Category: Articles & Op-Eds

California’s Hidden Expenses: Part IV

$3.5B YOY Growth In Unfunded Teacher Pensions California’s Teacher Pension Fund (CalSTRS) recently released its latest CAFR (Comprehensive Annual Financial Report) showing the state’s Unfunded Liability for Teacher Pensions grew to $76.2 billion from $72.7 billion the year before: Page 124…

More Alternative Facts From CalSTRS

Everyone knows about Sean Spicer’s overstatement of the size of President Trump’s inauguration crowd. Few know about the California State Teachers Retirement System’s understatement of the size of teacher pension liabilities. CalSTRS, the state-run pension fund that manages pension assets…

Big Changes In California’s Spending

Jerry Brown Should Ask State Legislature To Address Core Issues Jerry Brown just proposed his sixth budget since taking office in January 2011. Boosted by a bull market and tax rate increase, General Fund revenues are budgeted to be 32% higher…

California’s Hidden Expenses: Part III

$6B YOY Growth In Unfunded Pensions Owed State Employees Last year Governor Brown listed the state’s liability for State Employee Pensions at $43 billion (see below and page 3 here). This year he lists that same liability at $49 billion…

California’s Hidden Expenses: Part II

Brown’s Budget Understates 2017–18 Pension Costs By $4.5 billion Governor Brown budgets $9 billion for pension contributions for FY2017–18: Pension Costs, page 128, Governor’s Budget FY2017–18 But even that large figure (83% higher than five years ago) is understated by $4.5…

Hidden Expenses In California’s Budget

First in a Series: $2.3 billion Of Undisclosed OPEB Expense A year ago, Governor Brown listed the state’s Retiree Health liability at $71.8 billion (see page 3 here). This year he lists that liability at $74.1 billion (see page 8 here).…

Dissecting California’s Corrections Budget

Big Increase In Compensation Spending Per Inmate California under Governor Jerry Brown’s third and four terms continues to reduce its prison population, a welcome reversal of the steep population increase resulting from determinant sentencing legislation Brown signed in his first term.…

SF Chronicle: The good, the bad and the ugly of Obamacare

I walked precincts for Barack Obama in 2008 and rejoiced in his victory, but I wasn’t happy when, instead of taking advantage of a Democratic Party majority in Congress to pass climate-change legislation, he proposed the Affordable Care Act, colloquially…

Exxon, CalPERS and CalSTRS: Partners In Deception

Everyone knows about Exxon’s history of suppressing scientific studies linking fossil fuels and global warming. Fewer know about CalPERS’s and CalSTRS’s suppression of the true math associated with California’s unfunded pension obligations. As a consequence of that suppression, pension costs…

For Whom the California Budget Tolls

Who Really Bears The Burden Of Unfunded Retirement Costs Journalists and elected officials occasionally make the mistake of viewing budget problems in terms of size rather than where the budget item falls. For example, the costs of unfunded pensions and…