California

Governor Brown Fails Contra Costa

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PLEASANT HILL— Governor Brown only missed his budget by about $16 billion and still hasn’t connected the dots between the crisis and the government employee pensions.
While residents across Contra Costa County face crushing taxes, falling home values, and high unemployment, the governor maintains favor with the union leaders by seeking a deal to cut government employee pay by 5%, increase taxes, and leave the pension problem untouched. This is the kind of deal that got us into this mess and yet here Brown is, making his own deal, selling out constituents to save face with union bosses who support him.
Taxpayers United of America (TUA) and Free and Equal (F&E) today revealed government employee pensions for the Contra Costa area. California is the 13th state in a nationwide tour for the two organizations.
“Many government retirees make more in pension payments than private sector taxpayers make in salaries,” stated Christina Tobin, TUA Vice President and Founder and Chair of Free And Equal. “The California economy and the public pension systems are in serious trouble. Taxpayers struggle to save for their own retirement and fund the public pension system. Government retirees should be concerned if their pension payments will continue.”
Tobin continued, “For example, Craig Bowen, retired San Ramon Valley Fire District employee, collects an annual pension of $295,428. His estimated lifetime payout is $12,097,777*.”
Hye Kyung Kim, retired Contra Costa government employee, has an annual pension of $291,168, with an estimated lifetime payout of $13,102,560*.
“Retired Contra Costa County government teacher, Daniel M. Smith, has a lifetime estimated payout of $8,366,522* based on his actual annual pension of $197,790.”
View pension amounts below:

“California’s government pension systems are crushing middle class Californians. Replacing defined benefit pensions for all new government hires with social security and 401(k)s would eventually eliminate unfunded government pensions. If current government employees would just increase their pension contributions, they would preserve their pension benefits. We need a stable system that is fair to both taxpayers and beneficiaries or pension checks will stop coming.” Tobin, who will be attending Thursday’s Pacific Research Event that will examine public pensions.
“The pension crisis is the number one budgetary problem for cities, counties and states across the country. A nationwide movement is under way to shift the dialogue to action. We are collaborating with the leaders of pension reform, in working to avert the collapse that will result from inaction. We will be launching our nationwide database for pension and electoral reform in the coming days. This online database will provide a repository of information on elections: the names, the money and the agendas.”
“Many politicians lack the courage to do what’s in the best interest of taxpayers. The many pension groups that have formed, are working to help enhance the citizens’ groundswell that wants true electoral reform.”
*TUA submits FOIA requests for actual pensions. Since personal information is not available, lifetime pension payouts are estimated based on retirement at 55, life expectancy of 85 (IRS Form 590), and 3% COLA.

Uniting in the Pension Fight

SAN FRANCISCO – Christina Tobin, Founder and Chair of Free and Equal Elections Foundation and Vice-President of Taxpayers United of America, has been invited to attend the Pacific Research Institute’s discussion of public pensions.
The event, Public Pension Tsunami: Closer to the Shore?, is a discussion presented by Pacific Research Institute.
It will be held at the City Club of San Francisco and will be moderated by Brian Calle Editor-in-chief, Calwatchdog.com and PRI Senior Fellow.
“When I heard that Christina’s pension tour is now in California, the 13th state on her tour, I was excited to collaborate with her about this pervasive economic crisis”, stated Calle.
“Attending this important discussion about the top budget issue facing governments across the Nation, will cap my tour here,” stated Tobin.
“I am honored to join with leading reformers in a non-partisan effort. The goal of Free and Equal is to help foster a unified front, and to build Nationwide awareness for these dynamite organizations”, added Tobin.

Tobin has been touring the United States, city-by-city and county-by-county, releasing government employee pension numbers, highlighting  the problems of special interest money in the electoral process.
Event details:

  • Public Pension Tsunami: Closer to the Shore?
  • Thursday, May 17, 2012 – 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • The City Club of San Francisco
  • 155 Sansome Street
  • San Francisco

Luncheon Cost: $30 per person
For more information please contact Cindy Chin at cchin@pacificresearch.org or (415) 955-6110.

Brown will save California?

View release as a PDF
SACRAMENTO— Lucky, lucky California! Today, Governor Brown announced a new budget! He was ‘off’ $16 billion on his last budget. But this time, yes this time, he’s sure he’s got it right! According to Brown, “You can never get it quite right…” No governor, YOU never got even close.
He’s going to cut, cut, cut. And tax, tax, tax. He’s sure that’ll bring more jobs here!
But Governor, why no mention of unsustainable California public pensions that keep digging the hole deeper?
Taxpayers United of America (TUA) and Free and Equal (F&E) today revealed government employee pensions for the Sacramento area. California is the 13th state in a nationwide tour for the two organizations.
“Many government retirees make more in pension payments than private sector taxpayers make in salaries,” stated Christina Tobin, TUA Vice President and Founder and Chair of Free And Equal. “The California economy and the public pension systems are in serious trouble. Taxpayers struggle to save for their own retirement and fund the public pension system. Government retirees should be concerned that their pension payments will continue.”
Tobin continued, “For example, Rickey Martinez, retired Sacramento government employee, collects an annual pension of $210,618. His estimated lifetime payout is $9,477,788. * ”
Mary M. Carrillo Mejia, retired government teacher, has an annual pension of $195,305, with an estimated lifetime payout of $7,997,727.*
“Retired Sacramento County government employee, David Lind, has a lifetime estimated payout of $7,460,967* based on his actual annual pension of $192,790.”
View pension amounts below:

“California’s government pension systems are crushing middle class Californians. Replacing defined benefit pensions for all new government hires with social security and 401(k)s would eventually eliminate unfunded government pensions. If current government employees would just increase their pension contributions, they would preserve their pension benefits. We need a stable system that is fair to both taxpayers and beneficiaries or pension checks will stop coming.” Tobin will be attending Thursday’s Pacific Research Institute event that will examine public pensions.
“The pension crisis is the number one budgetary problem for cities, counties and states across the country. A nationwide movement is under way to shift the dialogue to action. We are collaborating with the leaders of pension reform, in working to avert the collapse that will result from inaction. We will be launching our nationwide database for pension and electoral reform in the coming days. This online database will provide a repository of information on elections: the names, the money and the agendas.”
“Many politicians lack the courage to do what’s in the best interest of taxpayers. The many pension groups that have formed, are working to help enhance the citizens’ groundswell that wants true electoral reform.”
*TUA submits FOIA requests for actual pensions. Since personal information is not available, lifetime pension payouts are estimated based on retirement at 55, life expectancy of 85 (IRS Form 590), and 3% COLA.

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Taxpayers United Of America: (TUA). is a nonpartisan, 501(c)(4) taxpayer advocacy group. Founded June 27, 1976 in Chicago, Illinois by activist and economist Jim Tobin, TUA works on behalf of taxpayers to reduce local, state, and federal taxes. In the past forty years, TUA has saved taxpayers more than $200 billion n taxes and has become one of the largest taxpayer organizations in America. Check All posts. s.

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