Author Steven Greenhut

Stockton bankruptcy Part Two not great, but not terrible

After federal bankruptcy Judge Christopher Klein gave his verbal ruling early this month in the Stockton bankruptcy case, it was the first time in ages that California’s pension reformers had something to celebrate. Klein ruled that pensions can be impaired in a bankruptcy, defying the …

Stockton ruling changes California’s pension landscape

A federal bankruptcy judge’s verbal ruling on Wednesday truly was a game-changer when it comes to scaling back unsustainable pensions in California.
As I’ve detailed for PSI, California’s pension reformers have had little to cheer about even as the dismal unfunded-liability numbers and increased pension contribution …

Problem not just costs, but mentality of public sector

I cannot figure out why many of our fellow citizens want more aspects of our lives to be controlled by the government. As someone who spends my days watching and writing about government, I sometimes go home with a splitting headache and the need for …

Taxpayers don’t have a chance in the way CalPERS is run

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System may be the nation’s largest state pension fund, basically a government agency with the ability to impose enormous debts on the state’s taxpayers, but those taxpayers don’t even have a minimal say in how it’s run. We can complain …

The cost of pensions: decrepit cities and not just huge debt

Many people’s eyes still glaze over when I talk about unfunded pension liabilities. Often I see people looking at their watches and trying to figure out an exit plan at the mere mention of the name, California Public Employee’s Retirement System (CalPERS). But average folks …

Pension reformers facing declining options in California

The union activists who dislike my views on the pension-reform topic reportedly were pleased with a recent Public Sector Inc. post I wrote facetiously calling for pension reformers to give up the ghost. The state desperately needs reform, but what are we going to do …

Despite love of ideas, Brown is conventional union pol

From a personality standpoint, California Gov. Jerry Brown is one of the most entertaining, intelligent and engaging politicians one will ever meet. He’s funny and well read and likes to toss around interesting ideas. His fans boast about his Jesuit training. One need only listen …

Is it time for California pension reformers to close shop?

The pension numbers are clear. Despite some good recent returns, California’s pension systems are in a deep hole, the result of a decade of expanding pension promises and underfunding the payment of them. Essentially, all California public-sector workers on the job in the last decade …

Pension funds cheer good news. So why do they need us?

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and other pension funds are celebrating the recent good news, as pension investments have done really well. That’s great, as it means lower unfunded liabilities for the taxpayers who must backfill any investment losses. The funds insist that …

‘Transparent California’ Web site offers useful pay info

There’s not much California taxpayers can do about the outrageous pay and benefit levels enjoyed by the state’s public employees. But there’s an increasing amount of information out there that lets them see what these levels are. Here’s a great new database from “Transparent California.” …