Union Bosses Raid Pensions
Taxpayers are footing the bill and business is getting the blame for the pension crisis in California but the real culprit is the union bosses of the Golden State, the Investors Business Daily reports: Reports from a variety of media reveal California state employees are spiking their pensions to stratospheric levels, leaving nothing for their brother employees. Sorry, can't blame Wall Street for this one. In a laudable instance of the mainstream media doing its job, the Los Angeles Times, the Sacramento Bee, Bloomberg News and City Journal have all exposed "pension spiking" by California public employees. Basically, they manipulate rigid unionized pay and promotion systems to raise their pensions well above what they earned during their working years. The Los Angeles Times on Saturday pieced together tough-to-get data from Kern and Ventura counties and found a fiscal horror story: In Kern, 77% of public employees with pensions greater than $100,000 actually get more than they did during their working lives. In Ventura, the figure is 84%. Kern has a $761 million pension shortfall, in part due to the practice. Both the practice and the lack of transparency are signs of a rotten system. Bigger counties like San Diego and Los Angeles also permit pension spiking.