Now what do we do about the pension plan?
Well, the city surplus has suddenly become a deficit, and you can expect a flood of letters blaming Carl DeMaio, Jerry Sanders and others who tried to mitigate the fiscal disaster that is the pension plan by making changes, but it’s best to remember who the real culprits are.
First, you have the state Legislature, plus Gov. Jerry Brown, who, tin his first tenure more than 30 years ago, signed the enabling legislation for collective bargaining by California public employees, something Franklin Delano Roosevelt adamantly opposed because he was a very astute politician and foresaw the consequences: Politicians purchased by unions, with the public picking up the tab. Should anyone be surprised that, on average, state government employees make an average of more than $76,000 per year and can retire with full benefits 10 years before private sector employees?
Second, you have a former City Council and mayor who, in November 2002, approved Manager’s Proposal II, boosting pensions while underfunding them, instantly creating the current mess. Among this distinguished bunch were the following: