Pay, perks and pensions driving up state deficit

Staff at the Union Rescue Mission downtown and Hope Gardens near Sylmar had a tough choice to make recently: Cut services to the poor and homeless, or take a salary cut and end their 401 matches. Full Story
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Check Welfare recipients

Whittier, CA

#1 Jan 19, 2010
Why are there over 400,000 people on welfare?..That would be my question....Its always mentioned that THE TAXPAYER pays the government pensions..Folks the government workers ALSO, yes ALSO pay taxes....(please remember to put that in your article everytime)..You seem to always tend to imply that government workers get the pensions for free..THEY DO NOT!.....Re-check who you have receiving welfare benefits...There I'm sure you will find such an abuse of funds that it will make the pension plans seem moot...
Passing the Buck

Pasadena, CA

#2 Jan 19, 2010
Yes, keep blaming state workers for the budget deficit. At the end of the day the government will take the taxpayers money ANYWAY and spend it on something else stupid. If we pay employees less its not like the savings will go to the taxpayer, our corrupt clueless elected officials will use it to fund pork barrel projects, not send the money to the poor and retired.

It's a lose lose situation when you're dealing with the government. But of course its much easier to pass the blame on the employees.
Akiba

Chicago, IL

#3 Jan 19, 2010
800,000 state employees? You've got to be kidding. It is more like slightly over 200,000. At six employees per one thousand population it is one of the most thinly spread out groups in any state. You might get 800,000 if you count all the local employees and local special district and school employees. My pension is $605/mo gross. This for 28 years. Those of us who are "miscellaneous" employees get next to nothing in pensions. Most of us are miscellaneous employees. It is the highway patrol and prison guards who take home the larger pensions--they also pay a hefto percentage of their salaries for that benefit. The unions are totally useless--doing next to nothing except constantly raising dues for their worldwide agends (SEIU) from which we derive no benefit whatsoever.
DirtDestroyer

Fresno, CA

#4 Jan 19, 2010
Compared to the private sector,California state employees receive larger pensions,benefits and wages.This was not always the case.California should stop being the most generous welfare state in the nation.I believe that the state employees should receive wages and pensions comparable with the private sector as our deficeit now demands that this be so.If the people of California would be treated by the state employees when being served in a more professioanl and courteous manner I would not deny them the generous wages and benefits.State employees attitude towards the public is atrocious especially when calling the State contractors licensing board in Fresno.If there are to be pay cuts that is the department that I'd start with.
TYB STUCK IN CALI

Monrovia, CA

#5 Jan 19, 2010
I notice Mr. Anderson takes everything the teapartyers and everyone else says as truth and does not reseach their statements. State and government workers PAY into their pension plans-when the stock market was good state,county, and local governments suspended the contributions they are required BY LAW to make(since they opted out of Social Security in 1983) and the pension plans were given promises to pay back the borrowed funds. That has not happened and now the stock market has wiped out surpluses. The REAL PROBLEM is that there are too many state programs created through the inititive process that force $$ to be used for only that program.That $$ cannot be forwarded to areas that really need it! They need to wipe out the Walmart legislation that is written for and voted in by people who have no concept on how programs should be created....
silly

Pleasant Hill, CA

#6 Jan 19, 2010
TYB STUCK IN CALI wrote:
I notice Mr. Anderson takes everything the teapartyers and everyone else says as truth and does not reseach their statements. State and government workers PAY into their pension plans-when the stock market was good state,county, and local governments suspended the contributions they are required BY LAW to make(since they opted out of Social Security in 1983) and the pension plans were given promises to pay back the borrowed funds. That has not happened and now the stock market has wiped out surpluses. The REAL PROBLEM is that there are too many state programs created through the inititive process that force $$ to be used for only that program.That $$ cannot be forwarded to areas that really need it! They need to wipe out the Walmart legislation that is written for and voted in by people who have no concept on how programs should be created....
State programs, whether from initiatives or legislation, are where the increase in state employees derives.
WOW

United States

#7 Jan 19, 2010
Yeah. let's have everybody tin America take a giant pay cut, and do away with all pensions, and 401k contributions, just so that the every piece of Wall Street scum who brought this mess on will have more. to steal? We're obviously not sacrificing enough so that these worthless pieces of crap can have their bonus's for their superior performance?

Why not an across the board reduction in interest payment by the State to the actual market rate that you and I get from Wall Street, less than 2% today? That would free up billions and billiions, over the 7% we're paying now? But, we can't do that, it would cut off politicians from the Wall Street contributiosn from bond salesmens kickbacks and/or campaign contributions, right? Nah.........that would never be proposed, would it?

We should all take pay cuts instead, when others screw up, right? When you're getting raped, you should tell the rapist you love them, too, right? When your being robbed you should offer the thief more, perhaps? And, when you are raped and ripped off by Wall Street you should just learn to bend over, right?

Typical of the useless information from the now purportedly bankrupt Star News? Those who are the most privlieged losers, who have wrecked our economy, get bailouts, and bonus's, while the rest of us get screwed?

How about a "just say no" program to being ripped off, by these "too big to fail" spoiled elitist assholes?
huh

San Dimas, CA

#10 Jan 19, 2010
Public employees deserve every penny they get??....prison guards making $180,000 a year, fireman making $200,000 with overtime, city managers making $200-300,000 and retiring at 90% when only 55...hmmm.

Maybe Obama could create the Public Employee Fair Share Tax and simply tax these perks?...probably not.
Acemakr6

AOL

#11 Jan 19, 2010
Obviously none of you have run a business, Every menial job has a maximum amount it can be paid! The lazy governmetn worker who has unionized is being paid way beyond the typical scale in the private sector, This is the problem with Unions, The UAW, SEIU, and so forth. They have priced themselves out of a job and thier to stupid to realize it!!! The typical SEIU worker ( Democrat) would rather services be cut to the poor than take a 5% pay cut I always thought Democrats looked out for the small guy!!! LMFAO!!!
Right Again

Huntsville, TX

#12 Jan 19, 2010
The PERS people will tell you that only 1 % of all retirees have pensions over $100,000 a year, and that may be true TODAY. The rate that increases have been giiven over tha last 10 years, along with the Gray Davis public funds giveaway by increasing benefits by 50%, will result in 20% of all retirees in 5 years, receiving benefits of greater than $100,000 a year.
The people need to change the constution to allow for roll backs to the retirement system to the level it was before Gray Davis was bought.
It is time to quit worrying about the public employees and start worrying about the people that pay the bills. We must stop the bleeding caused by over generous retirements benefits for public employees. NOW

“a good community is OUR job”

Since: Mar 09

Pasadena

#13 Jan 19, 2010
pensions add a huge liability to the state's balance sheet. The problem is that they are "defined benefits", which means a promise to pay a certain amount in the future. So, while the payout is fixed, the stuff the funds are invested in can vary wildy under the hood. When the market is up, no problem. When the market is down, and the fund value goes in the toilet... too bad.. the pension still has to pay. This puts alot of risk on the state and cities, and thereby on us the taxpayers.

Remove pensions and move to a 401K defined contribution plan. Here, the gov't kicks in a fixed amount, but the investment risk is moved off the state and onto the employee.
WOW

United States

#14 Jan 19, 2010
The law used to require contributions to be set aaside for retirment contributiosn at the the time of earnings. This is now required by recent ERISA decisions to keep employer's from deferring contributions, then declaring bankruptcy and stealing the pension funds. It applies to State and Local Government and is proper accounting for a fiduciary contractual committment.

Irnonically, the local governments in CA were once required to do this, but the greedy politicians, who wanted more to steal for contractors kickbacks and bond salesmen's campaign contributions, so they allowed Cities and Schools to "defer" their contributions and not consider them as liabilities in their budget's.

This "change" was partially justified based on really good investment returns for a few years to PERS. This was a bi-partisan scam to make budgets "look better" and to free up more money for contract steering for political campaign kickbacks.

Yes, we should reform spiking abuse among the very very small elite "management" class of political hangers on, who do get these inflated pensions of well over $100K per year. These are often nothing but sweetheart deals limited to the senior politically appointed agency management who do the day to day dirty work for these "bi-partisan" thieving politicians.
Sally

Pomona, CA

#15 Jan 19, 2010
I couldn't agree more - cut salaries of every state employee earning $75,000 or more. In addition to cutting the salary, those that earn $80,000 or more should pay for more for their own healthcare benefits. Mandate a 5% layoff of every department across the State - real cuts not just not filling empty positions. Also increase every employees' contribution to their own retirment up to 25%. Add another furlough day.

A long-term solution is to also put more services on-line where people can take care of some things without ever having to go into a government office or talk to government employee. Any fool who goes into the DMV deserves to wait hours for service.

Cut every single "State Board" until things get better - every special interest group that has a board ought to have volunteers on that board instead of highly paid government employees.
tired of all the BS

West Covina, CA

#16 Jan 19, 2010
F*n bankers, dumb sh*t politician and greedy people buying things they can't afford (huge houses, escalades, boats etc.) are the reasons this whole country is in deep financial sh*t. They always look to blame someone else but themselves.

We all have a choice to work in public or private industry. Most of us chose private industry because of the higher pay and the prestige of working for big name companies. We all thought "why would I want to be a state worker, when I can work for blah blah Fortune 5000 company." Now that private industry is f**ked, we want to target the public employees.

Hey people wake the f up. We chose to work in private industry, grow up and quit blaming others for your bad situation.
Jumping Jim

Long Beach, CA

#17 Jan 19, 2010
Leave it to that BUM loving organization to cry about what others get all the while wanting us to pay more for a bunch of lazy alcohol and drug infested low life's.
Jumping Jim

Long Beach, CA

#18 Jan 19, 2010
Check Welfare recipients wrote:
Why are there over 400,000 people on welfare?..That would be my question....Its always mentioned that THE TAXPAYER pays the government pensions..Folks the government workers ALSO, yes ALSO pay taxes....(please remember to put that in your article everytime)..You seem to always tend to imply that government workers get the pensions for free..THEY DO NOT!.....Re-check who you have receiving welfare benefits...There I'm sure you will find such an abuse of funds that it will make the pension plans seem moot...
With that many of people (400K) getting free money called welfare, no wonder the state in bankrupt. The liberals never want to mention that, and instead blame government workers.

Many young women these days, find it easier to spread their legs, have babies and get on the money wagon, instead of going out in the work force and earning a living.
pasadena resident

Los Angeles, CA

#19 Jan 19, 2010
Why should people on welfare keep having kids and expect us to support them?If they can't afford the kids they have they shouldn't be allowed to put another one on the system.May be we need to limit the time they can be on it-six months to a year max!!!
Ballzan Chin

Los Angeles, CA

#20 Jan 19, 2010
This was just figured out??? Jesus Christ! The high pay and pensions have been an issue since Arnold became governor and had the arrogance to say he could right the ship with his willingness to get along with Democrats & vice versa. What an arrogant prick!It's the Unions that won't sacrifice or give concessions , not to mention all the illegals we have to feed for some goddamned reason and when they get drunk and bust their head open, we traet them in our hospitals. When is enough enough?
Ben

Toms River, NJ

#21 Jan 19, 2010
Antonovich should take a cut too. He gets $179,000.00 plus perks, plus the same illegal $50,000.00 bonus he gives to Superior Court judges to act as his agents. This is in defiance of the State Constitution.

It would be wrong to let go the State employees but the compensation should be cut immediatly starting at the top.
CARTMAN

Diamond Bar, CA

#22 Jan 19, 2010
"In a Jan. 3 San Francisco Chronicle column, former state Assembly Speaker Willie Brown said 80 percent of state, county and city budget deficits are due to public employee costs. He called on fellow politicians to address the "out- of-control civil service" system that now "runs the show" and has secured "incredibly generous retirement packages" and salaries for government employees."

I have always disliked Willie Brown but he redeemed himself with the above statement.
"Out of control" is right.

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