Daily Fix, June 23

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*The GRAMA working group held their final meeting and has government recommendations ready to present to the governor. In my opinion, we agreed on far more than we disagreed on. Now we’ll see what happens during the next session. Trib, Fox 13, KSL

*The Hatch make-over into Tea Party candidate continues to garner national attention, as does the effort to stack the March 2012 caucuses. Former Utah GOP chair Dave Hansen said “We have a field staff of 15 to 20 people that are working very hard with existing delegate lists, past delegate lists, party caucus attendees from the past and also recruiting from various organizations and business interests. We’re not trying to necessarily convert people. If they’re for us, great. If they’re not, we’re going to replace them.” I’m guessing there are some delegates already working to make sure they are NOT replaced. Roll Call

*Bob Bernick had a great post on UtahPolicy.com about Saturday’s convention and the cracks in party unity. Check it out.

*In San Francisco, the average retired city employee’s pension is now greater than the average San Fran worker’s wage. So far, efforts at pension reform have flamed out but a new push is underway to look at capping pensions and preventing spiking. SF Gate

*Meanwhile, New Jersey saw over 8000 protestors complaining about pension reforms. Union leaders claim is a “war for survival” but refuse to face the cold hard facts. This year alone, the gap between promised benefits and actual funds grew by $8 billion (almost the entire budget for the state of Utah.) The total unfunded liability? Over $120 billion. Kudos to Christie and the NJ legislature for doing what needed to be done. DNews, NJ Statehouse

*If you’re counting on Social Security, don’t. That world – and the money – is gone, says Thomas Sowell. In fact, he says the way “Social Security was set up was so financially shaky that anyone who set up a similar retirement scheme in the private sector could be sent to federal prison for fraud.” DNews

*Speaking of money and the lack thereof, Eric Cantor walked out of talks on the nation’s debt when Biden, on behalf of the Democrats, demanded that taxes be raised. In a statement released by his office, Cantor said “the Democrats continue to insist that any deal must include tax increases. There is not support in the House for a tax increase, and I don’t believe now is the time to raise taxes in light of our current economic situation.” The Hill

*Al Gore suggests population control as a way to combat global warming and decrease our carbon footprint. Eyeroll. KSL

*And finally, Jimmer is King – a Sacramento King, that is. KSL

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6 Responses to “Daily Fix, June 23”

  1. Ronald D. Hunt Says:

    “Since 2004, the state has not made $15.11 billion in required payments to the pension funds, while the municipalities have skipped $1.9 billion. Public employees, meanwhile, have fully paid their required contributions.”

    By all means celebrate theft!, Their entire pension problem is related to the state not paying the employer part of the contribution to the pension and not the pension being short due to offering to much.

  2. JBT Says:

    In spite of Cantor’s tantrums the Democrats need to stand firm on attacking the deficit by both cutting spending and raising revenue by rolling back tax cuts on the uber rich. The argument that raising taxes to former levels will cut job creation can be easily proven wrong by simply asking “where are the jobs that are supposedly being created at these lower levels of taxation”?

  3. rmwarnick Says:

    Social Security will be just fine if the people trying to destroy it would cease and desist. The trustees report indicates there is no crisis for the foreseeable future.

    BTW, the Congressional Budget Office projects federal deficits will disappear in 5 years if Congress simply does nothing.

  4. Ronald D. Hunt Says:

    “The total unfunded liability? Over $120 billion”

    Take $15.11 billion and the $1.9 billion add them together, then project the value over a 70 year period. so,..

    FV = Pe^rt or
    562,962,683,297.76 = (17,000,000,000)×(e^(.05×70))
    (mind you do to payouts to current pensioners real numbers would differ)

    even a return rate of 5% which would be a really low return rate(NJ pension fund averages closer to 8%), providing for a doubling time of about 14 years. We can see that the stolen funds that the state was constitutionally obligated to pay and never did more then covers the “unfunded liability”.

    I am speaking very literally when I say this is State sponsored theft. Note however that the Unions have filed suite not over the changes but over the unpaid sum that the state never deposited in the pension fund, The state can cut benefits but potentially that can’t remove the liability from payment matches from previous years(the courts will decide).

    New Jersey may still be on the hook for selling themselves from the pension fund below market rate bonds, courts have yet to decide this as well.

  5. Jerome Borden Says:

    Way back when Social Security was new, my Grandfather (Phi Beta Kappa) opined that it sounded like a good deal. My mother (then Dad’s girl friend) grew up in NYC, took one look and said one word. Ponzi. Grandpa then said “Oh!” Well, as it turned out, they both outlived its demise, but I’m not so sure how it will turn out for me.

    If Senator Hatch wants some TEA party creds, he needs to stop voting “Present” on Cloture votes like he did in the case of the Gordon Liu nomination to the Ninth Circuit.

  6. rmwarnick Says:

    If they succeed in killing Social Security and Medicare, the American middle class doesn’t stand a chance anymore. If you have lived in a country without a significant middle class like I have (in The Philippines), then you know where we are headed.

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