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Pension Promises Sure to be Broken

Bloomberg post: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&sid=aIpb23EbeGvM

Ah yes, my fair city!

We had some very corrupt politicians a few years ago who voted themselves enormous pension benefits (that will actually pay them significantly MORE than they ever made while working) and they simultaneously underfunded the pension obligation bank accounts.  There was one feisty city attorney (Mike Aguirre)  who would have declared that ridiculous pension scheme unconstitutional, but he got smushed like a bug under the weight of all the people who had a vested interest in keeping the promises in place as long as possible.

It reminds me of a scene from Atlas Shrugged. Ayn Rand understood something very fundamental about the dark side of humanity. I have yet to determine if she was similarly prescient in her view that a form of virtuous selfishness will save the day.

San Diego has been flirting with the bankruptcy option for a long time, but every time it comes up the pillars of our community freak out on the local NPR station and at City Hall meetings and the recurring suggestion (non-resolution) seems to be to “order another audit review.”  I assume that they’re hoping that some rounding error will be identified and corrected which will result in billions of dollars being suddenly found. It’s all nonsense, of course: they are merely showboating and avoiding the difficult work of righting the situation.

In the meantime, we blithely stumble along in the sunshine.  We raise taxes on tourist-related services to get what we can from non-residents who have the audacity to want to share in our good climate.  And we hope for the best.  Sigh!

 


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