Powered by Max Banner Ads
According to a fairly intelligent man named Albert Einstein, “Insanity” is defined as doing something over and over again and expecting different results; I’m not certain what inspired Albert Einstein to come up with that definition but maybe he saw the future, for example all the loony actions (and inactions) of the Irvine City Council. Time and again, the Council has reverted to its world-famous “Ostrich’s head in the sand” act when it comes to facing the ever-ballooning cost of public employee pensions.
However, one member, Mayor pro-tem Jeff Lalloway, recently issued a memorandum to the Council and his minions, explaining the reasoning behind his decision not to ratify the latest generous proposed employee contracts while also urging his fellow council members to follow suit. Given all the bickering with his minions, his appeal will probably fall on deaf ears.
Granted, it can be tough to scan through a Jeff Lalloway letter – having survived one, I recommend a strong pot of coffee on the side. There’s a lot of Jeff’s political babble to dig through, including his patronizing “I have the utmost respect and regard for all of those who work for the city.” Sort of like the way movie mobsters pre-empt put-downs with “No disrespect intended, but you’re a real pain in my #/%@!”
Admittedly Lalloway makes some very good points here: the rising burden of paying for generous public pensions is simply too much to ignore any longer and something needs to be done, whether it be cutting the workforce, cutting future pension agreements, or raising taxes, which, let’s be honest, are already ridiculous enough, let’s be honest. He makes mention of past “smoke-and-mirror” tactics used by the Council to give the appearance of doing something about the problem, one being where employees agreed to fund a higher percentage of pensions themselves, only to receive a raise as compensation… which will in turn drive up future pension costs!!! My head hurts.
The only real drawback to Lalloway’s essentially sensible memo was that he didn’t deliver these words in person… maybe one of his diminishing flock of followers needed babysitting. I wonder how many members of the council bothered to even read the document, since it doesn’t seem they’re fond of bothering to do ANYTHING.
Ultimately city employee pensions need to come down to earth – during this current recession, private-sector benefits have virtually become a relic of the past and compensation has struggled to stay level; meanwhile, public-sector pay and benefits have continued to intensify and spiral out of control like a tsunami! Now I’m not a left-of-center progressive bloviating that everyone needs to suffer equally… It would just be nice if the City Council one day shook hands with Mr. Common Sense, or at least sent him a Facebook friend request! Look at it this way… you keep making the same amount of money (tax revenue)… you keep spending more and more money (enough to keep public retirees rolling in liniment and slot-machine pulls until they’re 250)… how is the city not going to go bankrupt?
Of course, you could just keep borrowing and borrowing, delaying that burden further into the future but you know what that makes you? Really detrimental to our kids future! Let’s put it another way… you want to buy a bunch of brand-new BMW’s for all your friends but can’t afford it… so you accept the dealer’s crazy offer to place the charges on your 8-year old son’s future credit card! Sure, Junior will be able to afford it… as long as he gets a public-sector job, since private-sector jobs (jobs where revenue is actually created, believe it or not) will likely have fallen into extinction from exhaustion.