Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Some say a mighty enough earthquake on the San Andreas Fault could dump much of the California coast into the Pacific Ocean. Could the state’s perilous public employee pension problems cause even worse damage?

State and local governments in the Golden State have underfunded their golden-parachute pension promises by a terrifying half-a-trillion dollars, with an incredible 20,000 public employees currently receiving yearly pensions of $100,000 or more.

In Ventura County, north of Los Angeles, the problem was highlighted last fall when a retired sheriff, Robert Brooks, sued the county claiming he was owed an additional $75,000 a year. On top of his already substantial $283,000 annual pension, which is a whopping $55,000 more than Brooks’ highest-ever salary.

In the last 15 years, pension costs as a percentage of the county’s budget have shot up an incredible 1,600 percent.

What can an outraged citizen do?

Take the initiative! On Wednesday, a group of men and women in beautiful Ventura County brought officials over 40,000 voter signatures demanding a vote on reform.

The people “made it clear they want a decisive say in their fiscal future,” said co-chairs David Grau and Dick Thomson, standing with other volunteers.

The ballot initiative proposed by the Committee for Pension Fairness would create a 401k-style retirement plan for new county employees. An independent analysis of the measure says it will create enough savings to shore up the woefully underfunded pensions of current employees and retirees.

“People are so excited that finally somebody is going to do something about this problem,” says the Ventura County Taxpayers Association’s Jim McDermott.

You can’t keep a good citizenry down.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. Rick says:

    Yep. One of the top 5 problems for the taxpayer going forward. does a good job covering it.

    Politicians get to vote on their own pensions. How screwed up is that? Mish thinks there will still be 100s of municipal bankruptcies because of pension obligations.

  2. JFB says:

    Wow, and I thought Detroit was in bad shape.
    Deferred payments, borrowing from the future to spend in the present is the among the most common reasons for the decline and withering of civilizations in history.
    The US, the States and their political subdivisions, as usual, have undertaken the practice as if on steroids, and with no thought of tomorrow (or at least past the next election cycle).
    As for retired Sheriff Brooks, he would make Price John and his predecessor from Nottingham proud. Are the petitioners lead by Robin?

  3. Karen says:

    Paul, you could do column every day for the next year, on the fiscal stupidity of the CA electorate. I guess you’d have to say that the majority of the voters (& a stunningly small amount of the eligible pop actually votes) are clueless. They give these bureaucrats a blank check @ every turn. This is why we are taxed through the roof. I am not a 1%er, just a mid-class gal. However, I’m taxed like the rich, just to live in this beautiful state.
    It warms my heart that the good, sane people of Ventura, have taken a stand! God bless & good luck. & as far as Mr. Brooks is concerned, I hope his retirement is short & sweet.

  4. JATR says:

    Still sympathetic with Cliven Bundy, Paul? I’m waiting for your repudiation of your stupid support for this Sovereign Citizen. He is much more akin to Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols–two upstanding Sovereign Citizens–than to an oppressed citizen. He doesn’t even acknowledge the existence of the United States.

    Are you gutless also?

  5. Karen says:

    JATR,I think that is a grossly inappropriate comment to make on this site. Paul, like many Americans, didn’t have all the facts when they supported Cliven Bundy. I never supported him. But I disapproved of the disproportionate force used by the Feds. There was no reason to KILL COWS. Cows were grazing, unaware that their owner was a breaking the law. I don’t think Paul needs to apologize to you or anyone. I think your rude rant deserves apology.

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