Here We Go Again!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012
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Every time the California state legislature decides it needs more money to spend, we get the usual moist-eyes stories. Whether the politicos hit we voters, casinos, liquor, cigarettes or whatever, they absolutely guarantee us that the money will go to education, old folks, health care, etc.

The huge, ever-growing, overwhelming burden of public employee salaries, pensions, and benefits is somehow never mentioned.

Now here we go again with Prop 30. Our ever truthful elected reps tell us once again how all the money will go to education in California. Let’s see now, how many times have we voters heard that story in the last few decades?

Anyone foolish enough to think that a major part of this tax, or even any part of it, will go to improving state education, should quickly form their own Optimists Club. What a wonderful world of fantasy they may then begin to live in.

Please let me make a very obvious suggestion. Let all of us voters go out on Election Day and register a resounding no vote on Prop. 30 and all other tax increase attempts! Then maybe, just maybe, our Sacramento Spenders will be forced to take long overdue steps to cut our state’s unsustainable spending burden! These savings they can then truthfully apply to all forms of state-supported education.

I know, I know, that’s a very radical thought. But maybe if they try it, we’ll like it!


Independent Discussion Guidelines

"Anyone foolish enough to think that a major part of this tax, or even any part of it, will go to improving state education, should quickly form their own Optimists Club."
-- Bud Stuart

Time to sign up Bud.

Prop 30 creates an "Education Protection Fund" that can only be used for education purposes. From the text of the ballot:

"This measure takes funds away from state control and places them in special accounts that are exclusively dedicated to schools and local public safety in the state Constitution."

For more information, go here and search on the text string "Education Protection Fund":

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
October 3, 2012 at 1:28 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Hey, East Beach: you just don't get it.
Underfunded public educatuon employee pensions and benefits are considered part of the Public Education Fund. Not a single dime of Prop 30 will reach a classroom. Not one dime.

willy88 (anonymous profile)
October 7, 2012 at 11:39 a.m. (Suggest removal)

We sometimes act as if teachers didn't earn their pensions. Is it their fault if education funds were (possibly) mismanaged?
In the end, they entered a contract with their districts and the state. Since neither the state or district can give the teachers the time spent WORKING in the classroom back; they must honor the contract.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
October 7, 2012 at 12:28 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Hey willy88, if you're so hot for some non-fungible funds, why don't you start a proposition for a teacher's pencil fund next election cycle?

I'm good with teachers getting a pension, especially since they don't get Social Security.

Looks like the previous link to the text for Proposition 30 is broken. Here's an alternative:

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
October 7, 2012 at 2:02 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Teachers don't get Social Security?????

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
October 7, 2012 at 2:38 p.m. (Suggest removal)

School teachers are covered under the California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS) and don't pay into SS so they have to rely on their pension. They do sometimes contribute to Medicare, but only if their district offers it.

State educators are covered by CalPERS and also contribute to SS, so they receive a pension and SS. UC educators are covered by UC's retirement plan, some contribute to SS, others don't.

In the private sector, the vast majority of employees with pensions also contribute to SS and receive SS benefits (including spousal and child benefits). For public employees, it seems to be a mixed bag.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
October 7, 2012 at 4:33 p.m. (Suggest removal)

the public pensions scene is very complex, with over 85 local gov't plans running in Calif. I'm familiar with the UC plan since a family member is in it. It is not running out of funds, this is fear-mongering by Willy88, one of the Thorns4 cousins, I'd guess.
Many 30 year teachers did start at a time when their salaries were pretty low compared to private industry, and the trade-off was a good and RELIABLE government pension for teachers. Three decades later some of the pay these people have gotten leads to 80% or 90% of regular pay public pensions. These need to be capped, and Gov. Brown has signed into law more reforms of the public pensions. An example is how at UC, and in many other public pension funds in Calif., the workers are paying more into their pensions, much more in fact. These reforms will work, and should save these pension plans.
The ranting about public pensions is part of an attack by plutocratic libertarians determined to dishonor our teachers, keep our children poorly educated, and rig the system for themselves and their 2% ilk.
Finally, lots of money will go directly to public schools when Prop. 30 is passed. Prop 38 is more dubious.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
October 7, 2012 at 4:59 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I really appreciate the info on this complex issue Dr. Dan and East Beach.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
October 7, 2012 at 5:07 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Is "education purposes" actually money to the classrooms or money to administrators and boondoggles? Also, what is "public safety" in this context?

Let's not forget that the same political ideology which supports this measure is also not speaking out against the $100,000,000,000 high speed rail, of which about 2% comes straight out of California.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
October 7, 2012 at 6:05 p.m. (Suggest removal)


From the text of Proposition 30:

(school districts) ... "shall not use any of the funds from the Education Protection Account for salaries or benefits of administrators or any other administrative costs."

Prop 30 also requires regular reports to account for how the temporary funds created by Prop 30 are spent. See the link I posted earlier to read the text.

The public safety part deals with making sure that police/fire resources shifted from the state to local governments have a funding source. Maybe you can look that one up for us?

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
October 7, 2012 at 6:45 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Naw, I'm too tired right now, but thanks for the rest of the information.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
October 7, 2012 at 11:57 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Ken - You made a very good point as to why public employee unions should not exist in the first place.

Botany (anonymous profile)
October 8, 2012 at 6:34 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I wish I knew what that point was...

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
October 8, 2012 at 11:30 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The point you made is that politicians pandered to public employee unions by easily caving in to union demands at taxpayer expense during the negotiation process in exchange for financial and political support during their campaigns for office. You actually stated that beautifully.

Botany (anonymous profile)
October 8, 2012 at 11:56 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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