Bond insurer may contest Stockton bankruptcy

A potential big loser in the bankruptcy filed by Stockton last week, an insurer backing a $121 million Stockton pension bond issue, is warning that it may contest the city’s eligibility for bankruptcy.

The leading municipal bond insurer, Assured Guaranty, said three Stockton bond issues totaling $161 million “remain fully protected by our unconditional and irrevocable guaranty to pay scheduled principal and interest in full and on time.”

But in a statement posted on its website Friday, the insurer said it will “vigorously enforce” its rights for fair treatment as a creditor, including the right to contest Stockton’s eligibility for bankruptcy under federal law.

“Since the City Council has not engaged in any meaningful effort to initiate revenue enhancement, asset sales or pension reform, it is questionable whether the City has taken all steps necessary and available to meet the stringent eligibility criteria for filing a bankruptcy petition under chapter 9,” the Assured Guaranty statement said.

The insurer said its offer of “turnaround experts” to help develop a plan for Stockton to avoid bankruptcy was rejected by the city. Bankruptcy seemed to be the “only option” seriously considered to solve long-term structural budget problems.

Other cities facing similar problems have chosen “difficult decisions” rather than bankruptcy, said the insurer, citing voter approval of cost-cutting pension reforms in San Diego and San Jose last month and a tax increase in the small town of Hercules.

Stockton, a Central Valley agricultural hub and inland port with 290,000 residents, is located about 54 miles from Vallejo, a San Francisco Bay Area city of 116,000 that declared bankruptcy in May 2008, finally emerging last November.

As in Vallejo, much of the savings sought in the Stockton bankruptcy plan would come through eliminating bond payments and deep cuts in retiree health care promised city employees.

And as in Vallejo, the Stockton plan does not cut the pensions promised city employees. Vallejo officials discussed a pension cut, but backed off after the California Public Employees Retirement system threatened a lengthy and expensive legal battle.

It seems possible that the statement from the presumably deep-pocketed Assured Guaranty, which said it had $13 billion in “claims-paying resources,” may be intended to be read as a CalPERS-like warning of a costly and time-consuming legal battle.

There was no saber rattling last week from an insurer backing $89 million in Stockton bonds, the troubled National Public Finance Guarantee, which also said bondholders will receive “scheduled interest and principle payments on time and in full.”

A Wall Street credit rating firm, Moody’s, has mentioned an apparent trend causing “distressed municipalities to contemplate a strategic default or bankruptcy on insured debt, knowing that bondholders will not suffer losses.”

Stockton has $700 million in outstanding bonds, but most are being paid off by restricted sewer and water funds. A half dozen bond issues totaling about $325 million are being paid off by the deficit-ridden general fund.

The Stockton general fund bonds are insured and are not voter-approved bonds secured by the taxpayers. Several major municipal bond insurers expanded into mortgage-backed securities and were crippled by huge payouts during the financial crisis.

A former market leader, the Municipal Bond Insurance Association, split off its municipal bond arm, National Public Finance Guarantee, which reportedly is not writing new policies because of lawsuits over the restructuring.

“The carnage left one bond insurer standing, Assured Guaranty,” Reuters reported in March. The insurer was said to be “threatening to pull out of some states without tight bankruptcy controls.”

The Assured Guaranty statement on Stockton said its insurance allowed the city to save “millions of dollars” in interest payments. But now the city bankruptcy plan treats the bonds in an “unfair and disproportionate manner relative to its personnel costs.”

The biggest part of the bankruptcy plan to close a $26 million general fund deficit eliminates $12 million in annual debt payments — among them $5.8 million for the pension bonds and $2.6 million for a $36.5 million bond issue for a new city hall.

In an ill-timed move, Stockton issued the $121 million in insured pension bonds in 2007 and gave the money to CalPERS, which suffered a 24 percent investment loss in the following fiscal year when the stock market crashed.

A government employer can profit if money borrowed at a lower interest rate is put into CalPERS and the giant pension fund’s investments hit its earnings target, 7.5 percent lowered from 7.75 percent last year.

Critics say pension earnings forecasts are too optimistic, concealing the need for higher contributions or lower pension benefits. Employers not employees are responsible for pension fund shortfalls, making pension bonds a gamble with taxpayer money.

It’s a stark example of the casino-like nature of modern public pensions, which expect to get two-thirds of their revenue from investment earnings. Proposition 21 in 1984 lifted a requirement that most pension funds be invested in predictable bonds.

Now most pension fund money is in stocks and other higher-yielding but risky investments. No one can say for sure whether pension funds will hit or miss their earnings targets in the decades ahead, but taxpayers are on the hook if there is a major shortfall.

In the Stockton bankruptcy, another big part of the plan to close a $26 million general fund deficit in the new fiscal year that began this month is a $7 million cut in retiree health care paid by the general fund.

All retiree health care benefits would be eliminated next fiscal year. Retirees would be allowed to enroll in the city’s self-funded medical plan if they choose, but they would have to pay all of the cost.

Retiree health care may be a tempting target for cuts in the Vallejo and Stockton bankruptcies because there is no deep pocket to pay for a legal challenge. But unlike pensions, no money has been invested to help pay for retiree health care.

Most state and local government retiree health care is pay-as-you-go. Retiree health care promised current state workers will cost an estimated $62 billion over the next 30 years. Last year it cost $1.5 billion, up 60 percent in five years.

Stockton’s retiree health care covers less than half of the 2,400 city retirees, and the average recipients have pensions twice as high as retirees without health care. There is no cap on premiums, and some are said to become eligible after just a month on the job.

The city owes an estimated $417 million for promised retiree health care. The annual cost, $13.8 million all funds ($9.2 million in the deficit-ridden general fund), is projected to double in 10 years.

Stockton filed for bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Sacramento last Thursday, listing estimated assets of more than $1 billion and liabilities of $500 million to $1 billion. A hearing on three procedural motions is set for 10 a.m. Friday.

Reporter Ed Mendel covered the Capitol in Sacramento for nearly three decades, most recently for the San Diego Union-Tribune. More stories are at http://calpensions.com/ Posted 2 Jul 12

80 Responses to “Bond insurer may contest Stockton bankruptcy”

  1. Rebekah Says:

    Mr Mendel, I would like to point some discrepancies in your entry. My husband is a COS retiree, retired from the PD after almost 32 years of service. He retired as a Capt. You state, “All retiree health care benefits would be eliminated next fiscal year. Retirees would be allowed to enroll in the city’s self-funded medical plan if they choose, but they would have to pay all of the cost.”

    That is NOT what is being offered to us. Currently, in the pendency plan for COS, the City is paying for a portion of our premium. What portion it pays is based on years of service. Someone with under 10 years of service would get no contribution from the City–paying the full amount themselves. This will continue–at the longest–until July 1, 2013. After July 1, 2013, the retiree medical program will be eliminated. The COS is NOT offering us the option of staying on the City plan and paying the full premiums ourselves. According to OUR memo from COS and dear Bob Dies, “Effective July1, 2013, all retiree medical benefits will be eliminated.”. By doing this, the City is making it virtually impossible for those of us who have pre-existing conditions to find affordable insurance. The other caveat states–in very small print–”The City reserves the right to change benefit levels at any time during the next year, including elimination of retiree participation in the plan at any time”. So basically, we have insurance until the COS changes its mind. They could cancel us tomorrow, in 30 days, or not until 2013.

    I had 2 cardiac ablations in 2009 and have hypothyroidism. With the pre-existing conditions, only one insurance, Cigna, would cover me–WITH A 50-100% SURCHARGE! The irony is, that since my ablations, I have only been going to the MD 2-3 times a year–for f/u and RX renewal. (any reader of my post, please do not tell me that Obama’s healthcare act took care of pre-existing conditions–read the bill–those details do not become law until 2014. And yes, there is a pre-existing condition plan out there that I could buy, but you have to be without insurance for 6 months BEFORE you can apply, and it is expensive.)

    I understand the COS financial fiasco and the need to cut costs. My husband and I ARE in a better position than some–but we have put our home on the market to help off set the costs of the premiums that we will have to pay when the COS drops us. Fortunately, my husband had enought quarters to qualify for Medicare, so at least he has something.

    Before my husband retired 12 years ago, we sat down, and planned our finances…..we thought we had planned for anything that might happen…………we just never expected the CITY to abandon its promise.

  2. jskdn Says:

    Pension bond interest-rate arbitrage needs to be banned. Higher returns mean higher risk and the potential for compounding existing problems is too great. It makes already pro-cyclical government finances even more so.

    I’d like to know what the law says about which creditors have what priority of claims on assets in a municipal bankruptcy. What forms of government property are available to satisfy creditor obligations?

    What’s the form of the retiree health benefits? Even if you allow retirees to buy into the city’s insurance pool with retirees paying community-rated premiums, that would remain a real benefit for retirees from government, as the actuarial health risks are much greater for retirees that the existing workforce.

  3. Clarke Susan Says:

    Rebekah–
    Now you have the opportunity to use Obamacare… pre-existing conditions are all good with that.

  4. Rebekah Says:

    @Clarke Susan–perhaps you did not read my entire post…….pre- existing conditions are NOT exempt until 2014, so my options are limited and cost prohibitive.

  5. nitpicker Says:

    ” principle payments”? Those were already interred under the ballpark or drowned in the port.

  6. Captain Says:

    I find this interesting because CalPERS intimidation tactics (don’t touch pensions or we’ll sue you) are very powerful & intimidating to a city in bankruptcy that, by definition, lacks financial resources. Now we have Assured Guarantee (Bond Insurer) taking the same approach as CalPERS and essentially at odds with the 230 billion pension gorilla over who’s getting paid/sharing pain, or at least fighting over the same shrinking pie. What I also find interesting is how the type of Bond issued comes into play. The bonds are guaranteed by the insurer in this case, as opposed to taxpayers, for the Pension Obligation Bonds Stockton sold in 2007.

