CalPERS local rate: up 55% over next three years

Annual rates paid by some of the 2,000 local government plans in the giant California Public Employees Retirement System could soar roughly 55 percent over the next three years, a CalPERS board member estimates.

Tony Oliveira, who also is president of the California State Association of Counties, made the calculation this week when a CalPERS workshop received new data on the impact of investment losses and a forecast of lower CalPERS investment earnings.

Oliveira, a Kings County supervisor, got general agreement from Alan Milligan, the CalPERS chief actuary, when he used knowledge of his county’s retirement system to estimate that investment losses would boost the rate 35 percent in the next three years.

Then Oliveira added the impact of lowering the forecast of annual average investment earnings. The board chose an investment portfolio during the workshop likely to lower the current earnings forecast, 7.75 percent a year, to 7.5 or 7.25 percent.

“If you take the previous 35 percent increase we are going to have because of the loss,” Oliveira said, “dropping the discount rate from 7.75 to 7.5, Kings County would look at a 55 percent increase in employer contributions over the next three years.”

Oliveira said the increase for some local governments will be significantly higher. He said Kings County operations tend to be “conservative.” CalPERS rates vary due to different pension benefits, member pay and other factors.

The first CalPERS rates for cities, counties and special districts that reflect huge losses in the stock market crash two years ago are scheduled to go out around the end of this month.

The rates for the new fiscal year that begins the following July are usually sent out in October. But as happened last year, the delay is the result of state budget-cutting worker furloughs ordered by the governor, even though CalPERS is self-funded.

A three-year phase in of CalPERS rate increases to cover investment losses began last July for state workers and non-teaching school employees. Local government rates lag a year because calculations for 2,000 plans require more time.

Like many public pension funds, CalPERS expects investment earnings to provide 75 percent of the money needed to pay pensions. When there is an investment loss, the replacement needed from the smaller contribution side is correspondingly greater.

The government employer is obligated to increase contributions to cover the losses in public pension funds, not the employee. Many local government workers have not been contributing to their pensions.

In this era of deep government budget cuts, a common change sought in contract talks with public employee unions, in addition to lower benefits for new hires, is an increase in employee pension contributions.

The largest state worker union, the 95,000-member Service Employees International Union Local 1000, announced approval of a new contract this week that increases employee pension contributions from 5 percent of pay to 8 percent.

The employer contribution for most state workers is 20 percent of pay, up 3 percent this fiscal year. The annual state payment to CalPERS increased to $3.9 billion last July, up $600 million or 18 percent.

At the workshop this week, the CalPERS board was shown the option of returning to an all-bond investment portfolio. What some call “liability-driven investing” is more predictable, avoiding the big swings of portfolios based on stocks and other investments.

Public pension investments in California were limited to bonds in the early years. Then Proposition 1 in 1966 allowed 25 percent of the portfolio to be invested in blue-chip stocks. Proposition 21 in 1984 lifted the lid, allowing any “prudent” investment.

Arguably, a bond-based portfolio might have avoided the big pension increases of a decade ago triggered by a CalPERS-sponsored bill, SB 400, which supporters said could be paid for by investment earnings from a booming stock market.

Now new state worker labor contracts negotiated by the outgoing Schwarzenegger administration roll back the SB 400 increase for new hires. The pensions promised current workers are protected by contract law and cannot be cut.

A CalPERS staff report said returning to a bond-based portfolio would require “unrealistic contribution increases to meet funding goals.” CalSTRS was 138 percent funded a decade ago as the stock market surged.

Today CalPERS is about 65 percent funded. The CalPERS investment fund peaked at $260 billion three years ago, dropped to $160 billion in March of last year, and has rebounded to $221 billion.

At the workshop the board was told that CalPERS liabilities have been growing 8.5 percent annually since 2000. Total contributions this year are $10.4 billion, benefit payments $13.1 billion.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the board chose to continue a stock-based portfolio, needing earnings well above current bond yields to restore the funding level. The staff was given broad directions for a portfolio expected to be adopted in December.

Joe Dear, the CalPERS chief investment officer, said the new portfolio would have the same risk as the current portfolio. But the assumed annual earnings will be 7.5 percent or lower, below the current 7.75 percent forecast.

The portfolio adopted by the board in December will be used in February by the chief actuary, Milligan, when he recommends a “discount” rate to offset the calculation of pension debt in the decades ahead.

