Public Sector Pensions are a Ticking Time Bomb

from IBD:

Bankrupt Public-Employee Pensions: The Next Big Financial Crisis?

As the media relentlessly focus on the federal government’s burgeoning debt, a new report says that states face their own ticking debt bomb: the exploding liabilities for lavish state and local public-employee pensions. Reform won’t be easy, but there is no choice.

A new report by the Pew Charitable Trusts shows that the problem is getting out of hand. In 2016, the most recent full year for which data are available, states were more than $1.4 trillion in the red. Pension debt has increased for 15 straight years, and shows no signs of abating.

Indeed, as Reason blogger Eric Boehm notes, “The really scary part is that pension debt keeps increasing despite the fact that taxpayers’ contributions to state-level pension plans have doubled as a share of state revenue in the past decade.” read more

Merit Based Marketplace Coming to the Public Sector?

from the Maven:

Cushy Government Job? Not Anymore

The concept of performance management is coming to the public sector and that is wonderful.

At the end of 2017, there were 16,000 fewer federal employees. The President has been vocal about reducing the size of the federal workforce and it appears some agency heads are taking it seriously and not filling vacant positions. An analysis done by Reason asserts we would need similar cuts for the next nine years to reach pre-Obama employment levels, but we are headed in the right direction.

Now it seems the administration is poised to make even more drastic changes to the civil service workforce. According to the Washington Examiner proposals are being made to make public sector employment look a lot more like how employees are managed in the private sector. read more

WND Exclusive -Accountability for Sexcapades: Only in Private Sector

Scandals involving every sort of impropriety have been blowing up over the last year. Virtually all of them involve Hollywood and Washington, D.C.

This year has shaped up, like no other, to be the year of the scandal. I wonder if the Chinese could, at this late date, retroactively change 2017 from the Year of the Rooster, to the Year of the Scandal? It’s probably too late. However, the way things are shaping up, 2018 will likely bring more of the same.

A woman called into Rush Limbaugh’s national radio program Thursday to discuss the topic of scandals. But it wasn’t just regarding the scandals themselves, but the response to them. read more

So a Priest, a Minister and a Rabbi…

Who did build that business, then, Mr. President?

by: Vincent Carroll

Let’s be honest: If the nearest priest, minister or rabbi had uttered essentially the same words about personal merit that got President Obama in trouble recently, we’d have hardly thought twice about it.

Reminding high-achievers that they didn’t make it on their own — that they’re not necessarily any smarter or more hard-working than lots of other folks — is a time-honored means of cultivating the virtues of gratitude and humility, not to mention a sense of realism.

But Obama is not a priest, minister or rabbi. He’s a man with his hand on the tiller of economic policy, and his attitude toward entrepreneurs, innovators and business owners in general is of major importance. So when he says, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that,” it tends to grab public attention — despite the creative claims of his campaign to portray his remarks as merely indicating that business owners hadn’t built “roads and bridges.”

Sorry to his campaign, but that’s not what he said. He said they didn’t build their businesses, while deprecating their savvy and hard work as the engines of success.

Now it’s true, as the MaddowBlog quickly pointed out, that Mitt Romney himself made much the same point when he said “a lot of people help you in a business. Perhaps the banks, the investors. There’s no question your mom and dad. Your school teachers. The people that provide roads, the fire, and the police. A lot of people help.”

What Romney did not say, though, was “you didn’t build” your business — and even if he had, there are two big differences between Romney saying it and the president.

First, we know Romney believes in an entrepreneurial culture. He’s lived it. And he extols free enterprise all the time as the foundation of prosperity.

By contrast, Obama’s background is bereft of any significant first-hand experience that might foster respect or sympathy for business owners. To the contrary, he hails from occupational niches — community activism, academia and politics — in which disdain for commerce is quite widespread.

Of course, you can be a law professor or a politician who bucks the ideological tide. Far more telling is that Obama for years has been making similar statements that suggest a decidedly low regard for commerce and the motives of those who flourish within the private sector.

One of these revealing moments occurred four years ago during his commencement address at Wesleyan University, when he exhorted graduates to take up community service. That’s a worthy theme, of course, but consider how he did it.

“There’s no community service requirement in the real world; no one forcing you to care,” he said. “You can take your diploma, walk off this stage, and chase only after the big house and the nice suits and all the other things that our money culture says you should buy. You can choose to narrow your concerns and live your life in a way that tries to keep your story separate from America’s. But I hope you don’t.”

Several times elsewhere in his speech, Obama cited public sector jobs as examples of meaningful work. The candidate basically offered graduates the following choice: meaningful work in the non-profit and public sectors, on the one hand, or money-grubbing that chases big houses and nice suits. To call this a caricature would be kind.

This nation is engaged in a decisive debate about how to revive an economy mired in slow growth and meager job creati0n, so naturally we pay attention to a candidate’s views of how the economy works. If Obama wants critics to stop saying he’s disdainful of business, maybe he should stop providing them with evidence for the charge.