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LOSING OUR FREEDOM ONE DEVICE AT A TIME: APPLE-FACEBOOK INTEGRATION

PUBLIC EMPLOYEE PENSION PLAN: A RAID ON CALIFORNIA TAXPAYERS?

Why the taxpayers ever let corrupt politicians pander to public employee unions is sure to be debated hotly as we now find that politicians have created their own captive and protected “political class” of privileged employees with salaries, perks and privileges beyond anything commensurate with the private sector. Where “cubicle workers” are rewarded like “first responders” in hazardous life-threatening situations.

Once again we see two machine politicians, Kevin de Leon and Darrel Steinberg, pushing their “California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Trust Act:” that has all of the integrity of the mythical Social Security “trust fund.”

Senate Bill S.B. 1234, “establishes the California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Investment Board (Board), as defined, and the California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Trust (Trust), a continuously appropriated fund, for the purpose of creating a statewide program known as the California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program (SCRSP).

SCRSP will exist to provide a statewide retirement savings plan for private workers who do not participate in any other type of employer sponsored retirement savings plan.

Contributions by employers and employees will be voluntary.

In order for SCRSP to become operational, this bill requires that the Board conduct a market analysis to determine various factors in regard to implementing the SCRSP and to report to the Legislature on its findings; the analysis may be done only if sufficient funds to do so are made available through a non-profit or private entity, federal funding, or an annual Budget Act appropriation.

Once created, administrative costs for the SCRSP shall be paid for from earnings on investments into the trust and shall be no more than 1%, annually, of the total program fund assets.

This bill has been characterized by Frank Keegan, the editor of Statebudgetsolutions.org, as “nothing more than an attempt to raid the private sector for cash flow to cover abuse, misfeasance, malfeasance and fiscal recklessness that bankrupted the state's public pension plans.”

Keegan goes on to say …

Anyone who believes this money – estimated at $6.6 billion the first year – transfused into the public pension system will be left sequestered should check how well that promise was kept for Social Security.

In California, anyone naive enough to think it would remain uncontaminated by an inherently corrupt machine hasn't been reading the papers.

But the overriding question left unanswered on the issue of "guaranteed" retirement income is: guaranteed by whom?

Answer: taxpayers, the same people now stuck with the insurmountable debt of a retirement system in an accelerating death spiral.

The inescapable moral hazard that bankrupted state and municipal pension systems all over America must doom Secure Choice. Money from citizens and businesses goes in; it disappears, and nobody notices until the perpetrators have long fled the scene of their fiscal crimes.

State and municipal governments are more than $4.6 trillion underwater on false pension promises to public workers. In California, that is at least $500 billion and growing fast despite false reforms just signed by Gov. Jerry Brown. <Source>

On June 1st, I wrote “California wants to rob you blind -- again with state-run "private" pensions ...” noting that the legislation was being pushed through the system by a socialist union hack.

Enter California Senator Kevin de Leon, a prototypical democrat/Marxist promoting the entitlement culture …

“Senator De León has spent a lifetime fighting to empower working families and the poor—as a community organizer, English as a Second Language and U.S. Citizenship teacher, and an advocate for public schools. During his five years at the California Teachers Association, De León fought for additional funding for “high-priority schools” in low-income neighborhoods, more school construction, and health insurance for children.”

As a Senior Associate for the National Education Association (NEA) in Washington, D.C., De León advocated for more resources for schools in low-income neighborhoods. He also coordinated a team that fought schemes to take funds from public schools in the form of taxpayer-funded vouchers. At the NEA he also thwarted efforts to impose academic censorship on public school teachers.” <Source>

The program is administered by politicians, for politicians …

Who might be on this Board that will protect the working Californian from corrupt politicians?

“100002. (a) (1) There is hereby created within state government the California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Investment Board, which shall consist of seven members, with the Treasurer serving as chair, as follows:

(A) The Treasurer.

(B) The Director of Finance, or his or her designee.

(C) The Controller.

(D) An individual with retirement savings and investment expertise appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules.

(E) A small business representative appointed by the Governor.

(F) A public member appointed by the Governor.

(G) An employee representative appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly.”

Out of the gate I see political corruption and influence …

It should surprise no one that all of the members are beholden to the corrupt politicians who are held in thrall by their union masters. If you doubt that they will exert control over the board and insure that there will be no independent opinions, just consider 100002. (a) (2).

(2) Members of the board appointed by the Governor, the Senate Committee on Rules, and the Speaker of the Assembly shall serve at the pleasure of the appointing authority.

And I will repeat my conclusions …

Bottom line …

Can you trust the corrupt California politicians who continue to allocate exorbitant funding for a failed educational system because it serves the purposes of the unions who provide the politicians with campaign funds and voter support?

Can you trust the corrupt California politicians who have continued to appoint six-figure board members (mostly failed politicians between gigs) to meaningless boards, commissions and panels in this time of fiscal peril?

These are the very same people who have spent multiple millions on “high speed rail” studies for a trillion-dollar (when all is said and done) rail system that goes nowhere of interest and is likely to be the state’s greatest boondoggle. A massive wealth distribution scheme to the unions and those special interests which control the politicians.

If these corrupt California politicians – and I mean democrats and republicans alike – cannot get their fiscal house in order and continually demand higher taxes to pay for special interest projects, they have proven they cannot be trusted with the people’s money.

One look at how the bloated and mismanaged public employee pension funds have nearly bankrupted every municipality, county and the state itself should serve as a warning to those of us remaining Californians who do not buy into the entitlement culture. One need only consider the California Public Employee Retirement System with its $85 BILLION unfunded (and growing) liability.

If the California politicos had any cojones … they would eliminate “defined benefit” pensions at once and make workers accept “defined contribution” programs such as the 401(k) programs that are available in the private sector.

I do not condone the creation of a politically-protected class of workers who is guaranteed a life-time salary with continuing raises, early retirement, fully-paid medical benefits when the rest of us in the private sector are forced to sacrifice family funds to feed these “mediocre at best” government workers.

Ladies and Gentlemen: I call bullshit! on this legislation and the attempt of a corrupt legislature to continue on the path to California’s perdition and bankruptcy.

-- steve

Reference Links …

Senate Bill SB1234


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