Saturday, August 28, 2010

Arnold on the public pension mess 

Well put:

Few Californians in the private sector have $1 million in savings, but that's effectively the retirement account they guarantee to public employees who opt to retire at age 55 and are entitled to a monthly, inflation-protected check of $3,000 for the rest of their lives.

Read the whole thing. It seems, for at least this fleeting moment, that Schwartzenegger's found his inner Christie. Let's hope he does not let go of it.


By Blogger Psota, at Sat Aug 28, 11:14:00 AM:

Yeah, great timing - just three months left in office and after 3+ years of overspending, presiding over boondoggles like high speed rail, and trying to foist a tax & debt "solution" to the state budget crisis.

When I voted for the Governator in 2003, I thought we were getting a Chris Christie-type. Didn't work out that way.  

By Blogger buck smith, at Sat Aug 28, 11:36:00 AM:

"When I voted for the Governator in 2003, I thought we were getting a Chris Christie-type. Didn't work out that way."

I have said the same thing many times. Arnold has been a huge disappointment that way.  

By Anonymous Mr. Ed, at Sat Aug 28, 11:39:00 AM:

A little more Crist than Christie. People here, like elsewhere, are becoming more aware of the pension mess and they are not happy that state employees get this $1,000,000 bonus at age 55. Most think a gold watch or a weekend at Disneyland would fine enough.

The good news is that folks are not of a mind to reach into their pockets (via new taxes) to support these former state and local employees for as long as they live. It was a rotten deal. Agreed to by the political class.

So here in CA, the stage is set. We're gonna get a bit red.


By Anonymous tyree, at Sat Aug 28, 11:57:00 AM:

Many of us have been aware of the pension bomb for a long time. Our elected officials have ignored us, for a long time. Hopefully we will remember that, for a very long time.  

By Blogger MartyH, at Sat Aug 28, 12:46:00 PM:

The Governator was terminated when his initiatives lost in the 2005 special election. These included: dealying tenure for teachers; redistricting; having individual union members okay any portion of their dues going to political campaigns; and limits to state spending growth. The people of California rejected those proposals, and Arnold stopped trying to change the system after that defeat. The immovable object (CA's dysfunctional government/union complex) destroyed the unstoppable force.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Aug 28, 04:13:00 PM:

I was a public employee in California for 29 years. I left my job to care for my terminally-ill parents. I hadn't paid much attention to the pension plan, because I hadn't intended to retire any time soon. I was astounded at the generosity of my pension and benefits.

When I was working, I paid into the retirement system, paid about a third of my health insurance premium, mandatory union dues to the SEIU, social security, etc.

Now PERS (the California public employee retirement system) pays $960/month for health insurance for my spouse and I. My health insurance deduction is FIFTY-ONE dollars a month.

Since I am now in a lower tax bracket and have only minimal deductions, my take home pay in nearly the same as when I was working!

I fully expect the state of California to renege on the pensions sooner rather than later. I will be lucky if I can keep 50% of what I'm getting now.

MartyH is correct about the Governator. He gave up after 2005. Public employee unions and "progressives" run the state, and have run it into the ground. They have just about run out of other people's money. It's going to get ugly.  

By Anonymous Joe, at Sat Aug 28, 04:35:00 PM:

The CA governor does not at all have teh same amount of power as the NJ governor - for example: most top state offices are elected, not appointed by the governor.  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Sat Aug 28, 10:41:00 PM:

You are right, MartyH. It is fashionable to bash Arnold from the right now and he deserves most of the criticism. But I think when he took office he was really trying to do the right thing. He did not understand the power of the forces arrayed against him, and he was probably in over his head.  

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