04/20/2018

News

Yes, Entitlements Are Driving the Long-Term Debt

Social Security and Medicare costs are rapidly rising due to the retirement of 74 million baby boomers into a system that already runs substantial per-person deficits. Today’s typical retiring couple has paid $140,000 into Medicare and will receive $420,000 in benefits (both adjusted into net present values). Most Social Security recipients also come out ahead. […]

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A debt crisis is coming. But don’t blame entitlements.

A group of distinguished economists from the Hoover Institution, a public-policy think tank at Stanford University, identifies a serious problem. The federal budget deficit is on track to exceed $1 trillion next year and get worse over time. Eventually, ever-rising debt and deficits will cause interest rates to rise, and the portion of tax revenue […]

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A debt crisis is on the horizon

Unless Congress acts to reduce federal budget deficits, the outstanding public debt will reach $20 trillion a scant five years from now, up from its current level of $15 trillion. That amounts to almost a quarter of million dollars for a family of four, more than twice the median household wealth. . . .As is […]

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CalPERS may join union foes of 401(k) option

A bill by state Sen. Steven Glazer, D-Orinda, giving new state workers the option new University of California workers received two years ago, a 401(k)-style plan rather than a pension, is opposed by unions and soon may be opposed by CalPERS. More than a third of eligible new UC employees have chosen a 401(k)-style plan. […]

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Southern California pay hits record highs as workers get more hours

Southern California’s weekly wages have hit record highs with old-fashioned help: workers getting extra work. The pay peaks were revealed in regional pay data from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis showing that local bosses are upping how long workers are on the clock as well as hourly pay. My trusty spreadsheet tells me […]

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San Francisco’s restaurant industry vets dish on dire hiring picture and skyrocketing costs

Labor now accounts for more than 30 percent of the average restaurateur’s business, and some operators have increased prices by about 8 percent to help combat the additional expenses.

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California owes $40 million in back wages to its judges. It’s refusing to pay them

Winning the case could save taxpayers tens of millions of dollars. But continuing to fight it carries an expensive risk, too. The state must pay 10 percent annual interest on the back wages and benefits, meaning the bill is climbing by $4 million a year as the case drags on at the 2nd District Court […]

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The Extreme Geographic Inequality of High-Tech Venture Capital

The Bay Area—that is, San Francisco and Silicon Valley—currently accounts for nearly 45 percent of total venture capital investment in the entire United States. And the Acela Corridor, spanning Boston, New York, and Washington, comprises another third. Together, these two geographic regions attract nearly three-quarters of America’s venture capital investment. And, just the five leading […]

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Some cities outsource their highest pension costs

Dozens of cities, many of them formed in recent decades, do not directly pay police and firefighter pension rates. They get their safety services though contracts with county sheriff departments and large fire districts. An example is Lake Forest, a community in Orange County formerly known as El Toro, which incorporated in 1991 and had […]

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Will the California Supreme Court Reform the “California Rule?”

Most pension experts believe that without additional reform, pension payments are destined to put an unsustainable burden on California’s state and local governments. Even if pension fund investments meet their performance objectives over the next several years, California’s major pension funds have already announced that payments required from participating agencies are going to roughly double […]

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Opinion: California’s city halls must take action on pensions

California’s pension problems are far from over. Even with the pension reforms of 2012, cities across the state will have to contend with mounting fiscal burdens for years to come, according to a League of California Cities report published earlier this year. In dollar amounts, city pension contributions are expected to grow by roughly 50 […]

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Number of San Diego city and county pensioners collecting $100k-plus continues to climb

New pension data show the number of San Diego city and county government retirees who were paid $100,000 or more in annual benefits continues to climb. More than 500 retired San Diego city employees collected six-figure pensions in 2017; San Diego County had even more big earners, with 811 pensioners above that threshold. Despite higher […]

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How pension costs clobbered one small city

In February, the Santa Cruz City Council unanimously declared a fiscal emergency, preparatory to placing a quarter-cent sales tax increase on the June ballot. Santa Cruz isn’t alone on that approach either. Throughout California, cities have taken, or are planning, sales tax increases. However, cities rarely cite pension costs as the specific reason for the […]

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CalPERS retirees are suddenly worried about their pensions. What happened?

CalPERS’ decision in late 2016 to slash pensions for four retirees from the tiny mountain town startled the state’s public workers so much that their confidence in the $354 billion fund began to plunge to its lowest level in five years. It showed in an annual survey conducted by the California Public Employees’ Retirement System […]

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Real average hourly earnings increased 0.4 percent from February 2017 to February 2018

From February 2017 to February 2018, real average hourly earnings increased 0.4 percent, seasonally adjusted. The increase in real average hourly earnings combined with a 0.3-percent increase in the average workweek resulted in a 0.6-percent increase in real average weekly earnings over the 12-month period.

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