Editor’s Note: Given the sensitive nature of the conclusions herein, and based on informed criticism from many who commented and emailed in response to this post, a 2nd, more in-depth analysis was posted on this topic on Feb. 11th, entitled “What Percent of California’s State AND Local Budgets Are Employee Compensation.” In that more thorough analysis, state worker compensation as a percentage of state government revenues (not passed through to local governments and agencies) was actually found to be higher, 84%, than in this analysis, 67%.

An influential liberal blogger in Orange County, Chris Prevatt, made the following claim on January 25, 2011 in his post “Busting The Myths About Public Employee Pension Costs,” “For California’s budget, salaries represent 7.5 percent of the total state budget. The costs for healthcare and pension benefits are another 3.7 percent.” If only this were true.

Because Prevatt’s statistic is being repeated as if it were fact, such as by guest columnist Nick Berardino in the Orange County Register, who on February 4th, 2011 in a “Reader Rebuttal” accused that newspaper of having “continued its misleading and irresponsible assault on public employees,” it is important to take a closer look. Is Prevatt correct? Using core data, as well as some studies funded by union-friendly think-tanks (hopefully to avoid accusations of bias), here are some numbers:

As a baseline, the California Governor’s Budget Summary for fiscal 2011 shows projected revenues and expenditures balanced at $89.6 billion. Using straightforward multiplication, according to Prevatt, this means salaries, healthcare and pensions should cost (.075 + .037) x $89.6 = $10.4 billion. So how much does California’s state government actually spend on total employee compensation?

According to California’s own state government payroll records, in March of 2008 there were 393,989 full-time workers employed by the state of California, and their payroll for that month was $2,235,947,296 (ref. http://www2.census.gov/govs/apes/08stca.txt). This equates to an average of $5,675 per employee per month, or $68,102 per year. So by using data that is nearly three years old and assumes zero increases to compensation since then, in aggregate, just payment of salaries to workers employed directly by the state of California totals $26.8 billion per year.

In percentage terms, this figure would suggest that just wages for California’s state workers consume $26.8 / $89.6 = 30% per year. But there’s much more – benefits. If you read the definitions section of the U.S. Census Bureau Data, “gross payroll” is defined as “all salaries, wages, fees, commissions, and overtime paid to employees before withholding for taxes, insurance, etc. It also includes incentive payments that are paid at regular pay intervals. It excludes employer share of fringe benefits like retirement, Social Security, health and life insurance, lump sum payments, and so forth.” How much do benefits cost the state?

To short-circuit a war of battling studies, let’s use a supposedly authoritative study recently produced by the U.C. Berkeley Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics, Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, entitled “The Truth about Public Employees in California: They are Neither Overpaid nor Overcompensated” where they calculate an average overhead cost for California’s state and local workers at 36% of total compensation. That is, they claim 36% of total compensation is benefits overhead, and 64% is actual pay. 36% of total compensation equates to a 56% overhead rate, i.e., [ 1 / (1 - .36) ] = .56. The Berkeley researchers, who did a very comprehensive study, had no motivation to overstate the benefits overhead paid to public employees. It is likely the actual overhead is probably much higher than 56%, because it is unlikely the Berkeley researchers included an amount any higher than the current official rates for the necessary pension fund contribution, because the conventional wisdom still adheres to higher rates of investment fund returns than are probably out there over the next 20-30 years. But when you apply a 56% overhead rate – which is probably on the low side – to an average base salary of $68,102, you arrive at a total compensation estimate for the average state government worker in California of $106,239 per year.

What this means is the total direct employee costs for California’s state government is not $26.8 billion per year, based on salary alone, but 393,989 x $106,239 = $41.9 billion per year, which is 47% of the total state budget. And yes, there’s more:

If you take a look at the data from the U.S. Census bureau, referenced earlier, you can see the many job descriptions where salary expenditures are tabulated do not include K-12 education employees. This is because the state doesn’t pay these employees directly, but helps fund them through transfer payments to the local school districts. Returning to the California Governor’s Budget Summary for fiscal 2011, page 11, $36.2 billion is proposed for K-12 education expenditures. The skeptical reader is invited to study the details of this line item, but barring such analysis, it is a reasonable assumption that half of that money is going to be spent on compensation for K-12 education employees – another $18.1 billion.

When you add this all up, personnel costs for California’s state government are not somewhere barely above 10% of their total expenditures, as Prevatt asserts, but, doing the math, $41.9 (direct employees) + $18.1 (K-12 employees) = $59.96 / $89.6 = 67%. That is, using data taken directly from the state’s payroll records, combined with overhead calculations courtesy of an exhaustive study commissioned by an (arguably) sympathetic academic institute, along with very reasonable assumptions regarding transfer payments – not even considering transfer payments to localities for line items other than K-12 education – taxpayers are seeing at least 2/3rds of California’s state budget used to pay employee compensation.

Aside from overheated rhetoric and cherry-picked statistics, have those who still claim that public sector compensation isn’t a legitimate issue for civil discourse actually tried to run the numbers themselves? A final thought: When public entities are required to contribute into funds for retirement pensions and retirement health care at more realistic, lower rates of investment returns, the percentage of public sector budgets that are consumed by employee compensation will go up by 10-20% overnight. However comforting it may be for critics of these numbers to assert otherwise, it is hard reality, not wishful thinking, nor anti-public employee sentiment, that informs whatever bias may seep through this analysis.

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    18 Responses to What Percent of California’s State Budget is Employee Compensation?

    1. Sean H. Mill says:

      For the record Chris Prevatt is anything but “influential”…Who does he influence? His blog on a good day gets 600 hits and most of those are likely by accident.

      He is nothing more than a self-important factually deficient yayhoo with an audience of the same.

    2. CSainte says:

      How clever, you compare the general fund to all employee compensation, ignoring the fact that the entire State budget is nearly four times the general fund. How clever!

      • Editor says:

        CSainte,
        If you read the entire post you would see explained that most of the state budget is passed through to local agencies, cities and counties. With respect to the state budget that is not passed through but used to fund explicitly state agencies and projects, these numbers are accurate. Personnel costs comprise about 2/3rds of the state budget under this apples-to-apples criteria. And for local governments, personnel costs as a percent of total expenses is even higher than that.

    3. Damon says:

      I lost the thread of some of the numbers that were being used when I saw this equation: [ 1 / (1 - .36) ] = .56. The correct answer to that problem is 1.56, not .56 since it is properly read as 1 divided by the sum of (1 – .36). Regardless, the figure of public employee pay being less than 7% of a budget is quite amusing… unless your a tax payer.

    4. Tough Love says:

      Thank you for showing us the rather high percentage of California’s budget used to support it’s workers.

      I’ll share (just below) some interesting figures and commentary on just how costly the California pensions are …. especially when compared to what the typical Private Sector Taxpayer gets …
      **********************************************************
      With cash pay in the Public & Private Sectors now relatively close (yes, I know we have dueling studies going both ways), there is no justification for higher pensions in the Public Sector, to the extent TAXPAYERS pay for that excess.

      Yet the while typical Private Sector employer contribution to their employees’ pension generally costs 3%-8% of cash pay, the TOTAL cost (as a % of pay) of funding the Public Sector’s DB Plans (for a 30-year employee retiring at age 55) are as follows:

      2% formula w/o COLA = 29%
      2% formula with COLA 39%
      3% formula w/o COLA = 44%
      3% formula with COLA = 58%

      (And yes, I’m competent to do such calculations)

      While Private Sector employees generally do NOT contribute to the cost of their Plans, in the Public Sector there usually is an employee contribution of about 5% (sometimes a bit higher for safety workers). If we subtract this employee-paid 5% from the above total-cost-of-Plan percentages, we have 24%, 34%, 39%, and 53% respectively. These %s are effectively what the TAXPAYERS must pay to fully fund the pension of each employee who retires at 55 with 30 years of service.

      Theses are apples-to-apples comparable with the 4-8% Private Sector employees get from their employees. Again, with comparable cash pay, this HUGH extra compensation hidden in the funding extraordinarily rich pensions is absurd, unsustainable, and grossly unfair to taxpayers.

      It’s clear to me why the intelligent among Public sector workers are willing to contribute “a bit more”. To erase the advantage afforded Public Sector workers, the employee contributions would need to go up, not by “a bit more”, but by the four percentages above (24%, 34%, 39%, and 53% ) less the 4%-8% (call it 6% on average) contributions of Private sector employers. .. resulting in INCREASE Public Sector employEE contributions ranging from 24-6% = 18% for the least-rich pension formula (the 2% w/o COLA) to 53-6% = 47% for the most-rich pension formula (the 3% with COLA).

      We know Civil Servants will NEVER increase their contributions level anywhere near that …. and few persons (other than the few like myself capable of these calculations) are aware of the huge disparity. That’s why intelligent Civil Servants know even contributing an additional 5% of pay STILL leaves them with a HUGE advantage.

      It’s also why the necessary solution cannot come via employee contribution increases alone, but NECESSITATES a significant reduction in the rate of pension accrual for FUTURE years of service for CURRENT (yes CURRENT) employees. Even with a 50% reduction in the rate of accrual going forward, an advantage would STILL exist … in the Civil Servant’s favor.

    5. 7.5 + 3.7% or 65%, 84%, or worse… : Stop The ACLU says:

      [...] What Percent of California’s State Budget is Employee Compensation? – unionwatch.org An influential liberal blogger in Orange County, Chris Prevatt, made the [...]

    6. Seagazer101 says:

      Dang! I must have retired just when everyone else got a humongous raise. I was an AGPA, which is not a lowly position, but actually works, and I never came NEAR $65k a year. I believe these figures are screwed, uh, skewed!

    7. Keeping it real says:

      The average CalPERS pension is about $25,000 per year. For every $1 dollar they receive in pension benefits, they put back about $2 dollars back into the economy. The portion of the California budget that goes to pensions is about 3% to 4%. Welfare accounts for 11% to 12% of our total state budget by comparison. According to a recent analysis by UC Berkeley’s Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, California’s state employees earn 7.55 percent less on average than comparable private sector workers. Many other studies have shown that overall, private and public sector employees average about the same pay and benefits when all things are considered. The bottom line is this baseless attack on public workers is solely due to our current difficult economic time. We have good times, and we have bad times. While private sector workers enjoyed their bonuses, stock options, and other paid benefits during the good times, the public employees trudged slowly along as they always do. Now that times are bad for a period, these private sector employees are suddenly shouting out “No fair! Why are they getting all of this and I’m not!” If they’re doing so well, and you think $25,000 a year when you retire is such a lavish scam, then sign up. Many private sector employees who took advantage of their finances during the good days have already retired and are living comfortably from their good financial decisions at that time. We need to base our analysis on facts and not fireball headlines. The sky is not falling. We’re going through an economic dip, and things will eventually get better for everyone.

      • Editor says:

        Keeping it real – Thank you for your comment. You may wish to check the assumptions behind your suggestion that the average CalPERS pension is only $25,000 per year. That is a statistic that CalPERS issues that is deliberately misleading, because it includes workers who only worked for a few years, barely vesting pension benefits, and it includes workers who retired years ago before pension benefit formulas were raised. Here is the reality:

        The average public sector pension for a state/local government worker in California who works 30+ years and is recently retired is nearly $70,000 per year, and their average age of retirement is 60. The average salary of a state/local government worker in California is also, coincidentally, nearly $70,000 per year. Don’t believe this? Try these links:

        CalPERS Annual Financial Report FYE 6-30-2011, page 153
        http://www.calpers.ca.gov/eip-docs/about/pubs/comprehensive-annual-fina-report-2011.pdf

        CalSTRS Annual Financial Report FYE 6-30-2010, page 149

        U.S. Census Bureau – California State Payroll 2010
        http://www2.census.gov/govs/apes/10stca.txt

        U.S. Census Bureau – California Local Government Payroll 2010
        http://www2.census.gov/govs/apes/10locca.txt

        As for your reference to the Berkeley study, we did a thorough analysis of that study last December and compared it to our own assessment of public vs. private sector total compensation. Our conclusion was that the average private sector worker in California in 2010 made $57,000 per year, and the average public sector worker made $102,000 per year, and we used very conservative assumptions. You are welcome to review the source data and the analysis here:

        Calculating Public Employee Total Compensation
        http://unionwatch.org/calculating-public-employee-total-compensation/

        Finally, you state that “For every $1 dollar they receive in pension benefits, they put back about $2 dollars back into the economy.” Can you put this in perspective? Are you saying that a taxpayer who kept that dollar and spent the money would not create the same stimulus? Are you sure there is a two-to-one benefit every time somebody spends their money, whether they are a pensioner or a taxpayer? Where did you get this fact? Is this a talking point you read somewhere? Can you explain the assumptions and the logic behind this statement? While we’re considering whether or not CalPERS activity has a stimulative effect on the Californian economy, you may wish to explain how it can be helpful that 90% of the money confiscated from taxpayers by CalPERS every year is invested outside of California. Does that sound stimulative to you? It sounds to me like nine out of every ten dollars we pay into CalPERS ends up in China, or Brazil, or Texas, or somewhere else, but not here.

    8. Linda Bolard says:

      Any way I check the author’s figures against census, they don’t agree. It still looks like we spent about 11% of budget on payroll.
      The problem is how little of that payroll goes to many, vast portions go to very few.

      The problem repeats itself with pensions; an average pension is about $34,000, but the top heavy administrator’s goes to average of $200,000; all this is without health benefits.

      There are also huge difference between departments. Civil servants average pay of over $200,000 dollars plus benefits a year. A full time junior professor at CalState goes down to $40,000 but newbie policeman goes up to $100,000.

      This bites back in pensions: after 20 years a policeman retires and lives another 25, and when he goes, we pay half of his pension to the widow. His average salary per year of work is often over $250,000.

      When it comes to the top salaries, with pay in $300,000 and often much higher, their year of work is often costing us over $600,000- still without any benefits.

      Add to all this that these people double dip. They collect full pensions and full pay at the highest end of scale. They bring home as much as $600,000- cutting jobs for 10 people out of the state economy.

      We really cannot afford this. We have to cut the pay and pensions of existing employees, starting at the top.

      Average California income per capita is only a little over $43,000 a year; it fell 2% in the last 10 years.

      But public employees payroll, still about 1,8 million people, have gone up 6% during the same time. Some departments, education 2%, some, such as water had gone up 40%- and they want to double your water rates in 8 years! Why should we allow this?

      To be frank, this is not solely union issue. This is combination of factors; public administrators eat the biggest piece of the pie (at UC the inter-college coach pay is 2,5 million) followed by union bosses with the average worker down on the scale.

      This happens because the very same administrators pass public contracts to private business that props them and the politicians into the functions where the tax money flows into their private pockets disguised as corporate business.

      Community college building programs, cars for Coliseum, choppers for Fire, the list is endless. The cooperation between those who suck the taxpayers dry is tight.

      Unions are very small part of it. The largest of the union corruption being police and fire. Both are needed to protect the corporate/ administrators property and position.

      The big money passes hands, through politicians, between public administrators and their private businessmen friends.

      Between the OC County District Attorney Tony Rackaukass pushing his former dental assistant sex squeeze, Ms. Buffi, onto public payroll for $100,000 a year, Buffi will cost the taxpayers about 3 million before she is done with us, never mind how long she squeezes Tony, and Dealey’s overpriced hiring of Lighthouse, for which she obviated standing law and both, she and Lighthouses still collect and will collect until they die, we don’t have much hope.
      These people don’t need unions. They have each other.

      We live in society so corrupt that it makes the smell of Hamlet play seem like fresh roses.

    9. Ian says:

      I’m really blown away by the bad math here. When people say that a state worker’s typical pensin is 29-58% of their salary and that this is a state cost, THEY KNOW NOTHING.

      THE TRUTH: Most state workers pay 5-8% of their pre-tax income into CalPERS…and their employing agency contributes another 6-12%. This probably sounds a lot like the match that many people get from their employers for putting money into an 401(k). We also pay social security and medicare taxes. The money put into CalPERS (an investment pool where all state employee funds are invested and managed like a big mutual fund) by employees and employers alike grows over time to fund that retirement. CalPERS PAYS FOR THE RETIREMENT (from the investment balances that have grown over time)….NOT THE STATE. And for those that say that we’re having to bail out the pensions, that’s not entirely true either. While it is true that the state has to pay additional amounts into the funds once they fall beneath a certain ‘funding level’, the fact is that for many years during the Grey Davis administration, the governer ordered the state’s contribution to not be made. This incurred legal costs to the state for basically defaulting on a legal obligation and the state lost in the end.

      People should hold government accountable.

