Interestingly - but not surprisingly - pension reform is not a hot topic among candidates. This is particularly irritating to those of us who pay close attention and are fully aware, as Robert Fellner so perfectly lays out in his recent article, Voters deserve the truth on pension-driven tax hikes.
He describes that behind almost every call for new, increased, and/or extended tax proposal is a huge unfunded retiree debt obligation.
I once asked a Marin school district administrator why, when asking for a new parcel tax, the pension debt issue was not part of the discussion. I was met with a blank stare - and no response.
This is typical of most government agencies. Their attitude seems to be that they have no power to change the system so look to the taxpayers to fill the gap. Only a few are courageous enough to speak out for reform measures to staunch the bleeding and promote sustainability.
Among those local voices are City Councilmen Larry Chu (Larkspur) and John McCauley (Mill Valley). Read about their recent Report on Pensions, here.
We need more.
Since you are more fully aware than most, please 'educate' your colleagues before they vote on the many ballot tax measures. It's truer than ever that most taxes - despite their ballot summaries - are pension taxes.
Thanks, as always, to Transparent California and Robert Fellner for providing excellent data to expose the reality of the pension crisis.
Jody Morales - Citizens for Sustainable Pension Plans