    Is it possible CalPERS and Assured Guarantee will have a legal battle of their own with Assured pushing to have pension beneficiaries share the pain. Will both organizations push for the sale of city/taxpayer assets, as I suspect CalPERS will eventually do if pensions are threatened to be cut? Is Stockton’s exposure limited to the general fund that is the subject of bankruptcy? Does Stockton have enough assets to even cover their mounting debt if under funded pensions, unfunded healthcare, and Bond debt are accurately accounted for (I doubt it if we‘re talking about just the general fund – but they probably do when looking at city wide funds/assets)? What does the city look like when it is all said and done?

    I understand that Assured Guarantee has exposure to loss and is trying to protect their position. I also understand that CalPERS is trying to protect their members (although I do NOT respect CalPERS because I believe they are a BIG part of the PROBLEM, and corrupt). What I do NOT understand is why NOBODY is PROTECTING the TAXPAYERS in this pension/healthcare/disability scam fiasco. Where are the taxpayer protections? Where is the PENSION REFORM?

  7. Ted Steele, Head Renter, it's cozy up here in Poodle's tiny head! Says:

    This is another of the 100 reasons you don’t and will not se very many muni bk’s—- just not worth it in the end.

  8. Tough Love Says:

    Quoting …”And as in Vallejo, the Stockton plan does not cut the pensions promised city employees. Vallejo officials discussed a pension cut, but backed off after the California Public Employees Retirement system threatened a lengthy and expensive legal battle.”

    There is a menu of 4 options to “cutting promised pensions”, (a) for new employees, (b) for FUTURE service for Current employees, (c) accruals service for PAST service for current actives, and (d) for retirees.

    (a) is a non-brainier, and hopefully it’s been done already … but DRASTICALLY, to a DC not a DB Plan or to a benefit no greater than a 1% factor per year of service, with unreduced retirement no earlier than age 65.

    (b) is just slightly less a no-brainier than (a), being both LEGAL and ROUTINE in Private Sector Plans … and Public Sector workers deserve no greater protections than Private Sector taxpayers that pay their way. This is NECESSARY to stop digging the hole deeper… and such changes were recommended by California’s Little Hoover Commission.

    (c) When a city is in such dire straights as Stockton, this must be on the table as an option depending on other (NON tax-increase) options to balance revenue and expenses. Certainly, to the extent past service accruals include “retroactive” pension increases (i.e., for a 2% to a 3% formula), the retroactive increase SHOULD be reversed as the workers provided no “consideration” whatsoever for this increase.

    (d) this group should be treated with the most care, as opportunities to adjust (i.e., working a few more years) to ta lower payout are limited. However, when needed, retroactive pension increases and perhaps more must be on the table (to be fair and consistent with the treatment of current actives) .

  9. Tough Love Says:

    Quoting …”Retiree health care may be a tempting target for cuts in the Vallejo and Stockton bankruptcies because there is no deep pocket (like CalPERS) to pay for a legal challenge.”

    CalPERS routinely goes beyond what is appropriate as it’s mandate …….. (a) to accurately administer Plan Provisions as written, and (b) to act is a fiduciary in protecting and investing Plan assets.

    CalPERS has no business threatening a city exploring it’s options, including changes to Pension Plans … These are issues under the purvey of the legislature and the Courts, but not CalPERS, an organization that has morphed into an “advocate” for bigger and better pensions for Plan participants … clearly an improper role.

    Option (b) in my earlier comment, to reduce prospective pension accruals for FUTURE service for CURRENT employers is necessary (in almost all Plans and cities throughout California … and most of the nation) if they are to survive without further material service reductions. CalPERS is improperly flexing it’s muscles and deep-taxpayer-funded-pockets to prevent this necessary change.

    I suggest a preemptive strike by Stockton via the seeking of an injunction in FEDERAL bankruptcy court to prevent interference by CalPERS. ALL options should be appropriately explored WITHOUT CalPERS interference.

  10. Tough Love Says:

    As a follow-up to my last comment, those who support material pension reform, such as all you conservatives and super-pak doners, …….. let Stockton know that money is available to pursue such a Federal injunction.

    This may be the contribution with the greatest ultimate return … for Americas future.

  11. SeeSaw Says:

    TL, you must have missed the OC vs. OCSD debable. Orange County lost in court–a public entity may not change a pension plan, retroactively. Its time to move on. CalPERS has every right to flex its legal muscles–its fiduciary duty is to the members.

  12. Tough Love Says:

    SeeSaw, the fight to reduce pensions for FUTURE service for CURRENT workers must be fought and won, or California (and many other cities) are will become ghost towns … with their pensions ultimately failing anyway as taxpaying citizens move away.

