Bill Raden, Capital and Main
When Democratic former San Jose mayor Chuck Reed and Republican ex-San Diego councilmember Carl DeMaio finally unveiled the language for a promised attempt at getting a statewide public pension cutting measure to 2016 voters, the expectation was that Reed II would be a reined-in and more realistically-framed version of Reed I – last year’s failed attempt at undermining the public pension system.
These pension critics in California have targeted public pensions as a place to claim a crisis and to demand pensions changes- which would make them billions.
In 2014 California pensions had 84 % of the funds they need to pay their obligations. Most pension critics- such as the Peterson Institute- say that 80% of potential obligations should be covered in assets.
This argument incorrectly assumes that there will not be more workers paying into the ongoing pensions. That is the policy direction argued for by austerity advocates mostly in the Republican Party.
The truth is that working people such as teachers and police officers paid into these pension funds. At times- the state and local governments skipped their obligations to match the workers contributions. This created a problem that is being dealt with.