Voters favor public pension reform

December 7, 2011

By a slim majority, California voters tilt in favor of Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to reduce public pensions. [Field Poll]

The governor’s 12-point plan introduced last month has gained the favor of 51 percent of those polled, said Mark DiCamillo, who directed the latest survey.

Those same voters also told pollsters that they consider public pensions “too generous’ (46 percent) compared to 35 percent who think those pensions are “just about right.”

DiCamillo said the voters have indicated that Brown’s plan “strikes about the right balance.”

Those proposals contain less generous state and local benefit plans for new employees and raises the retirement age for many individuals.

A large majority, 64 percent, wanted pension rollbacks to affect even current recipients. This was not part of Brown’s plan, however, and such a proposal could encounter stiff legal barriers.



  1. sloweb says:

    In our country, Govt employees have turned into a case of the tail wagging the dog. Govt workers no longer work for the people, we now work for them and we now have little or no control over the situation. This poll, and it’s eventual outcome demonstrates that. Nearly 2/3’s of those polled want cost roll backs. Do you think that will happen? Or even put forth to consider? Not a chance!

    It will only get worse until there is a giant reboot of the system, Like history shows has happened to all great societies. We have just been on a fast track.

    (1) 11 Total Votes - 6 up - 5 down
  2. sloweb says:

    And why can’t you roll back ill gotten gains in pensions and benefits? Over the last decade they were rolled “forward” without our approval! It is never too late to fix mistakes. And with the ramifications of disproportionately high pensions and benefits now obvious even to the blind, no one can deny that they helped send our state into the dismal state of affairs that we are in.

    (8) 38 Total Votes - 23 up - 15 down
    • slomike says:

      What do you mean “ill gotten”. Those jobs were out there for anyone (even you whiners on this site). I knew there was a pension. You knew there was. I took the job and worked under deadlines and pressure to get the task accomplished every day for 35 years. People scoffed and said I should sell real estate, I would make a lot more money in private industry. But, I liked providing a public service. I liked that I was paid and didn’t have to try to extort more money out of a situation to increase my pay. And, God bless your 401k’s. I’ll keep my pension, thank you. It is backed by the government. Your 401k is backed by private industry. because, “You know what to do with your money better than the government does”.

      (6) 46 Total Votes - 26 up - 20 down
      • BeenThereDoneThat says:

        What a self serving diatribe. Yea you worked under presures and deadlines every day? So what like they don’t do the same in the private sector? Also talk about worry. In the private sector people worry about getting fired. In Gov. it takes an act of God to get fired!!! Nice little fairy tale you told. I’ll find some kids to tell seeing it is Christmas time.

        (2) 40 Total Votes - 21 up - 19 down
        • easymoney says:

          Very true beentheredonethat…
          Me thinks this will garner many thumbs down from the hard working public employee union members who post on here. Wonder if they are logged in while at their job desk?

          (-3) 25 Total Votes - 11 up - 14 down
          • BeenThereDoneThat says:

            Yea Easy to slightly change the famous quote, “They can’t handle the truth.”

            (-6) 16 Total Votes - 5 up - 11 down
      • NorCoMod says:

        By “ill gotten” gains I think most of us resent what appear to be inordinate salary/benefit packages for public servants most of whom have it pretty soft. From your description of your own job (deadlines & pressure) it sounds like that isn’t you. Good on you!
        Also don’t be so smug about your PERS or STERS retirement not being out in the private investment pool (similar to our 401K’s). Billions of dollars of public retirement trust accounts are plowed into the stock market. The only difference is that if the market is up the public retiree makes out (just like the rest of us private industry chumps) When the market is down with a defined benefit the tax payer makes up the difference so the public retiree doesn’t suffer any discomfort. Can you say Too Big To Fail?
        Whoever designed this system should be strung up

        (7) 17 Total Votes - 12 up - 5 down
      • Rocky says:

        Yeah, well said slomike! We all make choices and now just because private industry corporations stole “everyone’s” pensions, now these “everyone’s” want public employees to suffer along with
        them. What really is the kicker is that until all these folks lost it all they could care less. They had
        their noses stuck in the sand as long as they were doing good. Look what it’s taken to finally wake up the complacent! You should have been paying attention all along, now it’s look at what our
        government is doing to us from the federal level on down. I too like slomike work very diligently and with very high ethics. As for BeenThereDoneThat, slomike is not even suggesting that private
        sector workers don’t work the same, he like I am just tired of being blamed for your woes. Perhaps you have a guilty conscience and that’s why this struck a nerve?

