John Seiler seems to think that State Senator Lou Correa is a communist. In an Orange PunchÂ postÂ yesterday he addressed what he called my â€œattackâ€ on Supervisor John Moorlach for his lies about Senator Correa, and the responsible parties for the current county budget shortfalls. From his commentary;
â€œâ€¦ a Stanford University study showed that, thanks to the profligacy of Lou â€œNorthâ€Correa and others, state and local government pension funds in California are $500 billion in the red.â€
For the benefit of those, like John Seiler, who may not actually know the definition of communism, here it is:
Communism is a social structure in which classes are abolished and property is commonly controlled, as well as a political philosophy and social movement that advocates and aims to create such a society.
So exactly what about pensions for public employees is communist? Well nothing, but that doesnâ€™t stop Seiler from trying to make a connection where there is none so that he can use the phrase Lou â€œNorthâ€Correa.
Seilerâ€™s little quip is not only grossly inaccurate, it is beyond offensive and I think the Orange County Register and Seiler owe the Senator an apology. Something tells me I shouldnâ€™t hold my breath.
In citing the Stanford study he fails to mention that Stanfordâ€™s Institute for Economic Policy Research policy brief â€œGoing For Broke: Reforming Californiaâ€™s Public Employee Pension Systemsâ€ relies on outdated data and methodologies out of sync with governmental accounting rules and actuarial standards of practice. CalPERS goes on to point out the details of the problems with the study in their response.
In anÂ obvious attempt to enrage readers about public employee pensions he talks about the collapse of the European economy with the acronym PIGS, which represents the countries of Portugal, Italy, Greece, and Spain.
And as to â€œthe sky is falling,â€ apparently Prevatt didnâ€™t notice that similar problems that are bankrupting the European PIGS: Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain. With England and Ireland next. And the Euro is collapsing.
Unfortunately Seiler is simply wrong in his comparison. Government pensions in the United States donâ€™t make up near the level of burden as they do on the government budgets of those countries. For example, Greece spends nearly 12 percent of its gross domestic product on pensions-compared to 6 percent in the United States. Seiler is essentially comparing apples and olives and has no idea what the difference is.
Seiler knows that the problems of our current economic climate are not due to public employees or their pensions. But the dishonest Mr. Seiler, like John Moorlach, would rather wrap the failed economic polices responsible in the cloak of public employee pensions. I guess it helps him to have a boogie man. Seiler also forgets to mention that Moorlachâ€™s â€œwarningâ€ in 1994 was based on Chriss Street whispering in his ear. Heâ€™s just not that clairvoyant.
Remember, Moorlach backed the 3% @ 50 benefit, before he was against it. So where was his warning then?