Sunday, July 30, 2017

California Pensions

Funny how it's the "elephant" in the room when it's the donkeys who run this state and have created this problem:
Jerry Brown has been a strong governor and a moderating force on budget issues. But when it comes to pensions, the new state budget projects that California has nearly $206 billion in “unfunded liabilities” for the state’s two public pension funds.

Over the last eight years, we added $100 billion in unfunded retirement liability for these funds. This is the elephant in the room of state finances, and it is time we got serious about it.

You probably haven’t heard much about the looming pension crisis because elected officials don’t like talking about it and it’s easy for them to kick the can down the road: they can make promises to public employees now that won’t come due until they’re out of office.

But the slow creep of pension costs is crowding out investments in other areas, including education, environmental stewardship, social services, and public transportation. In essence, the state is being forced to default on its social obligations to pay for its pension obligations. If you’re a progressive, fixing this problem may be the most important issue facing the state.
I'm not a progressive, I'm a conservative.  You don't have to be a progressive to think that fiscal solvency is good for a government.  In fact, that's a pretty conservative belief!

1 comment:

Ellen K said...

My brother in law retired from a California state utility system when he was 55. He's been living an ideal like with a home on the beach, hobbies of travel and book collecting. He and his wife have saved nothing, which is fine, except now they are reaching ages when a beach house with bedrooms on the second floor and kitchen on the third are not practical. They can't sell it. They have been looking at Oregon and Nevada for something they can afford, but unless they can get any equity out of their house, they have nothing to apply to the loan. Down the road, if the pension system goes bust, I really don't know what they will do. He is now 68 and she is 64. But they continue their madcap lifestyles...oh, and they're staunch liberals who believe in the system. We'll see.