County of Humboldt to skim off the top of top public employee salaries?

Redding just came out with a brilliant plan to combat the budget deficit facing most of California’s cities and counties: just make the over-paid higher-ups pay for more of their retirement up front.

Sound simple? It is simple! And brilliant. And we like it a lot.

Here’s a link to a story about Redding’s idea:

Redding begins ‘great effort’ to curb pension costs with mandatory kick-ins for top brass

In case you’re too lazy to click over to the link, Redding is essentially requiring that folks in top-level positions contribute 2% of their pre-tax salaries towards their own retirement pension funds. In Redding’s  case, that comes out to 52 employees.

Not much, really, but it’s a start.

Now, true to form for government everywhere, this rosy proposal has it’s fair share of shysty-ness involved, too. We mean this part, where Redding says some of the pay they take from top-earning employees goes straight back to their own coffers:

“It will also save the city about $134,500 per year, Personnel Director Sheri DeMaagd said. Of that, about $38,000 would go to the city’s general fund, about two-thirds of which pays for police and firefighters, among other positions.”

Yes, of course, we agree – the top brass in our own local governments are generally making way fricking more than they should. But docking their pay to funnel back into the general fund is not just unethical, it also doesn’t directly deal with the pension deficit problem.

Honestly, we’d be kind of concerned that our own local idiots would take that extra general fund money and use it to hire even more unnecessary public employees, thereby making the pension problem even worse.

However, THC stands behind the idea that making public employees – particularly the ones bringing in ludicrously high salaries – shoulder more of the cost of providing their ludicrously generous pension plans is fantastic.

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33 Responses to County of Humboldt to skim off the top of top public employee salaries?

  1. Rusty says:

    Maybe, and this is a huge stretch, public employees will see how bloated government works. Government is actually stealing from government employees retirement’s to redistribute the wealth to more government employees. Maybe you won’t notice it’s a Ponzi scheme. At least they’re feeding on themselves for a change……..for now.
    I wonder, will a County Employee step forward and tell us how this is a good thing…..for them?

    Like

  2. Just Watchin says:

    Wonder how long it will take for jonboy yalcinkaya to start whining that he’s being picked on again? He’s safe though. This is about the top level brass…..not the bottom feeders.

    Like

  3. John Chiv says:

    Just Watchin, does liberal jon need an excuse to whine? Give him time to wake up, I am sure he will figure out a way to blame Republicans, the rich, Conservatives about this, he needs time to cut and paste his response of 2,000 words or less.

    Like

    • Langer says:

      Both John C and Jon Y are nauseating… a perfect match of annoying

      Like

    • Ad hominem (Latin for “to the man” or “to the person”[1]), short for argumentum ad hominem, is in which an argument is rebutted by attacking the character, motive, or other attribute of the person making the argument, or persons associated with the argument, rather than attacking the substance of the argument itself .[2]
      (via wiki)

      John:

      me: “Yes I do feel strongly about responding to ad-hominem attacks about me, from John Chiv and this other guy, in the thread which wasn’t about me and to which I had not replied. Seems legit, but maybe that’s just me. “

      you: “You have an entire freakin blog dedicated to attacking me and lying about me regardless of whether it has to do with the topic or not.”

      also you: a) :”does liberal jon need an excuse to whine?”, b) “Is it true you live in Mommy’s basement?” c) “Your obsession with blaming conservatives for everything is creepy.”

      These are personal attacks John, and I’d add to that list the accusation that I lied on that blog. That blog of course focuses on you as you are the only freakin’ person whose ever censored me on an ongoing basis. You might be used to that practice, but it is not a normal practice for CIVIL, respectful dialog.

      Here is a challenge: I re-read that blog last night (and yes, rusty, I thank your endurance in ever visiting that sight b/c reading it is not a pleasant experience) and I challenge you to find one lie or one ad-hominem attack on you. You as a person John, not, for example a characterization of one of your posts, a recent one of which I think I accurately characterized as a “screed”.

      Can’t find a personal attack? Find one lie.

      If you find either one of these, I’ll donate $50 to your favorite charity. Don’t worry, I won’t be holding my breath for a response.

      Like

  4. *wakes up*

    *yawns*

    *reads THC*

    *copies*

    *pastes*

    “I, a liberal, am with you against outrageous higher salaries in government and in the private sector. ”

    https://thclive.net/2017/07/27/a-rising-prevailing-wage-sinks-all-ships/#comment-5563

    Also, John,
    “No one condones the Indian Island massacare but all you outraged people go off on a tangent instead of listening to the entire interview.”

    I listened to the entire interview. Mr. Arkley does not agree with you that “No one condones the Indian Island massacare but all you outraged people go off on a tangent instead of listening to the entire interview.”

    So why is it you are attacking the left for doing exactly what Mr. Arkley did? Do listen to the interview, he mentions the giving away of the island as one of the reasons he hopes to help sponsor a slate of candidates for the ECC. Isn’t that “using the Indian Island massacre for political gain”.

    You say you want a dialog, but you don’t. You say you are against censorship but you are not. Your excuse for censoring is that people like me are rabid, stalking leftists. But the truth is that I have made every effort to open my world to you to help you see how wrong you are about the left. It’s not a dialog you want John. You just cannot abide those that would fundamentally disagree with your point of view.

    And yes John, I’ve fiercely disagreed with so much you have had to say this spring and summer. A lot of what you haven’t censored from your site is despicable and I don’t think you really get why.

    Like

  5. Just Watchin says:

    jonboy…..if you feel so strongly about issues that you believe in, you should start your own blog. Oh wait……never mind…..

    Like

    • JW, Yes I do feel strongly about responding to ad-hominem attacks about me, from John Chiv and this other guy, in the thread which wasn’t about me and to which I had not replied. Seems legit, but maybe that’s just me.

      And since you brought it up, I have a second blog where I post responses to conservative Humboldt sites (like THC for a time) which censor my posts.

      53 hits over a few months ain’t poop, but at least there is a record of the reality of rhetorical duplicity of conservatives such as in this post:

      https://democratichumboldt.wordpress.com/2017/06/08/irony/

      I’m discovering that censorship can be an extremely powerful tactic to promote unpopular or indefensible policies or ideas, even more so than the incessant repetition of personal attacks. Because at least in the case of the former, there is a chance to respond, assuming it’s worth one’s time.

      Like

      • Rusty says:

        I hit that site at least 20 time’s to see if anything was going on so, your numbers aren’t that good. Just saying.

        Like

      • John Chiv says:

        Jon, you whine way too much. I print your name once in a response, in months, and it is an ad hominem attack?
        You have an entire freakin blog dedicated to attacking me and lying about me regardless of whether it has to do with the topic or not. Is it true you live in Mommy’s basement? Considering your salary is paid by taxpayers, of course you are all for government funded living. Democrats suck off and live off taxpayers more than any Republican. Maxine Waters, Nancy Pelosi, I could go on. Even linking you on LOCO didn’t increase your traffic. Your obsession with blaming conservatives for everything is creepy.

        Like

      • Hey! There is absolutely nothing wrong with living in Moms basement. Lest you forget that’s precisely the location of THC headquarters. Please desist lest we have to drown our shame in yet another case of Mike’s Hard Lemonade!

        Like

      • Esther says:

        John Chiv fits the very definition of creepy

        Like

  6. Rusty says:

    Yah yah your against outrageous salaries Blah Blah, Blah blah blah.
    What about the stealing from retirement funds and funneling the take back into the General Fund?

    Like

  7. Arcatan says:

    The idea of public employees at the top of the salary schedule actually contributing towards their own retirement just like their counterparts in the private sector is actually kinda interesting and one would hope that our elected city and county officials would investigate the concept. I suspect that it might have a chance at the city level but none at the county. Why? One might ask? Well at the County it would mean that our Supervisors would have to contribute towards their own public trough feeding and we know that ain’t gonna happen with the current greedy crop of officials..

    Like

  8. But docking their pay to funnel back into the general fund is not just unethical, it also doesn’t directly deal with the pension deficit problem.

    Point 1:
    What your take Mr. THC makes clear is this isn’t about deficits or higher paid government employees, it’s about cutting public expenditures. (period)

    Of secondary concern is the government employees may have been hired to do a job people elected them to do.

    Point 2:
    Please don’t forget that even the private sector used to have pensions. As an eligibility worker I do still come across workers who have these. Generally they are not eligible to many programs because of the pension they earned through their working lives.

    Of course as a unionized government worker I am going to defend government pensions. Perhaps I can be talked out of this by people on the left who know better than I, but I do see we can means-test retirement programs at the high-income levels, if this is part of a greater expansion of necessary private-funded pension plans.

    Unless, dear Republicans, you’d like to expand Social Security payments.

    You all talk a great deal about income of public employees. I’m going to continue to draw parallels to the private sector and to wealth. Pension plans were a means of wealth sharing which over the Reagan era conservatives, Republicans, and libertarians managed to almost make extinct. Unfortunately, the public sector is one of the few strong-holds maintaining this essential means of sharing wealth in our society.

    (btw, pensions I believe can be seen as a form of wealth b/c it represents taking interest or payments after the capital of ones labor earned over their lifetime. Much like the capital of those who own companies will help pay for their retirements)

    The bottom line is this: let’s work on reversing this trend instead of pretending we have to continue this economic race to the bottom. We got to where we are based on short sighted economic policies such as failing to protect American industries and allowing predatory companies to liquidize assets such as employees’ pensions as a financial instrument to pay off debts when they paid to much for this or that company during the past 40 years.

    Like

    • Cousin Eddiie says:

      how are we going to pay for it LMOB? that’s the problem others are facing now, and we’re facing soon.

      you think the 729 citizens of loyalton each are going to cough up $2,000 + to pay these retirees? or you going to charge the wealthiest citizens there for a big chunk of it? take out a bond for 15 or 30 years?

      “What CalPERS is doing is financially and technically justifiable, but it demonstrates just how deluded many beneficiaries have become. The promise of guaranteed pensions for life is only as good as the assets backing them.

      Loyalton could have weathered the crisis had it stayed in CalPERS. What that points out, though, is the weakness in the assumptions underlying the entire retirement fund. It depends too heavily on contributions from current employees to cover past service. It is a Ponzi scheme, in that respect.”

      http://www.citywatchla.com/index.php/los-angeles/13749-loyalton-california-s-pension-crisis-in-a-nutshell

      Like

  9. I’m sorry Cuz for the unsatisfying tautology, but the answer is simple. You pay for it with money. Government collects money in the form of taxes.

    We are the wealthiest nation the world has ever seen, is culling pensions really a priority? Isn’t this a time to turn the tide of the excess of our current understanding of economics? It’s collapsing right before our eyes.

    I’m a government employee working on eligibility for Medicaid and S.N.A.P (federal programs funded with federal money). We calls these federal programs Medi-Cal and CalFresh in CA. So even though I am a county employee, my salary is paid by our federal tax dollars.

    So take a look at what the Republican-controlled federal government is doing. Their legislative priority under President Trump is to reduce taxes, just like as it was under W. and Regan before that. And these reductions are not going to go to people like the average Humboldt citizen (or non-citizen) in any meaningful way, the meaningful cuts are going to the wealthiest, that group we’ve been discussing for the past week, whether it’s the wealthiest 25% or 1%.

    Your question is really a chicken and egg one. Which came first a deficit and an argument to not pay public sector pension obligations or tax cuts. Tax cuts came first Cuz, this is demonstrable*. These tax cuts are then used as a political cudgel to promote the Republican creed of privatization, even when a public sector serves the general public better than the private sector can (ie health care, education, military).

    *

    http://datarep.tumblr.com/image/163714851609

    From your link:

    “What CalPERS is doing is financially and technically justifiable, but it demonstrates just how deluded many beneficiaries have become.  The promise of guaranteed pensions for life is only as good as the assets backing them.”

    Well, Social Security has paid every bill it’s ever been obligated to pay. It is a great asset. Maybe this is an argument for scrapping public/private pension funds all together and expanding Social Security?

    “It is unfair to charge the taxpayers for the state’s years of over-promising more than it could afford.”

    It’s not over-promising, wealthy people don’t want to pay a sustainable share of taxes given the benefits they have received from our society and they are figuring out ways to continue their not-unprecedented (see 1920’s for one) wealth-distribution agenda by first stemming the flow of government revenues THEN arguing there are not revenues to compensate anyone enough income and wealth to retire – anyone but themselves of course.

    .

    Like

    • Cousin Eddiie says:

      Huh??

      LMOB, I thought this post was about local pensions and funding those liabilities, which has almost nothing to do with federal taxe rates and Republicans.

      Calpers is massively underfunded and your answer is, “because Republicans, rich people not payngi their share, and stuff.”

      Newsflash – the Republicans don’t control all the cities and counties and state agencies that make up Calpers pensioners, or the calpers board.

      You are making connection s that don’t exist.

      Like

      • You missed the point, I’m a County employee working in federal programs and paid with federal funds, this dependent on federal tax rates. I’d wager there are many others like me, how many I’m not sure.

        And if you wish to focus on state taxes, What about removing property tax limits of Prop 13 or being in favor of car owners paying their fair share in taxes.

        This isn’t about pensions or budgets, this is about continued wealth distribution to the top 25% b/c they don’t like paying their fair share.

        Let’s honor our contracts and let’s all fight to make pensions a thing again in the private sector. Why can’t we do that Cuz?

        Again, richest country in history. We all deserve better.

        Like

      • Cousin Eddiie says:

        Who’s going to be paying your pension LMOB?

        Like

      • Cousin Eddiie says:

        Oh and I have a private-sector retirement plan, it’s not really that hard to set up.

        Like

  10. John Chiv says:

    THC, there is nothing wrong with living in mom’s basement if you contribute to society and drink Mike’s hard lemonade. Jon fits the profile of a typical Bernie supporter, blame the rich, blame conservatives, deny Dem evil, and contributes zero to Humboldt. You aren’t that desperate for commenters are you, that you need to defend LMOB. Somehow with all the swag
    you give away and the facebook ads, I doubt mom’s basement is your real office unless your benefactors are funding the cause of rewarding government bashers.
    Esther, so this is the personality and anon persona dominant this week. Get a life, stalker.

    Like

    • Alright then, $100. You drive a hard bargain.

      Like

    • Ouch! We were just kidding around though we are a little sensitive about our basement abode. To be truthful, the office really is in the basement and Mom does indeed live upstairs with us but the house is ours. Our private sector retirement and social security doesn’t compare to what we’d have if we had decided to follow Jon into government work but it does provide enough free time to blog a bit and the occasional case of Mike’s Hard Lemonade.

      Like

    • Go blank yourself Toodles, or, like John and I often ask, show yourself. If you wish to spend your time in the sewer, it seems fair to ask you reveal your name. Kudos to John for doing that and being open about his life. I’d ask that THC remove both of these comments.

      Like

  11. Just Watchin says:

    Butt pirate jonboy telling someone to go blank themselves. That’s funny stuff…..

    Like

  12. Cuz: from your August 9th questions:

    Q: Who’s going to be paying your pension LMOB?

    A: My employer. Like your employer will pay for yours as a benefit if they have to compete for workers. If you are s/e then you are paying for your pension. For example, as your own boss, you would not do this…

    His predecessor, Gov. Pete Wilson, took $1.6 billion from CalPERS accounts in 1991 to help close a state budget gap. Wilson also reduced retirement benefits for new state employees, effectively creating a second class of state workers.
    (copy and paste quote into search engine for source)

    ——

    Statement: Oh and I have a private-sector retirement plan, it’s not really that hard to set up.

    A: I’m sincerely happy for you cousin, but it isn’t the setting up of the plan that is the problem. The problem is contributing enough on an ongoing basis. You are doing the right thing thinking about the future for you and yours. This also means you have the ability to do so. This assumes the following: a) employment with a living wage, b) a living wage which will pay for i) food, ii) housing, iii) transportation, iv) college tuition, v) etc. After spending on all those, you have extra money to contribute to a retirement plan. This is a good thing for you and yours and more power too you!

    ——

    Framing: Cuz, I tweeted this tweet after reading your responses last week. It has two important links (see also the my reply to the original tweet) which is why I’m linking to the tweet rather than the links (THC’s limit = 1)

    By purchasing a retirement plan based largely on stock markets, you are really contributing to rather than helping to ameliorate the crushing problem of wealth and income disparities in our system. Not only that, but IF there happens to be a crash with incredibly bad timing when you need to retire, you are kinda screwed. Imagine if you had to retire and/or cash out much of your savings in 2008.

    My point is this: This statement by THC is true only if you are comparing it to someone who doesn’t have a pension.

    the idea that making public employees … shoulder more of the cost of providing their ludicrously generous pension plans is fantastic.