        (4) 18 Total Votes - 11 up - 7 down
        • BeenThereDoneThat says:

          Well first off no guilty conscience what so ever. Have no reason to. Second as for your everybody wants them to suffer, you Gov. types miss the point. In the private sector when the board of a company sees profits getting tight, they impliment freezes on cost of living increases etc. What you Gov. types don’t get is that the board of directers for the Gov. workers is WE THE PEOPLE!! So I as some others I’m sure, will continue to exercise are RIGHT to say what we will about those working at the pleasure of citizens of the State of Ca. and of the U.S.!!!!

          (0) 8 Total Votes - 4 up - 4 down
          • Rocky says:

            To BeenThereDoneThat: you obviously are not paying attention or have selective hearing, us Gov. types have taken cuts. I have not received a cost of living increase since 2007 along with the majority of other public workers. If you’d stop listing to the misleading media and start paying attention to public board meetings you would know this. And in case you’ve forgotten we Gov. types are also WE THE PEOPLE! So no we haven’t missed the point. By all means continue to exercise your RIGHT to say what you want you should just consider getting your facts straight!

            (0) 4 Total Votes - 2 up - 2 down
            • Typoqueen says:

              @Rocky, it’s funny how they act like govt. employees aren’t people but corporations are. They will do what they can to save the the big corps money but those darn regular people (govt. employees) like our family members, our friends etc.. that work hard for their money are treated like common thieves. They will try to run you into the ground and take every penny you have all to prevent the fat cats from paying their share. They won’t be happy until you are homeless.

              (-1) 3 Total Votes - 1 up - 2 down
  3. Mike says:

    I would prefer that the govt gets out of the pension business all together. If a 401k is good enough for me why is it not good enough for a govt employee? Govt employees should also have the privilege of paying into socialist insecurity.

    (18) 36 Total Votes - 27 up - 9 down
    • The Gimlet Eye says:

      why is it not good enough for a govt employee?

      Because the gov. employees are smart. They know that they need the protection of taxpayer bailouts if their pension fund fails.

      (16) 26 Total Votes - 21 up - 5 down
      • BeenThereDoneThat says:

        Well I can agree with everything you say, except about the being smart. Are you sure you aren’t giving them to much credit? Have you been to the DMV?

        (13) 23 Total Votes - 18 up - 5 down
        • Typoqueen says:

          Wow, why so much nasty cr@p toward govt. employees? What a shame to have so much hate towards so many good honest hard working people. You people love the corp fat cats, you’ll fight, scream and yell to make sure that nothing happens to their income. You people have your priorities all scr@wed up. What ever happened to morals, did the right ever have them in the first place!? I was just at the DMV. I was very impressed at how well they did and how organized they were for being so busy. The lady that helped me was very nice,,not a monster like you want everyone to think.

          You people will never ever be happy. Funny how you all bitch and bitch that Brown isn’t cutting back on govt. spending and then when he does (which he has been doing) you still bitch. There’s no pleasing you. BTW, he’s already gotten rid of thousands of govt. employees but of course that’s not good enough for you. Lets get another Arnie in there.

          (2) 30 Total Votes - 16 up - 14 down
          • sloweb says:

            Typo, getting rid of employees is NOT the same as reducing operation costs and reducing wages, pensions and benefits.

            Getting rid of employees = getting rid of services – plain and simple! Everytime the Govt fires an employee, we get less services and the overpaid just get fatter.

            Equally often when they “save money”, the funding shifts to other sources such as “user fees” etc. that comes out of another pot, but still out of our pocket.

            Honestly, can you not see the distinction?

