Posts Tagged ‘CalPERs’

Texas vs. California Update for March 13, 2014

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

Time for another roundup of Texas vs. California:

  • Texas surpasses California as the top tech exporter.
  • Victor Davis Hanson wants to “save” California by making liberals eat their own dogfood.
  • Texas is creating jobs at all income levels.
  • Vallejo still can’t afford its pensions:

    The California city of Vallejo emerged from bankruptcy just over two years ago, but it is still struggling to pay its bills.

    The main culprit: Ballooning pension costs, which will hit more than $14 million this year, a nearly 40% increase from two years ago.
    Amid threats of legal action from the state’s pension giant, CalPERS, Vallejo did little during its nearly three-year stint in bankruptcy to stem the growth in its pension bills.

  • Rising CalPERS pension costs are also threatening Long Beach’s financial stability.
  • Berkeley is looking a little better for the short term, but after that they too will be feeling the CalPERS squeeze.
  • Pacific Grove is having a referendum to roll back pension increases.
  • California is getting ready to hike gas taxes again, adding another 12¢ a gallon to gas prices.
  • Is there a Democrat-on-Democrat battle over unions brewing in California?
  • California nursing home chain files for bankruptcy. “The dagger in the heart is that we have been overwhelmed by a wave of class-action lawsuits.”
  • A list of former Los Angeles city employees earning six figure pensions. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • California rancher’s are selling their cattle to Texas ranchers due to drought.
  • Cagney Global Logistics relocates from Denver to Irving, Texas.
  • San Jose-based sheet metal manufacturer Cortec is expanding in Pflugerville.
  • Even punk rock queen Exene Cervenka is getting out of California while the getting is good:

    Now when I think about California, I think of a liberal oppressive police state and regulations and taxes and fees. I’d rather go someplace and have my own little place out on the edge of town. I’m a country girl at heart. It makes me happy when I see people in Texas open-carrying. It makes me feel safe. I’m not even a gun owner, but I’d like to see a gun rack in every pickup truck, like my boyfriend had when I was fifteen years old in Florida. An armed society is a polite society.

  • No End In Sight for Texas Oil Boom.
  • Texas vs. California Update for October 8, 2013

    Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

    With budget issues occupying the nation, now’s time yet again to compare Texas’ successful Red State model with California’s failing Blue State model:

  • Like Detroit’s retirement fund (or Greek public servants), some retired Sacramento government employees were evidently used to receiving thirteen monthly checks a year. Now a federal judge has said enough.
  • People Stockton’s bankruptcy plan screws: creditors and taxpayers. And who won’t be required to take a haircut? CalPERS retirees.
  • Vallejo took much the same tack during their bankruptcy (higher taxes and no pension reform). Well, guess what? They’re broke again.
  • CalPERS isn’t the only underfunded California retirement system. There’s also CalSTRS, the teacher’s retirement system. “CalSTRS’ funding ratio falling to 67% in 2012 from 98% in 2001, well below the 80% considered fiscally sound.”
  • That might have something to do with the fact that 6,609 retirees receive more than $100,000 from CalSTARS annually.
  • CalPERS? 12,1999 receive more than $100,000 annually. Topped by Bruce Malkenhorst, of the corrupt city of Vernon, who pulled in more than a half-million annually, until the pension review board cut it back to a “mere” $115,000.
  • Big problems still loom for CalPERS.
  • “Regardless of what happens in bankruptcy court, California’s local governments, especially cities, are facing years, or even decades, of fiscal distress from rapidly rising pension costs.”
  • Marian County’s pension debt clocks in at a hefty $2.3 billion.
  • The California State Auditor’s own report can be read here:

    We believe the State continues to face eight other significant high-risk issues: the state budget, funding for the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, funding retiree health benefits for state employees, funding for deteriorating infrastructure, ensuring a stable supply of electricity, workforce and succession planning, strengthening emergency preparedness, and providing effective oversight of the State’s information technology.

  • California’s new feudalism. “Like medieval serfs, increasing numbers of Californians are downwardly mobile, and doing worse than their parents.”
  • The 10 year anniversary of the Gray Davis recall. “We learned that the problem wasn’t just Davis and that simply changing who is governor wasn’t enough to make California government work. Schwarzenegger wasn’t a bad governor, but he failed to solve the state’s basic budget problems.”
  • With a wave of people signing up for ObamaCare, what is California to do? Why, obviously, cut Medicaid payouts!
  • Attention illegal aliens: Go to California if you want a driver’s license.
  • Al Jazeera headline: Tea party makes California inroads. Actual story: “For the first time, the tea party’s California caucus has a table at the state’s Republican fall convention.” That’s less an “inroad” than an “in-driveway”…
  • Rick Perry to California: “We don’t judge success on the number of people we have on public assistance.”
  • “Texas’ unemployment rate has now been lower than the national average, and California’s, for 80 consecutive months.”
  • Texas now has the best credit rating in the world.
  • “The Rainy Day Funds of Texas and Alaska alone are now larger than the stabilization funds of all other states combined.”
  • USAA is expanding in Plano.
  • 500 Republicans moving to Texas every day?
  • In non-political, Halloween-related California news, it’s tarantula mating season in California. Just in case you needed another reason to leave California…
  • Texas vs. California Update for September 18, 2013

    Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

    Time for another Texas vs. California update:

  • CalPERS decides commoners are unworthy of knowing what their betters in the California state retiree system get paid.
  • New California law to shield pedophiles in teacher’s unions in California each year, seven to eight times as much sexual misconduct takes place in public schools as in the Catholic Church.
  • I’ve often thought Texas would consider doing this: Nevada gives mentally ill tickets to California.
  • You know all those pieces on how “California is back?” Yeah, not so much.
  • Because other states just aren’t getting enough businesses fleeing California, they’re moving to hike the minimum wage again.
  • Sacramento Convention Center loses $218 million over 14 years.
  • California bends over backwards to prevent jailed illegal aliens from being deported.
  • What it’s like living in bankrupt Stockton: “Anderson called the police recently after a boy was shot riding his bike down the alley that runs alongside her home. It took them four hours to show up.”
  • Judge rejects CalPERS, allows San Bernardino’s bankruptcy to proceed. Naturally CalPERS is incensed that their golden pension goose could be cooked along with everyone else.
  • California toll road agency misses overly optimistic projections, may have to declare bankruptcy. “The Foothill-Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency, which operates 39 miles (63 kilometers) of toll highways in Orange County, risks default on $2.4 billion in debt.”
  • Rick Perry goes fishing for new businesses to relocate to Texas in Maryland.
  • Also Missouri, where the Democratic governor just vetoed a tax cut.
  • Texas vs. California: January 24, 2013 Roundup

    Thursday, January 24th, 2013

    Meant to put some of these up with Tuesday’s roundup and just misplaced them:

  • Orange County pension members find out that it’s not about politics, it’s about math.
  • Jerry Brown’s ostensibly balanced budget does nothing to pay down huge pension liabilities.
  • In the quest to shake ever-more-money out of the pockets of taxpayers, California just ignores that pesky “no ex post factor laws” section of the Constitution, eliminating a tax credit retroactively back to 2008.
  • More on that Moody’s recalculation of liabilities:

    Six California counties with their own pensions (instead of paying into the Golden State’s Public Employees’ Retirement System) would actually have to pay down $10 billion in pension deficits, versus the $4 billion they currently report bad on inflated rates of return. As a result, these counties would be expected by bondholders to pay out $1.4 billion a year just to pay down their pension deficits, more than double the $640 million they currently pay. For Contra Costa County near San Francisco, the percentage of property tax dollars devoted to pension deficit pay down would increase from 33 percent to 54 percent, crowding out funding for basic municipal activities. In short, these governments would be considered technically insolvent under Moody’s model.

  • That recalculation and other reforms should make California’s pension debt crises even more apparent.
  • CalPERS has a lot of ‘splain’ to do. Their rate of return and assets under management simply don’t add up.
  • It certainly can’t help that CalPERS managers are double-dipping for their own benefits.
  • High California taxes are one of the reasons the Sacramento Kings are about to become the Seattle Supersonics 2.0. Which seems fitting: the tax-and-spend kings in Sacramento don’t deserve a basketball team.
  • John Stossel: “It’s good that we have places like Texas and New Hampshire to which fed-up citizens can escape. In Europe, you’d have to leave your country to escape its worst laws.” And one of the states they’re escaping is California, “the Greece of America.”
  • Meanwhile, Texas notched its 72nd consecutive month with unemployment rates below the national average.
  • Texas vs. California: First 2013 Roundup

    Friday, January 4th, 2013

    Judging from the Fiscal Cliff votes, the United States appears to be eager to follow in the footsteps of Greece and California, rushing to unsustainable spending, crushing debt loads and inevitable bankruptcy, rather than following the lead of Texas and the Red State model of debt-free limited government and free enterprise. So let’s see where the two states are, shall we?

  • Via Reason comes a link to the website Pension Tsunami, which contains much of interest for those charting California’s decline.
  • One method California cities are using to continue funding their heroin outrageous pension spending habit is issuing Pension Obligation Bonds, where they sell bonds to pay for pension obligations and then invest them. Indeed, some that got burned by the tactic in the 1990s (like Oakland) are trying again. “Bonds issued in 1997 were, on average, underwater in 2007, even before the stock market crash…’That’s like a compulsive gambler telling you that he has to bet it all on red to make up for his past losses.’”
  • Bankruptcy is the best bet most cities have for getting out of their crushing health and retirement obligations to public workers….Government employee compensation, mostly for health and retirement, is at the heart of nearly all the current and looming municipal bankruptcies across the country.”
  • Federal judge to Calpers: No, you can’t rewrite bankruptcy laws to save outrageous union pensions. Not yours.
  • California: Pensions or Police? Pick one.
  • Stockton attempts to pull a Chrysler, attempting to screw its bondholders in a bid to leave outrageous union pensions untouched.
  • While California wonders how to fill it’s perpetual budget shortfall, Texas debates what to do with its surplus.
  • Over at TPPF, Chuck Devore wonders why Californians don’t stage a tax revolt. “In the meantime, Texas will be more than happy to receive into its welcoming arms people who want to work hard, invest, and create jobs.”
  • Want a glimpse of California’s future? Spain is running out of pension fund to raid.
  • Texas vs. California: 12/12/12 Edition

    Thursday, December 13th, 2012

    This was supposed to go up last night, but there was a glitch. Ten hours late sounds about right for California…

  • California leads the nation in outrageous pay and benefits for unionized state employees. Including $822,302 a year for a single prison psychiatrist.
  • Calpers to taxpayers and bond-holders: DROP DEAD. We’re getting ours, jack.
  • Since California has hiked tax rates tax revenues have decline. Those unwilling to learn from the Laffer Curve are doomed to live through it.
  • Living in California means not being able to afford police.
  • The bankrupt California city of San Bernardino has had 45 murders this year.
  • Bankrupt Stockton has had 68.
  • And Los Angeles is shuttering courthouses because they can’t afford them.
  • The Blue State Suicide Pact.
  • Movie and TV production is leaving California.
  • “Why would you leave $25 million on the table?” Oh gee, I don’t know, but maybe because you have to pay back $34 million on your risky $2.5 million loan? Math, liberal! Do you speak it?
  • California Blue Shield wants to hikes rates as much as 20%. How’s that ObamaCare working out for you?
  • People are still leaving California…and Texas is the most popular destination.
  • Texas was once again the destination of choice for more people moving within the United States as a whole, with some 515,000 people moving here in 2012. (Hat tip: Push Junction.)
  • Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Mario Loyola talks about how unions become sanctioned government cartels.
  • Speaking of TPPF, they linked to this Dallas Fed report, which shows that the Texas economy continues to hum along. “Texas added 22,900 jobs in October, lowering its unemployment rate in October to 6.6 percent, down from 6.8 percent in September and 1.3 percent below the national average of 7.9 percent.”
  • Texas vs. California: Halloween 2012 Edition

    Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

    Six days to the election, and I’ve spent most of the night handing out candy. Six days until we choose to follow the successful Texas Red State path of low taxes and limited government, or the failing Blue State California path of bankruptcy and bigger government.

  • CalPERS sues Compton to force the bankrupt city to keep donating to the underfunded, soon-to-be-bankrupt state pension fund.
  • Incarcerating someone in a California prison guards costs and average of $47,000 a year. Ridiculous guard salaries and perks.
  • Texas has one of the lowest State-Local debt burdens in the country.
  • For a contrarian view, Victor David Hanson offers up reasons not to leave California.
  • Nothing at all to do with politics, but I can’t resist noting that the “Dream Team” Los Angeles Lakers have hit a little snag on their way to going undefeated in the regular season. Meanwhile, the completely gutted and rebuilt Houston Rockets are 1-0. You take your satisfaction where you can find it…
  • Texas Vs. California: 13 Days Before the Election Roundup

    Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

    With the election less than two weeks away, time for a roundup of how the champions of their respective political models (Texas for Red States and California for Blue States) are doing:

  • Why is gasoline so expensive in California? Because Californian politicians have made it that expensive. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • California is getting ready to shovel more benefits to public employee union members. Because retiring at age 50 with 90% of their salary just wasn’t enough.
  • Bankrupt San Bernadino stops paying into the CalPERS pension fund. (Previously.
  • Moody’s: “we expect…more bankruptcy filings and bond defaults among California cities, reflecting the increased risk to bondholders as investors are asked to contribute to plans for closing budget gaps.”
  • It’s all part of California’s Fifty Shades of Golden electoral masochism. “Not surprising, the most productive of California’s citizens are leaving in droves. For those who want to prosper, the safeword is “Texas.’”
  • The guy from California who under-reported unemployment to make the numbers look better? Obama donor. This is my shocked face.
  • California has actually carried out some pension reforms (like capping annual benefits at $132,000), but its pension plans are still underfunded by $165 billion.
  • California got $411 million in the National Mortgage Settlement. So how much of that actually went to help people with their mortgages? None of it. “Think of California’s persistent budget deficit as a great white shark devouring every source of cash in its path.”
  • Might California voters finally be reaching a tipping point against big government? Answer cloudy, ask again later.
  • Texas continues to add jobs.
  • Moreover, they’re not low wage jobs either:

    The total personal income (TPI) in Texas reached $1.07 trillion dollars in the second quarter of this year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. That’s an increase of 71 percent from the state’s corresponding total 10 years earlier, $626.7 billion.

    Here’s another way of looking at it: Texas accounted for 8.02 percent of the nation’s TPI this year, up 1.10 percentage points from 6.92 percent in 2002.

    That’s nearly five times larger than the runner-up, Florida, which increased its share of national TPI by 0.23 points in a decade. Just four other states registered gains better than a tenth of a point.

  • Texas has the best unemployment rate among the five biggest states, at 6.8%. California, at 10.2%, has the worst.
  • Texas’ tort reform has attracted medical specialists to the state at a rate outstripping population growth.
  • Texas added 262,700 private sector jobs over the last year.
  • And Dwight, as usual, has more on the goings-ons in Golden State locales like Oakland and Bell.
  • (Hat tips for many Texas items: WILLisms’ Twitter feed.)

    Texas Vs. California: August 16, 2012

    Thursday, August 16th, 2012

    Looks like California has done such a good dog of screwing the pooch that I may have to start doing these roundups weekly:

  • Although bankrupt, California is about to add another outrageous benefit to its already bloated pension plan.
  • The Road Warrior‘s future as California’s present.
  • Creditor demands that Stockton reduce it’s outrageous pension plans.
  • In deed, CalPERs and state and local governments have combined to screw both taxpayers and bond-holders.
  • Hermosa Beach meter maids make make nearly $100,000 a year.
  • Could Fresno be the next California city to declare bankruptcy?
  • That is, unless the next California city to declare bankruptcy is Los Angeles.