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California Sinking - The case against a federal bailout
Washington Post ^ | May 24, 2009 | Masthead Editorial

Posted on 05/24/2009 4:58:17 PM PDT by neverdem

CALIFORNIA FINDS itself in more than a bit of a bind: Facing at least a $21 billion budget deficit, the state could run out of money in a matter of weeks. Borrowing to help fill the hole will be challenging and expensive, given that California has the lowest credit rating of all 50 states. Last week's warning by Standard and Poor's to Britain about a possible debt downgrade will make risky government borrowing even more difficult. The state would like to see Uncle Sam pick up part of the tab; but as steeped in the bailout business as the feds have become, there are strong reasons for them to refuse to add California to the list of recipients.

This is a budget crisis that has been a long time coming. The requirement of a two-thirds vote in the legislature to raise taxes or pass a budget has exacerbated partisanship and made sensible budgeting impossible. The initiative process -- which too often allows politicians to turn the hard decisions over to voters who, surprise, aren't always willing to make them -- results in a crazy-quilt fiscal scheme whose ever-changing priorities leave it underfunded and inherently unstable. When they do make decisions, legislators have routinely elevated the interests of public employees unions over the broader interests of the state, producing crushing costs from high salaries and benefits. Temporary measures and gimmicks have been...

--snip--

Bailing out the banks was defensible because of the critical and central role they play in the economy. Bailing out the auto companies may have made sense in order to save jobs -- though now that the government is heading for long-term ownership, we are beginning to doubt the worth of that policy. Bailing out the states would be an even more perilous road to start down.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Editorial; Politics/Elections; US: California
KEYWORDS: calbailout; calbudget; calinitiatives; federalbailout; wapo
Is WaPo into a into a fiscally conservative recovery?
1 posted on 05/24/2009 4:58:17 PM PDT by neverdem
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To: neverdem

IT’S ABOUT THE SPENDING!


2 posted on 05/24/2009 5:00:36 PM PDT by Drango (A liberal's compassion is limited only by the size of someone else's wallet.)
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To: neverdem
The liberal media blames California's straits on lack of revenue and stoopid voters. It never notices that taxes were increased, receipts are down and California has a spending and not a revenue problem. A federal bailout for California would only postpone the day of reckoning.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

3 posted on 05/24/2009 5:01:05 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: neverdem
The requirement of a two-thirds vote in the legislature to raise taxes or pass a budget has exacerbated partisanship and made sensible budgeting impossible.

Reckless spending and borrowing has made sensible budgeting impossible.

"Spend less than revenues" is a pretty basic concept that these liberals can't seem to grasp.

4 posted on 05/24/2009 5:02:08 PM PDT by calcowgirl (RECALL Abel Maldonado!)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; goldstategop; CAluvdubya; CyberAnt; Syncro; Citizen James; BurbankKarl; ...

This was a nice surprise in WaPo. Congratulations on last week’s votes!


5 posted on 05/24/2009 5:03:13 PM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
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To: calcowgirl
Right. Republicans voted for $14 billion in higher taxes this winter and yet the state on the verge of fiscal collapse. So its clearly not partisanship or the two-thirds vote rule that's at the root of the situation California finds itself in today.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

6 posted on 05/24/2009 5:06:24 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: neverdem
Is WaPo into a into a fiscally conservative recovery?

If the first state to go under had a democrat governor, they'd probably have an "excuse they believe" to back up their call for federal money. If CA goes under "jobs will be lost" just like the jobs that would have been lost in Detroit. But Detroit's dem country...

7 posted on 05/24/2009 5:09:54 PM PDT by GOPJ (If printing money was an answer, why don't Haitians "print" their way out of poverty?)
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To: neverdem
What happened?

Was there a Conservative coup at the Washington Post this morning? Or, did somebody at The Post who is paying taxes actually wake up and smell out-of-control fires of burning money?

8 posted on 05/24/2009 5:11:56 PM PDT by Gritty (Socialism's endless appetite for power means there's never enough free pie - James Lewis)
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To: GOPJ
RINO Red Arnold increased state spending far faster than his recalled predecessor Gray Davis did. And the results are entirely predictable.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

9 posted on 05/24/2009 5:13:16 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: neverdem
The only argument I can see that California has for a Fed bailout is the requirement that California has to pay for the illegals education, health care, etc...

This, I think, would be their only leg to stand on when requesting $$$ from the Feds.