    And why ……. to escape continuing to unjustly enrich Public Sector workers with pensions far far far in excess of what they would get as Private Sector workers.

  13. spension Says:

    Gotta love it… good old private enterprise insurers pushing Stockton for a real bankruptcy, perhaps with selling off of City Hall.

  14. Tough Love Says:

    Spension …. FYI, the lenders ALREADY took the new City Hall back. And the insurers are doing exactly what they must do legally to protect their shareholders’ interests. Their claim in bankruptcy is no less important or of lower priority than the excessive pensions promised the workers (80-90% at Taxpayers’ expense).

  15. Captain Says:

    “spension Says: Gotta love it… good old private enterprise insurers pushing Stockton for a real bankruptcy, perhaps with selling off of City Hall.”

    Good old private enterprise insured the Pension Obligation Bonds that Stockton sold in 2007 to help fund their employees under funded pension plan. So what is the 121 million dollar Pension Obligation Bond worth today? 80 million maybe? Spension, the city helped to prop up a failing CalPERS pension plan, the insurers insured the plan/POB’s – probably based on CalPERS claim of a “NET” 7.75% rate of return, and you think the insurer is the cause of bankruptcy.

    CalPERS will be the organization that ultimately forces Stockton to sell most of their assets because they are the biggest creditor.

    CalPERS 2011-12 rate of return is a negative number. Their past 12 years have been a dismal failure and that includes CalPERS promotion of both SB 400 & AB616, a piss-poor excuse of a union dominated Board of Directors, play to pay scandals, a CalPERS Responds website that is full of bull, and investment returns that have failed both their members and the employers/taxpayers that are now contributing 3X the CalPERS advertised rate for pension formulas, etc, etc…

    The sooner people understand how corrupt and dangerous this organization is the better – and I’m talking about CalPERS.

  16. Ted Steele, Head Renter, it's cozy up here in Poodle's tiny head! Says:

    It is amazing over the years how the hysterical right trys to weakly spin these so called stories and that go nowhere and simply repeat. All the while…..pensions are paid and reform happens……zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  17. Ted Steele, Head Renter, it's cozy up here in Poodle's tiny head! Says:

    Calpers 236 billion baby !

  18. Tough Love Says:

    Yes Ted, $236B of Assets and (when properly accounted for) $300B-$400B of liabilities (the amount that should be in hand TODAY) …… quite a shortfall and very problematic funding ratio.

    But not to worry, there likely is sufficient money for the balance of YOUR lifetime. It’s those left in your wake that will suffer the consequences of our elected officials’ incompetence/arrogance/self-interest, and your union’s greed and arrogance.

    There will be an awful lot of “How did we let this happen” and “But we were promised” when these Plans begin to fail and the payments get haircutted or stop coming altogether.

  19. Beelzebub Says:

    Look what Moody’s said:

    “U.S. states and localities have run up more than $2 trillion of unfunded pension liabilities, Moody’s Investors Service said on Monday, citing data on plans offered by 8,500 local governments and over 14,000 individual entities”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/02/us-usa-municipals-moodys-idUSBRE86119220120702

    That’s right……$2 TRILLION in unfunded liability. heh. Any public worker with more than 5 years left until retirement is totally screwed.

    Moody’s has asked for public comments on it’s proposed accounting method changes used to determine pension liabilities. I wrote them and urged them to use 2.5% as the new discount rate to measure future ROI and to eliminate asset-smoothing completely, as it’s just a sham to cover the pig with more lipstick.

    So it sounds like Moody’s has sniffed out the scam and is ready to call the pension funds out!!! heh. That should be the final nail in their coffins as their stated liabilties skyrocket off the charts!!!

    There will be a HUGE outcry for pension reform that affects both CURRENT public employees and CURRENT retirees receiving pension benefits!!!

    heh.

    Go Moody’s Go!!!

    EXPOSE THE TRUTH!!! :D

  20. Tough Love Says:

    Remember Beelzebub, exposing the huge liability, (much increased from the official #s when discounting liabilities at lower rates) doesn’t change the grossly excessive “promises”

    The “promises” need to be reset to a level no greater than what these promises would have been in the absence of the tradeoff of Union campaign contributions and election support for favorable votes on pay, pensions, and benefits.

    That’s AT LEAST a 50% reduction …. and MORE for safety workers.

  21. Beelzebub Says:

    Yes, Tough Love.

    But the corruption and internal graft is so pervasive and ingrained it is difficult, if not impossible, to turn the ship around at this point.

    I see collapse as the only real solution here. The solution will be involuntary, not voluntary through orderly means. And when it happens I will laugh for the entire day. The big default train has been blowing it’s whistle warning all pedestrians for years to move off the tracks. All of them ignored the whistle. When the chickens finally come home to roost they have only themselves to blame.

