In his commentary on the Orange Punch Blog Steven Greenhut slams the Board of Supervisors, in particular Supervisors Campbell and Silva, for the newly negotiated general salary increase for County employees. In his zeal to oppose the increase he manipulates an email from Orange County EmployeeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Association General Manager, Nick Berardino to make it look like Nick is claiming that in addition to getting a 4.75% general increase that: County employees will not Ã¢â‚¬Å“pay any significant amount to make up for the enormous pension deficit, even though they promised the county their retirement spike wouldn’t cost the county anything.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The Consumer Price Index (CPI), a generally accepted measure of the cost of living, has risen 12.8% since July 2004. The last raise the County employees we are talking about got was in July 2003. Even Greenhut should be able to do the math on this one; but IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll do it for him just in case. This one-year salary increase amounts to 37% of the increase in the CPI since 2004. And that doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t even count the additional amounts County employees are paying to offset the costs of the retirement plan enhancements of 2004.
Steven Greenhut and the other Moorlach Ã¢â‚¬Å“AcolytesÃ¢â‚¬Â over at the OC Blog have been drinking way too much of Ã¢â‚¬Å“MoorlachÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Moonshine Kool-Aid.Ã¢â‚¬Â The claims that County employees are overpaid and that the 2004 retirement benefit enhancements are a giveaway to county employees are simply FALSE.
The Orange County EmployeeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Retirement System (OCERS) says on their website Paying for Recently Changed Benefits Ã¢â‚¬Å“Before employers adopted a new formula for general employees OCERSÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ actuary developed an estimate of the cost for the new benefit. Required contributions must take into account the additional liability. Under the new formula County employeesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ contributions are increased to pay most of the additional cost directly. County employees agreed to adjust other items, such as medical insurance, to cover additional cost.Ã¢â‚¬Â
So exactly what are Steven Greenhut and the other Ã¢â‚¬Å“Kool-AidÃ¢â‚¬Â drinkers talking about? The answer is nothing, theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re Ã¢â‚¬Å“shiningÃ¢â‚¬Â us on. Despite all their claims, posturing, and grandstanding, their cries that the Board of Supervisors have caved in to the highly paid and pensioned government workers are nothing more than fear tactics employed to make people think the Boogey Man is coming. These fear mongers preach doom, gloom, and bankruptcy at the hands of greedy union bosses who are hell bent on destroying the County by providing out of line benefits to county workers.
Greenhut closes his post by quoting again from BerardinoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s email adding his usual sarcastic twist: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Nick signs his email with his usual silliness, Ã¢â‚¬ËœIn Solidarity,Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ as if highly paid and pensioned government workers are the equivalent of downtrodden coal miners from a century ago.Ã¢â‚¬Â
If Steven Greenhut had his way public employees would be worse off than the coal miners from a century ago.
Last month I issued a challenge to Moorlach and his drones to back up their claims of doom and gloom with some facts. They havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t yet and I doubt they will since they have nothing.
I will stand, Ã¢â‚¬Å“In Solidarity,Ã¢â‚¬Â with my public employee brothers and sisters in the full light of reality and remember these wordsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Three things cannot be long hidden: