Getting the Public Pension Message

Russ Steele

At our house we watched the Wisconsin’s recall election with great interest. If the recall failed it would send a message to other states that public-sector union can be defeated by strong political leadership with a clear public-sector reform mission.

Closer to home the voters in two California cities decided to administer some public-sector reform on their own when their political leaders proved incapable of solving the problem. The voters in San Diego and San Jose overwhelmingly approved cuts to retirement benefits for city workers.  Hot Air has more details:

Supporters had a simple message to voters in San Diego and San Jose: Pensions for city workers are unaffordable and more generous than many private companies offer, forcing libraries to slash hours and potholes to go unfilled. …

In San Diego, 66 percent voted in favor of Proposition B, while 34 percent were opposed. Nearly 97 percent of precincts were tallied by early Wednesday.

The landslide was even bigger in San Jose, the nation’s 10th-largest city. With all precincts counted, 70 percent were in favor of Measure B and 30 percent were opposed.

When will our local political leaders get the message?


About Russ Steele
Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.

2 Responses to Getting the Public Pension Message

  1. sean2829 says:

    From what I understand, San Diego now devotes 20% of its operating budget to cover pension obligations and San Jose spends 27%. I suspect that the public sector unions are already drafting legal challenges to these propositions. Meanwhile, you probably heard about Ed Schulz of MSNBC saying that the unions will now resort to criminal proceeding against Scott Walker. Our own Maryland governor and head of the democratic governors association, Martin O’Malley was visibly preterbed at the results and he echoed the criminal prosecution approach on Fox News later in the evening. (This will make great archival footage when he runs for president in 2016. He has a knack for being a few steps behind public sentiment.) The public sector labor unions in Wisconsin have had 3 recall electrions, one against a justice on the Supreme Court, one against several state senators and now one against the governor, lt. governor and a few more senators. The public sector unions and the democratic party both realize this election means the gravy train has been de-railed and seem willing to do anything to put it back on track.

  2. Arthur M. Day. says:

    Gov. Walker removed ‘compulsory’ from public union membership and 75% of the workers left the union. How’s that for a clear indictment of greedy fat cat union bosses?

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