The Pension Scandals in Sonoma and Marin Counties

By John Moore
Two Case Studies on How Two Counties Purchased Outside Legal Opinions That Delivered Aggressively Self-Serving Interpretations of the Law in Response to Grand Jury Reports That Found That Substantial Pension Benefits had Been Granted Illegally. Introduction In California, public pensions are guided by different divisions of the government code. The largest administrator is CalPERS which administers...

TAGS: unfunded pension liabilities

Why Pension Reform is Inevitable, and How Reforms Can Benefit the Economy

By Edward Ring
“The six-year bull market is admittedly long in the tooth.” CalSTRS Chief Investment Officer Chris Ailman, Sacramento Bee, July 17, 2015 If what Mr. Ailman really means is equity investments may not be turning in double digit returns any more, that makes the recent performance of CalSTRS and CalPERS all the more troubling. Because according...

TAGS: CalPERS, CalSTRS, pension reform, unfunded pension liabilities

Has Sacramento really balanced the state’s budget?

By Bill Fletcher
Thanks to Proposition 30 with its retroactive tax increase and an improving economy, the state claims that it has balanced its General Fund budget.  This may be technically correct but ignores some very unpleasant realities. Claiming to have balanced the budget ignores the growing unfunded liabilities associated with public employee pensions and other unfunded retirement...

TAGS: California state budget, GASB, unfunded pension liabilities

Governor Brown – The Bailout King

By Edward Ring
“What a salesman,” he said, mockingly. “I guess that’s what you learned … selling that stock that went south.” – California Governor Brown, to challenger Kashkari, during televised debate Sept. 4th, 2014 (ref. SF Gate) If anyone wants to know what the theme of Governor Brown’s attacks on GOP candidate Neel Kashkari is going to...

TAGS: Governor Jerry Brown, normal pension contribution, pension reform, unfunded pension liabilities

Crony Capitalism vs. Public Pensions

By Andrew Biggs
A new union-sponsored study lowballs today’s pension costs by around two-thirds and overstates the net costs of corporate welfare. The Washington Post’s Lydia DePillis recently reported on a new union-sponsored study from Good Jobs First that claims that corporate welfare payments from state governments dwarf the costs of public employee pensions. To begin, we shouldn’t take this corporate welfare/public...

TAGS: corporate welfare, crony capitalism, unfunded pension liabilities

Paradise Lost – California is not too big to fail

By Shawn Steel
One early December morning, Las Vegas police moved in on the Silverton Hotel and Casino, just off the Strip and known for its 117,000-gallon aquarium. There, having located a getaway black Audi with no license plates, they arrested 31-year-old Ka Pasasouk—a Laotian immigrant with a violent history who had eluded deportation as well as imprisonment....

TAGS: California Prop. 13, Joel Kotkin, Right to Work, unfunded pension liabilities