Saturday, June 25, 2011

Tell Me Again Why California Needs to Raise taxes

To support the 1/3 of San Francisco’s municipal employees (9,478/27,000) who earn over $100,000 annually, not including healthcare and pensions. The average pay of municipal employees in San Francisco is $93,000. Almost 2,400 San Francisco retirees receive pensions of $75,000 or more.

To support the 30% (647 out of about 2,400) of fulltime Glendale public employees, who also earn over $100,000 annually, and the 45% of West Hollywood employees similarly compensated.

To help Glendale to continue to support a float in the Rose Parade.

To compensate the 16 California city manufacturers, of whom are in California, who earn over $300,000 annually. Bell is but the tip of the iceberg.

To cover the 13 Newport Beach lifeguards, who can recover at 50, who earn over $120,000 annually, with the top pay of $211,000. They only contribute 3.5% to their pensions.

To underwrite Heather Fong’s retirement as San Francisco Police Chief in 2009 at age 53. Her base salary was $187,875, but her retirement is $277,656 annually. She also cashed out her accumulated vacation time, sick leave, and comp time for $303,653.

To support the LAUSD part-time cafeteria workers who were granted full benefits 4 years ago. They now exceed $20 million annually while the LAUSD cafeteria budget is now $20 million in the hole. The workers pay no premiums for their health care’

To fund the newly approved prison guards contract, which lifts the 80 day cap on accrued vacatin days, let the guards cash in all the days at their final pay scale, and provide 12 paid days off over the next 2 years.

To let the legislators retain their automobile allowances.

To support the $3 million annual allowance (slush fund) each of the 5 Los Angeles County Supervisors receives.

To fund the propose rail from nowhere to nowhere. Alaska may have had the $400 million Bridge to Nowhere, but California has the $43-61 billion rail from nowhere to nowhere. The voters approved in 2008 a $9 billion bond to fund a high speed train from San Francisco to Los Angeles. The initial 45 mile stage will be laid in the Central Valley at a cost of $4.15 billion from the unincorporated Borden to Corcoran, with a total population of 25,000 between them. The train will not then run though until more miles are laid.

To allow CalTrans continue to pay up to $171,000 for roof repairs on dilapidated houses it had acquired years ago for freeways never built.

To compensate the 36 University of California administrators who are threatening to sue, alleging they are entitled to higher pensions

To cover the 870,000 Californians who fled the state.

So that Assemblyman Mike Gatto will not have to explain to his wife and daughter that they can't pay their bills because a politician was grandstanding.

I do not begrudge the municipal employees who earn what they did. Rather they negotiated the contracts personally, or through a union, it was the shortsightedness of mayors, supervisors, and councilmen who awarded these benefits. However, these compensation and benefits packages are no longer sustainable.

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