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Government can't push problems down the road

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Posted: Tuesday, June 4, 2013 12:00 am

Public employees’ pensions and health care must be addressed, not pushed down the road. Everybody would like nothing more than a comfortable retirement, one that pays all health care costs and gives 90 percent of your highest pay. But you know what? This is not sustainable unless the federal government, state government and city government all address this now. Nobody anticipated the future cost of this or what keeping it under control would take.

There is an old saying that states, “If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging,” but most are ignoring this saying and pushing this problem down the road for someone else to deal with.

California Public Employees Retirement System, or “CalPERS,” is owed almost $8 billion just for this year. How did this happen?

In Alameda County, County Administrator Susan Muranishi will receive $400,000 per year for life. I am sure she thinks this is fair compensation and that she deserves every bit. It is not that bad, considering residents have a per capita income of $34,000.

How many people can you support? I think our public employees should receive a fair retirement, but not equal to their working wage — far from it. With health care going through the roof, I think it is only fair that they contribute somewhat to that.

On another note, why is the U.S. Postal Service constantly increasing the cost of mail services? I am sure this is being addressed too, but if not, it should be.

If only they had all contributed to Social Security, I think a lot of this debt would have been avoided, but unfortunately some did and some didn’t.

Ben Coleman


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  • Kim Parigoris posted at 9:12 am on Fri, Jun 7, 2013.

    Kim Parigoris Posts: 469

    From the CTA website..."Teachers do not retire into a life of luxury. The average monthly benefit is $3,300."
    That is twice the amount that many average private sector workers will receive from Social Security, after paying in for up to 35-40 years.

  • Thomas Heuer posted at 1:06 pm on Tue, Jun 4, 2013.

    nth degree wise Posts: 1182

    I agree Ms Bobin
    To retire after a $400,000 salary there should have been a well planned savings for retirement by the individual. Like a max on SS benefits there is only so much you can receie after you reach maximum. The town of Bell also illustrates a number of other problems where CALPERS provides their retirement benefits but they kept voting themselves raises so their pensions were outrageous. It also goes to the practice of pension spiking (now pretty much not allowed) where someone is given promotions just to increase their salary for a more lucrative pension benefit.

    The average state retirement monthly benefit is around $2,100-$2,200 . So to hold up a couple of gossly exagerated examples and paint all government pensions as lavish really is a disservice

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 12:10 pm on Tue, Jun 4, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4308

    For once Ben Coleman actually has a legitimate gripe - Ms. Muranishi's retirement arrangement with Alameda County is ridiculous.

    But to imply that ALL public sector employees are going to get similar deals is incorrect. Not even close. This letter only serves to bolster the misperceptions people already have about so-called "lucrative" public sector retirement schemes and the anger that a particular person has toward government employee "bloodsuckers."

    And yeah...what's up with the Post Office always increasing its rates? It couldn't that they are in the hole or anything..........


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