Well, it feels weird to be linking directly to that Bible of left-liberalism, the New York Times, but it’s the only place this story appears right now:
As San Francisco struggles under ballooning pension and health care costs, the city’s retirees will receive unexpected cost-of-living bonuses totaling $170 million. The city’s anticipated budget deficit for the coming year is $360 million.
A political battle has raged over the city’s growing retirement obligations. In November, Proposition B, which would have required city workers to contribute more toward their pensions and benefits, was soundly defeated. The measure’s opponents — every major elected official and energetic public-employee unions — said fears about the pension fund were overblown.
Meanwhile, the fund’s fundamentals deteriorated as it gradually accounted for its huge losses in the stock market crash. It took in $414 million in contributions in 2010 but paid out $819 million.
On Jan. 4, an actuarial firm reported that the $13.1 billion San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System now had an unfunded liability of $1.6 billion — triple its shortfall a year earlier. Gary A. Amelio, the system’s chief since January 2010, did not respond to questions.
In spite of the shortfall, Mr. Amelio and the system’s board quietly decreed in mid-December that “excess” earnings on investments in 2010 entitled retirees to an unexpected cost-of-living increase of as much as 3.5 percent this year. The special $170 million bonus is in excess of regular cost-of-living adjustments, or COLAs.
Is it any wonder the city–and the state–are drowning in debt when the “leadership” is making financial decisions like this?
What, do they think some leprechaun is gonna show them the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and their budget shortfall will magically disappear?
I’d say these nitwits need to be voted out, but knowing San Francisco (I grew up about an hour’s drive south of the City by the Bay), it probably won’t happen.