            (2) 6 Total Votes - 4 up - 2 down
            • Typoqueen says:

              I just posted this yesterday so once again my apologies for the redundancy. If you make sweeping cuts to govt. employee wages and bennies then you will hurt the economy even more. Talk about shifting money. These people have house payments, car payments etc.. Do you think that if they can’t make those payments that it only hurts them? Some of these people have been on their job for a long, they haven’t planned for cuts. When my neighbors house goes into foreclosure, it hurts my home’s value. When they file for bankruptcy that hurts large and small businesses, who pays their bills then? Regarding their pensions. If you had worked for 25 years and planned on a certain pension, it could be disastrous to all of a sudden find out that you won’t be getting that pension. As I mentioned in my other posts. I have no problem hiring new-hires that know that they will be getting less bennies and pay. They know that up front so it won’t hurt them. It’s easy to go up it’s very hard to go down. Unless you are a SLO city manager that makes a few hundred grand then I have a problem with pay cuts.

              Also, I do have a problem with these govt. workers that retire from one city or govt. agency and receive a pension and then go to another city and work while still receiving pensions from their previous job, then they get another pension from their new job. That’s double dipping and I’m not for that, that should be stopped now. But it just seems like you guys go after the wrong the people,,in most cases. For the most part, leave the prison guards, teachers etc.alone.

              Many govt. employees are already taking cuts BTW.

              (3) 11 Total Votes - 7 up - 4 down
          • dhg says:

            Wow typo – you really went over the edge this time. I guess,according to your rant, no one else has a right to an opinion. Get real.

            (1) 5 Total Votes - 3 up - 2 down
            • Typoqueen says:

              This is called a discussion, I never said anywhere that you don’t have a right to your opinion,,,no matter how wrong it might be. You must be saying that ‘I’ don’t have a right to my opinion.

              If you think this is over the edge then you must not read many of my posts :)

              (2) 6 Total Votes - 4 up - 2 down
    • Slowerfaster says:

      Why not the opposite … defined pension plans after a lifetime of loyal work and service in the private sector ( instead of being forced into the Wall Street casino’s where the ‘manager’s of funds A:LWAYS extracts their vigorish …whether the fund is up or down ! ). .
      A pension, when a worker is elderly or infirm, is a form of deferred compensation; designed for when people are beyond their working years…when ‘retirement’ in relative comfort was a respected idea.

      It never ceases to amaze me how these libertarian supermen imagine themselves as financial and social engineering geniuses that have it figured that they will always win and be the “King of the Hill” in the long run….if left to only their own devices and egos.
      Most of them will end up like their heroine, Ayn Rand: sick and on welfare, and trying to hide it from everyone else.

      (-1) 17 Total Votes - 8 up - 9 down
  4. everyman says:

    It is a step. That is good. I prefer a much larger step, but at least a governor is doing something about this.

    But I wonder…how can we kill CARB? After that other article, we all got upset and then promptly forgot about it and moved on. How can we stop CARB? Any ideas?

    (8) 16 Total Votes - 12 up - 4 down
  5. BeenThereDoneThat says:

    Well this proves what I’ve always thought. Almost half of California works for the Gov. Did you notice the 51%? The other roughly half is the people working for the state.

    (8) 24 Total Votes - 16 up - 8 down
  6. easymoney says:

    “By a slim majority, California voters tilt in favor of Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to reduce public pensions.”
    It’s going to take a lot more than that to turn this Titanic around…

    (13) 19 Total Votes - 16 up - 3 down
  7. Ted Slanders says:

    Just an observation that may be true, because I doubt if the public workers would vote against themselves upon this issue, is that the majority of this pole is from the non-sector public employees. Betcha!

    (10) 16 Total Votes - 13 up - 3 down
    • Slowerfaster says:

      It’s all a matter of perspective, Ted.

      As Mel Brooks observerved: ” Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when YOU fall into an open sewer and die. “

      (8) 12 Total Votes - 10 up - 2 down
      • The Gimlet Eye says:

        Well said Slowerfaster.

        A “depression” is when you are out of work.

        A “recession” is when your neighbor is out of work.

        (9) 11 Total Votes - 10 up - 1 down

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