do I have to prove it when you keep proving it for me?

Mina,

You must have a memory retention problem.

The "right wing" is opposed to UNSUSTAINABLE and OVERLAVISH PENSIONS. You know the type where employees contribute NOTHING yet receive payouts which EXCEED their salary.

Please embed this concept in your brain.

If everyone paid their fair share this story wouldn't exist.

IMHO, everyone should contribute 50% of their ACTUAL retirement cost, be it a 401k or a pension plan.

Its really a simple concept.

REALITY writes:

in response to CaptainAmerica:

In an earlier post on this thread Mina writes, "I post the truth and I back it up with evidence", yet she then contradicts herself by making unsubstantiated accusations without evidence. What evidence has Mina provided to support her argument that any criticism of public sector pensions is "part of a right wing war on wages"? None.

I have pointed out numerous times that 84% of County of Ventura retirees earning six figure pensions actually have pensions that are greater than 100% of the final base salary. Last year former Ventura County CEO Marty Robinson cashed out unused vacation time and used other spiking methods to boost her pension to $272,000, which is well above her final salary of $228,000. Former VC Sheriff Bob Brooks used "longevity" bonuses and other perks to boost his pension to $283,000 per year, which is 20% higher than his final salary - yet, incredibly, Brooks is actually suing the county claiming that his pension should be $358,000. Former VC Undersheriff Craig Husband used unused vacation time to spike his pension to $258,000 per year, which is 30% higher than his final salary. Former VC Fire Captain T.N. Roberts also spiked his pension, retiring with a pension of $160,000, which is 84% higher than his final salary.

http://www.fixpensionsfirst.com/2012/...

Whenever anyone questions these types of outrageous benefits Mina attacks them by accusing them of being "part of a right wing war on wages". I think that any reasonable person should be able to admit that it is never appropriate for public servants to be retiring with pensions that actually exceed their final salaries. It is also important to keep in mind that these inflated benefits are crowding out funding for vital public services. We have to ask ourselves whether it is ethical for our local government to be funding these six figure pensions at the same time that they are simultaneously slashing services to the poor, homeless, and disabled.

Finally, it is important for everyone to recognize that we need fiscally sustainable government. I have gone on record many times stating that I support reasonable pensions for public employees. However, pension spiking and retroactive pension increases threaten municipal finances and put at risk the pensions of future generations of public employees. We all have a vested interest in fixing this problem, which is why it isn't helpful when people who speak the truth are continually insulted and attacked.

My thoughts exactly.

nastyw2#272473 writes:

Solution: expand Medicare to those people that fully retire at age 60. The one reason I keep hearing from teachers that would like to retire but can't is that they can not afford the costs of paying for their own healthcare until they're 65. Health care is NOT a guaranteed benefit and most districts no longer provide it to retirees. If those senior teachers could retire up to five years earlier, the school districts would free up all those senior salaries and save salary and benefit costs by hiring more entry level teachers.

Mina writes:

in response to REALITY:

Mina,

You must have a memory retention problem.

The "right wing" is opposed to UNSUSTAINABLE and OVERLAVISH PENSIONS. You know the type where employees contribute NOTHING yet receive payouts which EXCEED their salary.

Please embed this concept in your brain.

If everyone paid their fair share this story wouldn't exist.

IMHO, everyone should contribute 50% of their ACTUAL retirement cost, be it a 401k or a pension plan.

Its really a simple concept.

Not true the right wing support lavish pensions for the 1% who let others do the work for them, the 1% the Republicans truly represent.

"median CEO pay jumped 27% in 2010"

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/...

Mina writes:

The money is there, they just don't think it should go to the people who did the work.

Cy writes:

Mina is a complete tool.

Humble_Beginnings writes:

in response to Mina:

The money is there, they just don't think it should go to the people who did the work.

You mean that 65 million low-information voters who don't pay taxes and get free stuff from taxpayers and stuck us again with the most pandering, corrupt administration in American history?

Mina writes:

in response to Humble_Beginnings:

You mean that 65 million low-information voters who don't pay taxes and get free stuff from taxpayers and stuck us again with the most pandering, corrupt administration in American history?

Yeah, the one's that will vote to fire the Party of NO this year.

If the Republicans hate pensions so much, let them give up theirs!

FormerNPer writes:

in response to Mina:

Not true the right wing support lavish pensions for the 1% who let others do the work for them, the 1% the Republicans truly represent.

"median CEO pay jumped 27% in 2010"

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/...

I know this is probably a stupid question to ask you, given your inability to comprehend the most basic of information, but I'm going to try anyhow.

Let's start this by my pointing out I will be getting a pension from the City. That being said, do you understand the difference between the 1%er pensions and the pension a teacher, police officer, firefighter or government worker are given? Let me help you the latter are paid for by TAX PAYERS.

Someone who starts a business, runs a business, and profits from said business is not expecting you, nor I to pay for their pension with our tax dollars. Their business does so. You can chose to not buy their products, certainly, but you have a choice. You have no choice when it comes to taxes. So who cares if a prosperous person gives them self a large pension? Well, except you.

Government pensions are paid for by you and I. Well, me for certain, not sure what you do for a living, likely I'm paying those pensions and for you to sit on your overly large behind and post all day long. That is why people are mad. They weren't mad when the economy was going well, but Obama knows how to fix an economy about as well as my dog knows how to play the piano. Slowest recovery ever .... EVER.

I agree pension spiking shouldn't be happening. In the long run people who do that are jeopardizing MY pension.

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Featured Promotions

Videos


Social

Wire

Features