During the last adjustment in February 2008, the assumed earnings rate was 8.04 percent. But following a recommendation by the actuary to allow for “conservatism,” the CalPERS board adopted a discount rate of 7.75 percent.

The governor’s pension advisor, David Crane, and others argue that overly optimistic discount rates conceal pension debt. Corporate pension funds use a discount rate of around 6 percent.

Some economists argue that pension debt should be reported using a risk-free government bond rate, around 4 percent, because pensions are risk-free debt, guaranteed by the taxpayers.

Stanford graduate students using a risk-free rate of 4.1 percent reported that the debt of the three state pension funds (CalPERS, the California State Teachers Retirement System and UC Retirement) is $500 billion, not $55 billion as reported by the funds.

The CalPERS board is relying on forecasts by a number of experts who expect earnings to drop a little during the next decade, but not a lot. At CalSTRS, for example, a staff recommendation would drop the forecast from 8 to 7.5 percent.

There’s nothing academic about the decision facing the CalPERS board, which unlike CalSTRS has the power to set employer contribution rates. Lowering the earnings forecast triggers a need for a big increase in contributions.

The CalPERS board was told that lowering the discount rate to 7.5 percent results in an estimated increase in state employer contributions of 2.3 percent of pay. If the discount is lowered to 7.25 percent, the contribution increase is 4.8 percent of pay.

For local governments, Milligan gave the CalPERS board an estimate of the combined impact of a three-year phase in of investment losses and lowering the discount rate.

“You are looking at 6 to 10 percent of pay for a miscellaneous plan or 10 to 16 percent of pay for a safety plan — the combined effect, that’s over three years,” he said, “and the high end of that would be going to a 7.25 percent discount rate.”

Reporter Ed Mendel covered the Capitol in Sacramento for nearly three decades, most recently for the San Diego Union-Tribune. More stories are at Posted 11 Nov 10

24 Responses to “CalPERS local rate: up 55% over next three years”

  1. Dr. Mark H. Shapiro Says:

    C’mon Ed, you’re not still flacking that “risk-free” rate of 4.1% are you? That’s a fiction that was designed to make the CalPERS system look hugely underfunded, which it is not. In fact it has been recovering very nicely from the dip in value during the recession. It earned 13.3% during FY 2009 and by your own figures has gained back $61 billion of its $100 billion drop in a very short period of time.

    The average rate of return over the past 20 years has exceeded 7.5%. Sure some agencies and the state will have to pay a bit more into the fund over the next few years. But that just makes up for several years when they paid nothing, nada, into the fund.

    Under the new rules they won’t be able to skip paying their share during the fat years. But in a few years the taxpayer contribution to the pension dollar will be back where it’s been historically — about 12 cents on the dollar paid out. The rest will come from earnings and EMPLOYEE contributions.

    That sure beats the 401-K schemes that already are putting retired private sector workers into the poorhouse.

  2. Algernon Moncrief Says:



    What do the Colorado Legislature and Bernie Madoff have in common? Both stole retirement benefits that were earned over many decades.

    We have 80-year old widows in Colorado, who worked hard for the State for thirty years, who trusted the State and made their pension contributions like clockwork for decades, only to see their contracted retirement incomes stolen by the State. This money was taken out of their pockets because the State failed to make pension contributions as recommended by their own actuaries, to the tune of $2.7 billion in the last seven years. If the state had responsibly followed the recommendations of its actuaries, the PERA trust funds would now be more than 90 percent funded. The Colorado pension shortfall is primarily a result of legislative action over the last decade, Bill Owens, et al, in 2000 cut contributions and allowed the purchase of cheap service credit, and now the Legislature wants retirees to bear the cost of legislative ineptitude. In testimony to the Legislature even the proponents of the reform bill acknowledged this historic under-funding of the pension. PERA claims that the pension fund was unsustainable without their actions, because the funded ratio of the pension stands at 68 percent. However, the funded ratio of the pension was in the low 50 percent range in the 1970s, and the pension still exists. If a funded ratio of 68 percent this year is unsustainable, how has the pension been sustained since the 1970s when the funded ratio was in the 50s? Not much of a rationale for breaking retiree contracts.

    If you find yourself short on funds, you rearrange your spending priorities, or raise additional revenue, YOU DON’T BREAK CONTRACTS! Why would the Colorado Legislature choose to break pension contracts before breaking other contracts, such as construction contracts? How can a state that is in default, that breaks contracts, maintain its credit rating?

