An excellent article in the SF Weekly. Despite the fact that the SF Weekly carries advertising for pot clubs and massage parlors, it also produces the best reporting on the disaster that is San Francisco politics--far better than the San Francisco Chronicle. Needless to say, every single politician mentioned is a Democrat. Please remember this, Californians, when you see Gavin Newsom's name on the ballot for Lieutenant Governor.
Here are excerpts, with the link to the full article at the bottom.
Let it Bleed: The city is awash in red ink, thanks to billion-dollar benefit giveaways and our politicians' lack of will.
"'Infinite' is not a word you expect to find in a report on municipal spending. It's more of a science fiction–type term — Tremble, Earthling, before the infinite might of Galaxor! But there it was, in a recent report on San Francisco's finances: Spending on the city's employee retirement system in the past decade had grown at an "infinite" rate.
Naturally, that's an exaggeration. If you do the math, the city's retirement costs for employees in the past 10 years actually grew only 66,733 percent....
In fiscal year 1999-2000, the city spent about $300,000 on its retirement system. In fiscal year 2009-10, it was $200.5 million. Benefits alone — not salaries, just benefits — for current and retired employees this year are budgeted at $993 million. Spending on retirees' health care and pensions is conservatively projected to triple within five years. ...
This election cycle, the city's practiced mastery of procrastination and hand-wringing has been brought to the fore by Proposition B, a so-called pension reform measure that would require increases in pension and health care contributions from the city's workforce. Its author, Public Defender Jeff Adachi, admits that it doesn't come close to solving the fiscal nightmare. But even this baby step has been subjected to a coordinated assault. Unions have assembled a million-dollar war chest against it; the Democratic County Central Committee voted 29-0 to tell people to vote against it; every single elected official (besides Adachi) has gone on record opposing it — and Mayor Gavin Newsom has said publicly that, if it passes, he expects to find a way around it."
I wish I could write as cleverly as these guys:
"At a September hearing, Supervisor Carmen Chu repeatedly referred to a 4.5 percent return as the "worst-case scenario." Clearly, she has worked in government too long. When you invest, the "worst case" is that you lose money, not that you have 4.5 percent more of it than when you started."
"In San Francisco, when labor asks to change a twenty, it always gets back three fives and a ten."
"Not only is the fox guarding the henhouse, the fox has opened up a KFC franchise."
Read the whole thing.
Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney