Right Thinking From The Left Coast
The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it - Henry David Thoreau

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Pensions Are On Fire

You know, it’s good thing the California State Assembly is not responsible for fighting fires.  They’d almost certainly do it by pouring gasoline on:

Legislation intended to curb pension spiking has become so watered down that it would now do little to prevent California public employees from boosting their end-of-career paychecks, critics say, prompting reform advocates and bill sponsor state Controller John Chiang to withdraw support.

Assembly Bill 1987 had been touted as an end to the pension boosting that occurs when public employees add unused vacation, sick time and other benefits to their final year’s compensation in order to drive up pensions.

But as debate over public pensions flares in the wake of reports of inflated salaries and pensions in scandal-plagued Bell, reform advocates say that union-backed amendments to the bill have neutered its beneficial effects.

Pension spiking works like so.  Most state pensions are some fraction of your pay, usually 3% times the number of years you work times your peak salary.  So if you work 30 years and your maximum salary is $100,000, you get $90,000 a year plus cost of living.  That alone is dangerous enough—I know a schoolteacher who has been living on her pension for 30 years now.  But if you load up your final year—work lots of overtime, take out our unused vacation, etc.—you can massively increase your pension to 125% or more of your peak salary.  That’s to say nothing of the double-dipping allowed in some states—where you start work again and build up a second pension while still collecting the first.

Republicans in California are trying to stop this.  But the worthless Democratic party refuses to do so.  They’ve written the bill so that it will allow the state to negotiate with the unions how much they get to spike their pensions.  Given the tendency of the state to give the unions everything they want and more, this is basically allowing the taxpayers to determine whether they’re going to get really fucked or really really fucked.

California Democrats just don’t get it.  Democrats in general just don’t get it.  In fact, I’m not even sure the Republicans quite get it.  But at least the GOP doesn’t like unions, so they’re somewhat useful idiots on this subject.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 08/18/10 at 11:49 PM in Cullyforneah  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
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