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Letters to Editor

Deeper In Debt

From Issue: Volume XXI - Number 7

April Fools Day 2013, and the largest municipal bankruptcy in the nation’s history is approved by a federal bankruptcy judge. Stockton, California owes CalPERS $900 million it cannot pay for pensions and benefits while maintaining a police force and fire dept. There are other creditors, but nothing close.

The next battle on that front will be federal bankruptcy order vs. state law that shields CalPERS. If the federal court is found to have authority, there will be a rash of Chapter 9 municipal BK filings. The ripple affect would be national. In California alone, there are dozens of insolvent cities and counties who cannot pay their huge pension obligations recklessly promised during boom economic years.

California State Auditor, Elaine Howle released her annual report that reveals the state’s net worth is negative $127 billion. If unfunded retiree obligations (pensions and benefits) are included, it pushes that number down to about negative $470 billion dollars. In other words, the states in debt for almost half a trillion dollars while still adding annually to that debt!

I’m addressing you Alan Lowenthal. You spent 14 years in Sacramento and were complicit in this madness. Mr. Lowenthal’s recent election to Congress will change nothing. He votes the way he is told by party leadership, like he did in California for 14 years, recklessly and irresponsibly spending hard earned taxpayer money.

We lose billions annually from welfare fraud. There are over 4 million people in California taking food stamps, including those working for cash that cannot be traced. Dozens of programs gamed. So many, that LA County at one time set up a 211 number so one could peruse the thousands of social programs available to see which ones could be had. I personally know a retired social worker who admitted that 95 percent of housing assistance is fraud. There are people contributing to the household not disclosed in the applications, and when home visits are conducted, they magically become visitors.

California’s fiscal year 2011-2012 saw another 30 billion dollars more spent than taken into the states treasury. These are astounding figures and amounts of money that can never be paid by tax hikes. The state legislature who has the final word on state budgets has been controlled by democrats for over 40 years.

Yeah, we had a republican governor in Arnold Schwarzennegger, but the democratic state legislature terminated him after he challenged the insanity. Think it might be time to try another party?

Robert Van der Upwich