Today California Governor Jerry Brown announced a "retirement system overhaul". Let me decode that for you--- An erosion of our quality of life under the guise of austerity. Highlights of this indignity include requiring public workers to pay HALF of the cost of their pensions through paychecks deductions, diverting 1/3 of the pensions of future hires to the 401k wheel of fortune, and raising the retirement age from 55 to 67. Wow, I feel better already. Let the revenue flow into our state under this bold, thoughtful plan.
Think Not? Me either.
I apologize for a short diary as I am rushed for time today, I will just post the letter that I wrote to the LA Times today in response to Brown's announcement.
RE: “Brown Risks Backlash On Pension Plan”—October 28, 2011
I will not tolerate addressing the budget crisis by slashing the pensions and benefits of public employees. Substituting one crisis for another is not leadership. Decimating retirement for tens of thousands and forcing employees to contribute more now reduces consumer spending, which is a proven component of economic depression. I will not accept economic depression. The penny-wise pound-foolish proposal promoted by Governor Brown fails to address the underlying cause of the budget shortfall which is the rampant social disregard, fraud and theft perpetuated by the big banks. I will not accept Governor Brown's straw man solution. The banks destroyed our economy, aided by their wholesale purchase of our government. I will not vote for politicians that erode my quality of life under the guise of austerity. It's time we work to change the balance of power. I will never give up because everything is at stake.
For those of you that wish to address the issue of reform on its face, think about this. There has been a lot of talk in CA and elsewhere about public employees getting huge pensions, and let’s be honest. There are always parts of any pension program that can and should be reformed. But reform in and of itself will not address the underlying fact that there will always be a few that are unjustly enriched. And we have to stop letting that be an excuse to do away with a public good that benefits the many. Until we get money out of politics, I don't trust the corporate whores who are our politicians to undertake any "reform" that has the public good in mind. It's not that I don't agree with reform, but meaningful reform can only occur when we change the balance of power to promote economic justice over corporate profits.
Finally, I must apologize for voting for Brown, but given the choice at the time, there was not choice.