    Moody’s has no reason to lie about this. When it all blows up they know that they will get hurt too. They are trying to head off a disaster. But dirty money always rules …… until it can’t anymore. :)

  22. Ted Steele, Head Renter, it's cozy up here in Poodle's tiny head! Says:

    236 b baby !!!! The so called liabilities are not due til they are due and the fund will increase and pay down as it does—— Hey Beezy boob ! You’re back after being booted from calwatchdog!! LOL— luv ya little troll ! Watch your language out here or it will happen for the third time!

  23. Beelzebub Says:

    Stockton’s done. LA’s on deck. OC’s not far behind. None of the pension parasites escape when the big ball drops. heh. It’s all about exponential math – beyond a GED’s curriculum. Don’t worry. You don’t need math skills. That’s why we’re here. To do the math for ya!!! HAH! :D

  24. Ted Steele, Head Renter, it's cozy up here in Poodle's tiny head! Says:

    The math is ok oc Odd because Mr. Fund and Mr.Contribution are doing the j o b!

    and thanks for cleaning up your act– it’s refreshing, seriously…

  25. SeeSaw Says:

    Moody’s has no reason to lie? Have you forgotton about the documentary film, “Inside Job”?

  26. Beelzebub Says:

    The math is ok to you because obviously you are math challenged. When in doubt use your fingers and toes.

    You are not going to get your pension if you have 5 years or more until retirement. If you are retired you are going to get a huge haircut whether you want to acknowledge it or not.

    The money does not exist to pay those pensions. The government cannot tax sufficiently to fund them. You pension parasites have reached the end of the road.

    $2T unfunded liability. heh. You folks are screwed.

    Moody’s had a reason to lie about the ratings provided to the Wall Street investment banks.

    It has no reason to lie about the pension debt. There’s nothing for them to gain by doing so.

    Think!

  27. Beelzebub Says:

    Besides, the state government is about to pass the Trust Act (AB 1081) which will essentially turn California into a sanctuary state. It forbids local LE officials from turning illegal migrants without a violent felony over to federal authorities for deportation. Right now California has 33% of the nation’s welfare population but only 12% of the nation’s collective population. Do you think foreigners with college degrees are sneaking across the borders? heh. No. Only peasants who have no value to their home nations are coming to America. If you were an illegal immigrant and deciding which State to invade – would a SANCTUARY state be your first choice? Of course. More and more state funds will be used to support illegal invaders and fewer and fewer state funds will be available to fund pensions. The dems are doing this to you. It’s a straight party vote.

    Your pensions are toast. The illegals are going to deplete them! HAH! :D

  28. SeeSaw Says:

    Poor Beez, scraping away, drudging up every thought he can come up with, to give his reasons that pensions will go away. Well the illegals don’t get public jobs, so pensions will be one thing he won’t be able to use, to hate them.

    A leopard doesn’t change its spots, Ted. The only thing different about Beez is his screen name.

  29. Dr. Ted Steele DVM --living in the poodle's tiny head! Says:

    Poor Beezy blathering on and trying to ruin yet again another blog til he gets the boot….again ! LOL sad

  30. Dr. Ted Steele DVM --living in the poodle's tiny head! Says:

    I think it’s clear seesaw that poor beezy has drunk ALL of the am radio Kool Aid ™

  31. Beelzebub Says:

    “A leopard doesn’t change its spots, Ted. The only thing different about Beez is his screen name”

    I can’t wait until the pension funds collapse along with your ilk’s little fantasy world. heh. It will be like the wicked witch of the west getting a bucket of water thrown on her.

    “Ohhh! You cursed brat! Look what you’ve done! I’m melting! Melting! Oh, what a world! What a world!….”

    Take that, my little pretty!!! HAH!!! :D

  32. SeeSaw Says:

    Only in your fantasy, dreams, Beez.

  33. Beelzebub Says:

    Honestly. Is Ted your husband and is this the way you two get your jollies? By visiting websites that represent opposite ideologies of yours and fighting with others? Nice life. heh. Pathetic. But precisely what I would expect from your ilk. :D

  34. SeeSaw Says:

    I answered that question for you before. I do not live in OC, did not work in OC, and I have never met Ted, except on these comment forums. I suspect he is retired LE, and I also suspect that he was undercover–a type of person I would admire.

  35. Beelzebub Says:

    Undercover? Did you mean under the covers? HAH! :D

  36. SeeSaw Says:

    No, I did not mean that–you know what I meant.

  37. Beelzebub Says:

    Why not go frequent a website where most of the posters share your own beliefs and whom you can agree with? Why do you come to sites that are polar opposite of your own ideology? Just to make trouble? Just to fight with others? Are you that bored with your life?

  38. SeeSaw Says:

    How silly, Beez. What would be the point in talking only to those who share your pathetic views. That’s what would be boring.

  39. SeeSaw Says:

    I’m talking about your views–not mine. My objective is to speak the truth–not to spread any particular ideology.

  40. Ted Steele, Director of Operations Says:

    It’s only a matter of time before the beezyboob is banned from here…I sense his frustration growing…..he can’t stop posting or thinking about your pension……soon….he will start with the hate speech as he usually does……

  41. Beelzebub Says:

    “Hey Beezy boob ! You’re back after being booted from calwatchdog!! LOL— luv ya little troll ! ”

    You always fire the first shot and then run to mama. Not this time. I’m taking preemptive action. You’ve been reported. :D

    Like I asked Seesaw. Why do you come to websites that are polar opposite of your political ideologies? That answer is easy: To fight. You love to pick fights and then run behind mama’s skirt when people fight back. Like a little 7 year old girl. I come here to discuss the issues of the day. You come here to pick fights and then run to mama for cover when you can’t take a returned punch. heh. You must be one pathetic dude. :D

  42. SeeSaw Says:

    The author of this article doesn’t espouse a specific political ideology, Beez. So why would you come on this article to comment?

  43. SeeSaw Says:

    You can’t be serious, Beez. Report Ted for what–teasing you? Anybody who posts the rhetoric you do, can’t be that thin-skinned.

  44. Beelzebub Says:

    “The author of this article doesn’t espouse a specific political ideology, Beez”

    I don’t expect you to be candid. This website is anti-public pension. Any moron knows that. Why don’t you be real for once and just admit that you come here to argue and fight? You’ve already proven that with your initial unprovoked insult above @ 8:39pm:

    “A leopard doesn’t change its spots, Ted. The only thing different about Beez is his screen name”

    It’s just who you are, seesaw. I don’t really expect much integrity from you on these boards. I know your board persona pretty well.

    “You can’t be serious, Beez. Report Ted for what–teasing you? Anybody who posts the rhetoric you do, can’t be that thin-skinned”

    He’s a proven tattle tale. The only solution to that is to tattle on him to mommy first before he has a chance to hide behind her skirt.

  45. SeeSaw Says:

    I am very aware that this is an anti-public pension site–that’s why I am on here. I want to be aware of what the enemy is up to. Sorry to dissapoint you, that I am no moron. This particular author is more a reporter, than an op-ed writer. You know my board persona? Well, guess what–I certainly know your’s. You don’t even admit that you and the former ocobservor are one and the same person. You surely don’t think that you’ve fooled anybody who had blogged with you on the OCR… You couldn’t even be truthful with Donkey–at least he didn’t change his screen name. Proven tattle tale? How so? Are you pretending to be five year’s old?

  46. SeeSaw Says:

    Unprovoked insult? You are a riot tonight. You better hope that they don’t turn this site over to Facebook, only–such would cause you to have a nervous breakdown.

  47. Ted Steele, Director of Operations Says:

    I would LOVE a facebook comment log in !!!

    Please bring it !

  48. SeeSaw Says:

    I don’t do Facebook Ted. There are very few sites left for commenters, like me, who do not want to be on Facebook.

  49. Beelzebub Says:

    You can’t even spell “ocobservor” correctly. How the hell would you know who the moniker represents? :D

  50. SeeSaw Says:

    There are only two commenters who write with the same tone, and end many statements with, “heh”. The two are one person–you–ocobservor and beelzebub. (I have another screen name on the Sac Bee and have never denied it, when asked.) Oh I spelled ocobservor wrong? So sad, huh? What is the world coming too, when every commenter can’t spell every name right–another thing to keep you upset for 24 hours.

  51. SeeSaw Says:

    I ended beelzebub with a “g” before I caught myself. Thank, god–that would have sent you reeling!

  52. Tough Love Says:

    SeeSaw, I found it telling that you referred to Calpensions as an “anti-public pension site”.

    “pension reform supporter” would be more accurate.

    You are showing your own prejudices (and greed).

  53. Ted Steele, Director of Operations Says:

    Beezyboob IS ocODDball—– same old drivel—beezy most recently kicked off Cal Watchdog for some very hateful and unfortunate racial comments…. kinda sad the guy has no life.

  54. Beelzebub Says:

    “Beezyboob IS ocODDball—– same old drivel—beezy most recently kicked off Cal Watchdog for some very hateful and unfortunate racial comments…. kinda sad the guy has no life”

    Ted is the LLMD’s favorite water boy. :D

  55. Ted Steele, Director of Operations Says:

    Poor Beezy !

    4 More Years !!

    President Obama 2012 !

    Not on Cal Watchdog anymore? mmmmmmmmmmmmm

  56. SeeSaw Says:

    TL, Beeze was calling me a moron, assuming that I did not know this is an, I will put it different–an anti-public employee site. I just acknowledged that I do know what he thought I did not know. Of course you can say nothing to me, either, with thowing out your own insults. I have no predjudices and I am not greedy–so there. If you want to to talk to me about pensions and pension sustainability go right ahead. I am a pension-reform supporter myself–but I am am not a pension-abolishment supporter. Keep your personal insults down–I have done nothing to deserve such.

