The Pension Plan That Ate California

First, Kudos to the San Diego Taxpayers Association (SDTA) – words that stick in my keyboard because I have always considered them tools of the Downtown San Diego establishment that has ruined the City.

(The SDTA has seldom seen a tax they didn’t support.)

Apparently they have reached an ephinany because the 52 page report they have issued

 (CITY PENSION COSTS LINKED TO HIGHER TAXES) is the first, and only so far as I know, analysis of what I like to call The Pension Plans That Ate California.

The SDTA analysis only covers the 17 cities of San Diego County that are members of the largest pension fund in the nation. The City of San Diego and the County of San Diego have their own separate pension funds.

In this occasionally arcane analysis (one need only read the summary) the cities are analyzed separately. The short of it is:

 “High employee pension costs are helping push some cities to raise taxes, according to a new study by the San Diego County Taxpayers Association.

On average, an amount equal to ten percent of city general funds in San Diego County is consumed by pension costs alone. Four of the five cities with the highest pension burdens have sought sales tax increases in the past three years. El Cajon and National City are tied for the highest tax rates in San Diego County and have the highest pension costs. La Mesa, with the third highest pension burden, raised sales taxes in 2008 and now has the second highest tax rate in the County. Voters in Chula Vista, with the fifth highest pension burden, rejected efforts by its city council to raise sales taxes earlier this year following a campaign by SDCTA to alert voters about runaway spending in that city.

Only Escondido, with the fourth highest ratio of its general fund dedicated to pension payments, has resisted pressure to raise taxes. Instead, the city pursued cost-cutting measures during the last round of labor negotiations, rather than ask residents to increase their tax burden.

Encinitas has the lowest pension costs at 4.66 percent of its general fund and El Cajon the greatest burden at 19.84 percent.”

http://www.sdcta.org/Uploads/Documents/Press%20Release%20and%20Phase%20I%20Pension%20Report,%2010-7-09_1.pdf

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Delay Is The Name of The Game

The environmentalists CONTINUE to delay, delay, delay on the Carlsbad Poseidon fresh water plant scheduled to begin construction on Nov. 14.

Many (many!) lawsuits have been filed against the plant by environmentalists, and after many years the environmentalists have lost each successive lawsuit, only to file a new lawsuit.

Apparently, the Surfrider Foundation has now passed the torch to the San Diego Coastkeeper in this long-term relay of delay.

Talk about the need for reform of lawsuit abuse!

http://www.nctimes.com/business/article_85324494-9dbc-5f6c-92ee-3b1e0549c013.html

Just More of The Same

Glen Beck is pushing on a string.

The liberals all know that president Obama has appointed radicals to positions that do not require Senatorial oversight. This is not news. It is in keeping with his history and his plans – go to YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDTluWDUBEY) and listen to President Obama read from his own book, Dreams From My Father: “To avoid being mistaken for a sellout,I chose my friends carefully.The more politically active black students.The foreign students.The Chicanos.The Marxist Professors and the structural feminists and punk-rock performance poets”

This, along with Rev. Wright and Ayres was known before the election.

Elections have consequences, and while it is entertaining to watch the liberals perform logical pretzel tricks to rationalize the President’s continuation of his philosophy, in the end all they need to say (as they do) is “We won.”

The pre-election Obama is the post-election Obama.

Delay is Unjustified

I THINK I understand why President Obama has delayed, so far 78 days and counting, in making his Afghanistan decision.

He wants to be assured that he has a reliable partner in the Afghanistan government, and that Pakistan no longer has sanctuary for militants in Waziristan.

The problems are almost to numerous to mention. NO government in Afghanistan will EVER be a reliable partner, and the Pakistan Army, which actually behaved admirably in the SWAT Valley operation, is less likely to be so successful in Waziristan. The Pakistan intelligence forces are riddled with Taliban supporters and that puts Waziristan in question because there are no attacks about which the militants will not have warning.

So the President is trying to make his decision based on a mercurial situation. If he had read Churchill’s two-volume personal review of WWII, he would better understand that decisions based on even the best current information are simply linear thinking subject to the vagaries of too many unknowns.

The President is going to have to make a decision, and hope that it works out. There will be second guessers regardless: Too many troops, too few, bad strategy, bad weather,  bad timing, bad weapons mix…

As Churchill learned, it is best to make a decision and press on regardless. Dithering has few supporters when the historians write their reviews.

Whatever the President “decides” it must be in place by snow-melt, and it takes a long time to get troops and their “tail” in position.

The clock is ticking.