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Poll: California voters want public employees to help ease state's financial troubles

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alp227 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 11:32 AM
Original message
Poll: California voters want public employees to help ease state's financial troubles
Source: Los Angeles Times

Reporting from Sacramento
California voters want government employees to give up some retirement benefits to help ease the state's financial problems, favoring a cap on pensions and a later age for collecting them, according to a new poll.

Voter support for rolling back benefits available to few outside the public sector comes as Gov. Jerry Brown and Republicans in the Legislature haggle over changes to the pension system as part of state budget negotiations. Such benefits have been a flashpoint of national debate this year, and the poll shows that Californians are among those who perceive public retirement plans to be too costly.

(...)

Seventy percent of respondents said they supported a cap on pensions for current and future public employees. Nearly as many, 68%, approved of raising the amount of money government workers should be required to contribute to their retirement. Increasing the age at which government employees may collect pensions was favored by 52%.

Although pension costs today account for just a fraction of the state budget, they are putting local governments under considerable financial strain, and analysts say effects on the state may not be far off.

Read more: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-poll-pensions-2...



Poll: http://gqrr.com/index.php?ID=2628
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 11:37 AM
Response to Original message
1. Vox populi, vox dei.


At least when we agree with it.
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RUMMYisFROSTED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 11:40 AM
Response to Original message
2. As long as they're for rolling back their own a commensurate amount.
I think you'd find a different tune being sung if that were the case.
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freshwest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 03:45 PM
Response to Reply #2
12. You're right and we shouldn't forget the sacred cow CEOs with more creative ways to make a buck.
Edited on Mon Apr-25-11 03:50 PM by freshwest
The problem for those who work for government or union jobs anywhere, is that they have contracts that are made for public oversight and plainly written. They can't hide what they are making, like the higher ups in private concerns do.

It's all up there for anyone to go after, either for reasons of ideology, projected fault-finding, resentment of the government in general, but most often, from private firms who seek to demonize them to get contracts. And the taxpayer doesn't pay less when this is done, as it moves the money trail off the public ledger as far as the workers and the clients or service are concerned.

As usual, the big shots have got us all sniping at each other here in the lower rungs. Folks should consider this in these debates when we get caught up in minutiae. Because it's easier to poke at the person closer to you, when you can't get at the Koch brothers.

As far as those employees who are getting retired at earlier age, some of them need to be because their jobs destroyed their health, just as they do in the private sector. Their higher rate of pension seems galling, but who knows if they are going to lose it all to paying doctors to keep alive.

Those who are making the argument for making these people retire at later ages might want to rethink that plan. It means that senior workers will draw more years at a higher pay than their younger replacements would, and might end up drawing more sick time, which would cause the state to hire more to carry the slack.

It's done in the private sector, too. I'm kinda tired of seeing these folks getting beaten up on, and discouraged to think Democrats are losing their perspective to the endless Koch brothers/US CoC/GOP propaganda. So hard to avoid their story line, it's insidious.

And I am not getting any financial benefit from standing up for them as I never wanted to work in the public sector nor did any of my family. We saw a lot more money, benefits, and freedom in working for the private sector. The fact that the big business community saw fit to export our jobs and manufacturing, thus bringing down the wages of private sector employees is not the fault of these mostly union workers.

It's true these jobs pay more than Burger King or other minimum wage jobs and those people are the ones that the GOP targets and builds up hatred of public workers with. But a lot of people don't know that many state workers are overqualified for their current positions and could have made more money in the private sector.

This is kicking someone who made the choice to work in a public job based on those contracts and is too old to start again. To ask them to work past their time is the same as raising the Social Security age. It's telling them to work until they die. It's wrong to do it in the private sector and these people aren't any different.

But the Koch, etc. machine with the banksters has driven our country past the brink financially. I just don't want to see more trouble visited on these people who have been an integral part of so much in the lives of my community.
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arbusto_baboso Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 11:58 AM
Response to Original message
3. Yeah, but the majority of Cali voters elected Arnie twice.
I have no trust in this state's electorate.
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xxqqqzme Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 12:28 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Sadly, I have to agree.




Just for the record - Steroid boy was only elected once. He 'won' the recall.
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arbusto_baboso Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 12:30 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Yes, good point.
He would never have deafeated Davis in a straight-up election. But most folks - even in California - aren't aware of this. I went for a simpler post.
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aggiesal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 12:26 PM
Response to Original message
4. Right now, if you work in the private sector ...
your company pays into Social Security 6.2%.
Plus some companies may match your 401K contributions up to 4%.
Assuming your company is one of these, your getting 10.2% extra
in deferred income to be used as your retirement.

Public employees on the other hand, get paid from our taxes.
Most have agreed to take a little less, as long as the gov't
places the money they keep, into a pension fund for the employee.
If the government pays more then 10.2% per employee toward their
pension fund, then I agree, the public employee should help by
accepting no more then 10.2%

If they are getting less then 10.2% into their pension, then they're
getting screwed and they shouldn't give in to any reduction in their
pension.
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joeglow3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. This is where it gets convoluted
Our local firefighters can retire after 20 years and draw something like 70-80% of their highest salary for life. When I run the math on that (I am NOT an actuary), I would need to put away something like 40-50% a year to support that. However, many of these unions have sacrificed wages for better pension benefits (basically, cities ignored the problems today and took out larger unfunded liabilites for tomorrow). Thus, while I think they are clearly getting more than 10%, it is still hard to quantify since they took salary cuts to offset pension benefits.
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RebelOne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 12:45 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. Where do you get 4% 401K match?
I am now retired and my company matched my 401K contributions by 50%
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aggiesal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. As I understand it, ...
you are only allowed to put up to 9% of your yearly income
into your 401K. This could be more or less, I'm really not
an expert.

So, let's say that it's 9%.
You decided to put the complete 9%, some private companies
will match up to 4%. I've seen some companies match 2%,
some 3% but I've never seen a company match more then 4%.
Not that there are companies out there that match more then
4%, only that I have not seen them.

Now if you're getting 50%, I'll bet that they are matching
50% up to the maximum 9%, which means that your company is
matching up to 4.5% or your yearly income. That's actually
a very good benefit.

Please correct me if I'm wrong.
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joeglow3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 06:32 PM
Response to Reply #9
14. Perfect analysis
However, you can put up to 25% of your income (includes your contribution PLUS your employer's contribution), up to $16,500 ($21,500 for those over 50).
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Le Taz Hot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 02:20 PM
Response to Original message
10. This could be in response to the deal Brown made
with the Correctional Officers' Union that allows them to bank unlimited vacation pay that has to be paid out when they retire. I am 100% pro-union but this is one of those things that union detractors can easily point to as the "excesses of the unions." And, really, it is excess. The private sector says "use it or lose it" and in this case, I think the union members could as well.

http://www.thereporter.com/ci_17889503?source=rss_email...
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freshwest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 03:21 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. I've worked for corporations that did the same. The soon to be retired employee didn't work most of
Their last year, then had a retirement party. The company allowed them to bank time because in the years they didn't take vacations, it saved the company from hiring more workers to take up the slack and scheduling around it. I expect the state has done the same thing, keeping people on the payroll and letting them bank time to not have to hire new people, which is more expensive in the long run.
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primavera Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 03:47 PM
Response to Original message
13. Wouldn't it be more logical to get $ from billionaires...
... than from public workers?
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