    And that is the ultimate goal of that portion of the right-wing that focuses on finances and economics (and includes THC and many of his readers); continue to focus wealth in the pockets of those who have wealth. Sadly there is no way to stop this greed train. Enough is never enough and that does have very real effects on the lives of people in places like Humboldt County.

    Like

    • Cousin Eddie says:

      “By purchasing a retirement plan based largely on stock markets, you are really contributing to rather than helping to ameliorate the crushing problem of wealth and income disparities in our system.”

      this is where education has failed us. by investing in stocks, the average person can actually participate in gaining wealth. why wouldn’t an advocate for the poor or middle class want them to own the means of production?

      btw, your calpers account is largely invested in growth stocks (60%).

      Like

  13. Note: click on the time and date of the tweet to get to the links.

    Like

  14. Just Watchin says:

    I’m reminded of a friends statement: “I don’t invest in stocks. My 401k is all mutual funds”. It amazes me how little people understand how their money is invested.

    Like

  15. *bangs laefwaf3 head qwlrivtinn against ;lwelvnv keyboard berwerty*

    Cuz:
    I know it would be great if leftists conformed to your visions of us, but reality often get’s into the way of the way the right wing would like to view the world.

    I get that mutual funds consists of stocks, Cuz. Did you take a look at either the tweet by Ben Spielberg or the link to mybudget360 article, or even the LA Times article on pensions, which you would largely agree with, from which the quote in my last comment came?

    You:this is where education has failed us.

    Me: It’s not the education that you are describing, it is right-wing propaganda.

    The stock market and mutual funds do not favor the small investor AND they are not investor-centric. They are a means of finding capital for companies. If they were to PRIMARILY function as a source of wealth for the bottom 80% of the economic scale in the US, they would be run much differently and the boards of the companies of the companies on the markets would not be OK with the changes that would have to be instituted in order to make these markets safe enough for the primary savings plan for the majority of Americans.

    CalPERS is in the state it is in in large part because of the market losses after the dotcom bust and 2008.

    From the LATimes Article:
    http://www.latimes.com/projects/la-me-pension-crisis-davis-deal/

    The law (a crappy law from 1999 that we’d both find things to hate) took effect in 2000, and that same year CalPERS investments were hammered by the bursting of the dot.com bubble. Eight years later, the housing market collapsed and the Great Recession set in, putting the pension fund in a deep hole.

    If you are REALLY concerned about helping governments to meet their budgets, we should think again about expanding safe wealth-protection systems for the bottom 80% like Social Security rather than putting even more money into systems which will ultimately only break our current wealth distribution even further in the wrong direction.

    You: by investing in stocks, the average person can actually participate in gaining wealth.

    On average though, like a casino, the rules and averages are against the small investor. If you question this, like the temples of gambling in, say, Reno, look to the cathedrals of Wall Street across the country to get a glimmer of an idea of how much the scales of financial justice favor the bosses of the financial system and take a look at much of the Midwest to see the results of mergers and acquisitions that has buoyed Wall Street at the expense of, well, America, for the last 50 years.

    Cuz: why wouldn’t an advocate for the poor or middle class want them to own the means of production

    I have no problem with it. If there is discretionary income to invest, like you have, I think it is a great idea. As any investor has found out if they try to get on the ground floor of an IPO, this system is a rigged game, and this game does not favor the small investor. Not only that, but it locks us into an economic system where our primary goal is to have at least 3 to 5% economic growth year after year after year or else we think our economy is a failure.

    That isn’t all there is to life Cuz. Our responsibilities on this planet are much greater than simply to insure our economy is consistently growing. This goal, is not only impossible, it’s unproductive if the goal is to allow for a sustainable future for ourselves and our planet.

    Also, in unrelated news, Wow! Thank you THC. I’m genuinely impressed.

    Like

  16. Cousin Eddiie says:

    “On average though, like a casino, the rules and averages are against the small investor. ”
    That is totally wrong. You should see a financial planner. The long term averages show 7% returns. Doesn’t matter what tax bracket you are in, an index fund will generate the same returns for everyone.

    http://www.thesimpledollar.com/where-does-7-come-from-when-it-comes-to-long-term-stock-returns/

    Like

    • Just Watchin says:

      When someone spends their adult life living off the government, there’s little need to learn how the stock market works. Kinda sad actually…..

      Like

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