    Ted is a teazer; Beeze is always angry; and I don’t know what the LLMD is.

  57. Beelzebub Says:

    “TL, Beeze was calling me a moron,…..”

    You’re a liar. Stop putting words in my mouth. This is what I said:

    “This website is anti-public pension. Any moron knows that”

    If you want to fight and argue go fight and argue with your husband. But don’t bring you hostility to these boards which oppose your greed and avarice.

  58. Beelzebub Says:

    “Beezyboob IS ocODDball—– same old drivel—beezy most recently kicked off Cal Watchdog for some very hateful and unfortunate racial comments…. kinda sad the guy has no life”

    Ted is the LLMD’s favorite bootlicker! HAH! :D

  59. Beelzebub Says:

    Did you folks read this yet?

    “The mayor of Scranton, Pennsylvania says he will defy a judge’s injunction and pay a few hundred city workers only minimum-wage because anything more will bankrupt the sixth-largest town in the state. Nearly 400 city employees — including police officers, firefighters, staffers with the Department of Public Works and even the mayor — will be compensated with only $7.25 per hour starting with this week’s paycheck and continuing until Scranton can scrape together enough money to avoid bankruptcy”

    http://rt.com/usa/news/scranton-pay-minimum-police-526/

    HAH! Coming to a town near you!!!! HAH!

    Pension D-Day right around the corner!!! HAH! :D

  60. SeeSaw Says:

    Don’t stroke-out there, Beez.

  61. Beelzebub Says:

    The way I see it is that today’s greedy public pensioniers are nothing more than thieves robbing from the younger generations. They have no morals. They have no ethics. They have no ‘code of honor’. They are complicit thieves who work in unison with the public unions to rob the young.

    The WW2 generation wanted to ensure that the younger generation lived a higher quality life than they did. That is the way well-adjusted and normal humans think. Hell, even in the animal kingdom the wild animals want a better relative life for their offspring and are willing to sacrifice (sometimes with their very lives to ensure it).

    But today’s public pensioniers are lost so deep in their own greed and selfishness that they spit upon the younger generations and want to force them into poverty as long as the trough feeders can live like kings and queens.

    So their behavior not only is indecent in human terms – it’s even indecent in the animal kingdom.

    That’s the reason I have so much contempt for them. I consider them lower than wild animals on the ethics and morals meter.
    :D

  62. Beelzebub Says:

    May they all burn in hell for their selfishness, greed and total lack of concern for the future welfare of our young.

  63. SeeSaw Says:

    He stroked out.

  64. Beelzebub Says:

    Worse than animals. Animals have more concern for the future of their young.

  65. Tough Love Says:

    Quoting SeeSaw …….”I am a pension-reform supporter myself–but I am am not a pension-abolishment supporter.”

    If I could reasonably demonstrate to you that the value at retirement of the Taxpayer paid-for share of most non-safety California Public Sector workers is 3-4 times that of a comparably paid Private Sector worker retiring at the SAME age, with the SAME years of service, and with the SAME cash pay, would you support pension reform that for current employee FUTURE service would reduce pension accruals fully down to the level of those Private Sector workers?

    A true pension-reformer would. A phony would not support this (even though it applies only to FUTURE service), and most would not even support it for new workers.

    In which category of reformer do you fall ?

  66. Tough Love Says:

    My next-to-last sentence above was supposed to say …

    “A true pension-reformer would. A phony would not support this (even though it applies only to FUTURE service), and most Public Sector workers would not even support it for new workers.”

  67. SeeSaw Says:

    My reform preferences would be to lift private workers back up from where they used to be, with defined benefit pensions–not to bring public sector workers down. I am fully aware of pension amounts that were gamed by certain managers and the spiking practices of certain non-CalPERS plans. Sensible pension reform is what I support. I don’t support your apples vs. oranges approach. You don’t happen to be in a position to judge me, one way or another. Doubt you are married to someone who suffered the loss of an expected DB pension, due to the illegal invasion, supported by the the law- breaking legal employers, as I am. I don’t live in a vacuum–I am surrounded by private sector workers, who are my relatives and acquaintances–they do not sit around planning ways to gut my pension. They have their own lives to dwell on.

  68. Tough Love Says:

    Quoting SeeSaw …”My reform preferences would be to lift private workers back up from where they used to be, with defined benefit pensions–not to bring public sector workers down. ”

    Now we both know Corporate America is never going to reinstate Tradition DB Plans, even the best of which were typically half the richness of TYPICAL Public Sector Plans.

    Suggesting things that will never happen is pointless and distracts from meaningful efforts for meaningful pension reform (not the minor tinkering around the edges in an attempt to take the heat off).

