Day of reckoning approaches for California pension system

My latest for CAIVN

At least 75 cities, counties, and public entities in California are considering cutting public pension benefits as well as raising the amount employees must contribute. Four localities, including San Francisco, will probably have pension-related ballot initiatives in November.

When San Francisco has such an initiative and it is supported by Matt Gonzalez, former chair of the Board of Supervisors and prominent Green and progressive, well, the times they are a ‘changing indeed’. American Leftist, a hard left blog, says Gonzalez has gone over to the dark side, and made a deal with business interests against the needs of workers. Could be, I suppose.

But, maybe Gonzalez realizes the painful truth. Municipalities are going broke due to the recession while simultaneously having to spend ever more on public pensions. It’s not sustainable. The money just isn’t there. Either municipalities, including San Francisco, do something about escalating pension costs or bankruptcy a few years down the line becomes a real possibility.

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