Category: Articles & Op-Eds

A Teachable Pension Math Moment

Unfortunately, compounding works in two directions. Yesterday the California Public Employees’ Retirement System reported excellent earnings for its 2016–17 fiscal year, earning 11.2 percent. Yet CalPERS’s Funded Ratio (the ratio of assets set aside to meet pension liabilities owed by…

The Great California Classroom Robbery

Pension and retiree healthcare beneficiaries must chip in. Despite historic revenue gains, California’s public schools are in financial trouble. While California’s public schools often suffer financial distress during recessions, their current plight is alarmingly taking place during an economic recovery and…

Pension Deficits Are Not Like Droughts

Yvonne Walker tries Scott Pruitt’s approach. Last week the Sacramento Bee published a guest op-ed by Yvonne Walker, who leads an employee association, that likens public pension deficits to droughts fixable with a good winter of rain. But that’s not…

A Sad Day For Truth-Telling In Sacramento

Interested party briefs legislators. I received notes from yesterday’s briefing of legislators about Governor Brown’s proposal for a special fund (SMIF) to lend the general fund $6 billion so the general fund can put that money in CalPERS, a state…

Jerry Brown’s Big Skim

Potential profits could’ve been used for government services Governor Jerry Brown and the California Legislature have approved a scheme under which a special state fund filled with citizen-paid fees will lend money to the state General Fund, which in turn…

California Elects Not to Pay Down Pension Debt

Yet Governor Brown promises savings In a June 11 essay I suggested the state pay down pension debt rather than adopt Governor Brown’s proposal to borrow to boost pension contributions. A pay-down would lock in savings for citizens. But Brown and…

Shallow Waters

What Awaits California’s Next Governor California’s economy rises and falls with the national economy: Unemployment Rate, seasonally adjusted. Data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Governors have little to do with those waves but their approval ratings ride right alongside. Pete…

SF Chronicle: Proposed state health care plan is a faux single-payer system

Every Californian should read “The Healing of America” (Penguin Books, 2010) by T.R. Reid. An informative and entertaining tour of health care systems around the world, Reid’s book exposes the deception being proffered by proponents of legislation misleadingly characterized as…

Unhealthy Legislation in Sacramento

Health care financing bill is based on false premise Every California legislator should read The Healing of America by T.R. Reid. An informative and entertaining world tour, Reid’s book would make crystal clear the deceptions being proffered by some proponents of…

The Real Reason Behind The CA Single Payer Proposal

Hint: It’s not about health This past weekend the California Democratic Party of which I am a member held a state convention riven by the election of a new chairman. Behind that was a battle over a proposal to enact “Single…