If you have not read or heard anything about California’s unfunded public employee pension crisis, you’ve probably been living under a rock or, like union bosses and too many members of the state Legislature, the governor’s office and local elected officials, you are happily in denial.
Tensions are mounting too as pension deniers or pension reform “obstructionists, as Mercury News writer Daniel Borenstein called them, are attempting to publicly shame those of us pointing out that pension liabilities could bankrupt California without serious reform.
Borenstein is joining CalWatchdog contributor Steven Greenhut and David Crane, a former California State Teachers Retirement System board member, and me for a panel on pension reform in San Francisco on Thursday.The unions have already gone on the attack about the event.
“Spotting my scheduled appearance on an upcoming conservative think-tank panel to discuss public-employee pensions, union spokesman Steve Maviglio went into Twitter attack mode last week,” Borenstein wrote for the Mercury News.
“@stevenmaviglio branded me a ‘pension basher’ and called my ethics into question. His sad attempt to divert the debate badly mischaracterizes my position and further undermines serious discussion of a complex issue.”
Fortunately as unions get louder so do the cries from taxpayers and advocacy organizations.
Christina Tobin, Founder and Chair of Free and Equal Elections Foundation and Vice-President of Taxpayers United of America, this week has been holding press conferences in California cities to draw increased attention to California’s pension crisis, including a planned event in Fresno on Wednesday and San Francisco on Thursday (in the morning before the reform panel).
Instead of denying the flood of economic problems looming because of pensions, it’s time to face the facts and fix the problem.