  69. Beelzebub Says:

    Worse than swine IMO. Swine have more respect and concern for the future of their young than do public trough feeders. It’s disgraceful. I would say that they should be ashamed but I learned long ago that they aren’t capable of shame. They want it all….the highest salaries, the best benefits with iron clad job security. I will laugh for days when the final ball drops and the pensions go poof. Man oh man. Will that be a day to celebrate or what??? Instant karma!!! HAH! :D

  70. SeeSaw Says:

    You are right, TL. The things you suggest are never going to happen. You know that the public sector is not going to do away with defined benefit pensions for all workers, past, current, and future. The system has existed in CA for almost 100 years–our early CA officials were thinking about future generations, long after they were gone, and that’s what I want all CA officials to keep thinking about now.

  71. SeeSaw Says:

    You are abolutely sick, Beez!

  72. Ted Steele, Director of Operations Says:

    I worry that the ocODDball/Beezybood may indeed stroke out or throw an embolism in his trailer one of these days…. I worry myself sick.

  73. Beelzebub Says:

    Go let the LLMD drive one home, waterboy!!! HAH! :D

  74. Beelzebub Says:

    Given a choice to protect her young or to keep feeding a swine will always protect her young.

    That’s the difference between swine and public pensioniers!!! HAH! :D

  75. Tough Love Says:

    SeeSaw, Can you read ?

    I did not suggest that …. the “public sector do away with defined benefit pensions for all workers, past, current, and future.”

    I suggested that the taxpayer paid-for share of Public Sector pension accruals for current workers be brought down to a level consistent with that of Private sector workers.

    You call yourself a “pension reform supporter”, but the best you can suggest is bringing Private Sector Plans UP to the Level of Public Sector workers. Even you know that will never happen. Besides the lacking of Corporate will to do so, there isn’t sufficient money to do so …. just as there isn’t sufficient money to pay the excessive pensions promised Public Sector workers.

  76. SeeSaw Says:

    I’m summarizing TL. Many have suggested that DB pensions be done away with altogether. You think that every public pensioner gets something excessive, and you are totally wrong! The excessive pensions go to the CM’s and other high-level employees–all non-union.

    Listen Beez–I had children whom I love and still help in their adulthood when it is necessary. They in turn have had children that are very well taken care of. Don’t you dare call me a trough feeder that would neglect my young! My own children and grandchildren receive much benefit from the fact that I have a pension, and they sure don’t have to worry about taking care of me, or my husband, in our old-age either.

  77. Tough Love Says:

    SeeSaw, Pensions, together with cash pay and benefits (including retiree healthcare promises) comprise “total compensation”.

    It’s the “total compensation” that is “excessive” in the Public Sector because, with few exceptions, it is typically 25-50% greater than what one’s Private Sector counterpart gets. Of the 3 components of total compensation it’s the pension element that stands out as the primary contributor towards that excessive total compensation with the taxpayer paid-for share of Public Sector pensions ROUTINELY 2-4 timers (6 times for safety workers) greater in vale at retirement than their Private Sector counterparts.

    From a practical matter it makes little difference if the 3 components differ between the Public and Private sector as long as their sum ( total compensation) is very close. However, Defined Benefit pensions are insidious in the hands of beholden politicians and when influenced by greedy Unions, with levers that can (and have been) pulled that significantly increase their cost with no corresponding increase in services provided. … e.g., retroactive benefit increases, and the endless stream of “improvements”.

    The best course of action (for Taxpayers) would indeed be to end the traditional form of DB pensions now afforded almost all Public Sector workers. Short of that, the accrual formula for future service of current workers needs to be reduced by a minimum of 50% and more for safety workers.

    The math just won’t work without such changes and while taxpayers will continue to be squeezed and service will continue to decline for a time, in the endgame it’s the Public Sector workers who will be hurt the most when (not if) their Plans fail. A city or State whose productive Taxpayers have moved on does not pay it’s bills … including it’s pension and benefit promises.

  78. Ted Steele, Director of Operations Says:

    ocODDball— you are starting to get close to the hate speech that usually gets you kicked off these blogs little buddy…..heh hah ™

  79. Beelzebub Says:

    Look at your previous comments on this blog, waterboy.

    They are classic examples of provocative ‘hate speech’ directed toward me.

    You have already been reported.

    Keep it up and you’ll be off the boards.

  80. d. shatin Says:

    there should be an enforced cap on the amount of debt that can be issued by local government units, school districts, and counties throughout the U.S.; 2. All debt issuance should be subject to voter approval/disapproval; 3. citizen auditors and independent auditors should audit/review the official government unit’s books annually. Period. Nowhere should their be a municipality going into bankruptcy because for 16 years ostensibly the financial officer and others provided false and optimistic financial data to the Mayor. this is but one example of misfeasance, malfeasance, and corruption throughout all government units and authorities have caused our citizens to be enslaved and in debt in the form of escalating taxation; ‘user fees; and destitution in ‘retirement’. It is long past time for criminal prosecutions; financial clawbacks; and jail time for criminals and crooks.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 255 other followers

%d bloggers like this: