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I debate Neil Cavuto of Fox News on his show "Your World" regarding California Public-Sector Union Pensions.

I debate Neil Cavuto regarding California Public-Sector Union Pensions. The people of San Diego and San Jose just passed a ballot initiative that denies new employees pensions and makes current public workers pay more to fund their pensions. Unions for these workers are suing in court to block the initiative.

See here for more information:


Do you believe that reducing Public Worker's Pensions is the right way to cover State Budgetary Shortfalls?

34%33 votes
65%63 votes

| 96 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Excellent debate... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Debbie in ME, Dirtandiron

    Glad to see you stand up to FOX's Neil Cavuto and give good push back. You had some good numbers and ideas and he had to fumble around more than you. He seemed to get a stutter problem several times and you just came back strong. He had to shut you down and not let you make your points as he shouted and shouted no, no, no. to your good facts.

    Like you said we really need to improve Social Security and take the pressure off local governments and companies.

    Like yeah with repubs so right wing, nut wing, that's not something we can expect right now.

    I used to sell insurance and a lot of the people on Social Security had cat and dog food in their pantry but did not own a dog or cat so I KNOW you are right about that issue.

    Constitutions should consist only of general provisions; the reason is that they must necessarily be permanent, and that they cannot calculate for the possible change of things. Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804) Just A Real Nice Guy, thinking out loud.

    by arealniceguy on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 09:13:10 PM PDT

  •  "Building a stadium for the Oakland A's" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG might want to tell them....Hope your grasp of facts is slightly better than this...

  •  My employer (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ozsea1, nextstep, Dirtandiron

    offered both a defined benefit and a defined contribution plan.

    I signed up for both and had the option of contributing to both, which I did. Call it deferred gratification.

    From the NYT article

    But city officials said they expected to prevail in court, and filed their own motion in federal court seeking a declaration that the measure is constitutional. The measure gives city workers an option:
    They can keep their current pension, as long as they agree to contribute more of their salaries — up to 16 percent — to the pension fund,
    or they can enter a less generous pension plan with a higher retirement age, benefits that accrue more slowly and smaller cost-of-living adjustments. Future hires would be put into a plan that costs even less, and would be required to contribute up to half of its cost.
    Just so happened that I paid exactly 16% into my DBP.
  •  Thought pension justification public emp earn less (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chimene, ChicDemago, Dirtandiron

    than private sector counterparts. So, the pension is like deferred compensation.

  •  The poll is misleading: (0+ / 0-)

    San Jose's problem is not a "state" budgetary shortfall, it's a local issue only.

    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

    by Neuroptimalian on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 01:45:12 AM PDT

  •  Any transcripts? (0+ / 0-)

    The bottom line is that pensions should really be managed and owned by the unions.  When the government manages the pension- it becomes an orphan. They are tempted to under-contribute into the pension funds and kick the can down the road.  There is no constituency pushing the government to fully fund the pensions. The public employees don't care because they know the government will pay out their obligation regardless. The people who oppose the unions don't want to see money going into public pensions. When there is no public pressure- things just don't happen.

  •  Scapegoating Public Employees..... (0+ / 0-)

    The banking financier meltdown of 2008- 2009 is still working its way through the system.  San Jose's pension plans use a five year smoothing.  
    San Jose maintains its own pension plans, one for police and fire, and a second for all other employees.  In June 2007, the police and fire plan was 99.7% funded; in June 2010, 79.8% funded.  The plan for all other municipal employees went from 83% funded to 69% funded from 2007 to 2010.  
    The annual reports also show unfunded liability as a percentage of covered payroll.  Payroll dropped between 2007 and 2010 in both groups.  In normal times payroll increases as government employment increases with population growth and wages increase with inflation.  But since the meltdown state and local governments have shrunk employment.  San Jose is no exception.  Anyway, unfunded liability as a percentage of covered payroll has gone from 3% to 294% for police and fire from 2007 to 2010.   For all other employees the number went from 116% to 283%.
    The expected return has been decreased reflecting our economy's declining prospects.  Also San Jose is transitioning from amortizing the unfunded liability over thirty years to amortization over twenty years.
    We are only a few years out of a financial crisis that was brought to us by the financial sector.  State and local governments had funding taken away from them in the aftermath of the meltdown.  Their pension plans took a hit.  Well regulated banking and transparent financial markets generate the returns that make pension funds an affordable benefit.  But the Republicans continue to fight the kinds of regulations that are needed.

    Public employees did not cause the problem.  They have taken wage and benefit cuts to help solve the problem.  But the Republican game is to demonize them.  Pretty disgusting.

  •  The problem is that the pension fund (0+ / 0-)

    assumes a completely unrealistic rate of return, Calpers just lowered it to 7.5% a year, which is still completely insane. The taxpayers are left paying for the difference for some 6-digit pensions. Reform is needed here.

    "Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the president to explain to us what the exit strategy is." - George W Bush

    by jfern on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 03:38:25 PM PDT

  •  Rate of Return (0+ / 0-)

    Since 1955 the S&P 500 has had an average annual return of 9.87%.  2008 was a very bad year.  So were 2002, 1974 and 1973.  7.5% is a conservative rate of return.

    Sado-monetarism: A mentality that sees economic pain as somehow redeeming.  --Paul Krugman

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