Outside of that, they have no standing.

10 posted on 05/24/2009 5:13:55 PM PDT by CapnJack
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To: goldstategop
Right. Republicans voted for $14 billion in higher taxes this winter and yet the state on the verge of fiscal collapse. So its clearly not partisanship or the two-thirds vote rule that's at the root of the situation California finds itself in today.

On any issue we look at, it all leads to the conclusion that our represenatives are entirely corrupted.

From the bribes to force MTBE on us, then later to force ethanol "fuels" on us, to the regulation of Cheerios by the FDA, no matter what the area, they all lead to the same place. If we do not see a major dose of Worm Medicine in the mid-terms and thereafter, we are lost.

11 posted on 05/24/2009 5:15:15 PM PDT by Gorzaloon (Roark, Architect.)
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To: neverdem

Sending the Feds “the problem” (asking for a bailout of CA) is like a claw back — of taxes from fleeing former CA tax-base money, gone to other US states.

So much for Federalism. We’re all national socialists now...


12 posted on 05/24/2009 5:15:59 PM PDT by 4Liberty (End of civilization. 'Who cares about a little pork?' - Senator Schumer)
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To: CapnJack
Liberals criticized Enron when it did accounting tricks to show the company was healthier than it actually was. Yet they have no problem using the same gimmicks to disguise the true state of California's finances from its citizens. The chickens are finally coming home to roost!

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

13 posted on 05/24/2009 5:17:06 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: CapnJack

Why shift the problem to the OTHER states? Our state (CA) has NO BACKBONE. They should ask the Feds to CLOSE the border. But maybe they’re all socialists who WANT to bankrupt the nation.

I vote the latter explanation.

4L,
in the SF Valley CA


14 posted on 05/24/2009 5:18:00 PM PDT by 4Liberty (End of civilization. 'Who cares about a little pork?' - Senator Schumer)
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To: 4Liberty
If I was Wall Street I wouldn't lend California a dime. Let 'em drop dead! They can't manage their money and they're looking to others to help them sustain a poor habit.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

15 posted on 05/24/2009 5:21:35 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: neverdem

Bailout for Chrysler merely delayed the inevitable.

Bailout for GM/GMAC is merely delaying the inevitable.

Billions of of our dollars down these rat holes.

I say, not one penny for CA. This “crisis” has been building for 20 years. If, in that time, no one has had to cojones to do what is needed, let ‘em twist.


16 posted on 05/24/2009 5:25:51 PM PDT by upchuck (Psalm 109:8 - Let his days be few; and let another take his office.)
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To: neverdem

“Bailing out the banks was defensible because of the critical and central role they play in the economy. Bailing out the auto companies may have made sense...”

Uh, no. Bailing out the banks is not defensible. There is simply no compelling Constitutional argument that supports this ridiculous, dangerous corporate socialism. Our legal system has mechanisms for dealing with bankrupt businesses. Same thing applies to the auto companies, and ANY OTHER business entity in the US.

Additionally, there is no valid, acceptable reason for the Federal government to ‘bail out’ California or ANY OTHER state in this union.

0bama and his cronies have looted the wealth of generations yet unborn to pay for the profligate ways of today’s ‘leaders’, charlatans who have fleeced the electorate with promises of everything to everyone all the time. There is a price to be paid for this indecency, and it won’t be pretty.

It’s time to take back the country.


17 posted on 05/24/2009 5:29:15 PM PDT by PubliusMM (RKBA; a matter of fact, not opinion. 01-20-2013: Change we can look forward to.)
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To: PubliusMM

If Calif. will really run out of money and collapse, I think Obama will find a way to bail out the state. Maybe the feds will guarantee Calif. bonds so they can borrow their way out of this mess? Who knows? Calif. is an important state politically, with 55 Democrat electoral votes.


18 posted on 05/24/2009 5:47:21 PM PDT by Dilbert San Diego
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To: Dilbert San Diego
Dan Walters: Big costs loom for state beyond deficit
Sacramento Bee | 5/19/09
FR Posted on Tuesday, May 19, 2009 by SmithL

When the governor and legislators talk about balancing the state budget, they're talking about closing the gap between revenues and required expenditures, either by increasing the former or reducing the latter. The task becomes more difficult by the minute.

Looming on the not-too-distant horizon, however, are some other huge obligations that the current crop of elected officeholders has chosen to ignore, because acknowledging them would make closing the chronic budget gap just that much harder.

