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Councilmembers Carl DeMaio and Lorie Zapf today (April 21) released a study that purports to show that Fire Department compensation is far higher than comparable -- the key word is "comparable" -- jobs in the private sector. The two councilmembers say that salaries plus fringe benefits in the City Fire Department are 137% to 325% higher than private sector benchmarks -- namely pay/fringes of private sector ambulance employees with similar qualifications. Opponents can be expected to claim these are not apples to apples comparisons.

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Comments

Visduh April 21, 2011 @ 9:15 p.m.

Any intellectually honest person has to conclude that public sector pay is higher than for comparable jobs elsewhere, and that the fringe benefits (not including retirement) are more generous, and that the retirement plans are vastly better. Add all that to the security of public employment, and there is no conclusion that can be drawn other than that public employees are compensated at a rate double or triple that of the privately employed taxpayers whom they "serve." Isn't that simple? Sure is! So now, what do we do about it? Let the disparity grow, or start to eliminate it? All in favor of parity, raise your hand.

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SurfPuppy619 April 21, 2011 @ 9:47 p.m.

Add all that to the security of public employment, and there is no conclusion that can be drawn other than that public employees are compensated at a rate double or triple that of the privately employed taxpayers whom they "serve." Isn't that simple?

Bingo, we have a winner.

FF is a semi skilled blue collar job that is being compensated at a rate higher than a general practioner medical doctor with 10 years of serious college under their belt.

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SurfPuppy619 April 21, 2011 @ 9:48 p.m.

And "retiring" much earlier than the medical doctor and with a larger pension too.

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Don Bauder April 22, 2011 @ 7:10 a.m.

Those retirements at ages 50 and 55 are bankrupting government entities. A person who works 30 years in a government job and retires with 90% of pay at age 50 is on the public payroll as a retiree as long as he or she worked. Somebody should do some basic math. It doesn't add up. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 April 22, 2011 @ 8:43 a.m.

A person who works 30 years in a government job and retires with 90% of pay at age 50 is on the public payroll as a retiree as long as he or she worked. Somebody should do some basic math. It doesn't add up.

If they retire at age 50 (with 30 years -or less- of service credit) they will live to age 81 (31 yrs) if male and 85(35 yrs) if female. Their pension pay will average at least double, if not triple, their average pay while actually working;

Here is the CalPERS life expectancy data for public safety members (police and fire, which are grouped together by the pension fund):

• If the current age is 55, the retiree is expected to live to be 81.4 if male, and 85 if female.

• If the current age is 60, the retiree is expected to live to be age 82 if male, and 85.5 if female.

• If the current age is 65, the retiree is expected to live to be age 82.9 if male, and 86.1 if female.

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Don Bauder April 22, 2011 @ 1:31 p.m.

All of which means they will be receiving annuity payments for as many or more years than they worked. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder April 22, 2011 @ 7:07 a.m.

DeMaio and Zapf are to be praised for releasing this study. It would be interesting to see how police detective pay stacks up against private sector detective pay. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder April 22, 2011 @ 7:05 a.m.

Even Labor Department figures consistently show that public sector compensation -- both salary and pensions -- is considerably higher than private sector compensation. I have displayed those stats a couple of times in the Reader and you can pick them up online. Other studies show that on a comparable job-for-job basis (say, public sector janitors vs. private sector janitors), the public sector wins. Should something be done about it? Of course. WILL something be done? Politicians and judges, the ones who could do something, enjoy public sector pay and pensions. 'Nuf said. Best, Don Bauder

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realnews April 22, 2011 @ 6:49 a.m.

The San Francisco Chronicle has posted report after report on the pension funds of fire officials...which have become a national con job.

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Don Bauder April 22, 2011 @ 7:12 a.m.

Good for the Chron. Investigators should look into how many firefighters are holding down jobs at the same time they are working in the Fire Department. Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering April 22, 2011 @ 10:45 a.m.

"All in favor of parity, raise your hand."

Dam right! Private sector employers have, and continue to, exploit middle income wage earner, or at least what use to be the middle class when I was growing up.

Instead of trying to add to the DEMISE of America's middle class, why aren't more DEMANDING wages and benefits to support it and have it flourish. This has always bothered me...it's the attitude, if I've lost something you need to loose too so we're even. When it should be, I'm earning and contributing to this company, my compensation should be on par with them.

If private sector employers had their way, you'd be working 80 hours a week at $10 an hour and no health care whatsoever.

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SurfPuppy619 April 22, 2011 @ 12:33 p.m.

Instead of trying to add to the DEMISE of America's middle class, why aren't more DEMANDING wages and benefits to support it and have it flourish.

Hmmm, correct me if I am wrong, but isn't that what the private sector has been doing for the last 30 years???

. This has always bothered me...it's the attitude, if I've lost something you need to loose too so we're even. =================== No, the attitute is this;

"Stop trying to steal my income (from the many taxpayers) to fund your (the few gov employees) gold plated, Cadillac, CEO type pay and benefits. benefits that are 100 times better than ours. If you want CEO style pay and benefits then earn it yourself, stop stealing from the poor and middle class".

That is how I view it and I am not outside the mainstream.

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Don Bauder April 22, 2011 @ 1:38 p.m.

Private sector unions battle something public sector unions don't have to worry about: overseas competition. The private sector employer, faced with a strike of domestic workers, can simply move operations overseas to low- and slave-wage nations. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 April 22, 2011 @ 3:24 p.m.

We need to stop the off shoring of our jobs, it is that simple, if we don't we will dig a deepr and deeper hole, until we just meltdown 100%.

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JustWondering April 23, 2011 @ 7:34 a.m.

Yes you're right about that... and with NO leadership from our President, or creative ideas from the Congress, we'll continue to see more and more "good jobs" outsourced to others.

Manufacturing jobs are the best example, they're practically non existent in the USA. So what happened to them? Corporate America in pursuit of higher and higher profits for their executives and stockholders CHOSE them over America and stability.

So over the last 50 years, just a blink of the corporate eye, we've gone from the land of plenty and prosperity, to the country of a few "haves" and the rest "have nots." If this trend continues unabated, Surfpuppy's prediction of 100% meltdown is not that far off in the future.

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Don Bauder April 22, 2011 @ 1:35 p.m.

The late economist Milton Friedman used to say that the economy must have a thriving middle class. Yet many private sector employers who are killing the middle class claim they are adapting Friedman's economics. Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering April 22, 2011 @ 12:47 p.m.

"That is how I view it and I am not outside the mainstream."


I can't stop laughing at the last phase of that statement. Especially if you put it into the context of the last two periods of extended prosperity. When private sector business were growing exponentially, public sector pay and benefits were of NO concern whatsoever. In fact, public sector were repeatedly told of the riches they would earn if they just moved into the private sector. And, to be fair, some did, especially during the real estate bubble where flipping houses was done faster than a able bodied pancake chef at IHOP.

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Don Bauder April 22, 2011 @ 1:43 p.m.

The smart public sector employees stayed put: they knew civil service protected their excessive compensation. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 April 22, 2011 @ 3:21 p.m.

I can't stop laughing at the last phase of that statement. Especially if you put it into the context of the last two periods of extended prosperity. When private sector business were growing exponentially, public sector pay and benefits were of NO concern whatsoever.

Well, lets review you little statement.

1) Private sector pay-it has been stagnant for the last 11 years, and in many cases has actually gone down, as has the average standard of living. Now lets compare that to public safety pay in this state, which has gone up 97% in the last 10 years, or nearly doubling. Now add in the millions in unearned retroactive pension increases, which start after working 35% less than the private sector, and when counting only fulltime employees who have 30 years of service credit average 9-10 times that of social security.

2) next, I know you are going to claim you have a "neighbor" or a "friend" who made $500K or more per year in "real estate" (in fact you have claimed this), or in "loans" or "stock options", and I would again ask you to please name the companies that have these great benefits. I have worked in real estate, I know how hard the job is and that the average agent or broker makes less than $5K per year. And it is a straight commission job with NO benefits whatsoever.

Last, "flipping houses" is not a job, that is a business, and very FEW people made money in it, in fact most people I know lost everything they had, but again, it is not a job, it is not an employer-employee relationship, those people are entrepreneurs. I want YOU to NAME the companies where rank and file employees can be hired with either a GED or HS diploma, and get a starting benefit package of $150K-$200K.

Gov Moonbeam is trying to ink a new prison guard contract where NEW HIRES will get 8 weeks of vacation and sick leave straight out of the blocks-and it goes up as they gain seniority. I want to see that in the real world.

Please show me these so called "riches" the private sector had, for the applicants who were hired ast SDPD/FD. They would never be hired anywhere in the private sector in San Diego for anything more than $8-$10 an hour, with limitded if ANY benefits with just a HS diploma.

You live in the Fantasyland of a system that is grossly overcompensated and is now crashing-because it is not in the free market. You better hope your pension fund does not get wrapped up in a BK court and that your pension is secure, because right now it is on a collision course with Mr. Math. Once Mr. Math arrives, reality sets in.

The gravy train is over. All the spin that you and your buddies gave up "riches" in the private sector is laughable. You're making 10 times more in your gov workfare job than you could ever have dreamed of in the real world.

FF's are making MORE out of the blocks at age 21 than doctors are with 10 years of college and hundreds of thousands in student loan debt.

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Don Bauder April 22, 2011 @ 4:49 p.m.

Flipping houses worked for some people for awhile, but when the music stopped, anybody who had not gotten out got wiped out. And how many got out before the peak and plunge? Very few. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 April 22, 2011 @ 8:32 p.m.

Flipping houses is a business, a business that you build-it takes brains and money, it is not a rank and file job. I can guarantee you that very few business people can make money at it, and far fewer public employees could even dream of making money at it-and it is also cyclical.

I was a real estate broker and I was working during and after the S&L bust of the late 1980's and no one was making any money after the bust. Guys who made $150K in 1989 were making $15K in 1991, and many made a big fat $0, the goose egg. There was just no business. And that was gross. People who are in real etsate or lucky enough to flip houses have NO BENEFITS at all. Zero. In addition they have to pay both sides of payroll taxes-15.3%. Real estate is 100 times more intense, more demanding and more competitive than a gov job, they are not even in the same universe, much less the same ballpark.

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Don Bauder April 22, 2011 @ 10:52 p.m.

Over the economic cycles, flipping burgers is better than flipping residential real estate. Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering April 23, 2011 @ 7:52 a.m.

Reply to subcomment #2.

The company was AMCC. Same symbol. Take a look at their historical stock price chart between 1999 and 2001. We the option held and exercised my friend made a few million dollars. Only an employee for two years prior to that bubble, but had a nice resume in the area of responsibility for that company. After the burst, got out and started consulting, making mid-six figures for several years.

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SurfPuppy619 April 23, 2011 @ 10:52 a.m.

Your buddy sounds very smart, and had some good luck too.

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Don Bauder April 23, 2011 @ 10 p.m.

Sounds like you got out a lot of the stock before the bubble burst and then did well in consulting. Best, Don Bauder

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Visduh April 23, 2011 @ 11:03 a.m.

Let's not be too hard on JW. A typical public employee didn't have to think of where all that largess was coming from. It just showed up and the public entity agreed to pay generous salaries, grant generous benefits, pay most or all of the cost of "funding" a retirement system that carried no worries for the employee, and provided extensive safeguards against arbitrary dismissal. All those features of public employment were supposed to be in the public interest. Until the pay for the public employees began to pass by those of the private sector and came to substantially exceed them, all was well, or so most of us thought.

Your typical public employee will still point to friends and acquaintances in private employment who are earning more, often much more, than he or she is earning. However, when you try to pin one down, you'll learn that the comparison is being made to one or a very few such friends, and not the average or median or "typical" friend. Many people in the private sector like to brag of their fat paychecks, and not a few are prone to exaggerate, especially if there is no real way to check up on the claims. So, we have the public sector folks comparing themselves to the very best paid in the private sector, or to liars. The truth is what we've been discussing here: public sector total compensation is much better than the typical member of the public who is supposedly being served.

JW seems to be accusing some of us, notable SurfPup, of wanting to drag him down to a lower level out of jealousy. Reminds me of an old joke about the typical reaction of a Russian in the Soviet days to learning that a neighbor has a cow when he has none. He wants to see the neighbor's cow shot! (In case anyone misses the point, he could want a cow of his own, but never thinks of that.) That's not what we're saying. We are saying that the public sector folks are paid to serve the rest of us, and cannot expect to be better compensated than those they serve.

It's all really simple.

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Don Bauder April 23, 2011 @ 10:05 p.m.

There is now a split in the labor movement, and anti-labor agitators are trying to exploit it. The private sector unions, which are hurting, are splitting with the public sector unions, which are doing just fine, thank you. Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering April 23, 2011 @ 1:51 p.m.

Interesting but a convenient point Visduh... It's all how the "work" is valued. For example, while many do not value the work done by our so-called "wastewater" employee. You couldn't get me to work in feces and who knows what is flushed down the toilet fixing the city's sewers, or crawling to confined spaces where methane gases were just evacuated.

My point is until the Great Ressession of 2008-11 few if any were concerned about the wages and benefits of public employees. When the crash happened overnight the media latched onto this story and public employees, the ones cleaning your sewers, patrolling your streets, performing CPR, rescuing you from the rip current, you know, serving for the public good became the evil greedy masters of the universe bent on destroying all who stood it's way.

Why? Nothing changed for them. They still did the work and were paid the same wage, or in some cases less. Oh, that's right private sector working class folks got hammered. Wall Street nearly collapsed the entire world economy. Businesses started tightening their belts. People started losing their jobs and vicious cycle got worse. But not as much to "public servants". Then the fact their pensions were vested rights by many settled cases, you got even more upset. And finally, the straw the broke the camels back, you got your 401K statement.

BTW 401Ks were NEVER intended to be a middle class wage earner retirement plan. They were intended to shelter income for high wager earner from taxes. Deferring the tax to a later date after leaving the workforce. But with millions of potential accounts and billions of dollars of fees at stake, Wall Street and corporate greed, overcame good long term common sense. With no legislative or executive leadership from EITHER side of the aisle, we have the mess were in today. But those nasty useless public servants had constitutionally protected benefit.

I believe Don said it when he wrote, "The smart public sector employees stayed put: they knew civil service protected their excessive compensation." Funny, it only became "excessive" when the private sector suffered slings and arrows of the worst of economic times since the Great Depression.

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Don Bauder April 23, 2011 @ 10:11 p.m.

I have to disagree with your claim that people only became aware of high public sector remuneration when the economy tanked 2007-2009. Not true in San Diego. I believe I wrote for the first time in the Reader that San Diego was threatened with bankruptcy in 2003. If memory serves me right, I was quoting Diann Shipione. In 2003 and 2004, I did a number of things on excessive pensions of San Diego public sector employees, and how that threatened the City's solvency. Diann was my main source. (I started with the Reader in April of 2003.) Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering April 24, 2011 @ 4:31 p.m.

Where were you, where were the business leaders, where was the SDUT in 96 when Susan wanted the RNC to further her own political goals, and Jack cooked the books the books for her. The City's been lying to the taxpayers since 1982.

By 2003 the die was cast and rights vested. There is an interesting piece in the SDUT Dialog section today...a sort of point / counterpoint on all of it.

. http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/apr/24/poor-investment-decisions-are-to-blame/ .

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SurfPuppy619 April 24, 2011 @ 7:29 p.m.

Jack cooked the books

McGrory should be in prison for fraud.

I have said it may times, he is the #1 reason we are in debt up to our ears, he committed financial fraud.

If the City were a private company McGrory would have been sent to the Joint for a decade or two.

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Visduh April 23, 2011 @ 10:20 p.m.

"My point is until the Great Ressession (sic) of 2008-11 few if any were concerned about the wages and benefits of public employees" is an interesting assertion. Too bad it is not true. Many were concerned, and many were attempting to get some scrutiny of the pay and benefit practices of municipalities, states and the federal government. The recession just exacerbated the disparities, and now we're hearing more about the matter, and there are real proposals out there to start to rectify the sitiuation.

But, gee, we agree about the 401(k) plans not being a full retirement system, at least as most are structured. They started out as plans to encourage the US workers to save some money for their "old age". There were and still are so many disincentives to saving that those added two incentives, the first being that you could save pre-tax dollars and pay the tax only when you took the money out, and then you'd likely be in a lower marginal tax bracket. The second incentive was for the employer to match some of what the employee was saving with some added funding. But, the typical "6% matched by 3%" plan will not provide an adequate retirement income it that is all the employee has to supplement social security. Well, it might just barely pull that off if the employee starts putting in enough dollars to get the full employer match in his/her first job and all jobs right up until retirement day, forty years worth of contributions and matches, never touched while it grows. It is no longer clear that an employee will save tax dollars in a higher tax bracket than they will eventually be taxed.

When governmental agencies talk of "401(k)-type plans" to replace the defined benefit plans now offered, they don't necessarily mean something analogous to the typical plan offered in private employment. They will require substantial employee contributions or 8% to 10%, and will provide for generous employer input. Will they ever yield the results that the current DB plans offer? No, but then they won't cost as much, and will never, by definition, be underfunded.

Yes, it is a shame that most private employers no longer offer any sort of DB plans. When the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) was enacted about 1975, that piece of legislation was intended to make such plans more secure. But in a classic piece of unintended consequences, it made the administration, funding and insuring of such plans onerous, and so many prosperous major corporations dropped them in the past thirty years. Every economic downturn is accompanied by a rash of employers dropping their plans. Nowadays, few private employers still offer them. But maybe, just maybe, that is a symptom of a bigger economic malaise in the US, a first symptom of our gradual but inexorable impoverishment.

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Don Bauder April 24, 2011 @ 7:09 a.m.

There are a number of factors in our "gradual but inexorable impoverishment," as you say it so articulately. The decline of the defined benefit pension program (near disappearance in the private sector) is one, to be sure. Federal Reserve and Treasury policy aimed at boosting the superrich and screwing the middle class and below is another. Tax policy designed to make the superrich even richer and others poorer is still another. Policymakers in the U.S. have to realize that destruction of the middle class is a disastrous development for the economy, since consumption is more than 70% of GDP. But the Fed is owned by and run for Wall Street. Treasury policy under both Republicans and Democrats is aimed at widening the already gaping disparity between rich and poor. Politicians of both parties are in the pockets of the superrich. The breach is even wider today than it was in the days of the Robber Barons. Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering April 24, 2011 @ 4:51 p.m.

"Many were concerned, and many were attempting to get some scrutiny of the pay and benefit practices of municipalities, states and the federal government."

Nonsense. Back in the 90's public employee wage discussions were non existent, especially when you contrast them to today's media frenzy on the topic. There was NO mainstream media coverage, claiming it was there then is wishful or delusional spinning of the fact. Heck even Don cops out to 2003 after being fed leads from Diann Shipione.

As of today, DeMaio's 401K plan for city employees would only cover new ones, since the IRS has said employees in existing DB plans cannot re-enter social security. (This is being examined now, but the Orange County proposal was denied and no final decision has been made.) The final wording of the proposed ballot measure is done yet, so were only speculating at best, but the City's proposed match was capped, and would be illegal. It would require another vote because of Prop B.

I'd also argue about your statement, "When governmental agencies talk of "401(k)-type plans" to replace the defined benefit plans now offered, they don't necessarily mean something analogous to the typical plan offered in private employment." DeMaio has made it clear, over and over, city employee should have the same retirement benefits at their private sector counterparts. But on the other hand DeMaio has also said, "You don’t find a loophole and then kick someone to the curb because legally you found a way out." The context of that statement was regarding the Mayor's plan to eliminate "free" trash pick up for those excluded by the 1919 People Ordinance. Apparently those words mean nothing to DeMaio in the context of vested retiree benefits.

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SurfPuppy619 April 24, 2011 @ 6:43 p.m.

Nonsense. Back in the 90's public employee wage discussions were non existent, especially when you contrast them to today's media frenzy on the topic.

Did you have 3%@50 "back in the 90's"??? No, you did not.

Did you have cops and FF's "retiring" at age 50 "back in the 90's"?? No you did not.

Did you have the DROP scam "back in the 90's"? No you did not.

Were you allowed to purchase service year credits for 10 cents on the dollar "back in the 90's"?? I doubt it-but I don't know for sure if that one was around then.

The fact is these pension scams were done in the dead of night behind closed doors since 2000. All were done recently. They were intentionally hidden from public view, but when they did start to come out of the dark many people-mostly numbers people in the begining like me- knew it was a scam and spoke out. Well before 2008.

The Orange County board of supervisors tried to claim the same thing JW is claiming right now- "oh we didn't know back then of the potential problems", then the head of the OC taxpayers came out with the written objections made to all of the OC Supervisors stating the problems back in 2001, and the supervisors were caught with their foot in their mouths.

I have been on these boards calling these scams out well before the depression started-going back to at least 2005, and before.

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Don Bauder April 24, 2011 @ 10:21 p.m.

I can remember, though, beginning in late 1996, writing that the Chargers' deal for a rehabbed stadium, and the certain-to-come deal for a new ballpark, would harm the City's budget. I don't know that I specifically talked pension, but I remember warning that the City was not in great economic shape and the ballpark would make things worse. I caught hell for saying such things, too. Herb Klein, who was trying to get me fired from the U-T long before the pro sports welfare came up, redoubled and then further intensified his efforts. It wasn't easy. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 April 24, 2011 @ 7:22 p.m.

One thing that is very real, that I really don't think JW or the other muni employees understand, is that the economy cannot support these pensions and they WILL default, sooner or later. The math simply does not support the benefits. When that event happens then everyone is going to get a pension haircut. I would be very worried of that if I were a muni employee.

If pensions were still at the same level they were in the 1990's then JW and all the other employees would be sitting pretty on a GOOD retirement pension today, with no worries of fund default. But the greed factor took over- now everything is crashing and everyone is at risk.

JW, if you calculate your pension and the amount YOU contributed to it, I DOUBT it would be even 5% of the total value. When that kind of benefit is derived from such a minimal investment then you have to question not only the economics of the pension, but the morals and ethics of taking such a benefit while harming the many who must fund it-the many who have nothing even remotely close to these pensions.

I personally am tired of being in this debate. I am tired of arguing over it.

I am upset that we still have these pensions (specifically 3%@50) years after we became aware of the problems. They wrecking economic havoc on our city, our county, our state and our nation. It is an issue that is destroying the social fabric that holds us together, and if the pensions are not adjusted they will destroy everything in their path.

The retirees will be left holding the bag in the long run, and will be bitter that they did not get the pensions they "contracted" for. The taxpayers are already bitter.

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Don Bauder April 24, 2011 @ 10:23 p.m.

JW, do you dispute that 5%? Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 April 25, 2011 @ 8:35 a.m.

JW, do you dispute that 5%

If JW retires and his pension is valued at $2-3 million, which is about average for a public safety pension, 5% would be $100K-$150K, or $277/month-$416/month, and that would be a contant amount from Day 1 30 years/360 momths ago in 1981. I doubt any PS member in SD contributes $416 per month TODAY towards their pensions, much less every month for 360 months total.

If you were to add in the interest on that 5% they would deplete their own contributions in 2-4 years. If the county matched it in 4-8 years.

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JustWondering April 25, 2011 @ 10:04 a.m.

Yes... and using the pupsters own math from the convoluted comment posting system the Reader uses. I contributed substantially MORE than the $150K figure he wrote.

Puppy has it so wrong...he said, "I doubt any PS member in SD contributes $416 per month TODAY towards their pensions, much less every month for 360 months total." Today, safety eemployees are contribution MORE than that amount every TWO WEEKS. And that percentage of pay has not drastically changed over the last 30 years. Add to that the City's substantially equal contribution.

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JustWondering April 25, 2011 @ 9:56 a.m.

"JW, if you calculate your pension and the amount YOU contributed to it, I DOUBT it would be even 5% of the total value."

Puppy since the city i.e. the taxpayers, and the employees contribute for all intents and purposes a substantially equal portions then the city must have done about the same.

While the City may have contributed slightly more with pick-ups in lieu of wages increases, thus lowering one third of the pension calculation. The bottom line is it is investment returns that pay pensions, long term 30, 40 year returns combined with contributions.

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SurfPuppy619 April 25, 2011 @ 12:56 p.m.

The bottom line is it is investment returns that pay pensions, long term 30, 40 year returns combined with contributions.

Investment returns paid a good portion in the bubble, but you take the bubble out of it and pension payments are more evenly split between contributions and ROI.

But the base comes mainly from taxpayer dollars unless the contributions are equal, which they are not.

That blue ribbon pension report that was put out in 2004-the CEO of NASCO was one of the authors, wrote extensively about the muni "pick up", and I think he wrote that the majority of San Diego City employees had their side picked up by the muni.

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Visduh April 24, 2011 @ 7:51 p.m.

". . . the economy cannot support these pensions" precisely sums up the case against the ultra-generous pensions. I'll go on to add, for symmetry, that the economy cannot support these levels of pay for police, firefighters, and overall municipal employees. So, JW, "we" cannot afford you and others like you any longer (we never really could) and it has reached the crunch point. Something must give. There is no money to support the lavish pay of government employees, not now, maybe never.

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Don Bauder April 24, 2011 @ 10:25 p.m.

One thing that government employees with excessive pay and pensions can always point to is the obscene pay at the top of the private sector. Best, Don Bauder

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Ponzi April 25, 2011 @ 6:27 a.m.

The problem is that old actuarial assumptions are still used. My mother worked for the state of California for 25 years. She had planned to work 30, but her (2nd) husband wanted to travel. Anyway, she retired when she was 52. She is now 87. So she worked 25 years, the first ten being entry level and learning the job with the next 15 working her way up the bureaucratic ladder.

Bottom line, she gets almost all her medical and dental paid (Medicare) as well as a pension that has periodic cost of living increases. 25 years of work, 35 years of pay for doing nothing… and she is in good health. Since my maternal grandfather lived to be 100 years old, and my grandmother 95, there’s a good chance my mother will collect 45 years of pension for a 25 year job. That’s 70 years of pay for 25 years of work.

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Don Bauder April 25, 2011 @ 7:17 a.m.

The story of your mother highlights the problem. A firefighter, for example, works 30 years and retires at age 50 with 90% of his/her salary, then lives another 30 years, perhaps more. The math just doesn't work. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 April 25, 2011 @ 8:22 a.m.

The story of your mother highlights the problem. A firefighter, for example, works 30 years and retires at age 50 with 90% of his/her salary, then lives another 30 years, perhaps more.

Men are living more than 30 years, woman are living 35+ years. We RIGHT NOW have cops and FF's and other "public safety" employees collecting pensions LONGER than they actually worked, and collecting pensions that average 3-4 times more than their average career working wage;

Here is the CalPERS life expectancy data for public safety members (police and fire, which are grouped together by the pension fund):

• If the current age is 55, the retiree is expected to live to be 81.4 if male, and 85 if female.

• If the current age is 60, the retiree is expected to live to be age 82 if male, and 85.5 if female.

• If the current age is 65, the retiree is expected to live to be age 82.9 if male, and 86.1 if female.

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Don Bauder April 25, 2011 @ 11:49 a.m.

Do you have the numbers for age 50? Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering April 25, 2011 @ 10:13 a.m.

Puppy says he's tired of this argument but just keeps on typing away. When does a lawyer tire of arguing, it what was they were born to do. LOL

While I cannot speak for other organizations, in the City of SD many if not all of the benefit you complain about are gone and have been since July of 2005.

The Governor says he'll have a ballot measure to make sure politicians cannot negotiate the same in the future and San Diego taxpayers, who passed Prop B a few years back already took that authority away. I have not doubt the voters will pass what ever Brown comes up with, and in SD whatever DeMaio's proposes too.

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Don Bauder April 25, 2011 @ 11:59 a.m.

The politicians are greatly to blame but hardly entirely. The employees and their unions fought for the excessive compensation, and are fighting to retain them. Best, Don Bauder

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Visduh April 25, 2011 @ 8:46 a.m.

Actually, Don, the math CAN work. It requires only two things. First, very substantial funding must be set aside every year for each employee, and that would likely demand that both employee and employer make major contributions. With these ultra-generous plans that permit retirement at age 50 at something approximating full pay, that would mean that about half of the total cost of the employee while working would be pension fund contributions.

The second requirement would be that the funding be invested to grow at rates that are optimistically equal to or exceeding the growth of investments in the US over the past, say, half century.

That will never happen because employees and employers lack sufficient fiscal fortitude to see that much of the cost of having an employee diverted into a pension investment fund each year. The employees would want it in their paychecks, and the pols running the governmental entities would never be willing to see that much money going into investments. Then, it is not clear that, with the overall economy looking as weak as it does now, anyone can assume adequate returns on the invested funds. Until some fundamental repairs are made to the economy of the US, it will not grow fast enough to support growth of financial assets to allow those assumptions to be made.

Look at the California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS or just STRS). For decades the teachers have been paying into the system with 8% of their salaries, and the school districts match that with 8.25%. In addition each year, the state is expected or required to contribute an amount equal to 2%. That sounds pretty good on the surface. The typical retiree from STRS goes out with 30 years of service, at around age 60 (not 50), and gets a benefit equal to 60-65% of his/her final full time pay. Right now, STRS is proclaiming that it is fully capable of meeting its obligations and that its retirees have no need to worry. Pundits who watch this sort of thing say that STRS is woefully underfunded. Who is right? In a way, they both are. STRS is talking about meeting its obligations to existing retirees, but it does not mention FUTURE retirees. The pundits are talking about the long-term viability of the system. But we're now hearing that it may be necessary to raise the contribution for the employees to 10%, and adjust the other contributions about the same percentage in order to be able to meet future obligations.

Yes, the math can work if all the participants get real, show fiscal fortitude, and agree that it ain't easy. What are the chances that will happen soon or ever?

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JustWondering April 25, 2011 @ 10:34 a.m.

Safety employees contribute between 12 and 17 percent depending on "entry age" of their pay now. The city is suppose to contribute a substantially equal amount.

Let's say a safety employees wage is 75K. Nothing else, not overtime, not benefit, nothing just the cash he being paid. Because that's part of the pension calculation.

At the low end 12% of the 75K or $9,000 is contributed, the City match is $9,000 so about $18K a year. On a straight line contribution that's $540K over 30 years WITHOUT any investment return. Interest earn over the 30 years of WORKING on the low side 800K-1M, then add 30 years of interest during retirement and there's another 1M.

90% of 75K is $67500...isn't that just about what SF or someone else said public safety pension averaged?

67.5K x 30 years = $2M roughly... Yes, these numbers are VERY rough but it seems it can work

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SurfPuppy619 April 25, 2011 @ 12:35 p.m.

Safety employees contribute between 12 and 17 percent depending on "entry age" of their pay now. The city is suppose to contribute a substantially equal amount.

====================== This may be true today, but I ask again, how much has a SDPD cop contributed if they retired today> going back the last 30 years, when pay was $25K back in 1981??

5% of $25K in 1981 would be $1,250, or $12,500 over 1/3 of the career using simple math with no COLA's.

But most public safety cover no portion of their pension side costs, it is "picked up" by the muni. But even the ones who do contribute put in a very small amount of the overall pension value.

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Don Bauder April 25, 2011 @ 12:06 p.m.

The retiree getting 60% to 65% of his/her final salary is a lot better for taxpayers than getting 90%. Retirement at age 60 is much better for taxpayers than retirement at age 50. I say again: 90% at age 50 after 30 years does not pencil out. Why didn't anybody think of that? What are actuaries for? Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 April 25, 2011 @ 12:29 p.m.

. Right now, STRS is proclaiming that it is fully capable of meeting its obligations and that its retirees have no need to worry.

I am in CalSTRS, and they know they are in big trouble, and they have a modest pension system as Visduh points out.

In the last Quarterly newsletter CalSTRS sent they said there is no immediate danger, but the fund will be dry in 30 years if the legislature does no increase contributions, they cannot force increaes on their own as CalPERS can. Using GASB standards they are 46% funded, which is essentially bankrupt. The LOWEST funding level to be considered solvent, barely solvent, is 80%.

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Don Bauder April 26, 2011 @ 7:39 a.m.

I have always assumed CalSTRS is in trouble. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 April 26, 2011 @ 1:41 p.m.

They're not in trouble, they're in BIG TROUBLE!!!!

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Don Bauder April 27, 2011 @ 8:40 a.m.

And CalSTRS is more conservative than other pension funds. Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard April 26, 2011 @ 4:04 p.m.

The present contracts violate the law. Fairness is not the issue. Our city can't legally borrow without voter approval, the current contracts break this law by guaranteeing benefits of an unknown price. backed by investments of unknown value. With the citizenry cosigning on the loan unawares.

Defined benefits plans must be replaced with defined contribution plans to bring the city into compliance with California Law. The City and the Public Unions must arrive at a precise figure to buy the city's obligations. Insurance companies do this business. The difference between this figure and the pension fund is the amount illegally borrowed, as best it can be figured. And we will also know what our employees cost us.

When defined contributions replace defined benefits the City can confidently know when operations return to the black. City services must be cut. This will be painful to all, but most painful to the employees laid off to satiate the greed of senior workers now retired.

Workers have a right to the cash value of what they were promised in the past, but going forward, the City's workers must be paid in full every year. Anything else is illegal borrowing.

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Don Bauder April 27, 2011 @ 8:44 a.m.

There is a front page story in yesterday's New York Times (Tues. April 26) that goes into cities' and states' dilemma with past pension promises that can't possibly be kept. But the hangup is that lawyers and the employees (of course!) say the contracts are sacrosanct. Recommended reading. Best, Don Bauder

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Visduh April 27, 2011 @ 8:02 a.m.

Psycho, that's an interesting legal interpretation you have stated. Do you have any court cases to cite to support the argument? If what you say is true, no municipality could legally have a DB plan because of the uncertainties of investment returns, or so it would seem.

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Don Bauder April 27, 2011 @ 8:46 a.m.

Visduh, that's exactly what Psycholizard is saying -- at least the way I interpret his post. Public sector defined benefit plans are illegal, at least under California law. Interesting twist. Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering April 27, 2011 @ 2:26 p.m.

Part of the complaint behind the OC case was that, but the trial and appellate courts said, the debt is paid annually, thus legal. It's not the actuarial prediction over a retirement period which no one can know. For example, an employee could retire at age 55 and die in a car accident later that same year. The actuarial assumption the retirement would cost the retirement system one million dollar would be 100% wrong.

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SurfPuppy619 April 27, 2011 @ 6:56 p.m.

For example, an employee could retire at age 55 and die in a car accident later that same year. The actuarial assumption the retirement would cost the retirement system one million dollar would be 100% wrong.

1- If the public employee died at age 55 then their spouse or beneficiary would get it, so it would not end.

2- If the person lived to 110 it would cost 3 times what the actuarial assumption estimated.

3- On a whole the experts know EXACTLY what the average mortality rates are, and I posted above what they are for public safety-down to the month.

So once again, actuarial assumptions are indeed VERY ACCURATE and there is STILL no excuse for anyone to receive a pension in "retirement" for more years than when they were actually working.

Public pensions (with 30 years of service credit or more and retired in the last 3 years) pay out 3 times the amount of the AVERAGE salary for CA private sector employees CURRENTLY WORKING.

They are going to end, Mr. Math is going to see to that. It is not a matter of if, just a matter of when.

Tell Jerry Brown to put the pension taxes on the ballot-and right next to them put pension cuts and salry cuts, and as JB says LET THE PEOPLE DECIDE. You won't see that on the ballot.

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Ponzi April 27, 2011 @ 8:57 a.m.

Another point I’d like to add is there is a misconception that “public employees don’t get Social Security.” This may be true if they –never- worked in the private sector. But to collect SS, all you have to do is work “40 quarters” or ten years for an employer (or yourself) paying into the system.

This includes college jobs, second jobs, summer jobs, part-time jobs or a brief career before or after your public service. So if you worked 10 years before(or after) going into the public sector, you will get both SS and your pension. Here’s a wild scenario that can actually happen; a person holds a job as a teenager for a few years. Then joins the service and retires at 38 with a military pension. Goes to work for the government for 25 years and retires at 63 with a government pension. Then works a few more years to add to the quarters he worked as a teenager, second job, etc. and then can collect social security as well.

The defined benefit plans for public employees in San Diego need to be “hard frozen” and all employees entered into a defined contribution. ALL employees, no special exceptions. It’s time to face reality that the pensions promised to government employees are excessive, unsustainable and morally wrong, when the taxpayers paying for them do not get similar pensions. Moreover such pension reform is needed so that taxpayers understand the full costs of public employees, which are largely hidden under the current system (and allow teachers, policemen, firefighters, etc. to falsely claim they are “underpaid”).

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Don Bauder April 27, 2011 @ 12:20 p.m.

I think teachers are underpaid, but agree that police and firefighters are overcompensated -- excessive pay, excessive pensions. This appears to be a case of the immovable object against the irresistible force; something has to give. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 April 27, 2011 @ 6:59 p.m.

I think teachers are underpaid,

Not me, they are grossly over paid in most cases IMO. I worked right there in the system and know it first hand.

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JustWondering April 27, 2011 @ 2:36 p.m.

Yes your scenario is partially true. But first, when did government employees stop paying taxes like everyone else? Plenty of tax comes out of my check.

Regarding your SS statement. What you said is partially correct. If you worked as you outlined you would have earned the necessary credits to qualify for a benefit. What you left out is the retiree would not receive 100% of the calculated SS benefit. Your Social Security benefits will be reduced by two-thirds of your government pension. In some cases that wipes out any SS benefit. It's called the Government Pension Offset. . http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10007.html .

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Don Bauder April 27, 2011 @ 4:19 p.m.

Let's hear from SurfPup on this one. Best, Don Bauder

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tomjohnston April 27, 2011 @ 4:23 p.m.

Apparently, the retiree receives 100% of his/her benefits. According to the link you posted, the pension offset affects spouses and widow/widowers.

Government Pension Offset A law that affects spouses and widows or widowers. If you receive a pension from a federal, state or local government based on work where you did not pay Social Security taxes, your Social Security spouse’s or widow’s or widower’s benefits may be reduced. This fact sheet provides answers to questions you may have about the reduction. The offset applies only to Social Security benefits as a spouse or widow or widower

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tomjohnston April 27, 2011 @ 9:56 p.m.

ok, so according to the link you provided: The WEP reduction is limited to one-half of your pension from non-covered employment. With 20 or less years of substantial earnings, under your scenario, the retiree would loose 40% of their benefit, unless that is more than 1/2 of their pension. Not quite the 2/3 of your original claim.

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JustWondering April 27, 2011 @ 11:11 p.m.

The point is City employees have not contributed to SS since 1982. IF they had "summer jobs" 20-30 years ago, benefits are base upon those wages. As of today the IRS has ruled current city in the DB plan cannot re-enter SS, so they will not qualify. Orange County has submitted a new proposal and it is under submission at the IRS. If the IRS agrees with the new plan, it will probably be on a prospective basis.

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SurfPuppy619 April 27, 2011 @ 7:02 p.m.

Yes your scenario is partially true. But first, when did government employees stop paying taxes like everyone else? Plenty of tax comes out of my check.

================ You take out 20 times more from taxpayers than what you pay in, in your taxes.

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SurfPuppy619 April 27, 2011 @ 9:21 p.m.

Them two too, but two wrongs don't make a right.

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Don Bauder April 27, 2011 @ 4:21 p.m.

But if you shoot them the surviving spouse will still get a slug of money. Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard April 27, 2011 @ 3:31 p.m.

Insurance companies are in the business of turning defined contributions into defined benefits, California cities should use them to handle their pensions. Sometimes only private business can do a job honestly. Actuaries earn their money. The culprits in this fiasco can plausibly claim they didn't know it would blow up, and the judges can plausibly agree with them, because they are not actuaries and the agreements are mind boggling complex. They aren't idiots but they play one in the courtroom, and in this case that's a defense.

Deferring payment of benefits is the same as borrowing. The City can't borrow legally without a vote. The City must hire an insurance company to be certain that it is not breaking the law.

The unions should consider cooperation. Five dollars owed by a solvent entity can be worth more than one hundred owed by an insolvent city with no means to pay.

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Don Bauder April 27, 2011 @ 4:23 p.m.

But the actuaries hired by the City and County were private sector actuaries. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 April 27, 2011 @ 7:06 p.m.

Deferring payment of benefits is the same as borrowing. The City can't borrow legally without a vote.

That was the essence of the Orange County lawsuit that was just turned down by the CA Supreme Court.

The CA Supreme Court did a disservice to everyone in this state, of a magnitude that is beyond comprehension by not taking the case.

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Don Bauder April 27, 2011 @ 11:08 p.m.

As society faces this problem of pension promises that governments cannot pay, there are two significant roadblocks: many lawyers think the promises are inviolable, and judges are government employees with fat pensions, too. Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard April 27, 2011 @ 7:47 p.m.

It's so easy to tell someone to raise the bet when the money is not yours. Negligent actuaries! Another day another culprit.

This City is not run by actuaries nor is it expert in investing, it's time to turn the mess over to the professionals in the insurance industry. The bill might be exorbitant, but at least we would know the figure, and going forward we would know that the city is in compliance with the law forbidding debt.

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Don Bauder April 27, 2011 @ 11:09 p.m.

Where do actuaries come from? The insurance industry. Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard April 28, 2011 @ 12:46 a.m.

I don't know the details of the Orange County case, but it seemed that the judge decided that the County could not defraud the workman of his wages, a prohibition that goes back to Hamurabi and Jeremiah, simply because the County deliberately violated Jarvis Gann. Forced to choose between the dictates of God and Howard Jarvis, I think the judge made the right choice, one that few California politicians would dare make publicly.

If cheating the workman of his wages is the biblical sin that cries for vengeance. demanding extra money for work completed is also wrong, and these contracts plainly do this. Worse than this, the amount owed by the city is impossible to calculate with any exactness, so we don't know how far in the red the city is.

Some city employees are overcompensated, but we should set this issue aside at the next contract negotiation. Going forward the city should sign nothing that doesn't specify exactly what the city owes for every hour of work

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Don Bauder April 28, 2011 @ 7:33 a.m.

Unfortunately, the pension mess solutions offered by politicians deal with the hiring terms of future employees, or those being hired now. That doesn't come close to solving the problem. Something has to be done about the excessive compensation going out the door right now to current retirees, and the excessive promises to current workers. Biblical quotations aren't relevant. Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard April 28, 2011 @ 1:33 p.m.

I agree that moral outrage has no place in the solution, even though in some instances, the pensions are outrageous, and probably illegally obtained. There are moral and legal arguments for altering the pensions, but they haven't won the day in court. Right or wrong we must live within the law. but as the employer, the City has power.

The City can refuse to sign contracts that have no precise price tag. The City can refuse to make promotions that, as SP points out, effectively pay millions for a single years work. The top positions, whose outrageous compensation is the post office poster child of this scandal, should be eliminated and their functions performed by non vested management.

The trouble is the City is run by the most scandalous pensioner of them all. and continues to make the problem worse. First we need new leaders.

I hope Bob Filner runs for mayor. I'm ready to consider anyone who passed high school math and has a tethered morality, This rules out supporters of our congressional Republican Party of course.

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Don Bauder April 29, 2011 @ 8:10 a.m.

You have a point: the mayor is the most scandalous pensioner of them all. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 April 28, 2011 @ 2:51 p.m.

or the scrub who ruled on Prop 8

Rail, the prop 8 ruling was legit. Prop 8 was a clear violation of the equal protection clause. Nothing crooked about it.

The only question was if the federal court would give equal protection rights based on sexual orientation-which is not one of the so called "protected classes" (like race, ethinicty, alinage, gender), which if it did (and should have) would move the "scrutiny level" to a point that could not be overcome. It was a good call by a straigh shooting judge.

DOJ has good people and bad. I willl say I have had some MAJOR run in's with the local federal court ad am very disappointed in them and the 9th Circuit, especially the 9th Circuit. The 9th judges dont really care for me.

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Ponzi April 29, 2011 @ 6:38 a.m.

Railsplitter, actually NO. We did not really do that. The Mormon Church did it by proxy. It swayed the results of the election with cash and by coercing their devoted into spending millions of dollars promoting the measure. If it had not been for the massive influence of an institution outside of the state of California, Proposition 8 would have been soundly defeated. The facts are clear, the Mormon Church as well as other churches were overwhelmingly active in spending on a scale few propositions attract. It’s also a chilling reminder that a church or population from another state away can dictate the freedoms of the people who live in California.

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SurfPuppy619 April 29, 2011 @ 12:46 p.m.

. I probably would've voted in favor of gay marriage, just so I wouldn't have to hear about it anymore... but after being falsely accused and maliciously prosecuted by my "good buddy" Dumanis (at heller expense to taxpayers), I swore to shoot down all pro-gay measures on the ballot.

LOL....OK, come on!

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Ponzi April 29, 2011 @ 8:51 p.m.

Are you living in fear? I am heterosexual and I have no concern about a “gay agenda.” The only agendas I fear are those of deluded, ignorant people with no critical thinking skills who believe in ancient religions that evolved from the worship of insignificant icons. In other words, I am more concerned about people who read 2000 year old literature written by ignorant goat herders because I have trouble believing stuff that was written last week by Harvard educated journalists.

Sorry, religion is just plain F-ing stupid. Gays are living, breathing human beings. What they choose to do behind closed doors is none of my F-ing business. And none of yours too, you buffoon.

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Laurin April 30, 2011 @ 10:11 a.m.

Finally, railspinters heretofore thinly veiled bigotry has risen to the service, in plain view for all to see.

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Laurin April 30, 2011 @ 10:26 p.m.

"in GaySpeak, for "thinly-veiled" read "hard-earned"" So tour bigotry is hard earned?? So for 44 yrs you could care less about gays, but because someone who allegedly wronged you is a lesbian, you hate gays?? Are you saying she prosecuted you just because she is gay?? And what does Cynthia Sommers' case have to do with yours alleged prosecution? Are you saying that the original test for heavy metals done on her husband was faked by Dumanis and that she told the Navy lab to hide untested samples. I agree that DA's office blew it on this one, but you're saying that Dumanis did it just because she is gay?? That's pretty obtuse reasoning, imo. BTW, exactly who did you vote for when she got elected? I'll bet it was Pfingst, who instead of prosecuting Susan Golding, turned into her little lap dog and started defending her actions.

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SurfPuppy619 April 29, 2011 @ 12:44 p.m.

I disagree, since the judge is not only gay but has clear bias in the ruling.

Walker is gay-so what? Are you saying if a hetro ruled he would be bias in favor of hetro's??? Are you saying a black judge cannot rule on issues involving blacks??? Or that jewish judges cannot rule on jewish issues?? Or woemn judges cannot rule on female gender issues???? Please.

The fact Walker was gay was well known by ALL parties before trial, if anyone wanted to get rid of Walker they had the opportunity to do so BEFORE he ruled. The Prop 8 backers did not challenge Walker when they had the chance. You don't get to raise issues AFTER the fact. If you don't raise the issue at trial when you had the chance-and they had the chance-then the issue is deemd to be "waived".

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SurfPuppy619 April 29, 2011 @ 9:59 p.m.

What you forget to mention is that the judge in question only RECENTLY revealed that he was in a long-term relationship with another gay male at the time, which gave him EVERY REASON to rule against Prop 8

Wrong again. Do you even follow the issues or the case?? Walker is gay- that was known by ALL parties BEFORE the trial and before his ruling-it was in every major paper in America, and if the Prop 8 people wanted him off based on him being gay they could have asked BEFORE he got the case, before he ruled. They didn't, so it is game over on his "bias".

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SurfPuppy619 April 30, 2011 @ 4:08 p.m.

I'm talking about his newly-revealed info that he was in a long-term relationship with another gay male at the time, which means he had EVERY REASON to rule against Prop 8

LOL...so you though he was gay, but didn't think he had a BF?? !! Please Rail, you're killing me.

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SurfPuppy619 April 30, 2011 @ 9:20 p.m.

Im not spinning anything, Walker was as qualified to make the call as any other judge.

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Laurin April 30, 2011 @ 10:12 p.m.

So it would be OK for him to have rule on the case if he was gay and not in a relationship??? LOL hat has to be the most absurd logic I have ever come across.

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Laurin May 1, 2011 @ 6:57 p.m.

well, since I'm not a member of the gay community and San Diego is not my legal place of residence, I have no idea how much was spent, don't really care and don't support Dumanis, or any other San Diego politico since I don't have a vote to cast. Too be truthful, I could care less how your tax dollars are spent in San Diego. The only taxes i pay are property taxes to the on a vaca place and sales taxes and I really don't care how they are spent sonce I spend so little time there. Like I said, in your opinion, you got screwed by someone who is gay, so now you hate all gays. Ya don't have to be gay to know a bigot when ya here one.

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Don Bauder April 29, 2011 @ 8:12 a.m.

Merely the fact that Dumanis is running for mayor is enough to turn the stomach. Best, Don Bauder

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Laurin April 30, 2011 @ 10:36 p.m.

I'm sure the loss of your endorsement will be a great loss to those candidates.

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SurfPuppy619 April 28, 2011 @ 2:58 p.m.

BTW-who remembers the bogus trumped up traffic ticket I got back in January??? Went to court today, blew the dirty cop out of the water!!!! KA-CHING!

"Filed Charges"

"VC 5201G I Obstruct reading of license plate by remote sensing device 01/--/2011 NOT GUILTY ACQUITTED" <--<--<-- that was copied right off the court docket-they use CAPS!!

BAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This was a so called "correctable violation", a fix it ticket and once signed off would have been just $25, but the dirtbag that wrote the tickect committed perjury, (my license plate was not obstrcuted and he did not have a "remote" electronic sensor that reads licens plates which is what the code section stated). So I had to fork over $200 bail to set the case for trial. Since I won I get that all back, but I didn't have the money for 2 months.

Now it is pay back time!

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Don Bauder April 29, 2011 @ 8:17 a.m.

You're a fighter, SP. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder April 29, 2011 @ 8:19 a.m.

Maybe our proselytizing is backfiring. The firefighters, after all, have the mayor. The taxpayers only have the Reader. Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard April 29, 2011 @ 1:32 p.m.

Here in San Diego Mr. Viewer, money is not the only path to happiness. In fact most of the rich seem less happy than their gardeners and maids. Resenting the fortunate is certainly a path to misery.

We can fight for pension reform without resentment of the pensioner. We need to negotiate and resentment only clouds the mind. When negotiating. fake friendliness, and always pay for the liquor.

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Don Bauder April 29, 2011 @ 5:44 p.m.

Resenting the tax breaks and subsidies that the upper 2% and corporations receive SHOULD lead to enough personal misery that a revolt will ensue. This has to be stopped. Egypt led the way. Best, Don Bauder

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Laurin April 30, 2011 @ 10:12 a.m.

Are you predicting or encouraging violence?

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SurfPuppy619 April 30, 2011 @ 4:21 p.m.

Are you predicting or encouraging violence?

==============

Revolt does not equal violence.

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Don Bauder April 30, 2011 @ 4:27 p.m.

Agreed. Voters should revolt. They should not create violence. Best, Don Bauder

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Laurin April 30, 2011 @ 6:20 p.m.

For howmany years have we citizens been trying to vote in change? It hasn't succeeded yet. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. As many of you have said here, it all comes down to who has the most money. It doesn't matter who you elect, in which office, eventually money has it's way, eventually they beholden themselves to someone. And it's already been proven that just because you've got enough of your own money to run for office, some one can raise enough to beat, even if you don't shoot yourself in the foot.

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Laurin April 30, 2011 @ 6:12 p.m.

I was referring to Mr. Bauder's reference to Egypt. When the citizens protested peacefully, the gov't resorted to violence. We've already had a governor threaten to call out the Nation Guard to quell protests (Wisconsin). Is it possible to remove 10K+ peaceful protesters without violence, I think not. See Chicago 1968.

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Don Bauder April 30, 2011 @ 10:27 p.m.

Yes, but in the cases you cited the violence was created by the governments, not by the protesters. This gave the protesters even more reason to want them removed from their positions. Best, Don Bauder

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Laurin April 30, 2011 @ 10:52 p.m.

That was exactly my point. Violence by the government against protesters, not the other way around, as it appears some have read it. Voters in this country simply don't know how to revolt via the ballet box as has been proven time and again. Often, it's only after the fact they become both enraged and outraged.

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Don Bauder April 30, 2011 @ 4:26 p.m.

No violence. Peaceful democratic change. Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard April 30, 2011 @ 6:54 p.m.

I try to oppose policies rather than my fellow citizens, but I'll confess to plenty of anger. Perhaps anger is necessary to get people to the polls. Consider Michael Moore for instance, I agree with him on policy, but find him unbalanced and angry in his arguments. But no one is more effective and persuasive on my side of politics. Count me his fan.

The danger is demonstrated by the right, where anger merchants like Beck and Limbaugh unhinged a once respectable movement so that blinded by anger, they can't read a birth certificate, or recognize an obvious charlatan. Worse. they blame every failure on their enemies rather than reconsider failed nostrums like lowering tax rates to raise revenues.

Perhaps this City needs a little anger on right and left, but I would direct it at the City's leaders rather than employees.

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Don Bauder April 30, 2011 @ 10:25 p.m.

San Diego's leadership deserves a pummeling, but so do plenty of employees -- overcompensated police and firefighters, and those from CCDC and Development Services who are actually working for the real estate development industry, not the taxpayers. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder April 30, 2011 @ 10:29 p.m.

I assume you are referring to DeMaio. I didn't know that he didn't answer questions after he put out the study. Knowing him, I doubt he ducked. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 1, 2011 @ 8:29 a.m.

I think you are condemning an entire group, gays, because of one person's (Dumanis's) blatant politicking and corruption. I strongly disagree with your thesis. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 1, 2011 @ 12:41 p.m.

The DA and the Department of Justice are separate. Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard May 1, 2011 @ 5:01 p.m.

The last gay person I asked about our DA replied; 'Bonnie Dumanis is the Devil". Extreme perhaps, but she may know more than we do.

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Don Bauder May 1, 2011 @ 11:26 p.m.

There is plenty of information about Dumanis out there. One can certainly make strong judgments about her character. I have made many. Best, Don Bauder

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Ponzi May 2, 2011 @ 10:18 p.m.

Railsplitter, I agree with some of your sentiment about Bonnie Dumanis. I do not like her or respect her. She is a political tool. I hope she crashes and burns in her mayoral quest. What I do take issue with is the homophobic remarks that you make and grouping gays and lesbians in with Bonnie and her unpopularity. I am passionate about few subjects, and the rights of gays and lesbians are one of them. To paraphrase Martin Luther King, we should judge each of them on their character, not their sexual preference. That is akin to attacking women for being female or a black for the color of their skin. You are not perfect Railsplitter. I am not either. And gays and lesbians are not perfect. But please stop bundling them all together in an ignorant and hateful way. In fact, comparing them to Bonnie Dumanis is an insult to them. For most of them probably have a better moral compass than she does. You insult anyone you compare to Bonnie Dumanis.

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Don Bauder May 4, 2011 @ 6:54 a.m.

I agree with you, Ponzi. Gays and lesbians should not be singled out for group hatred. Unfortunately, TheRailsplitter is doing just that. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 4, 2011 @ 6:52 a.m.

I definitely think you are homophobic, and your emotional group hatred is showing. Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard May 4, 2011 @ 3:12 p.m.

Now if you're angry, the internet is the place for you. Leave your wife, children and neighbors in peace and come here and vent. This blog might be the best place, we get angry, but we have a sense of humor.

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Don Bauder May 4, 2011 @ 4:24 p.m.

We attract skeptics. Best, Don Bauder

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