Monday, January 14, 2013

Dems hold PERS presser tomorrow

The Mississippi Democratic Party issued the following announcement:

Jackson, MS- Democratic members of the Mississippi Legislature will hold a press conference on Tuesday to announce their opposition to any proposal to freeze or eliminate Cost of Living Adjustments (sometime referred to as the “13th check”) for members of the Public Employees Retirement System.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
11:00 a.m.
2nd floor State Capitol


Anonymous said...

Long live the status quo of Donkeycratic failure!

Shadowfax said...

Not to worry. Kingfish has already assured all Impact contract holders that their contract is safe. I'm sure he'll offer the same assurances for PERS retirees.

Anonymous said...

Talk about lawsuits.

Anonymous said...

Please elaborate on the difference between MPACT’s and PERS’s contract with the state. In a previous comment kingfish stated that, "You’re fine. They have to honor contracts already signed.” This was a response to a poster worried about his 2 MPACT contracts with the state.

clintonrebel said...

I'm as conservative as they come, but I am totally against the state breaking a contract with people who have served 10, 20, or more years. Its simply not legal or ethical.

Anonymous said...

I see the PERS nuts are back.

Phase out PERS!

Anonymous said...

Hey, 1:18, I, too, am against breaking a promise. Government, like anything or anyone else, shoud honor its promises. But, I think we all need to look very hard at what was promised. Some of this was implemented as policy and it really wasn't promised that it couldn't be changed. From my experience, people make a lot of assumptions about things being "promised" because some co-worker or shift supervisor tells them it is promised. And often that isn't true.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Rickey Cole will request inclusion into the PERS retirement system since he is a "son of the Mississippi soil", and by all rightful means, should be the state Agriculture Commissioner!!!

Rickey Cole ‏ @RickeyCole

Katherine and Sonny's Poppa, Politico, Son of the Mississippi Soil, Democrat

Anonymous said...

We can only be so lucky that the policy juggernaut Brandon Waterboy Jones is involved. Why he hasn't declared a run for Governor yet is mystifying.

Anonymous said...

The previous Governor's study group proposals are needed to strengthen the program. Inflation must be factored into pension programs but not in a way that bankrupts the whole system. The President's inflation calculations reflect the reasonable adjustments proposed by Barbour's study group. The state should act now to fix PERS for future state pensioners.

Shadowfax said...

2:09; Are you serious about your post? Are you really so ignorant as to think the contractual obligations of the state as relates to PERS would be based on something a shift supervisor said to a subordinate?

You may not know this, but an official employee handbook AND a PERS handbook distributed to thousands of employees over the years and the agreements entered into at the time of retirement are CONTRACTS. Not to mention that legislative action, codified is far from supervisory chit chat.

We can all agree that this and many other literal PONZI schemes are in precarious situations; however, any first year law student can identify a contract when he sees one.

KaptKangaroo said...

Look, no one is advising taking away from those under contract.

What has been proposed and discussed is "closing" the program to future recipients and realigning reality with facts.

Continuing to pay for benefits of NEW (lets read tonight if we are going to discuss this - I said NEW) government employees while stripping the taxpayer funding to fund those benefits because the obligations are growing exponentially while the economy limps along or worse runs down the drain is insanity. Not to mention the tax coffers are drying up in areas where we are in a real state of making some tough decisions. For once, I would like to see someone show some leadership and attempt, just attempt, to get to a solution. Haley started a dialogue, since then, the rest hide their heads in the sand.

Don't give me talking points of a promise is a promise and contract is contract. The proposals have NOTHING to do with current obligations, the solution lies in future participants and the solvency of the current recipients. To fight against rational thinking in this manner is NOT in the best interest of current/future PERS recipients b/c unfunded liability or liability rules can force new legislation to ensure the solvency (ie. age changes or other limitations on access to benefits will be enacted). I think I heard that Social Security is a contract too?

Maybe you guys could get Madoof to be the posterboy; I heard he's real cheap.

Shadowfax said...

Kangaroo; Just to bring you current:

The current Senate Draft Bill includes the following:

Changes number of board members from 10 to 17 giving the governor 3 additional and the Lt Governor 4 additional. With at least one of these additional appointees (for each) "having private sector financial experience" (bank teller?)

Changes vesting back to four years in order to protect legislators.

Ammends service retirement back to four years at age 65.

Ammends Miss. Code Ann. ss 25-11-112 as follows:

Freezes COLA for three years and ties COLA to SPI not to exceed 3%.

Provides that any active member after July 1, 2013 will not receive COLA until age 62.

Provides for suspension of COLA is funding falls below 70%.

Closes SLRP retro to 1/1/11 with refunds of contributions for those elected on or after that date.

Repeals requirement that the Board establish healthcare plan for retirees when plan reaches a certain funding level.

Anonymous said...

State needs for higher education are mismatched with the outlays. We don't need eight colleges and the heavy patronage that comes with them. Reducing academic programs will not solve it. Combining colleges and eliminating the Jackson bureau, IHL, should be at least discussed by our political leaders. PERS numbers will improve when the overall state head count is reduced.

KaptKangaroo said...

It is a start.

Anonymous said...

Requiring expertise is one thing but jacking up the number of board members won't solve anything.

PERS participants better resolve themselves ASAP to be part of an aggressive solution that places the plan on a sustainable long term footing now because if they don't I guarantee that they won't like the draconian fixes it will take later.

There is only so much blood that can be squeezed out of taxpaying Mississippi. The number of hands grabbing for the $$$ is many and growing.

If the PERSers refuse to read the writing on the wall then please don't blame the rest of Mississippi for agony you'll have to endure later.

PERS is unsustainable without reform.

clintonrebel said... want to save the state some money, cut positions. We are too focused on the cost of the PERS benefit, which is about 15% of salary. How about the 100% of salary of a FTE?

Shadowfax said...

8:33. Are you deluded? You talk as if PERS members have some say in the matter. Members didn't have any say over the past forty years when various governors and legislatures jacked around with the system and they have none now. Although the Senate draft is dead before it gasps the first breath, you'll notice they took care of themselves first. Naturally.

And, as I read the English language 'having private sector financial experience' is not the equivalent of expertise. All it means is the Gov and Light Gov have 3 and 4 respective opportunities at patronage appointments and control.

Frankly, snatching the contractual COLA away from those currently retired is the equivalent of the Feds telling those who muster out of the service, "We were just kidding about sending you to college".

Anonymous said...

If possible, could someone (Goverment official, PERS participant, disinterested third party, Shawdowfax) post a copy of the/their contract with the State regarding the PERS program and the 13th check?


Anonymous said...

JJ, can you start a Tom Miles for PERS board campaign?

Shadowfax said...

One only needs the ability to Google in order to find the current online PERS Handbook. Keep in mind that an Employee Handbook is a contract. Also remember this is only the 'current' handbook. The courts (if it's pushed that far) will require that the version of the handbook in existence at the time each retiree retired be produced by the government and that each plaintiff's retirement paperwork (contract)be produced. Interesting at minimum.

Kingfish said...

That is why I advocate doing what the Democrats want, which is nothing. Let the deficit grow. Let the funding level continue to fall.

Then when it gets down to the forties or thirties, then the real shrieking will start when they realize they can't raise taxes enough or get the legislature to appropriate enough money to cover the difference. It will be fun to watch. Sometimes I am all for giving someone what he wants.

Shadowfax said...

But, by then, Kingfish, you will probably do an end-around like you just did with Impact and show how well it's performing comparatively.

You might also keep in mind that systems such as these that hit rough spots are not democrat or republican issues. Why do you wish to make it appear that they are?

Most everyone wants to see all of these systems either self-correct or be studied. It's really nonsense to portray it as state employees against taxpayers, democrats versus republicans or blog readers against numbskulls. And it's utter nonsense for some to suggest merely 'scrapping' the whole system. That's the nutcase equivalent of 'vote against all office holders'.

Anonymous said...

Thank you SF for the effort. An interesting read. But, I'm not sure that this handbook as it were represents a contract rather than an interpretation of law. Good luck with that.


Anonymous said...

How does it self-correct Shadow? Please be specific because the only corrections I see taking place so far is increasing contributions from taxpayers. So spell out the parameters of a self-correction.

Shadowfax said...

If you're not an employment law attorney, you ought to consult one before rendering your legal opinion. "As it were", indeed.

Anonymous said...

Gee SF, I said "I'm not sure", LOL. Is that what you are (a employment law attorney) because I currently seem to be in need of a good one. If you are then you should relish the coming apocalypse when the state changes the law to recalibrate you (potential) clients retirement appropriation. But pray tell me more, nay educated me as to the finer governing points of employment law. It won't hurt my feelings. As for opinions, I reserve my right to opine on matters of the heart, law or weather when ever and how ever I am so moved, be they informed, cogent, professional or not. My opinions are mine and mine alone. They are indeed worth what is paid for them. Feel free to skip over any time you see my moniker.


Anonymous said...

Cuts, cuts, cuts all from party of no ideas.

Raising taxes would help, whats an extra $1 at Wal-mart?

That isnt popular, so how about we get some ideas about raising revenue?

Get Phil out of womens healthcare and explain to him what is going on in his state.

Why do companies pass on Mississippi? Could it be our kids are too stupid to figure out complex jobs?

Why is the Louisiana film industry so much more successful than ours?

Since we dont mind going against the government when a democrat is office, how about we look at legalizing weed?

Its the future and sooner or later a southern state will do it and laugh all the way to the bank.

No, instead we must remove benefits from one of the few jobs you can actually get in this state that doesnt involve food perperation.

That and closing the "abortion clinic" will surely bring us out of last place.

KaptKangaroo said...