There is, for example, a potentially huge increase in the "contribution" that the state must make to the California Public Employees' Retirement System to cover public pensions.

CalPERS has seen its once-immense investment portfolio shrink dramatically, due to recession and some truly boneheaded investments, such as a $1 billion haircut on raw land in Southern California. Big increases in pension benefits, enacted a decade ago, are also a factor.

CalPERS won't tell the state how much its boost will be until sometime next year, but it could be hefty, unless CalPERS postpones the pain by stretching out the bite over several years – which would merely postpone the pain. An even bigger headache is a new requirement that state and local governments identify and quantify their obligations for providing health care to their retired employees. The state auditor's office and an advisory commission told the state two years ago that its unfunded liability for health care is $48 billion.

State officials were advised to commit $3.73 billion during the current fiscal year to begin shrinking the unfunded liability, but the state is paying just $1.36 billion to cover its current costs. The Legislature, under the sway of unions, rejected Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's plan to overhaul employee health care to save money, but he's trying again, seeking to increase the amount of time it takes...(Excerpt) Read more at sacbee.com ...

19 posted on 05/24/2009 6:06:16 PM PDT by Liz (Everything Obama says comes with an expiration date.)
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To: CapnJack

I don’t think California has a case for a bailout even on the grounds of their large illegal population. California’s illegal immigrant problem is largely of their own making. They’ve done everything short of building a bullet train to Mexico City to welcome all those future Democrat voters into the state.


20 posted on 05/24/2009 6:08:42 PM PDT by blue state conservative
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To: neverdem
-- which too often allows politicians to turn the hard decisions over to voters who, surprise, aren't always willing to make them --

I didn't see voters getting a chance to slash budgets and numbers of employees only to raise taxes.....LOL

21 posted on 05/24/2009 6:10:48 PM PDT by the_daug
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To: goldstategop

I would, but the interest rate I’d charge would make Capital One’s rates look low by comparison. :)


22 posted on 05/24/2009 6:11:34 PM PDT by gieriscm (07 FFL / 02 SOT - www.extremefirepower.com)
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To: neverdem
Last week's referendum offering up a slew of budgetary fixes was a fiasco, with voters accepting only a plan to freeze the pay of their legislators in the years they run deficits

A fiasco? That's an odd choice of words.

What it is, like Cal Prop 187, and Cal Prop 13, is arguably the biggest tax protest in modern history.

The message sent to the state, was brutal, and uncompromising.

Round 1.

It will be fun watching the state, and their co-conspirators in D.C. that have all but destroyed the American economy, figure there is no money left to confiscate.

23 posted on 05/24/2009 6:20:57 PM PDT by dragnet2
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To: blue state conservative
California’s illegal immigrant problem is largely of their own making.

Yeah, lets pretend we never heard of Ca Prop 187.

Slick.

24 posted on 05/24/2009 6:22:09 PM PDT by dragnet2
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To: Gritty
What happened? Was there a Conservative coup at the Washington Post this morning? Or, did somebody at The Post who is paying taxes actually wake up and smell out-of-control fires of burning money?

The WP editorial page actually called Terry McCauliffe (sp?)a "huckster" the other day! I thought I was seeing things. The WP was picking their candidate for Dem Gov and actually selected the most conservative of the three. Go figure.
25 posted on 05/24/2009 6:30:39 PM PDT by khnyny ("The demagogue is one who preaches doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots.")
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To: the_daug

The state budget could be in balance on Tuesday morning. Start cutting pay rates, pension schemes, and programs until balance is achieved. If this takes past noon on Tuesday, then our legislature and Arnold aren’t serious.


26 posted on 05/24/2009 6:47:45 PM PDT by Sam Clements
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To: neverdem

Well hate to disappoint you WaPo: California is getting a bailout.

So you little people better open your wallets...


27 posted on 05/24/2009 6:51:56 PM PDT by Tzimisce (http://groups.myspace.com/nailthemessiah)
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To: Sam Clements
Save $25 billion per year:

1. Eliminate all services to illegals except any emergency care needed to get them back to their country.

2. Privatize 2 prisons. Rinse, repeat.

3. Cut pay for all state employees making over 3,000 a month.

4. Reduce or eliminate the state capital gain tax.

5. Reduce the state income tax by 2%.

6. Reduce administrative positions in school districts.

7. Build 20 nuclear power plants in the next 20 years.

8. Eliminate legislative staff positions like the elevator operators in the capitol building.

9. Cut state and local pensions back to the level of 1998.

10. Prohibit public employee unions from contributing to those with whom they negotiate their contracts and who approve their contracts.

11. Cal spends 9,000 a year per school student. I propose we give vouchers in ten school districts for $7,000 per student. A classroom of 25 would cost $175,000 instead of $225,000. They could easily pay the teacher half of that and use the rest for admin, equipment, supplies etc.

There are 6.3 million students in Cal. If you do the entire system, you save $12 bill a year and introduce competition into the education system.

12. More oil exploration and drilling.

28 posted on 05/24/2009 6:54:43 PM PDT by nufsed (Release the birth certificate, school and passport records.)
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To: goldstategop
And the results are entirely predictable.

What do you think is going to happen when CA runs out of money?

29 posted on 05/24/2009 6:58:28 PM PDT by GOPJ (If printing money was an answer, why don't Haitians "print" their way out of poverty?)
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To: GOPJ
I hazard a guess that with no means to pay off the unions and Democrat constituencies, its gonna be tough to be a Democrat in California. They're the ones who have to slit their own throats. Watching them do it is gonna be fun!

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

30 posted on 05/24/2009 7:30:28 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: goldstategop
Unlike other Austrian proposed financial fiascoes, this one will visit taxpayers within a matter of weeks.

Here are some certainties;

1) California will not run out of cash in July.
2) Tax revenue will be used to support state government services.
3) State government largess will diminish
4) Public employment retirement benefits will diminish
5) California will continue to be a hostile environment for private enterprise.
6) Fees for routine public services will mushroom in both scope and amounts.
7) The public trust in elected officials will continue to spiral downward.
8) Both major, politcal parties will advance statewide candidates with minor philosophical differences

31 posted on 05/24/2009 8:17:35 PM PDT by Amerigomag
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To: Amerigomag

thats about the size of it


32 posted on 05/24/2009 10:05:50 PM PDT by GeronL
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To: neverdem

“CALIFORNIA FINDS itself in more than a bit of a bind: Facing at least a $21 billion budget deficit, the state could run out of money in a matter of weeks. “

Ain’t socialism great!?!?!? This (at a minimum) is what Barak wants for the whole country.


33 posted on 05/25/2009 5:49:01 AM PDT by Constitutional Patriot (Socialism is the cancer of humanity.)
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To: calcowgirl

“Spend less than revenues” is a pretty basic concept that these liberals can’t seem to grasp.”

That’s because it’s never their money that they are spending. I think if there was a law that required a balanced budget in order for government employees (current and retired) to get paid, there would be a great deal more fiscal responsibility...


34 posted on 05/25/2009 5:58:27 AM PDT by Constitutional Patriot (Socialism is the cancer of humanity.)
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To: Dilbert San Diego

“Maybe the feds will guarantee Calif. bonds so they can borrow their way out of this mess?”

I believe they are already doing this w/ NJ Turnpike Authoirity and a few other muni issues. Full backing by the US Govt and at a pretty high interest rate. It’s disgraceful.


35 posted on 05/25/2009 6:04:24 AM PDT by Constitutional Patriot (Socialism is the cancer of humanity.)
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To: Dilbert San Diego

55 Electoral Votes? Another reason to break up California into three or four smaller states; maybe North, Central and South.


36 posted on 05/25/2009 6:11:14 AM PDT by PubliusMM (RKBA; a matter of fact, not opinion. 01-20-2013: Change we can look forward to.)
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To: Sam Clements

“The state budget could be in balance on Tuesday morning. Start cutting pay rates, pension schemes, and programs until balance is achieved.”

Just eliminate govt employee pensions alltogether — there is no justification for this when these people are making salaries that are highly competitive with private sector jobs. They enjoy extravagent benefits including top notch health insurance and generous vacation/holiday time. Why are these scabs entitled to live better than the private sector? Especially when they do so on the tab of the private sector...


37 posted on 05/25/2009 6:18:20 AM PDT by Constitutional Patriot (Socialism is the cancer of humanity.)
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To: neverdem

Let them eat tofu.


38 posted on 05/25/2009 6:19:30 AM PDT by P.O.E. (Optional, printed after your name on post)
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To: neverdem
Did Hell Freeze over in DC?

"Bailing out the banks was defensible because of the critical and central role they play in the economy. Bailing out the auto companies may have made sense in order to save jobs -- though now that the government is heading for long-term ownership, we are beginning to doubt the worth of that policy. Bailing out the states would be an even more perilous road to start down."

39 posted on 05/25/2009 7:45:15 AM PDT by Grampa Dave (Does Zer0 have any friends, who are not criminals, foriegn/domestic terrorists, or tax cheats?)
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To: GOPJ

“What do you think is going to happen when CA runs out of money? “

Riots.
Martial Law
Federal Intervention (Military)
Federal take-over of the state


40 posted on 05/25/2009 7:59:56 AM PDT by patton (Oligarchy is an absorbing state in the Markov process we find ourselves in. Sigh.)
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To: neverdem
Ah for the days of my youth when public employees couldn't have unions.

Nam Vet

41 posted on 05/25/2009 8:02:25 AM PDT by Nam Vet ("Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it." .... Henry David Thoreau)
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To: patton

We don’t riot in Cal. According to Maxine Waters we only revolt. And I agree, California IS revolting.


42 posted on 05/25/2009 8:04:35 AM PDT by nufsed (Release the birth certificate, school and passport records.)
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To: nufsed

When the mother’s day checks bounce, run.


43 posted on 05/25/2009 8:06:16 AM PDT by patton (Oligarchy is an absorbing state in the Markov process we find ourselves in. Sigh.)
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To: Amerigomag; BOBTHENAILER; tubebender; NormsRevenge; Liz; Ernest_at_the_Beach

5) California will continue to be a hostile environment for private enterprise.

Re your #5, I posted this comment this past weekend:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2257296/posts?page=26#26

“Not really a surprise with left wing governors, left wing legislators and left wing mediots pushing anti business liberalism 24/7/365.

We “ain’t” seen nothing as the unions in these blue states will be pushing some pretty out rageous demands.

One I can’t identify yet due to negotions and no documentation. Apparently, the union that services specific businesses statewide lost a lot of pension funds during the economic meltdown. So now they are demanding that the employers make up the losses and even fund the losses from this year and following years due to the fund being down last year and this year.”


Since then, I have discussed the union pension shortfalls for union thugs with a few younger relatives in fairly high level jobs in their various companies representing various industries. California isn’t the only state where this witches brew is being heated up.

Union Pension funds are in real peril with the economic meltdown and the normal robbery of the Pension Funds by the top Union Thugs.

Many private enterprise corporations are looking at going into bankruptcy and radical reorganization, if their unions try to force them to make up the market losses and normal thievery of the Union pension funds. Some will just go into bankruptcy and close their doors.


44 posted on 05/25/2009 8:10:42 AM PDT by Grampa Dave (Does Zer0 have any friends, who are not criminals, foriegn/domestic terrorists, or tax cheats?)
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To: Grampa Dave
....private enterprise is looking at bankruptcy and radical reorganization, if unions try to force them to make up market losses and normal thievery of the Union pension funds. Some will just close their doors.....

I guess Obaba never factored that into all that "change we can believe in" (/snic).

45 posted on 05/25/2009 10:25:42 AM PDT by Liz (Everything Obama says comes with an expiration date.)
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To: Drango

California needs a Constitutional Convention to start from
scratch.


46 posted on 05/25/2009 10:26:50 AM PDT by upcountryhorseman (An old fashioned conservative)
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To: Grampa Dave
In a nutshell---you summed it up:

Union Pension funds are in real peril with the economic meltdown and the normal robbery of the Pension Funds by the top Union Thugs.

47 posted on 05/25/2009 12:24:47 PM PDT by BOBTHENAILER (the obamination will ruin this nation)
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To: neverdem

“Is WaPo into a into a fiscally conservative recovery?”

Probably not. In ordinary times, they would be supporting a bailout. But these are not ordinary times. They control all branches of government decisively and they do not want to waste precious federal money on the States. The money that would bail out CA (and then the next 25 states that request a bailout) could also be used to pay for single-payer health care or a scad of other worthless left-wing projects.

Giving that money to CA makes it harder to pass a bunch of those left-wing projects.


48 posted on 05/25/2009 2:21:31 PM PDT by ModelBreaker
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To: Amerigomag
They may be able to keep Potemkin Village socialism going. But its going to be a shadow of the real thing.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

49 posted on 05/25/2009 4:20:40 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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