    The fact that what Colorado did to public sector employees in this year’s pension reform bill (SB1) cannot be done to private sector employee pensions under I.R.C. Section 411(d)(6), says quite a lot about the moral underpinnings of SB1. This federal “anti-cutback rule” for private sector DB plans permits changes to the plans only if the changes operate on a prospective basis.

    Colorado PERA’s actions make it clear that the time has come for the inclusion of public defined benefit plans under all Internal Revenue Code Qualified Plan requirements. It is now obvious that allowing the states to regulate public defined benefit plans does not afford equal protection to state and local government employees.

    PERA has put it in writing in pension plan materials over the years, that the COLA “is guaranteed”. Members purchasing service credit gave PERA thousands of dollars based on these materials. Money that they could have left in their 401Ks. PERA officials now claim that the members cannot rely on their pension plan documents regarding their defined benefits. However, Goldman Sachs recently paid a half billion dollar settlement to the SEC based on promises made in plan documents. Apparently, some judges believe that plan documents can set forth contractual terms. In any event, the contractual pension language is set forth clearly in Colorado law.

    Colorado’s retiree COLA (and those of 36 other states) are “automatic COLAs” as opposed to “ad hoc COLAs” (which exist in about a dozen states and can be periodically altered.) Colorado’s COLA of 3.5 percent is guaranteed in Colorado law in an identical fashion to the base retirement benefit itself. So, the PERA retiree’s claims are based on both statutory language and plan documents. This 3.5 percent COLA won’t look so hot in the coming years if inflation spikes.

    The Colorado pension reform bill’s (SB1) proponents should accept that states cannot legislate away a debt for work that was completed in the past. What the state is attempting is a claw back of deferred pay. The bill’s sponsors should accept that states cannot avoid their contractual obligations simply because they prefer to spend resources on alternative public services or obligations.

    Some pension reform advocates argue that public sector pensions should be held to the same standards as private sector pensions. My response to that is “I agree wholeheartedly!” Under the federal Internal Revenue Code reducing accrued pension benefits for private pensions is illegal. If the public sector PERA pension were covered under this I.R.C. law and held to the same standards as private pensions, then last February’s theft of accrued benefits by the Colorado Legislature would not have been attempted. Essentially, federal law provides higher protection to private pensions than it does to public sector pensions. Public pension members are forced to appeal to the courts to prevent the theft of their benefits. (Happening.)

    Members of the Legislature pointed out many times, to no avail, that the so called “pension reform bill” was a violation of contracts to which the State was a party. Here are some examples (on tape from the floor debate):

    Rep. Lambert: “I have heard from my constituents, as many of you have, that this proposal will breach retiree’s contracts.”
    Rep. Swalm: “We’re breaking new territory in this state by trying to reduce the COLA. We’re probably going to get a lawsuit out of that. If we cut the 3.5 percent COLA there will be a lawsuit.
    Rep. Gerou said that it is a disservice to the state to rush a bill through when her committee knew that it will go to litigation, and said what we are doing to the retirees is wrong.
    Rep. Delgroso said that it is tough for him to tell people that he is going to break their contract.
    Senator Harvey said “We have made a commitment. We have a contract with current retirees. That is already in place. Reforms should be made for new hires. We do not have that commitment to new hires.
    Senator Spence said “The bill places an unfair burden on retirees.”
    Senator Scheffel said “We are breaching our promises to existing retirees.”
    Senator Lundberg said “This bill is a deal that was cut before this body met.”

    The cavalier abandonment of contractual obligations brings shame to the state of Colorado, aligns Colorado with Third World countries like Bolivia. No person, Republican or Democrat should countenance the breach of contracts. Conservatives support contract law as the foundation of capitalism.

    So, why is the SB1 theft more egregious than the Madoff theft? The Colorado Legislature stole money from retirees who are less well off than Madoff’s pre-qualified hedge fund clients.

    The Madoff victims were taking risks to seek a higher return on their investments, the Colorado PERA victims simply trusted that their contracts would be honored.

    Colorado PERA and the Legislature justified their theft on false premises, citing 2008 market numbers when they knew the markets had recovered approximately 20 percent in 2009. PERA’s General Counsel stated on tape before the 2010 legislative session began that he expected a pension return “north of 15 percent”) for 2009.

    It appears that Colorado PERA used the very resources of PERA members to hire a team of lobbyists (up to a dozen) to take earned benefits from those same members. That’s just insane.

    Many members of the Legislature acted in ignorance. Spoonfed by the lobbyists, they ignored the legal rights of PERA retirees, and swallowed whole without question the assertions of PERA’s CEO and its chief legal counsel. If the members had read any case law, (for example, the state defined benefit pension case law summary by Prof. Amy Monahan at the University of Minnesota School of Law, Google it!), or even the 2004 Colorado AG opinion on pension benefits (retiree benefits are inviolate) they would not have supported the bill.

    PERA’s own General Counsel was quoted in a 2008 Denver Post article as follows: “The attorney general’s opinion seems clear that fully vested employees — those retired or with enough years of service to retire — cannot see any benefits reduced, including cost-of-living adjustments, Smith said.”

    Although members of the Colorado PERA Board of Trustees are fiduciaries, charged to act only in the interests of the members and the retirees, they recommended SB1, acting primarily in the interests of PERA employers who were concerned with keeping their contribution rates low.

    Adding insult to injury the Legislature stole more money than it needed. The pension theft bill sought to increase PERA’s funded level to 100 percent, although an 80 percent funded level is considered well-funded among pension experts. You don’t have to pay off your pension tomorrow, neither does the state and other PERA employers.

    There were many other options available to address the pension shortfall, options that have been adopted, or are under consideration in dozens of states. See the legal, prospective pension reform that was accomplished in Utah this year.

    Members of the Legislature have taken an oath to uphold the constitution and yet voted to violate the Contract Clause and the Takings Clause. Proponents of the bill refused to see that the retiree COLA (annual benefit increase) is set forth in Colorado law with the same force, status and weight as is the base retirement benefit. Only tortured legal reasoning, and wishful thinking, lead them to believe otherwise.

    The Legislature had the ability to investigate the legality of its actions up front, but chose to act with no legal advice. Throughout the floor and committee debates on SB1 the members displayed an ignorance of, or an intentional disregard for the relevant case law. They failed to conduct the due diligence expected of an elected body. State legislatures across the nation are examining the legal limitations on their actions regarding pension reform, exploring all legal options prior to acting. (PERA claimed to have a legal opinion to justify their actions, but never released it.)

    PERA has been disingenuous by claiming that the reform bill represents “shared sacrifice” among employees, employers, and retirees, by not making it clear that retirees bear most of the burden of their proposed reforms, for many retirees the confiscation of benefits will reach one-quarter of their total retirement benefits received over the rest of their lives. In debate, the bill’s sponsors said that retirees would bear 90 percent of the cost of the reform. In any event, I am not relieved of my contractual obligations just because someone else has better terms in their contract. The entire premise is ludicrous.

    While ignoring its own contractual pension obligations (underfunding of $2.7 billion in the last seven years according to PERA’s own actuaries) the State of Colorado has pumped half a billion dollars into pension obligations that are not its responsibility, those of local governments (Old Fire Police Pension obligations).

    The Legislature made a pact with unions to support the “pension reform bill” (SB1) to protect union jobs. Incredibly, these union members tossed their former members, their retired “brothers” under the bus. From the beginning the plan was “let’s steal the money we need from retirees.”

    Finally, Madoff eventually admitted to his crime, but the Colorado General Assembly is still pretending that their theft of pension benefits is something to be celebrated. They tout it as a “bi-partisan accomplishment. This will be a long-standing embarrassment to and black mark on our state.

  3. boprn Says:

    Algernon Moncrief,

    That sir, is a great post.

  4. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    C’mon Ed, you’re not still flacking that “risk-free” rate of 4.1% are you? That’s a fiction that was designed to make the CalPERS system look hugely underfunded, which it is not.
    Don’t look now Public Employee, but your nose is growing again;

    In California actuarial methods show the Public Employee Retirement Fund (Calpers) at a funding ratio of 87 percent but when private sector market valuation is applied to Calpers, the funding ratio drops to 48 percent, according to the Bigg’s study. Likewise, California teachers’ funding (Calstrs) ratio under current actuarial methods is also 87 percent, as opposed to 46 percent when private sector market valuation is applied.

  5. pierre Says:

    California deserves what it gets.

    We assumed we could make a few millionaires by way of Pensions.

    Then we overlooked that somewhere along the line some deposits should be made to the account in order that the Millionaires could retire at 50 years of age.

    Then we blamed the Stock-market for the losses inflicted to the Pension accounts however we still knew we could produce Millionaire Retirees
    irregardless of how the money is accumulated.

    We the Stupid people of America have our Heads in the Sand.

  6. AJ Benn Says:

    So my local public safety agency (municipal) will have to slowly ramp up it’s total (employee included) Pers contributions from the current 37% of base to upwards of 50% over the next 3 years or so…?
    All of this with layoffs and a huge bulge of 50 y/o safety retirements during the next 6 years.
    Not good, or as some would say, a “Soup sandwich”…but they all knew it was coming.

  7. roger Says:

    Public Safety Pensions are THE problem- not the working stiffs!

  8. Tough Love Says:

    (1) Public Sector Unions should be outlawed

    (2) It should be a crime for Politicians to accept Union contributions and a crime for Unions to offer them

    (3) new employees should ONLY have 401K style pensions

    (4) Current employee pensions should be frozen, and exclude all retroactively granted increases. Future years accruals should be in a 401k Plan

    (5) Retiree Healthcare subsidies should be capped at 50% for Plan costs for 35+ year employees, (proportionately less for shorter service)

    (6) Post retirement COLAS should be eliminated

    (7) Overtime and ALL “allowances” should NOT be included in Pensionable pay

    AND …. the RESULT would STILL be double what the typical Private Sector Taxpayer gets from his/her employer.

    Boy TAXPAYERS, have you been suckered …….time for change, wouldn’t you say ?

  9. Tough Love Says:

    Woooophs, I forgot one :

    You can retire at any age you want, but you can’t COLLECT anything (without a FULL actuarially reduction of 6% per year of age) earlier than age 65 (62 for Police).

  10. Dr. Realist Says:

    Tough Love:

    Most of your solutions are non-starters.

    You cannot legally outlaw public sector unions and you cannot politically do it. So either way, it’s never going to happen.

    Second, it is not lawful to prohibit unions from donating to politicians, moreover, even if you could prevent the union itself from doing so, there are ways around it. For instance, I live in a community where the maximum contribution is $100 per person or for the union. Guess how they get around that? The Firefighters simply have each of their members give the max to their preferred candidate and they have run the town because no one else has been able to do that.

    Third, is a possibility, not my preferred option, but I actually think in the long run it is unsustainable and in the short term it does not save us money.

    Current pensions probably are frozen with wages, but I’m not sure how you can freeze them if the wages go up in the future.

    I don’t know what five means.

    Maybe on six, although you could end up with inflation completely wiping out someone’s retirement.

    I don’t believe they are supposed to be included now except that they can spike the pensions by inflating the last year’s salary. That is solved by going to a final three year average.

  11. Tough Love Says:

    Dr. Realist, I was just venting …. with VERY few exceptions, not a snowball’s chance any politician would risk being NOT being re-elected by doing the right thing.

    Actually, the Greedy Unions (and the VERY foolish younger Union members) will like get the shaft when these Plans fails miserably (i.e., run out of money) and the Taxpayers (who’ve wised up by then), tell em to go stick-it.

    This isn’t Greece or France. Raise the taxes too high, and those Citizens & businesses WITH the money to pay just Won’t, they’ll just move out of the State.

  12. IT Pro Says:

    Ah, it’s just not the same without Tough Love in the comments section. After all that internet tough guy action from a couple days ago, I realized how much I missed ya buddy!

    So under the TL benefits package, do I get an increase in salary to market rates? And how much of a 401k match do I get? Any bonuses?

    Let’s see… state work under the TL plan or work for Google who just gave a 10% salary increase and a bonus across the board, in addition to a 50% match (according to some reports, up to $8250 a year if you max out your 401k)… decisions decisions…

  13. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    Dr. Realist Says:

    November 12, 2010 at 5:18 am
    Tough Love:

    Most of your solutions are non-starters.

    You cannot legally outlaw public sector unions and you cannot politically do it. So either way, it’s never going to happen.
    You are totally WRONG-and don’t tell us, you’re a public employee.

    Public employee unions could be outlawed at anytime, just as they were allowed under the Dills Act in 1977-they are STATUTORY, there is NO RIGHT to public unions.

    I would suggest that public unions should be busted under the Sherman Anti-Trust Act b/c they are monopolies.

    It could also be done politically, just as they were implemented politically.

  14. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    So under the TL benefits package, do I get an increase in salary to market rates? And how much of a 401k match do I get? Any bonuses?

    LOL…IT employees make less in the real world, and they do NOT get bonuses.

    What’s next, are you going to claim you could make $500K in the private sector plus “stock options”????

    Oh, and you left out the claims that your “neighbor/relative/classmate/{insert anyone here}” made $400K per year in the real estate bubble!!!!

  15. Rex The Wonder Dog! Says:

    Let’s see… state work under the TL plan or work for Google who just gave a 10% salary increase and a bonus across the board, in addition to a 50% match (according to some reports, up to $8250 a year if you max out your 401k)… decisions decisions…

    You don’t work for Google, and you’re not Google material-those are the best and brightest, which you’re not.

    But please-feel free to become a millionaire in the real world anytime you want a dose of reality.

  16. Tough Love Says:

    Responding to IT Pro (a Civil Servant who no doubt thinks he’s another Bill gates or Steve Jobs or perhaps Larry Elison):

    (1) I’ve ALWAYS said comparable jobs in the Public & Private sectors should have comparable TOTAL COMPENSATION (pay + benefits + Pensions). You want equal or better cash pay, but want to keep your WAY WAY WAY WAY better benefits & Pension. Sorry, that ship has sailed …

    (2) I’m glad you missed me. Yes, we should freeze you pension until the pensions of those in the Private Sector can catch up in value to yours. I would expect that to take 10-20 years. THEN we’d start you on a 401k equal to ours (50% match on 1-st 6% of pay) …. and a modest bonus, if you are as good as you claim to be.

    (3) I just loved your comparison to GOOGLE. Seems that just about all Public Sector IT guys think the Google caliber (who hires only the best of the best). Thanks for the laugh !

  17. roger Says:

    Why oh why do Cops get “Special Pensions” and how come the public sees them as super beings deserving of all our dollars? I say let them eat crow and pound sand!

  18. Tough Love Says:

    Roger….. I suppose Cops should get “reasonable” pensions. The problem is I consider “reasonable” to be a pension with a VALUE (i.e., PV of expected future cash flows) at retirement about 125% of a comparably paid Private Sector worker.

    In fact, in almost ALL jurisdictions its 400-600%, not 125%.

    Surprised? Don’t you think it’s expensive to allow someone to start collecting a COLA-adjusted pension of 75+% of their final salary (often inflated with overtime and assorted “allowances”) at age 50 ?????

  19. roger Says:

    That is why this state is bankrupt- cops retiring at $100K @ 50 is the norm; not the exception!

  20. pierre Says:

    Anyone with any background in Excel can verify the following

    Police & Firemen and others who can be classified as Safety Employees have a Pension that allow them to retire at 50 years of age.

    If these people entered service at age 25 and worked until they reached the Grand Ole Age of 50 they would in most California Counties be entitle to 75% of their last years pay. PLUS COLA of 2% per year thereafter.

    It will take an INPUT and or Dividends of 57.7% annually of their paychecks to acquire sufficient funds to allow them to receive a PENSION for the 25 years after they retire.

    At the end of the 25 years of retirement there is no more funds to pay them. Where will these additional monies come from?????

    HEY! Stupid Americans – what say you to your problem – DA!!!!

  21. roger Says:

    “SAFETY” classifications are nothing more than an elaborate ‘ponzi’ scheme fabricated by union leaders to suck the most money out of taxpayers all in the name of ‘Public Safety.’ They use ‘Scare’ tackets to obtain money from taxpayers who are afraid to speek out against police unions. Totally pathetic.

  22. IT Pro Says:

    You guys are fun. I always tell myself not to feed the trolls but then I just can’t help it. I love how the heated and somewhat passionate feelings on both sides of the argument have denigrated to personal attacks (on both sides, btw) lately on the site. So much easier for the message to get lost in the noise.

    There are valid points to be made by rational discussion on both sides, but why bother with being rational? About the only thing missing at this point is an application of Godwin’s law… but I’m sure that’s coming given time.

  23. Tough Love Says:

    And WHAT IT Pro, have YOU proposed that’s “rational”, other than wanting to keep your gravy train rolling ?

  24. Facebook’tan para kazanmak Says:

    “That is why this state is bankrupt- cops retiring at $100K @ 50 is the norm; not the exception!”

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