In re:January 15, 2013 at 1:10 PM

"Party of no ideas"? That had me scratching my head. There have been a plethora of ideas presented here, unfortunately the best the donkeys can muster is "its a contract". Contracts were made to be broken. Go read the fine print.

And spare us your OT diatribes.

PS Don't waste your dollar on saving PERS. Let the retiree's deal with it.

PSS Donate that dollar to JJ. It is at least a worthwhile endeavor.

KaptKangaroo said...

Oh and January 15, 2013 at 1:10 PM, if I didn't know any better, you appear to be "perpetrating" a hamburger.

Shadowfax said...

My apologies, Jawbreaker, if I misread you. I took you to be lambasting me for my opinion re an annually issued handbook being a contract. That's only my opinion. I've heard it from a multitude of labor law attorneys however. Let those guys sort it out.

I still fail to see why people like Kangaroo and Hizonner Kingfish would rather see the ship hit the rocks and the system be damned. Makes no sense. But, that's what top-row bleacher-sitters with pea shooters do best. They actually want to see trains wreck and ships hit the rocks.

As to Kangaroo's ongoing attempt to separate this discussion by party, hogwash. It's by no means only 'donkeycrats' who recognize a contractual obligation when one is obvious. I'm really surprised he's so hollow-headed as to let the reality escape him. But, he DID manage to use 'plethora' in a sentence of sorts.

KaptKangaroo said...

My comment about a donkey wasn't referencing a political party - it was pointing out a jackass.

Anonymous said...

Apology accepted SF. Back to the nub. So, are you a disinterested rabble-rousing third party, a soon to be middle-aged retired member of the international amalgamated brotherhood of state minions or just a flummoxed freedom-fighter taxpayer? Are you looking from the inside or from the outside? What solutions do you bring to the fishbowl? Tell me why the state can not change the rules of the game for all who have yet to retire. Share and share alike.
Perspective is providence of the surveyor.


Anonymous said...

Modern industrial states are managed economies with a bureaucracy mainly comprised of lawyers and civil servants. The difficulty with the American model is the 30-40% of earnings that states and local governments take for their maintenance. States nor smaller political divisions are rational entities. If we had 20 to 30 states and each state had as many smaller political subdivisions we would have a right-sized government with freed up capitalist space. PERS is a symptom of illogical political units and poorly conceived political economy.

KaptKangaroo said...

Wow. Heady stuff 8:37PM and correct.

Shadowfax said...

I'm not sure how 'heady' it is to suggest that American bureaucracy is composed primarily of lawyers and civil servants.

The very definition of bureacracy is 'government divisions, administration and subdivisions'. Should we be surprised to discover that the employees are 'civil servants' (those employment in government service)?

That some of them are lawyers is a reflection of the political process of running for office and being elected, not a social dynamic. Very damned few of them are attorneys, however.

It seems to me that a lot of the conversation revolves around the attack and minimization of the folks who have pursued civil service jobs as 30 and 40 year careers. They live up and down every street in every neighborhood and don't typically sit behind a desk in a Jackson high-rise. A small percentage of them live or work or are employed in Jackson.

They teach your kids and manage your traffic flow when red lights malfunction at midnight. They hand you your car tag and stand in the rain at your schools so you won't run over someone's child. They work in the school cafeteria and paint stripes on our roads.

They're neck-deep in a ditch in the snow, repairing a busted pipe. They're executing a warrant at one o'clock in the morning not knowing how many assault rifles are on the other side of the door. They're running in the mud behind a bloodhound tracking a Parchman escapee somewhere near a woman's house in the Delta. They're not your enemies.

They're arresting the redneck who poaches or headlights deer and sells game-fish who would slit his throat rather than be caught. They spread gravel and salt on the Spillway road when they aren't repetitively filling potholes at barely over minimum wage. Today they're hoping to get near the fire-barrell full of two-by-fours if and when they get a break.

Some of these 'enemies of the taxpayer' come home and can't wash off the stink or grease or tar so they go to bed with it and wake up with it. Some of them type all day and take paperwork home at night to finish it.

They get up and go to work every day, year after year and rarely stand around drinking beer out of a paper sack in 'Anytown, Mississippi'. Very damned few of them make great wages and over half of them don't have college educations or attend casino retreats or have savings accounts or rainy-day funds.

Again, for those of you who think the villain here is the state employee ~ The discussion is about how to address a system that might need tweaking for those who enter that system later or retire from it later. It's not about putting down or minimizing thousands of good neighbors, TAXPAYERS or career employees. And don't forget; they pay the same state and federal taxes you and I pay.

KaptKangaroo said...

I say let it go into default. That will force discipline and I think it voids the notion of a contract. At that point, the overpriced retirement system will have participants begging for changes to shore it up.

Shadowfax said...

"Let them eat porridge". Thank God this guy isn't in a position of decision-making that actually affects anybody.

By the way, what's 'overpaid' about an $19,250 pension with no insurance after 35-40 years of work seein' as how almost half of it was paid in by the employee anyway?

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