Municipal bankrupty, disease or cure? [Purp]

Looking for that fresh thread smell? You've come to the right place...

...because these guys are working with a not so fresh smell.

Its a good question

Robert Stout, interim finance director for Los Altos Hills, Calif.

Vallejo, Calif., became the largest city to declare for bankruptcy when it filed in 2008.

Stout, who served as the city’s finance director at the time, said revenues had plunged and citizens opposed any tax increases to maintain services. He faced a challenge in trimming payroll expenses, with minimum staffing levels set in contracts with both the city’s police and fire departments.

Once officials showed employees how dire the situation was, many of them left. It was payments for these employees’ unused sick and vacation time that eventually led the city to declare for bankruptcy, Stout said.

Vallejo has since emerged from bankruptcy, but not before making deep cuts to staffing and city services.

To avoid a similar fate, Stout said municipalities must better understand their long-term costs and risks. “We should be real careful about making promises that won’t come due for 30 years.” he said.

Robert Flanders, former receiver for the city of Central Falls, R.I.

The city of Central Falls filed for bankruptcy in August 2011 after failing to obtain concessions from labor unions and employees. Flanders served as the city’s receiver until being replaced in June...

...“I suddenly became a lot more persuasive after Chapter 9 than I was before,” he said.

One of the city's more drastic measures involved slashing pension benefits for some retirees by more than 50 percent. “You’re going to open an empty envelope unless there is something you can agree to,” he recalled telling retirees.

Although some argued receivership displaces the democratic process, Flanders does not view it this way. He argues the city’s long-term outlook is now much brighter, and a judge recently approved a recovery plan expected to enable Central Falls to emerge from bankruptcy.

While Flanders wouldn’t want to recommend Chapter 9, he said it's a necessary last resort for some localities.

"Bankruptcy is not the disease for these cities and towns, it's the cure," he said.



Posted by: Open Blogger at 07:00 PM



Comments

1 Disaster and calamity await all blue states.

Posted by: General Woundwort at December 29, 2012 07:06 PM (zOP5o)

2 Bankruptcy, and maybe Caterpillar D9s.

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at December 29, 2012 07:07 PM (GsoHv)

3 Ok, put this on the last thread just as the new opened --

UFC HW champ fight tonight.
Cain Velasquez vs Junior Dos Santos.

Cain is Mex-American and sports a huge ultra-racist "Brown Pride" tattoo across his chest.

UFC defends it. Dana White says anybody upset by it is "a fucking moron".

Last year on the undercard of one fight viewers noticed a small tattoo on a white fighter that is normally worn by white racists and neonazis (can't remember what it was).

UFC immediately cut the guy and apologized for letting him on the card.

Cain's defense is it's just Mexican pride. But there are white and black Mexicans, too.

Posted by: Flatbush Joe at December 29, 2012 07:07 PM (ZPrif)

4 And this notion of accruing vacation and sick days has got to be the most insidious game that these unions use to bankrupt these cities.

Use 'em or lose 'em.

That's the way it works in the real world.

Posted by: General Woundwort at December 29, 2012 07:08 PM (zOP5o)

5 This guys telling me stories about someone he knows. I'm third generation don't give a fuck.
--- Ron White

Posted by: Whatev at December 29, 2012 07:08 PM (2t6Gz)

6 I liked the "empty envelopes" quote. Sometime you gotta hit those union guys with a 2x4 to wake'em up.

Posted by: @PurpAv at December 29, 2012 07:08 PM (KpqMu)

7 Public sector unions should be illegal as they are able to collude with mostly democrat politicians to fleece the public.

Posted by: General Woundwort at December 29, 2012 07:10 PM (zOP5o)

8 hey, now this is fucking fresh!


like a new cut Christmas tree


eleventy

Posted by: Jake in ID at December 29, 2012 07:12 PM (jfSqj)

9 Eventually you run out of other peoples money.

Posted by: steevy at December 29, 2012 07:13 PM (9XBK2)

10 The pension plans for gov. workers are like winning the lottery. I'm not kidding. They can retire at 55 and have free healthcare and get paid almost the same they were making when working. It's ridiculous.

Posted by: red at December 29, 2012 07:13 PM (ymJbM)

11 There's a lot more counties that are already bankrupt that aren't showing up on that map. Why the fuck isn't Detroit showing up with gigantic red marker?

Posted by: EC at December 29, 2012 07:13 PM (doBIb)

12 @10 That's not true. I'm a CPA and I have a lot of federal employee clients I do retirement planning for. It largely depends on what your occupation is.

Posted by: Manolo at December 29, 2012 07:14 PM (PttbO)

13 7 Public sector unions should be illegal as they are able to collude with mostly democrat politicians to fleece the public.

Posted by: General Woundwort at December 29, 2012 07:10 PM (zOP5o)


Dem politicians + Dem union bureaucrats + Dem union public employees = bankruptcy.

That goes for the nation as well.

I don't know how to unravel that mess, though. I mean, we can see what needs to be done, but the people who need to do it have an army of the list above surrounding them all day every day. The government itself is the biggest lobby, and they don't need to register or get an appointment, they work with the politicians all the time.

And their agenda is MORE MORE MORE.

Posted by: Merovign, Dark Lord of the Sith at December 29, 2012 07:14 PM (bxiXv)

14 NY City employees have ridiculous benefits,retire at 50 or even earlier.Public unions and Democrat alliance,the death knell.

Posted by: steevy at December 29, 2012 07:15 PM (9XBK2)

15
UFC immediately cut the guy and apologized for letting him on the card.

Cain's defense is it's just Mexican pride. But there are white and black Mexicans, too.
Posted by: Flatbush Joe at December 29, 2012 07:07 PM (ZPrif)


just pick an ethinic group for a year or 2 and switch.


currently I'm hispanic

'Race', remember is a social construct.


Pacific Islander is next I spose




Posted by: Jake in ID at December 29, 2012 07:16 PM (jfSqj)

16 13 Yep,crooks in bed with crooks.

Posted by: steevy at December 29, 2012 07:16 PM (9XBK2)

17 I don't know how to unravel that mess, though.

The collapse cures a lot of these problems.

Posted by: @PurpAv at December 29, 2012 07:16 PM (KpqMu)

18 Cliff diving starts when?

Posted by: Jmel at December 29, 2012 07:17 PM (9tSXa)

19 @10

If someone "retires" and they are getting upwards of 100% of their final salary as a pension payout then they really haven't retired they're just on a different set of books.

Insolvency is a certainty, it's just a matter of time.

Posted by: General Woundwort at December 29, 2012 07:18 PM (zOP5o)

20 3 Jamie Foxx can joke about killing white people in his movie.Imagine the reverse.

Posted by: steevy at December 29, 2012 07:18 PM (9XBK2)

21 The Idaho bankruptcy is the result of losing a lawsuit on a Fair Housing Federal law.


The Arco hosital, no clue. Years ago was not feeling well while traveling and while stopped in Arco, barfed in the gutter, Just kicked some road grime over it and got back in the vehicle






Posted by: Jake in ID at December 29, 2012 07:20 PM (jfSqj)

22 19 Yep.And they often make over 100% as they balloon their pension by working crazy hours their final year(which becomes the baseline)than they tack on disability.

Posted by: steevy at December 29, 2012 07:20 PM (9XBK2)

23 Pacific Islander is next I spose
Posted by: Jake in ID at December 29, 2012 07:16 PM (jfSqj)

*****

I'm going with Martian-American. Just another illegal alien.

Posted by: Seamus Muldoon at December 29, 2012 07:20 PM (1OZSU)

24 @10 The average federal employee must meet both Minimum Retirement Age for the year they're born (set by the IRS) and have 30 years of federal service. For every year of service they get 1 percent of their "high 3" salary. They pay into their own pension fund a percentage of their pay. Their employing agency pays a matching contribution. They also have a form of a 401K they can contribute to that's called the Thrift Savings. Plan. If they retire early before the SS and IRS minimum retirement ages, they get hit with the standard early retirement penalty of 5 percent for every year they are younger than 62.

However, law enforcement, firefighters and judges do have "creampuff" retirement as most of them retire early and draw full benefits. They are draining the civil service retirement fund at an inordinate rate.

The information is publicly available at www.opm.gov.

Posted by: Manolo at December 29, 2012 07:21 PM (PttbO)

25 We went over the edge when Obama was first elected and have been in freefall ever since.

This is just the impact.

Posted by: @PurpAv at December 29, 2012 07:21 PM (KpqMu)

26 UFC is desperate to have a Mexican champion. Mexicans still prefer boxing to mma by a large margin.

Posted by: Flatbush Joe at December 29, 2012 07:21 PM (ZPrif)

27 Why the fuck isn't Detroit showing up with gigantic red marker?
Posted by: EC


Oh, let's just say coincidence.

Posted by: CRA, HUD, FHA, HHS, etc at December 29, 2012 07:22 PM (KDq5l)

28 Tito Ortiz, a former Mex-American UFC champ did it right -- he'd carry in a flag that was half-Mexico, half-USA. Got no problem with people honoring the country of their parents and grandparents.

Posted by: Flatbush Joe at December 29, 2012 07:23 PM (ZPrif)

29
“We should be real careful about making promises that won’t come due for 30 years.” he said.

And as I said to my teenaged son, you should be really careful about accepting promises that won't come due for 30 years, as in "not accepting them at all."

The organization probably won't exist in 30 years, or if it does, it will welch on its promises, guaranteed. It will say that either a) it doesn't have the money, and/or b) we're not the guys who made the promises (e.g., either through personnel turnover or acquisition of the original organization).

Bottom line: fuck promises of jam tomorrow. Insist on cash on the barrel head. If the outfit won't do it, mentally zero out their bullshit promises and consider whether the rest of the deal works for you. Never count on the promises.

I call this the "Social Security dipsy doodle."

Posted by: Jay Guevara at December 29, 2012 07:23 PM (4u2LN)

30
Public sector unions should be illegal as they are able to collude with mostly democrat politicians to fleece the public.

If they were better organized this could be called "organized crime."

Posted by: Jay Guevara at December 29, 2012 07:26 PM (4u2LN)

31
Jamie Foxx was on "Ellen" last week (which was on because my Mother -in-law was watching it), and said the usual drivel and praised Quentin Tarantino as a "great director". Much applause. (the audience was a bunch of Pavlovian seals clapping wildly on cue)

Jamie Foxx doesn't make me mad because he is a "proud black man", or because he is a flatulent pop culture star, or makes a huge amount of money being a performing dunce.
He makes me mad because he believes all this drivel that he spouts and impressionable doofusses believe it because he says it.

Posted by: Reader C.J. Burch writes...... at December 29, 2012 07:27 PM (Md8Uo)

32 If they get Federal bailouts, it's gonna suck for everyone that pays their bills. If they don't, let em burn.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet, aka Jack July author of Amy Lynn available on Amazon. at December 29, 2012 07:29 PM (l86i3)

33 The organization probably won't exist in 30 years, or if it does, it will welch on its promises, guaranteed.>>

Which if one paid any attention to history when the big steel mills went bankrupt in the 70s-80s you would have seen coming

Posted by: Buzzsaw at December 29, 2012 07:30 PM (Y6HTt)

34 ...because these guys are working with a not so fresh smell.

And they'll be hearing from our lawyers on Monday.

Posted by: The Makers of Liquid Ass at December 29, 2012 07:31 PM (FcR7P)

35 @19 & @10: Those aren't federal employees. Municipal employees are employees of cities. I agree that a lot of these municipal employee retirements are bogus, but that's corrupt local politics. Federal employees' retirement programs aren't as generous as everyone thinks, unless they're law enforcement, firefighter, and judges. These three groups receive a form of overtime that counts toward their retirement high three without them having to actually work the overtime (called "availability pay" that's 25 percent of their already high salaries) and they can retire with 20 years' service or mandatory retirement at age 57. They get this despite there being no actuarial evidence that they die any sooner than the average federal employee. In fact, most of them "double dip" by retiring and then going back to work with the federal government as an actual federal employee in a different type of job or by becoming a "re-hired annuitant." They are directly responsible for stressing the Civil Service Disability and Retirement Trust Fund, which the taxpayers are going to end up picking up the tab for if it goes bust.

Posted by: Manolo at December 29, 2012 07:31 PM (PttbO)

36 I don't know how to unravel that mess...


Might I suggest, let it burn?


Posted by: Guy who suggests let it burn at December 29, 2012 07:31 PM (2rucj)

37 He makes me mad because he believes all this drivel that he spouts and impressionable doofusses believe it because he says it.
Posted by: Reader C.J. Burch


Look at it this way; he and his ilk provide a foolproof method of determining the idiocy levels of those around you. If someone you know speaks approvingly of celebritards, BEEEP - dumbass detected.

Posted by: weft cut-loop at December 29, 2012 07:33 PM (KDq5l)

38 Might I suggest, let it burn?

you smooth talker, you ...

Posted by: Adriane ... at December 29, 2012 07:34 PM (9Qc6B)

39 I'm guessing these people would have rather had a 401K.

http://blog.al.com/live/2011/01/profile_of_a_pensioner_prichar.html

Posted by: Buzzsaw at December 29, 2012 07:40 PM (Y6HTt)

40 Gee, I remember the Good Old Days, when public employess expected about 75% of what private employees received and were damned glad to get it.

For the security.

Posted by: BackwardsBoy, who did not vote for this shit. at December 29, 2012 07:42 PM (yiIja)

41 Mammoth Lakes went bankrupt because like most govt. municipalities they have no clue when to stay out of the private sector. You want a building, stadium, airport built, wait for some rich developer to do it with his own money than get the hell out of the way. Local and state govts have spread themselves way too thin.

Posted by: Adam Smith's Invisible Pimp Hand at December 29, 2012 07:45 PM (NzBQO)

42 OT:

Heart plays for LZ.

http://rol.st/TQEuOd

Better to listen around solo because TFG and dog make an appearance. Sickening to destroy such a moment in history.

Posted by: sTevo at December 29, 2012 07:46 PM (VMcEw)

43 I went to college with a guy whose parents owned the Mammoth Lake ski resort. He was mostly a dick.

Posted by: Ronster at December 29, 2012 07:46 PM (JgkPs)

44 Local and state govts have spread themselves way too thin.>>

Yes the Taj Mahal rec centers only appear to work during bubbles. Paying the upkeep is a bitch kinda like light rail.

Posted by: Buzzsaw at December 29, 2012 07:48 PM (Y6HTt)

45 Here's the fundamental problem.

Government at every level in America -- municipal, county, state and federal -- is full of grossly financially overcommitted entities that won't survive. From the Vallejo, CA fire department all the way up to national Medicare.

Except for one fly in the ointment. Cities and counties have fairly clearly defined bankruptcy options open to them under Chapter 9. So do various local utility, school and service districts. Those entities can all reorganize in bankruptcy court and possibly continue as going concerns, shorn of some of their liabilities.

But the states do not have that option. Nor does the federal government. There just isn't any provision made for the possibility that states or Fedzilla might go bust.

And that once remote possibility is coming. Fast.

Illinois tops my list of state dead-pool picks, followed closely by NY and CA.

Posted by: torquewrench at December 29, 2012 07:51 PM (gqT4g)

46 @35

The average annual payout to a federal worker with 44 years of service is $57,000. Pension + SS. They get both.

The average annual payout of SS + 401k to a non federal worker is $28,000.00 at retirement age.


I am now playing the worlds smallest violin for all of the federal workers.

Posted by: General Woundwort at December 29, 2012 07:51 PM (zOP5o)

47 just pick an ethinic group for a year or 2 and switch.
currently I'm hispanic
'Race', remember is a social construct.
Pacific Islander is next I spose

These days I identify as an elderly black lesbian eskimo. Still waiting for my free scooter with skis on the front. Weeeeeee

Posted by: The Hobo Wears Prada at December 29, 2012 07:51 PM (Z5BDI)

48 Local and state govts have spread themselves way too thin.
Posted by: Adam Smith's Invisible Pimp Hand


Rent-seeking is addictive and contagious. CA municipalities are corrupt Adelanto to Yucca.

Posted by: weft cut-loop at December 29, 2012 07:52 PM (KDq5l)

49
Look at it this way; he and his ilk provide a foolproof method of determining the idiocy levels of those around you. If someone you know speaks approvingly of celebritards, BEEEP - dumbass detected.

An infallible tool for detecting ... well, other tools.

Posted by: Jay Guevara at December 29, 2012 07:52 PM (4u2LN)

50 Dontcha love it when there's a weather situation, and "non essential" gov employees are told not to report. I'm going to start a biz and hire lots of non essential personnel.

Posted by: Bill at December 29, 2012 07:53 PM (xFYVW)

51 And you pugs think you dodged a bullet.

Posted by: The Mayans at December 29, 2012 07:53 PM (to2MA)

52 The Mammoth Lake Ski resorts sucks.

The Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort, however, can be nice, depending upon the vicissitudes of the weather.

Posted by: Al at December 29, 2012 07:54 PM (V70Uh)

53 Corruption and incompetence prevent entities such as California or Chicago from being able to manage their pension crises. They're likely to end up in receivership with outsidefinancial managerswielding very blunt axes to public employee benefit plans.

Posted by: boniface ballers at December 29, 2012 07:54 PM (l3RZ9)

54
Illinois tops my list of state dead-pool picks, followed closely by NY and CA.

As a Californian, I must protest, and plead the case of my beloved, now thorougly cornholed state. We're #1 in the dead pool!

Posted by: Jay Guevara at December 29, 2012 07:54 PM (4u2LN)

55
Insolvency is a certainty, it's just a matter of time

Am currently reading on Kindlea pretty horrifying book called Planet Ponzi, which basically lays out the case that all central banks worldwide, but especialy our very own Federal Reserve, areliterally, actually,running the biggest Ponzi scheme the world has ever seen.

And the author keeps repeating, like a drumbeat, that Ponzi schemes end with a crash that impoverishes all who were caught up in them.

That would be us.

Website: planetponzi dot com
The Kindle edition is $4.99. Hardcover was $20+ in Barnes Noble.
One caution: the author (a lawyer by training and a hedge fund manager by profession) seems to be pretty left-of-center politically. In a twisted way, I actually find that makes his financial case more, not less, persuasive since the data don't allow him to let Obama and his cohorts off the hook, much as the author would like to. YMMV.

Posted by: crisis du jour at December 29, 2012 07:56 PM (DFGPG)

56 @39: That's a perfect example of a corrupt municipality. The city filed for bankruptcy to avoid paying the over-generous pensions its leaders gave to municipal employees. It's the classic southern "Huey Long's 'Share the Wealth'" approach to politics that's the heart of Democrat doctrine. Even if these people had 401Ks (actually 403Bs), they would've corrupted that, too, by making the employer contribution overly generous the same way they did with the pension fund.

Posted by: Manolo at December 29, 2012 07:57 PM (PttbO)

57
Dontcha love it when there's a weather situation, and "non essential" gov employees are told not to report.
When we take overwe need to do this, and then change the locks and fire them at all. Laugh? You bet.

Posted by: Jay Guevara at December 29, 2012 07:57 PM (4u2LN)

58 I thought the Federal retirement system changed in the 80s. My brother, retired with a nice pension, but no Social Security. His wife, opted for the very generous TSP (they matched contributions 2 for 1, in CASH!, not some companies worthless stock). She paid SS and gets it. She gets no pension. Over a million in the TSP though.


Posted by: Al at December 29, 2012 07:59 PM (V70Uh)

59 I live near the burnt out ruins of the late great Motor City. Four+ decades of continuous wall-to-wall one party rule by the democrats has decimated this once proud city. Some areas of the city have been abandoned for so long that wild vegetation has retaken whole neighborhoods.

A City Council member was recently in the news for demanding her "quid pro quo" from Obama for Detroit having voted overwhelmingly for him. This is what passes for 'solutions' to problems that include the word, 'collapse.'

Posted by: Grumpy the Younger at December 29, 2012 07:59 PM (jts1f)

60 Someone should take an old boat out on to sea and youtube how a bail out works. Start with everybody drilling holes in the bottom of the boat but also helping bail. Then start plucking people out of the boat one by one. Doubt the leftards would get it but at least the visual (if far enough out to sea) would be fun.

Posted by: Buzzsaw at December 29, 2012 08:01 PM (Y6HTt)

61 I enjoy Mammoth more in the summer than winter, great places to eat up there. I hated going up there in January for high school sports.

Posted by: Adam Smith's Invisible Pimp Hand at December 29, 2012 08:02 PM (NzBQO)

62 @56

It really is the peoples fault as we have allowed the politicians who are really servants to collude with other servants, municipal workers, and steal their masters money.

So we have one set of servants conspiring with another set of servants to rob the master blind!


Posted by: General Woundwort at December 29, 2012 08:03 PM (zOP5o)

63
Talked with some locals here in Mexico. They have 3 funds that are supported by taxes: 2 for a form of social security and one that helps them save for a house. No one expects to see any of it and so they only carry the absolute minimum number of employees. They also have to pay their employees 40 hours a week regardless.

I am impressed by their willingness to work whatever menial and laborious job they can find.

Posted by: crotchetyoldjarhead at December 29, 2012 08:04 PM (ssWGZ)

64 @ 50 Dontcha love it when there's a weather situation, and "non essential" gov employees are told not to report. I'm going to start a biz and hire lots of non essential personnel.

Actually, they're not told "not to report," per say. They're told that non-essential employees can take unscheduled leave. That means they don't have to go to work, but it'll be charged against their annual leave balance. If they don't have any leave on the books it gets charged to them as "LWOP," or "Leave Without Pay." Basically, their pay gets docked. If they're employed under a "non-essential personnel" policy, it's with the understanding from day one that if they are told not to report to work for that day they won't get paid for it. Or, they can file for leave for that day to avoid having their pay docked. These systems wreak havoc on personnel offices as they really screw up creditable service days for retirement purposes.

Posted by: Manolo at December 29, 2012 08:04 PM (PttbO)

65 >>>12 @10 That's not true. I'm a CPA and I have a lot of federal employee clients I do retirement planning for. It largely depends on what your occupation is. Posted by: Manolo

Well, I'm a ex-municipal employee. I left after 12 years. It's easy to calculate what you would make when you retire and what health benefits you will receive. They bombard you with material and it is also online. It's the same for all the employees except for 3 branches - harbor, airport, and dwp, who have even a better pension plan. I could never understand why people there worked for so long -- it was pure greed.

Posted by: red at December 29, 2012 08:05 PM (ymJbM)

66
You guys scared all the girls away today.

Posted by: Soothsayer Riprock at December 29, 2012 08:06 PM (g5El3)

67 Need a question answered from the Moron horde. How come Facebook's server address comes from Ireland? AOS comes from the US. Just wondering.

Posted by: Samuel Adams at December 29, 2012 08:06 PM (ZOf1l)

68 Pointy elbow post up.

Posted by: Buzzsaw at December 29, 2012 08:07 PM (Y6HTt)

69 Promises, promises.

From pie in the sky

to a thumb in your eye

Posted by: seamrog at December 29, 2012 08:09 PM (BfGnU)

70 I am impressed by their willingness to work whatever menial and laborious job they can find.

Posted by: crotchetyoldjarhead at December 29, 2012 08:04 PM (ssWGZ)
As far as technology has come, and as great as our service base economy has been. You have to wonder if it hasn't made us a little weak and willing to give up some freedoms for comfort. Losing some valuable tools to survive on our own. It's a pretty deep topic and I'll leave that job to ace for a ten thousand word post.

Posted by: Adam Smith's Invisible Pimp Hand at December 29, 2012 08:10 PM (NzBQO)

71 Oops it just changed. Now it shows American.

Posted by: Samuel Adams at December 29, 2012 08:12 PM (ZOf1l)

72 If a city councilman had to personally co-sign on borrowing, and be on the loan for the life of the loan I'm sure there would suddenly be less need for borrowing.

Posted by: Whatev at December 29, 2012 08:13 PM (2t6Gz)

73 Are those experts from Russia, Franse (as spelt by TASS) and somewhere else in the lead link going to check Arafat for AIDS and a variety of hepatitis / hepatie-die?

Posted by: marc in calgary at December 29, 2012 08:15 PM (1Lgam)

74 Pointy elbow, not "pointy elbow" (aka tits)


Posted by: Al at December 29, 2012 08:15 PM (V70Uh)

75 @58 I thought the Federal retirement system changed in the 80s. My brother, retired with a nice pension, but no Social Security. His wife, opted for the very generous TSP (they matched contributions 2 for 1, in CASH!, not some companies worthless stock). She paid SS and gets it. She gets no pension. Over a million in the TSP though.

++++

I believe she may have gotten TSP Offset, not TSP There was no cash payout or matching contributions for the TSP when instituted. She might've gotten a retirement buyout and a payout for leave she accumulated. Under the old Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS, or the "Golden Handcuffs") unused leave and sick leave counted toward years of service. They paid no Social Security tax, so they don't get Social Security payments. Under TSP Offset the employee could move into the TSP program from the CSRS program and been paid for their accumulated leave. That was because TSP employees' leave did not count toward retirement (until the law changed this year, that is). Under TSP Offset a portion of her retirement fund would've gone to pay for the Social Security taxes she didn't pay. This enables her to collect SS retirement benefits. She was part of a very small number of federal employees whose retirement window allowed them the good fortune of being able to capitalize on this one-time effort by the federal government to move its employees over to a more fiscally responsible retirement system. Believe it or not, it was probably the only smart thing President Jimmy Carter ever did while he was in office (beside lusting after Jimmy Connor's wife!).

Posted by: Manolo at December 29, 2012 08:15 PM (PttbO)

76 65 >>>12 @10 That's not true. I'm a CPA and I have a lot of federal employee clients I do retirement planning for. It largely depends on what your occupation is. Posted by: Manolo

Well, I'm a ex-municipal employee. I left after 12 years. It's easy to calculate what you would make when you retire and what health benefits you will receive. They bombard you with material and it is also online. It's the same for all the employees except for 3 branches - harbor, airport, and dwp, who have even a better pension plan. I could never understand why people there worked for so long -- it was pure greed.

I agree that municipal officials lack the savvy, skill and integrity to emplace sound retirement plans. But let's not forget that these people are elected for giving people what they want, and this includes the unions that represent them.

I think most of them work for so long because they enjoy what they do and they look to the surety of having that retirement check. There are a lot of hard working government employees (just as there are a lot of "slugs," too). I believe a lot of federal, state and local employees work and stay with their respective employers because they sacrifice wage competition and job uncertainty for guaranteed percentage wage increases and a steady paycheck. I think most of them are terrified of having to figure out their own retirements, too.

Posted by: Manolo at December 29, 2012 08:23 PM (PttbO)

77 24% of federal workers are paid over 100K in salary per year.

The average federal employee is paid 81K in salary per year.

The average non government employee is paid 43K in salary per year.


One again, I play the worlds smallest violin for all of the federal workers.

Posted by: General Woundwort at December 29, 2012 08:40 PM (zOP5o)

78 @77

Are you using your **** as a bow?

...I kid, I kid.

Posted by: JDTAY at December 29, 2012 08:52 PM (a0nis)

79 @78

Dotage and flaccidity preclude me from that sort of ribald activity!


Posted by: General Woundwort at December 29, 2012 09:04 PM (zOP5o)

80 @ Manolo

If you ever have the pleasure of speaking with government employees of a certain stripe on-line they all claim that they could easily, EASILY!, make much more money in the private sector.

My suggestion is that they immediately do so, since they would help themselves, help the tax base, and help someone else who would gladly take their job.

The fact is that they do not because they would have to work far harder in the private sector, and results would be demanded.

Do you think if we privatized the State Dept. you could be in charge of consular security and NOT get fired?

Posted by: sexypig at December 30, 2012 12:42 AM (dZQh7)

81 Now of course some do work hard and maybe they could earn more in the private sector, but they would also take on more risk. However, most of them now earn more than their private sector counterparts, and have NO risk.

And if you go and show me that they earn less for a particular position, I say let's fire these guys and let them get better pay outside the government and bring in fresh blood.

Posted by: sexypig at December 30, 2012 12:45 AM (dZQh7)






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