Wednesday, January 29, 2014

How Will Teachers React?

I think California teachers are soon to take two financial hits.

First, I've posted about a zillion times that the California State Teachers Retirement System--in other words, the pension that I've been promised--is in deep financial doo-doo.  There was talk early in the Schwarzenegger administration about increasing the amount paid into it by teachers, school districts, and the state, but that talk came to nothing as it was poo-pooed by those on the left.  Now that someone on the left is bringing it up, it may happen, and that's a good thing.  On the other hand, California teachers (so many of whom vote for the Democrats) may scream when those same Democrats reduce their take-home pay as well as the ability of the school districts to offer raises:
With California facing a massive teacher pension shortfall, Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, D-Los Angeles, unveiled an effort Wednesday he hopes would fully fund the system.

An influx of revenue has allowed California to emerge from years of yawning deficits and protracted budget fights, and the pressure is mounting for the state to do something about an avalanche of liabilities that runs into the hundreds of billions.

Of those looming obligations, a substantial chunk comes from the gap between how much the California State Teachers Retirement System takes in and how much it will owe retired educators. Gov. Jerry Brown estimated in his budget this year that the liability has grown to $80.4 billion and would require a $4.5 billion annual infusion to balance the books.

"While we know our revenues will fluctuate up and down, our long-term liabilities are enormous and ever growing," Brown said in his State of the State speech earlier this month.

Pérez calculates the liability at $71 billion, somewhat lower than Brown. And on Wednesday, the speaker called for a plan that potentially includes increased contributions from all three contributors to the system -- the state, school districts and individual teachers (boldface mine--Darren)...

"Since the contribution rates for CalSTRS are set by the Legislature and not the retirement board," as is the case with the California Public Employees Retirement System, "it is the responsibility of the governor and the Legislature to determine the best way to address the funding shortfall," (Assemblyman) Bonta said.
The second big hit will be Obamacare.  My W-2 has some interesting new additions on it, including a 5-digit number that I believe is the value of the cost of my health/dental insurance that my school district pays.  I think we're to be taxed on that, if not this year (I'll soon find out, as I'm ready to start my taxes) then soon.

If I'm correct it would amount to a 20% increase in my taxable income, which would surely be a serious hit to me come tax time.

You Democrats brought this on us; remember, not a single Republican voted for Obamacare in either the House or the Senate.  This debacle, and the financial hit we'll all take because it, is your fault.

Update:  According to this article the health insurance tax doesn't kick in until 2018:
Excise Tax on Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans($32 bil/Jan 2018): Starting in 2018, new 40 percent excise tax on “Cadillac” health insurance plans ($10,200 single/$27,500 family). For early retirees and high-risk professions exists a higher threshold ($11,500 single/$29,450 family).  CPI +1 percentage point indexed.
There's still time to repeal the entire disaster before that provision kicks in.


maxutils said...

That is interesting ... in theory, there really isn't a reason NOT to tax your health care benefits: they're equivalent to income. But, if they're to be taxed, you should also have a chance to negotiate a higher salary, first. You don't change rules after the contract is signed. That said ... Obamacare will implode. If you think CalSTRS is unsustainable ...just wait.

Mike Thiac said...


You are proceeding from a false assumption and please, let me finish before you make judgement.

Obamacare was never intended to do anything but implode. What is Obamacare when you boil it down? It is the bridge to single payer. B Hussein signed a bill that he knew would destroy the private health care system. He is filling the insurance companies with old and sick, people who will need lots of payouts. The young and healthy are not signing up, so they are not getting the money into their funds to pay for the high end users (old and sick). So the question is does HMO Blue go bankrupt before or after January 2017? I think before the end of B Hussein's regime of error there will be a crisis that requires a bailout of the health insurance industry, that they are the latest thing too big to fail. He had control of the "private" health care, Medicare and Medicaid.

Game, Set, Match.

And the Republicans will gladly go along with this, unless conservatories get control of the party and end this. But I won't hold my breath.

God help us all.

maxutils said...

Mike ... sadly, I think you are quite possibly right. The evidence certainly leans that way ... the only other option is that everyone involved in writing/imposing it is completely incompetent. No false assumptions, here ...