The giant public sector workers retirement fund Calpers is underfunded by at least $500,000,000,000 – yes, that’s a half trillion dollars. This is from a Stanford University study commissioned by our governor (reported here) RR readers should not be surprised. In Nevada County, SESF (sesfoundation.org) reported on the state’s and county’s unfunded liabilities problem over two years ago to great derision from our local progressives. No matter where you live, I suspect that your neck of the woods experienced the same response.
My personal estimate is 1) that Stanford’s number is low, and because the number is now so large, 2) we’re not going to pay it. But the road from here to that reality will cause untold damage to the state and its local jurisdictions.
With the Great Recession and this sword hanging over our heads, the Sacramento idiots, both elected and appointed, are charging full speed ahead on AB32 implementation. AB32 is California’s homemade suicide bomb to demonstrate to the world our leadership in fighting AGW (aka man-made global warming). The regulatory and energy cost burdens this will put on all Californians guarantees that we’re going to tell retired public workers to go suck eggs, if they can still afford them.
That AB32 is a mega job killer is now beyond doubt. Look for the double dummies in Sacramento to pass a law prohibiting companies from declaring publicly their dire straits, similar to what Washington is attempting to do on the national scale as corporations now must give lie to the propagandized cost savings that Obamacare is supposed to deliver. The message to American businesses is simple, ‘If you see that your reality is different from the lies we had to tell to get this passed, just shut the f__k up!’
AB32’s stench is bad enough to draw national attention (‘Another California Dream’), and some other states are beginning to pull out of their headlong dashes into locally grown versions of cap n’ tax. Here in California, our own Assemblyman Dan Logue is leading the good fight to have AB32 implementation “postponed … until the economy rebounds.” That’s how bad it has become, this horrendous law has such support that even Logue can see no opportunity to have it repealed. All we can hope is an attempt to delay the dagger thrust to California’s economic heart. Read Dan’s Union column for details.
WSJ columnist Bret Stephens (here) is already looking forward to the next manufactured crisis and announces a contest for its discovery. The winning crisis “must require taxes, regulation, and other changes to civilization as we know it.”
Samuel Clemens, upon hearing of a newspaper notice of his recent death, was quoted “The reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated.” I fear the same for AGW and its Medusa head that sprouts many poisonous snakes. My own ongoing examination of the evidence (ably reported by Steve McIntyre, Anthony Watts, and our local Russ Steele) and its political response is that AGW's remaining supporters are still legion, and divide themselves into two major groups – the butt stupid (‘ignorant’ will no longer serve) and the perfidious. The former is the compliant chorus that supports the nation changing goals and work of the latter. AGW is merely the crisis du jour, and its scientific arguments incidental. The teachers’ unions have delivered.