Friday, November 19, 2010

Still a pension problem

From the Chronicle's Letters to the Editor section, a letter from Public Defender Jeff Adachi:

Still a pension problem
While Proposition B failed, the problem of escalating city employee pension and benefit costs won't disappear. Until the city's political leadership deals with this financial sinkhole, the situation will only get worse, consuming scarce funding that could otherwise support education, law enforcement, parks and recreation programs, public health and other basic services.

By this time next year, retiree pension costs will grow by $60 million to $80 million over the $373 million spent this year. City health care coverage for its employees will grow by $45 million, and the city's unfunded liability will increase by $300 million. Already, city employee benefits absorb one of every six tax dollars. Soon it will be one of three dollars. These costs are unsustainable.

With next year's expected $500 million deficit, San Francisco residents can expect higher fees and fines, but even raising metered parking tickets to $200 won't keep up with these costs.

Many San Franciscans are now aware how much is being spent on pensions and benefits. Rather than celebrating the defeat of Prop. B, the city employee unions and elected officials who opposed it had better get to work on a solution. If they don't, the only bad medicine San Franciscans will experience is bankruptcy.

Jeff Adachi
public defender
San Francisco



At 1:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank You for posting this.

While we are at it, can we also discuss the sinkhole that is Social Security? Benefits should be cut IMMEDIATELY and the retirement age raised to 70, retroactively.

Thanks for being on top of this.

At 2:16 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

I disagree. Social Security is not in trouble and won't be for years to come.

At 3:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obama the Socialist has brainwashed you. Regardless of whether it will collapse - it's patently unfair and anti-capitalist. People should save for their own retirement and plan accordingly.

You're more a trotsky-ite than your so called bike-nuts. Perhaps because you benefit from the socialist nature of the current system.

At 4:08 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Social Security is unfair, and I'm a socialist? I started working full-time at 17 in 1960 for #1.00 an hour in American capitalism and began paying into the system immediately. And it's the rankest ingratitude for a defender of the capitalist system to insult President Obama, who is only the latest American president to save capitalism from the capitalists.

At 4:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you expect to take out more than you put in plus interest? Hmm...

At 6:42 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Yes, of course, if I live long enough, which seems likely, since my mother was 94 when she died.

At 9:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow! from "Billionaire" to "Bad medicine" to "Bankruptcy", that's quite a vocaBulary you have there JeBff!

At 2:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

taking out more than you put in = ponzi scheme. Pay for your own retirement.

At 9:30 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Too late! You're going to pay for it, and you're going to pay a long time.

At 3:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At least you finally admit you're just a self-centered ass. You're going to be watching bike lanes go in, and go in for a long time.

PLEASE appeal the decision, so we can laugh as the judge smacks you down.

At 4:41 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

I make no such admission. I just like to needle you bike assholes at every opportunity. Talk about self-centered!

I had worked for almost 50 years when I began drawing Social Security. By the way, the Social Security system is doing just fine, with or without your contribution.

Yes, we are appealing Judge Busch's decision. How come you didn't know that? Care to venture an opinion on the legal issues, know-it-all?

At 10:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Needling is all you have left. The anti-car agenda is going full steam - whether you like it or not!

At 8:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

more bike lane/driver conflict ...

-- I think they need an Environmental Impact Report !

At 10:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"By the way, the Social Security system is doing just fine, with or without your contribution"

- This is a fallacy. The problem is, all that money, the surplus that it has collected over the years, is invested in US treasuries (actually special securities, but the theory is the same). So while the SS fund is in the black, it's backed by increasing amounts of red ink in the general fund. The second SS goes into a deficit, it will need to redeem bonds from the US Government, which is running a deficit. So one of the largest enablers of that deficit will now become a net drawdown on the general fund. Boom.

While it's sort of a ponzi scheme to begin with just based on the theory of infinite growth, the underlying principal on which the pyramid is being propped up doesn't actually exist.



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