Posts Tagged ‘CalPERs’

Texas vs. California Update for August 25, 2014

Monday, August 25th, 2014

Another look at how Texas stacks up to the no-longer-so-Golden state:

  • Problem: Those lousy taxpayers get pension reform passed. Solution: CalPERS uses “99 categories of ‘special pay’” to go on a pension spiking orgy.
  • What are some of those 99 categories? “Clerks who type well. Cops who shoot straight. Librarians who are “assigned to provide direction or resources to library patrons.” I’m too scared to check if “Teachers who don’t rape their students” is an actual category or not…
  • Governor Jerry Brown is sending mixed signals on the pension spiking issue.
  • Who actually owns the CalPERS gap between actual funding and what they’ll need to pay out? “CalPERS can be risky (and it has been) with no consequences. The taxpayers have all the responsibility, but none of the control.”
  • So how much payroll and pension did Stockton trim in their bankruptcy? Zero.
  • There is no California comeback. “Personal income-tax revenues fell by 11 percent in the first quarter of this year and more than 6 percent through June.”
  • California cities are among the slowest to recover from the recession.
  • The only way California can get pensions under control is through a constitutional amendment.
  • Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is asking for more money. They’re also asking Angelinos to overlook their high salaries and lack of accountability.

    City leaders are battling with DWP’s union, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 18, to release financial records of a nonprofit trust, run jointly by labor- and management-appointed trustees, that has run through $40 million in ratepayer money. Brian D’Arcy, IBEW Local 18’s business manager, has refused to turn over the trust’s financial records, and DWP executives have said they don’t know how the money was spent.

  • California voters get to weigh in on a 7.5 billion water bill in November, which seems to have considerably less pork than a previously delayed $11 billion bill.
  • So how does bankrupt San Bernardino plan to climb into the black? Cutting back on outrageous pensions? Ha, you must be high! “Help us, weed, you’re our only hope!”
  • I know this is a shock, but California’s High Speed Rail Authority is behind schedule on buying land for it’s doomed boondoggle.
  • Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz opposes ride share programs like Uber and Lyft. Strangely enough, he’s also received $11,000 in campaign contributions from the taxi industry. Quid pro, meet quo.
  • YTexas helps companies relocating to Texas connect with local businesses.
  • Texas vs. California Update for July 16, 2014

    Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

    Some other stuff bubbling up, so here’s a Texas vs. California update to tide you over for a while:

  • Former Calpers CEO Pleads Guilty to Corruption Conspiracy.
  • As part of his plea, Fred Buenrostro also agreed to testify to testify against his friend and former CalPERS board member Alfred Villalobos. Sing, canary, sing!
  • How CalPERs corrupts California politics.
  • Jobs are leaving California and coming to Texas.
  • Texas’ low-tax, low-regulation approach favors job creation.
  • How Texas compares to both California and New York.
  • Why California’s high speed rail boondoggle is still doomed.
  • Stockton’s bankruptcy judge may declare that CalPERS is just another creditor.
  • Bell City Councilman sentenced.
  • Texas vs. California Update for July 3, 2014

    Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

    Enjoy Independence Day tomorrow. In the meantime, here’s another Texas vs. California roundup:

  • Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby wasn’t the only important Supreme Court case last year. The Harris vs. Quinn decision, invalidating mandatory union fees for home health care workers, could have a huge impact on SEIU in California. “where 400,000 state-paid in-home care workers are represented by the SEIU.”
  • Former CalPERS CEO to plead guilty to bribery and conspiracy charges.
  • At least 1,500 Bay Area employees have racked up $50,000 in yearly overtime. “A Monterey County jail guard who worked enough overtime to nearly triple his annual base pay to $264,000 last year.”
  • Wonder why San Bernardino is bankrupt?

    “San Bernardino, California, said that to exit bankruptcy it must terminate a union contract that pays an average annual salary of $190,000 to each of its top 40 firefighters,” according to an article in Bloomberg. That’s just salary. Firefighters receive the generous “3 percent at 50″ retirement package that allows them to retire with 90 percent of their final years’ pay at age 50. And there are lots of pension-spiking gimmicks and other benefits on top of that.

    “These cities are run for the benefit of those who work there. Public services are a side matter at best.”

  • Murrieta, California Protesters greet Obama Administration shipment of illegal aliens with protests, blocking them from being dumped in their community.
  • Judge strikes down Pacific Grove pension initiative.
  • Some bay-area California cities want to hike they local minimum wage. Hey, that won’t hurt businesses here in Texas, so knock yourselves out…
  • More on Toyota’s relocation to Texas, along with some tidbits on the Texas economy:

    Toyota’s move to Texas is a high-profile relocation, but Texas has been used to adding — and filling — new jobs at a superlative pace. The state added more than 1.9 million new jobs over the period from December 1999 to April 2014, more than 35 percent of the entire nation’s total for that 15-year period, noted Michael Cox, an economics professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. And Texas had an unemployment rate of just 5.1 percent in May, 16th-lowest in the United States.

    Meanwhile, Cox noted, Texas’s median wages are 28th-highest in the nation; and they rank 8th-highest after adjusting for taxes and prices. Texas schools rank 3rd, he said, after adjusting for variations in student demographics, a raw statistic which places Texas 28th in the nation.

    “We’re able to accomplish all this and more because the business environment in our state is largely competitive, and free markets solve problems,” Cox told me. “Texas is a meritocracy, where incentives still work to produce good results.”

  • “Six current and former members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department were found guilty Tuesday of obstruction of justice.
  • Grand Jury:”Hey, you might want to consider a pension reform task force.” City of Napa: “Get stuffed.”
  • Santa Ana-based Corithhian Colleges could be headed for bankruptcy.
  • Texas is now home to more Fortune 1000 Companies than any other state.
  • Liberals are still upset that Texas’ red state model is kicking the ass of California’s blue state model. Enter the Texas Tribune, which admits that:

    Drive almost anywhere in the vast Lone Star State and you will see evidence of the “Texas miracle” economy that policymakers like Gov. Rick Perry can’t quit talking about….

    This hot economy, politicians say, is the direct result of their zealous opposition to over-regulation, greedy trial lawyers and profligate government spending. Perry now regularly recruits companies from other states, telling them the grass is greener here. And his likely successor, Attorney General Greg Abbott, has made keeping it that way his campaign mantra.

    It’s hard to argue with the job creation numbers they tout. Since 2003, a third of the net new jobs created in the United States were in Texas. And there are real people in those jobs, people with families to feed.

    But the piece also notes that Texas has led the nation in worker fatalities for seven of the last ten years. I’m not going to get into the details of worker compensation that make up the bulk of the piece, and it is quite possible there is some room for improvement in worker safety. But I do want to note that, as the second largest state in the union, and the one with the biggest oil and gas industry, it’s not terribly surprising that Texas would have the largest number of fatalities, since oil and gas has a fairly high fatality rate (though not injury rate) compared to other industries (see page 14 here).

  • Texas vs. California Update for June 20, 2014

    Friday, June 20th, 2014

    Believe it or not, there seem to be a few actual glimmers of sanity in California in the latest roundup:

  • Texas: Not just leading the nation in jobs, but doing it more equitably as well.
  • “The income gap between rich and poor tends to be wider in blue states than in red states.” More: “Texas has a lower Gini coefficient (.477) and a lower poverty rate (20.5%) than California (Gini coefficient .482, poverty rate 25.8%).” (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Perhaps the biggest crack in the “Blue State” model this month was a state superior court judge ruling that California’s teacher protection laws were illegal, because they violated the equal protection clause for students. How the Vergara vs. California decision plays out on appeal is anyone’s guess, but just recognizing that union contracts that keep crummy teachers employed harms students is a huge step forward.
  • New California payroll and pensions numbers are now available. “The data shows that public compensation in California is growing more out of control, threatening the solvency of the state and local governments.” Let’s take a look at a few locales, shall we?
  • Will wonders never cease: CalWatchdog calls the just-passed California budget “fairly prudent.”
  • The legislature also passed a law almost doubling the amount of money school districts pay into CalSTARS.
  • But don’t let that fool you: California’s legislature is still crazy.
  • Especially since California Democrats just elected a new Senate leader guaranteed to pull them to the left.
  • But Republicans are poised to torpedo California Democrat’s Senate supermajority.
  • Desert Hot Springs is contemplating dissolving it’s police force to avoid bankruptcy. (By my count, 21 Desert Hot Springs police officers make more than $100,000 a year in total compensation. Including five officers who make more than the Police Chief…)
  • San Bernardino has evidently reached agreement with CalPERS in it’s ongoing bankruptcy case, but no details have been reported.
  • They also closed a gap in a yearly budget thanks to some union concessions. But one union is balking, and its members are threatening to join the SEIU instead.
  • The California town of Guadalupe considers bankruptcy. One problem is that the town has been illegally transfering money from dedicated funds (like water bills) to general funds. “If voters do not pass three new taxes in November, Guadalupe is expected to disband its police and fire departments, enter bankruptcy or disincorporate, meaning it would cease to exist as a city.”
  • Ventura County residents collection enough signatures to force a ballot measure on pension reform. Response? A lawsuit to keep it off the ballot.
  • Los Angeles 2020 Commission goes over what changes the city needs to avoid a future where “40% of the population lives in ‘what only can be called misery,’ ‘strangled by traffic’ and hamstrung by a ‘failing’ school system.” Response? “Meh.”
  • Sickout among San Francisco municipal bus drivers. Good thing poor people don’t depend on buses for transportation…
  • Huge growth in Texas apartment complexes.
  • California’s prison system illegally sterilizes female inmates against their will.
  • The Obama Administration Department of Education is driving the California-based Corinthian for-profit college chain out of business.
  • A Californian discusses why relocation to Texas might be attractive, and hears the pitch for Frisco, Texas.
  • “‘Building a business is tough. But I hear building a business in California is next to impossible,’ Perry says.”
  • California regulators can’t be arsed to come out and check flaming tap water.
  • California bill to add warning labels to soft drinks fails.
  • California-based nutritional supplement maker Natrol files for bankruptcy, mainly due to class action suits. I note this because I’ve found their 3mg Melatonin to be really effective as a sleep aid.
  • Texas vs. California Roundup for June 3, 2014

    Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

    Lots of news on the Texas vs. California front. An audit turns up $31 billion in California budget mistakes, Democrats hike the minimum wage there, Jerry Brown tries to do something about the growing CalSTARS pension deficit, and people and businesses continue to depart the “Golden State” for Texas…

  • You know how Democrats were crowing that California had a budget surplus? Forget about it:

    The California Bureau of State Audits set off a scandal on June 1st by disclosing that the State Controller’s Office made accounting misstatements amounting to $31.65 billion. The timing of the announcement may be devastating to the Democrats who expected to use their super-majority to pass billions of dollars in increased spending, but may now find the net effects of the accounting restatements are a $7 billion General Fund deficit.

    Snip.

    As the former Treasurer of Orange County, California it is my preliminary judgment that under state law the negative $7.847 billion impact from overstating general fund assets and revenues and overstating deferred tax revenues may create an “on-budget” deficit to the state’s $96.3 billion “General Fund Budget.”

  • From the same audit: “There was a deferred tax-revenue figure posted as $6.2 billion when it was actually $6.2 million.”
  • California Senate votes to hike minimum wage to $13 an hour. It’s like they want to export ALL their jobs to Texas.
  • Wealth continues to move from high tax states to low tax states. “The nine states without a personal income tax gained $146 billion in new wealth while the nine states with the highest income tax rates lost $107 billion.”

    Union-dominated states are sinking further into economic stagnation as Democratic politicians increasingly dominate the local political climate. In 2012, California Democrats won a supermajority in both houses of the legislature and proceeded to accelerate a tax and spending spree that has been ongoing for two decades. For example, California now has the nation’s top state income-tax rate, at 13.3 percent.

    Those kind of policies have consequences. The Manhattan Institute released a report in 2012 that found that since 1990, California had lost nearly 3.4 million residents to other states with lower tax rates.

    Snip.

    The U.S. is swiftly becoming a tale of two nations. States that are following the Reagan model of low taxes and incentives are booming while states that are opting for the Obama model of wealth redistribution and European welfare-state economics are stagnating.

  • Texas’ unemployment rate “has now been equal to or below the national average since January 2007 and below California’s rate—4th highest in the nation—for 93 consecutive months.”
  • A look at how many more billions per year California taxpayers will be coughing up for the inevitable CalSTARS bailout.
  • Alameda Unified’s pension costs could nearly triple and those of its teachers could rise by 25 percent under Governor Jerry Brown’s proposal to reform the California State Teachers Retirement System.”
  • But even though its a step in the right direction, Brown’s proposals stretch out installments so far that they’re still not fiscally responsible. “Even with the higher rates, the debt would continue to grow until 2026. That’s because the amortization over 32 years means the payments would essentially not even cover the interest costs for the first 12.”
  • And the assumptions behind the repayment schedule sound like fantasy: “The state still faces a huge unfunded liability in the teachers’ pension fund—the governor’s proposal would increase employee’s contributions by 3 percent and increase school district’s by nearly 2 ½ times and it would still take 30 years to close the gap with a generously estimated 7.5 percent annual return.”
  • Judge rules CalPERS can be sued for mishandling a long-term insurance program.
  • Thanks to various legal rulings, there will be more felons on California streets. “Release on parole continues a steady climb in California. In just the past five years, over twice as many convicts serving life sentences have been paroled than in the last two decades combined.”
  • Cargo aviation firm Ameriflight is relocating from Burbank to Dallas/Ft. Worth.
  • Sony Pictures Imageworks visual effects house is relocating to Canada.
  • Tesla narrows down list of possible factory locations to Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas. Not on the list: His home state of California. “The winning state will need to have all the necessary permits approved by the time Tesla plans to break ground next month. With the onerous requirements of the California Environmental Protection Act (CEQA) and other environmental regulations, Tesla would be lucky to break ground by 2017 – when its battery factory is scheduled to open.”
  • New effort to bring California’s underfunded health liabilities onto the books. “Legislation in the early 1990s created an investment fund for California state worker retiree health care, but lawmakers never put money in the fund.”
  • Remember the FBI agent who shot and killed a suspect connected with the Boston marathon bombing? Turns out he receives $50,000 a year in disability pay from the Oakland Police Department. And he’s been getting that since 2004, when he retired at age 31. “59% of Oakland Police Department retirees have received disability retirements.” (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • Why people are moving to Texas:

    As a growing number of Americans choose to call Texas home, it is critical that policymakers not lose sight of the reasons why: low taxes, limited government, and personal responsibility. Liberty is popular. That’s a message that needs reinforcement, particularly at the local level where some of the macro level trends involving taxes, spending, and debt are moving in the wrong direction. We can keep Texas and our cities beacons of prosperity and flourishing — but to do that, we must understand the principles that got us here, and defend them in policy and the public square.

  • Some California cities have hidden taxes just to fund government worker pensions. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • Lawsuit over California teacher’s union seniority rules to go to trial.
  • Jerry Brown may let California commit more Kelo-like eminent domain abuses.
  • Sriracha followup: The Irwindale City Council voted Wednesday night to drop its declaration that the hot sauce plant was a public nuisance.
  • Just so I’m not accused of glossing over the occasional bit of bad Texas economic news, Motorola Mobility (which is owned by Google) is closing their Texas smartphone assembly plant. But I think this says more about Motorola Mobility’s viability in a smart phone market dominated by Apple and Samsung than about Texas’ economy…
  • Texas vs. California Update for May 14, 2014

    Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

    Time for another Texas vs. California roundup:

  • Chief Executive ranks the states for business friendliness. Once again, Texas is ranked the best state for doing business in. And once again, California is ranked the worst.

    “Texas is the best state for business and I don’t see anything to slow TX down. The education and quality of eligible employees is excellent right now. Business is booming and growing quicker and more rapidly in 2014 than any other year. It’s an exciting time in Texas.”

    “California goes out of its way to be anti-business and particularly where one might put manufacturing and/or distribution operations.”

    “California continues to lead in disincentives for growth businesses to stay.”

    “California’s attitude toward business makes you question why anyone would build a business there.”

    “California could hardly do more to discourage business if that was the goal. The regulatory, tax and political environment are crushing.”

  • California Governor Jerry Brown unveils a budget that takes baby steps toward actual pension and budget reform. Naturally Brown’s fellow Democrats in the state legislature are fighting him every step of the way.
  • Texas vs. California? Try Houston vs. California:

  • California state rep thinks the minimum wage in the state should be $26 an hour. I agree, especially if they call it the “Let’s Drive All Remaining Business to Texas Act”…
  • When he was a San Diego City Councilman, California Democrat Congressman Scott Peters not only underfunded the city’s pension plan while hiking benefits, he indemnified the pension board for doing so.
  • More on Peters, via an attack ad:

  • “A new analysis of California’s independent public retirement systems suggests they are more woefully underfunded than they appear, and that Los Angeles County is among the worst of all.”
  • Bankrupt Stockton’s last remaining big creditor refuses to take 1¢ on the dollar for debts the city owes. (Remember: State pension fund CalPERS didn’t take any haircut at all.)
  • In bankrupt San Bernardino, talks between the city and CalPERS are making the federal judge overseeing the case impatient.
  • Chuck DeVore on why Texans trust their state government more than most:

    Then factors that appear to explain from 13 percent to 30 percent of the differences in trust among the states: rate of union membership,with more trust in states with lower union membership; state’s level of soft tyranny, a measure of the power of state government over its people; percentage of state and local taxes as a share of income, with lower taxes leading to more trust; the right to keep and bear arms, with citizens trusting a government that trusts them to defend themselves; a business-friendly lawsuit climate; the days the legislature is in session, with less trust as the legislature approaches full-time; and the average commute time, with less time spent in traffic leading to more trust.

    Lastly, a combination of from two to four of the previous factors correlates to 34 to 41 percent of the trust in each state with a mix of four: taxes, gun rights, lawsuit reform and commute time, showing the highest link to trust. Comparatively speaking, Texas lawmakers have done well in these four areas of public policy.

    When building trust in state government, enacting liberty-minded legislation is a good place to start.

  • But it isn’t all sunshine in Texas Local debt continues to rise, though Eanes School District voters finally decide that they’ve had enough and defeat a bond proposal.
  • Texas vs. California Update for April 29, 2014

    Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

    Big news, as one of the world’s largest car makers decides to abandon tax-and-spend California for the Lone Star State:

  • Toyota is moving U.S. sales and marketing operations from Torrence, California to Plano, Texas.

    California has become infamous with business executives and owners there not only for high tax rates and complex taxing schemes but also for overzealous regulations and regulators that have managed to stifle the entrepreneurial energy of thousands of companies.

  • “Criminal activity is the extreme manifestation of California’s institutionalized progressive hypocrisy.”
  • ZeroHedge (quoting a certain gun-grabbers business news service) offers up the most and least taxing states in America. Once again, California tops the list for most taxing. Plus a handy visual representation:

  • “California doesn’t just have the highest state income tax in the nation. It leads the rest of the country in almost every category of taxation: the highest state sales tax, the highest taxes on gasoline at the pump, and the highest corporate tax west of the Mississippi. And the taxes aren’t doing much for the people of the state, rich or poor. For the first time in history, the Census Bureau reports that California is also the poorest state in the nation, with 23.8% of the population living in poverty, in large part because of California’s high cost of living (which is not helped by all the sky-high consumption taxes the Democrats have enacted and the poor must pay to survive.)”
  • If that weren’t bad enough, a new bill (SB 1372) threatens to levy a class-war tax on CEO salaries. “Their bill would change the state’s fixed tax rate on publicly traded corporations to a sliding levy that’s pegged to the earnings gap between the top-paid executive and the median worker.” Evidently Democrats want all publicly traded corporations in California to move their headquarters to Texas…
  • The Pension Tsunami is going to wreck California sooner rather than later. “State and local governments in the Golden State have underfunded their golden-parachute pension promises by a terrifying half a trillion dollars. Twenty thousand public employees now collect yearly pensions of $100,000 or more.”
  • Some of the money those “public servants” are raking in is pretty staggering: “In 2012, more than 100 individuals took home more than $500,000 in total compensation; 8,248 raked in more than $250,000; 28,844 cashed in to the tune of $200,000 or more.”
  • Superintendent in a California school district who oversees 6,600 students pulled down a cool $674,559 last year. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • Evidently CalPERS and San Bernardino are still negotiating.
  • If you think CalPERS is going broke now, just wait to California’s bankrupt cities start writing down debts owed.
  • Everyone knows San Francisco is as liberal as liberal can be. Yet even there voters have voted down green energy mandates.
  • California hot sauce maker Sriracha is still mulling relocation offers. Texas is still a possibility.
  • California’s tax bureaucracy will continue suing you after 20 years, even if they’ve lost in court.
  • Poll of residents shows that Texas is one of the five most popular states to live in. “Texans rank high on standard of living and trust in their state government, and they are less negative than others are about the state taxes they pay.”
  • Texas isn’t immune from California’s troubles when big city officials start spending like California Democrats. Big-spending Texas cities should learn from bankrupt Detroit’s example.
  • 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.