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Honored Contributor
Posts: 14,322
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Underfunded pension again, but these folks have a plan to fix it.

The problem isn't that we're not taxed enough, it's that the politicians are over-spending and over-promising. If you look at total government spending (local, county, state, federal) the government is spending a bit over $50,000 per person. Guess what our per capita income is? You got it! Just a tick over $50,000 per person. They're spending everything we're making. That math just doesn't work. Spending has to be slashed.

 

"But it's been cut to the bone! There's nothing left to cut!" Yeah, right. Here in NJ the state mows the land adjacent to the state highways. Mowing those median strips is a five person, three piece of equipment job. There's a truck with a driver and an assistant leading the way. The assistant hops out to remove any debris that could damage the mower. Then comes the mower followed by another truck with a two man crew and a  sign on the back advising that there's a mower ahead. That's five state employees, all receiving benefits and salaries to do the job that one person could do alone. "Union rules require us to do it that way." Here's a radical thought, outsource the job. There are roughly a gazillion lawn mowing firms out there. Put it up for bids and let them compete to get the job. The price would drop probably ten-fold from what we're now paying.

 

In my neighborhood housing values have plummeted. The state, county, and local government, have decided in their infinite wisdom, that every home in this area needs new septic and new wells before they'll give a new owner an occupancy permit. My neighbor's house that's currently appraised at $99,400 and is in excellent condition, is taxed at $3,689.22. The problem is when she recently put it on the market, her best offer (to date anyway) is $8,000. No one wants to invest the money in these homes knowing the amount they'll have to spend to install new septic and wells. If you do the math that means that we're paying property taxes at a rate higher than 46% of the "real world" value. Sure, that's fair. 

 

Politicians love to spend money. No one's ever named a building, park, airport, etc. after a politician who refused to spend money. They get love tossed their way for spending money. They get things named for them for spending money on it. People thank them for spending money. It's fun to spend money. Heck, we all love to spend money. The problem is they're spending money they don't have, so they borrow it. "Oh dang! We're out of money to spend? But, what about that pile of money over there? Oh, that's for the pension fund? Well, what if we spend that now and promise to put it back next year? Good? Yes! Let's spend more money then!" The problem is they never put it back. Instead of a relatively small amount of money being invested and making more money,they spend it. In addition then to losing that money, we also lose the money that money would have made through it being invested. When this happens for a few years, you end up with a huge pension deficit that can't be made up. 

 

What's the solution? There is no easy solution. Brutally painful cuts to spending must be made. People will get hurt. They'll blame the politicians making the cuts and vote them out for those who promise to end the cuts and restore unrealistic spending. Ultimately someone in government will decide the best solution is to eliminate a significant portion of the population in some manner. "If they're dead they can't collect a pension or benefits. It's the only way to fix this issue." No. The way to fix the issue is to get realistic with spending. Make the cuts. Do without. Stop spending money they don't have. You need sane politicians though to get this done and there aren't a lot of sane politicians out there. Instead they promise free this and that to get elected then follow through, but nothing's truly free. 

Fly!!! Eagles!!! Fly!!!
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Honored Contributor
Posts: 8,021
Registered: ‎06-08-2016

Re: Underfunded pension again, but these folks have a plan to fix it.

The promise of a pension was always a campaign promise too generous to keep.

The government needs to get out of that business and make it easy for people to save their own money for retirement.   

 

It can be done.

More taxes is never the answer.

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Posts: 8,021
Registered: ‎06-08-2016

Re: Underfunded pension again, but these folks have a plan to fix it.


@sharke wrote:

Strange, they're all leaving there and coming here why would anybody want to move there ? Wonder why she would lose her SS ? Be the last place I'd go because of gangs and such.


 

 

I know you are sophisticated enough to not believe everything you see in the news--on either side.

 

I have many friends and relatives in the San Diego area who work there but have a home over the border in Mexico.   There are many very nice, affordable places to live in Mexico.  I wouldn't do it but they seem to like it.

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Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,881
Registered: ‎05-08-2017

Re: Underfunded pension again, but these folks have a plan to fix it.


@sharke wrote:

Did U see where Arizona teachers got a 20% increase ?

That was a whopper.


 

 

They deserved it. AZ teacher's salaries were among the lowest in the country. Getting quality teachers who can make a living wage is investing in the future of this state.

 

Most of the population were in favor of this wage raise.

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Honored Contributor
Posts: 16,586
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Underfunded pension again, but these folks have a plan to fix it.

One poster expressed the typical anti-tax sentiment that accuses government of wasting and misusing funds. While any bureacracy is difficult to manage financially, it is too simplistic to suggest that we should not tax for that reason.

 

A perfect example: When Arnold took over the governorship of California on an anti-tax, anti-spend platform, he learned just how complex the issue is. He met with the state agencies to find out just where he could skim the fat. Funny think happened: He discovered that that instead of fat, they were cut close to the bone.

 

Although I wasn't a big fan of his, I admire his coming away from that learning experience quite humbled, stating that he really had not had any idea of the reality.

 

Sure, anti-tax and anti-government bumper sticker slogans appeal to people; but they are mere words to exploit our lack of that reality. A true representative of the people learns to navigate the system with finesse.

 

That said, the promises made in the last few decades regarding public pensions do need to addressed. We can't change what is, but we can change what will happen in the future. And I say this is asa recipient (through my spouse) of one of those very generous public pensions, as well as SS because he has worked in the private sector as well.

 

 


~Who in the world am I? Ah, that's the great puzzle~ Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland