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Even More on The Coming War Over Public-Sector Pensions

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by Real World, Feb 24, 2010.

  1. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    Unsustainable.


    Even More on The Coming War Over Public-Sector Pensions

    Nick Gillespie | February 21, 2010

    Via the Washington Examiner comes news of a brewing showdown in Fairfax, Virginia, where the school system is looking for a whopping tax increase to pay for teacher retirements and benefits. Here's verbiage from the Fairfax County Taxpayers Association (FCTA), which is against that move:

    "The FCTA asked why the school board is urging the supervisors to raise taxes by $81.9M although only $9M is needed to pay for next year's expected increase in student enrollment.

    "The school superintendent acknowledged that the reason is the increased cost in employee benefits, especially pensions. According to the schools' proposed FY2011 budget, employee benefits costs are increasing by $98M, of which $71M is for pensions and another $15M is for retiree medical benefits.

    "The school board has been less than straightforward with the community about this. During her opening remarks at the forum, school board chairman Kathy Smith talked about cuts to band and sports, and bigger class sizes, but never acknowledged that the cuts were being made to pay for increased benefits costs. School board members urged the audience to ask the supervisors to raise taxes. If taxes are not raised, then the board will cut band and sports and increase class size to make the pension payments."​


    Whole thing here.


    Even More on The Coming War Over Public-Sector Pensions - Hit & Run : Reason Magazine
     
  2. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

    Mrs.PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Health care spending per capita increased from $356 in 1970 to $6,697 in 2005 and is projected to rise to $12,320 in 2015.

    Snapshots: How Changes in Medical Technology Affect Health Care Costs - Kaiser Family Foundation

    A new house cost 1050% more in 2006 than in 1970. That means a new house in 2006 was 10 ½ times more expensive than one in 1970.

    The Cost of Housing: 1050% Higher than 1970 and Climbing Mercyman53’s Weblog

    In 1970 the average cost of new car was $3,900.00.

    The average price of a new car sold today in the United States is $28,400.


    Correct me if I'm wrong but teachers need to buy houses and have health care, don't they? Even retired teachers.
     
  3. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    RW's link said "inflation-adjusted costs". Adjusting for inflation that $3,900 comes in at around $25K, not quite $28K but right there in the ballpark; of course, cars have also improved dramatically in 40 years which is RW's point.

    I have no idea if the numbers they gave are correct but if the cost has doubled AFTER accounting for inflation then there's a problem as the quality hasn't improved.
     
  4. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    The point is that people need to plan for themselves accordingly. The idea that the few can be supported indefinately by the many, as the burden on the many grows, is flawed. At some point the numbers will simply play out, and reality will set in. You can't be paid top dollar, with free bennies, for not doing anything at all. Retiree's should be accountable for their own health coverage. Their pension should not reflect their highest years of earnings. Everyone in life has to plan for their future, and so should public employees. The math just doesn't work. Free cake and ice cream for everyone only happens in fantasy land.
     
  5. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    Check out some of these figures. How do people figure this can be possible long term? It's not. Pensions in the hundreds of thousands annually. WTF?!?

    One dude stands to get a $418,000 per year pension when he retires. $418k per year from a state funded job!

    [​IMG]

    Champion News - Setting the Standard
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2010
  6. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    How about for the military?? How about for Police and Fire?? Would your standard apply there as well??

    The money will come from the newer employees by requiring them to pay more, and probably delay their retirement..
     
  7. reflexblue

    reflexblue PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #91 Jersey

    I'm an engineer at a power plant at a state collage, i make seventy cents on the dollar compared to the same position in the private sector. My wife also works for the state, she's a Harvard grad, she makes appx. sixty cents on the dollar compared to people who work in the private sector. Put our salaries together and we make about 70% less than our private sector counter parts. I'm tired of hearing about how we have it so good, or how we're paid top dollar. We should get something in the way of benefits if we don't make as much money as we could elsewhere.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2010
  8. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    Not for nothing, but everyone is free to go get a "higher" paying job in the private sector if they want to. Of course, in the private sector, one doesn't have the security, nor the reduced pressure that is found in a state, or federal job. Now, before everyone jumps all over me, I'm speaking in general terms here. Clearly there are the more demanding jobs in state, and federal government, as well as the lower paying that don't quite cut the mustard for what's demanded. Generally speaking though, people don't line up and call in favors to get a state job, cuz they stink. People litterally pay to get a state job, cuz they're good to have. Again, generally speaking, they're too good these days.

    Income angst? Not for public employees

    By Jeff Jacoby
    Globe Columnist / January 27, 2010

    LAST MONTH, the US economy shed another 85,000 jobs. It marked a miserable end to a calamitous year in which an estimated 4.2 million American jobs were liquidated, and unemployment rose to 10 percent. In addition, more than 920,000 “discouraged workers’’ left the labor force entirely, having given up on finding work and therefore not included in official unemployment data.

    Meanwhile, millions of Americans who do have jobs have been compelled to work part-time or at reduced wages; many others have not seen a raise in years. But not everyone is having a rotten recession.

    Since December 2007, when the current downturn began, the ranks of federal employees earning $100,000 and up has skyrocketed. According to a recent analysis by USA Today, federal workers making six-figure salaries - not including overtime and bonuses - “jumped from 14 percent to 19 percent of civil servants during the recession’s first 18 months.’’ The surge has been especially pronounced among the highest-paid employees. At the Defense Department, for example, the number of civilian workers making $150,000 or more quintupled from 1,868 to 10,100. At the recession’s start, the Transportation Department was paying only one person a salary of $170,000. Eighteen months later, 1,690 employees were drawing paychecks that size.

    All the while, the federal government has been adding jobs at a 10,000-a-month clip. Between December 2007 and June 2009, federal payrolls exploded by nearly 10 percent. “Federal workers are enjoying an extraordinary boom time in pay and hiring,’’ USA Today observes, “during a recession that has cost 7.3 million jobs in the private sector.’’ And to add public-sector insult to private-sector injury, data from the Office of Personnel Management show the average federal salary is now roughly $71,000 - about 76 percent higher than the average private salary.


    Income angst? Not for public employees - The Boston Globe
     
  9. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    Now again, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that people shouldn't get anything. I'm merely trying to point out the absurdity, and unsustainability of what's being given. As the payrolls of the state and federal gubmit grow, so will these obligations that we're never going to be able to afford. I think that people making a couple hundred thousand dollars a year for 30+ years, don't need to have their medical insurance paid by me till they die, especially if I'm forking over a couple hundred thousand dollars a year in the form of their pension. I find that absurd. Additionaly absurd, is the notion that a person should get 88% of their pay upon retirement. Here's $100-200k per year, so spend away, cuz when you retire in 30 years, we're going to give you 88% of that till you die, plus medical. That's crazy. More importantly, it's unsustainable. The math just doesn't work.


    OHIO NEWSPAPERS INVESTIGATION: Good as gold
    Taxpayers asked to cover rising pension costs for government employees
    Some are balking, given the state of the economy and the escalating costs of their less-generous private-sector benefits.
    Sunday, January 3, 2010 3:23 AM
    By James Nash

    THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

    DISPATCH PHOTO ILLUSTRATION


    Ohio Newspapers Investigation

    Crushing costs threaten Ohio's public pensions


    At a time when budget cuts are forcing Ohio schools to lay off teachers and cities to raise taxes, eliminate jobs or both, one expense government leaders have not cut is pensions for their workers. The pension cost to local governments in Ohio now stands at $4.1 billion a year. If current trends continue, pension costs will grow by $604 million to $768 million during the next five years, according to a Dispatch computer analysis. The costs are directly related to the size of government payrolls, which continue to grow across Ohio.

    On top of that, two of the five public-pension systems are asking taxpayers to dig deeper to cover funding shortfalls, potentially adding $400 million to the tally by 2020. All told, the taxpayer tab easily could top $5 billion a year by the middle of the decade.


    Taxpayers asked to cover rising pension costs for government employees | The Columbus Dispatch


    This stuff is just absurd. The MBTA for example, has a 23 year retirement rule, with a pension being based on 80+% of your 3 highest years of earnings. Anyone wonder why the MBTA is as much as $8 billion in debt?

    More from the Ohio article.

     
  10. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Was involved with State Government for 30 years, initially this was true (found out after I was hired), but later moved to a civil service test system.. not much room for payoffs anymore.

    You did not answer the question posed:

    Are you against pensions and health benefits for the military? A kid who enters the service at 18 is eligible at 38 for a pension and family medical for life.

    Are you against pensions and health benefits for police and firefighters? Know some firemen who get a pension after 20 years, plus full family health benefits for life.. + 3% COLA...

    Most of the pensions have changed over the past 5 or 6 years, now you cannot retire based on length of service.. my wife started at age 19 and got out at 49... now she would have to be 59 years of age to retire.

    Familiar with many corrections officers who will be walking the "toughest beat in the state" at age 58... may be somewhat tricky.
     
  11. NEPatriot

    NEPatriot Banned

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    Do you know that federal and state employees don't make up of military personels , police, firefighters, and corrections officers?

    If you use these people to justify your lame excuse for fed employees's high pension, it's completely BS.
     
  12. reflexblue

    reflexblue PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #91 Jersey

    I had typed out a long detailed response to this but lost it
    I don't care what this clown says hee has an agenda like you. The bottom line is my wife and i could leave anytime and still have the same job security. If a private sector job comes along i might take it. My wife is staying as of the moment because she feels that kids in public colleges should have the same oppertunities as those in private schools. I stay because this was the first place that hired me when i went into the field and i'm comfortable for now. Niether one of us are money grubing pigs. You get what you pay for, and if the state doesn't pay enough eventually it won't be able to find qualified people.
    BTW i don't think a property manager should make 60K a year. I think your over paid. :singing:
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2010
  13. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Just when I have come to realize what an idiotic day is here, you post this and realize that it can be more idiotic than usual..

    Where do the pensions for from the aforementioned professions come from???
     
  14. lostjumper

    lostjumper Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Then quite whining and get a private sector job. If you could get a job in the private sector that is better than yours, you would. Since you haven't, I doubt there is one for you.

    Should of known you and were wife are both in the public sector the way you talk...
     
  15. reflexblue

    reflexblue PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #91 Jersey

    :nono: Thats not nice we haven't even been formaly intraduced yet. :nono: How do you know what i would do? are you some kind of oracle, a mind reader, a prophet, are you clairvoyant. Maybe you could a job in a circus or carnival, some freak show. Anyways i like the idea of taking Your money unless some great offer comes around I think i'll stay so you and a lot of others like you have to pay for my health care and retirement. If you had any reading and comprehension skills you would know that i wasn't complaining about my job. I said i was tired of hearing people whinning about how good state workers have it, and how much we get paid.

    Oh, and if you could find a job better than asking someone if they "would like fries with that" you wouldn't be here complaining.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2010
  16. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    You could leave and have the SAME JOB SECURITY :singing:

    Well we know someone who hasn't been in the private sector lately.
     
  17. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    For the military fine, know how much an E4 in the military make?

    Know how often they have to uproot their families?

    How much danger they face?

    How dare you compare a bureaucrat to a person in the military.
    :bricks::bricks::bricks:
     
  18. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    The military is not the same as a policeman, or fireman. Aside from that, I'm not opposed to pensions. What I'm opposed to is the magnitude of what is being given. It's unsustainable.
     
  19. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    My agenda is basic math. Under the current path, the numbers simply do not work. Again though, my position isn't that people who work for the state shouldn't have a job, be paid, or get a pension. My position is that what being currently given to a large portion of the public sector, as well as what's being promised down the road, is unsustainable. It just doesn't work fiscally. The MBTA already gets 20% of the MA sales tax, and it's still going under at an alarming rate. Cities and towns are already broke, and their projected entitlement payouts, are only getting worse. Again though, it's not specific to you, or to each any every public sector employee, as it's the overall industry in general.
     
  20. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    You did not answer the question... is it ok to give a 38 year old a pension for life with full medical benefits.. even if that person never saw combat and did 20 years behind a desk???

    Are there limits on police or firemen??

    I concur about sustainability, but in the past the cost of pensions have been bouyed by newer employees..
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2010

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