      There is waste in all levels of government.

      A lot of people in government are overpaid.

      BUT BEFORE YOU GO BASHING ALL STATE WORKERS CARTE BLANCHE, TRY TO BE CIVIL and for heavens sake – don’t try to authoritatively state something as fact when you have no clue about what you’re saying.

    10. Editor says:

      Ian – we have independently verified Tough Love’s many comments on the issue of pension finance and determined he most definitely knows what he is talking about.

      Shall we assume you are disagreeing with this comment and the accompanying four calculations?

      “While typical Private Sector employer contribution to their employees’ pension generally costs 3%-8% of cash pay, the TOTAL cost (as a % of pay) of funding the Public Sector’s DB Plans (for a 30-year employee retiring at age 55) are as follows:

      2% formula w/o COLA = 29%
      2% formula with COLA 39%
      3% formula w/o COLA = 44%
      3% formula with COLA = 58%”

      We believe these numbers are credible, although they reflect a relatively risk-free long-term rate of return. Tough Love, your response?

      Here is a link to the pension calculator developed by UnionWatch staff which you can use to do your own analysis. If you have the financial background to assess the built in logic in the formulas herein, you will find that in all cases we have made conservative assumptions, designed to, if anything, understate the contributions necessary to properly fund pensions.

      Here you go:

      And here is a post that explains how to use this tool:
      http://unionwatch.org/a-pension-analysis-tool-for-everyone/

      Tough Love, and many other financially literate critics of the current system, may be forgiven for occasionally becoming frustrated with the incessant barrage of totally uninformed, often malicious badinage emanating from people whose entire understanding of the pension issue consists of a handful of memorized soundbites.

    11. Jlew says:

      While I do appreciate the effort of trying to use accurate numbers and meaningful comparisons, it is still a matter of needing to look a bit further into the puzzle. If the goal of all the number-crunching is to illustrate that California pays too much in governmental compensation, I would argue that “too much” is subjective. The article has many attempts to compare apples-to-apples in certain situations but completely ignores the concept in others – the statistic of average private salary vs. average public salary for example. This would imply that the range of positions in the public sector is roughly the same as the private sector in order for this comparison to have any meaning what so ever. I think it’s safe to say that this is not the case. Would it be meaningful to compare the salaries of say an investment banking firm with a textile manufacturing firm to determine if one company was paying too much in employee compensation?

      Another issue is what percentage of the overall spending is the “correct” amount? If California’s percentage is higher than another state does that really mean they’re paying too much or does it possibly mean the cost of living is higher in California? There is no simple linear scale you can apply to compensation amounts that directly demonstrate California is paying too much. Again, it’s subjective to some degree no matter what kind of number you attach to it.

      That all being said, there is no doubt that looking at what is being paid in compensation needs to be examined and put on the table for the spending cut discussion. But given all your numbers, what is a “reasonable” amount to cut back? Can anyone say that clearly California is paying 5% too much? 10%? Even at 10% it still doesn’t fix the budget which is why the notion that the state’s problems stem from our crazy pension plans just seem silly. I think when all the other factors are given weight, it’s not all that out of line and to whatever degree it may be, it’s not going solve the deficit.

      • Editor says:

        Jlew – Thank you for acknowledging we are trying to develop accurate numbers. California’s state deficit – latest projection – is $16 billion per year, but this amount, again, includes monies slated for “pass through” to local governments and agencies. If you restrict your analysis to California’s state budget that is used for direct expenses for state agencies, which is about $80 billion, you have to pro-rate the deficit accordingly. This is a subjective exercise, but it is reasonable to assume only about one-third of this $16 billion applies to direct state agency expenses and not pass-throughs. This means we are looking to cover about a $5 billion shortfall. If you assume that at least 50% of the state’s budget for direct expenses is for personnel costs, and I think that’s on the low side, then you would need to cover the $5 billion shortfall by reducing personnel compensation from $40 billion per year to $35 billion per year. That is quite possible and would have already happened if the state had the same obligations and options as a normal business.

        Similar financial proportions apply at the local government and agency level in California. To suggest that payroll and benefit costs could not be reduced in order to solve our California’s deficit challenge is to ignore the fundamental financial proportions at work. If California’s state and local governments and agencies were to simply cut headcount by 20%, cut payroll and current benefits by 20%, and cut pensions and retirement benefits back to what they were before the internet bubble “justified” unsustainable increases – a roughly 33% reduction, there would be NO deficit issues facing California’s state and local governments.

        We can, as you correctly state, argue interminably about whether or not state and local government workers are overpaid. We believe that in general, they are overpaid. You may disagree. But to suggest that reducing their pay and benefits is not a solution to California’s budget woes would be inaccurate. And since most state and local workers have already endured 20% pay cuts in the form of furlough days off 1x per week, we know these cutbacks are not unendurable. And since our state and local governments continued to function with a 20% reduction in the work week, we know that we can implement a 20% headcount reduction – requiring everyone who remains in government service to work five day weeks – and preserve government functions. In short, we already have precedents that prove a 20% workforce reduction and 20% pay and benefit cut is feasible. We simply require the political will to get this done.

        • Jlew says:

          On the one hand, I want to agree with you because I don’t think there is any question that the examination and reduction of government compensation is one of the major sources of deficit reduction. I think where we diverge is the relative importance of government compensation. Your math of reducing by $5 billion the personnel costs as being all that’s required given the pass-through portion of the overall budget for example – do we not count the remaining $11 billion as part of the problem because it isn’t a direct expense? Is it money spent? Then it’s part of the budget and if you’ve dealt with $5 billion you still have to come up with the other 68% of how we fix things. This is my point. To say that reducing pay alone will fix the budget is in my mind disingenuous.

          As for simply reducing the workforce by 20%, can you honestly say the elimination of this many jobs would have no negative effects on the financial state of California? Then compound that with a pay reduction of 20% for the remaining workers as well as reducing benefits by 33%? This really seems feasible to you? There is quite a difference between furlough and layoff and I am not aware of any government agencies that are taking one day a week off consistent. I do know of those taking one or two days a month off, but this is not nearly 20% across the board as many if not most agencies have no furlough days at all. I think you are underestimating or completely dismissing the negative effects of such a proposed labor reduction. These type of reductions may make sense to you, but I think you’ll find the majority of the population would disagree once they understood exactly what it would mean. Why does it have to be this one issue? Why can’t there be a more reasonable spread of reductions in multiple areas?

    12. Editor says:

      Jlew – You make good points, but to clarify: The portion of the deficit that relates to “pass-throughs” to local governments and agencies implies that the personnel costs in those entities are what could be cut in order to achieve solvency. If those entities reduced their personnel costs, the amount of money that would pass through to them would also go down. And all the analysis we’ve seen – as well as performed ourselves – indicates personnel costs as a percent of total expenses are higher in local governments and agencies than they are in the state government, as high as 80% of total expenses are for personnel costs in many local governments in California. So it is not unthinkable that a 20% cut to pay and current benefits, combined with a 33% cut to the funding and formulas for future retirement benefits, would restore solvency to California’s state and local governments.

      If you are suggesting, however, that there are other ways to reduce government expenditures besides just cutting pay and benefits, you would be right. But these cuts would be to programs, and those programs employ personnel whose jobs would be eliminated. That would be consistent with our recommendation for a 20% headcount reduction.

      The difference between your perspective and our editorial perspective may be only one of emphasis. Reducing spending in multiple areas is definitely a solution, but current options, thanks to the power of government unions, tend to underemphasize the potential for cuts to pay and benefits to restore solvency to California’s state and local governments. It is important to those of us who would like to see some programs retained in government to understand that a 20% compensation reduction and a 20% headcount reduction would solve the problem, and potentially would create the least overall disruption to California’s economy. Remember that every time jobs are cut because a bargaining unit won’t accept pay cuts, this means another government program goes away.

      Or maybe California really will just hit the wall because our ability to borrow more money is as exhausted as our appetite to pay more taxes. Perhaps the union bosses who run California really want the goose to fly to Texas and elsewhere, and take her golden eggs with her.

    13. Pierre says:

      It is wonderful to find two people who appear to be a little learned in State Budgeting.

      I believe if the State, Counties & Cities were to contain the pension payments to a maximum of 2 times Social Security payment for those receiving pensions together with those who will receive future retirement pay, then we might be able to balance all the budgets.

      We must at least get rid of the word “Defined.”
      Our stupid elected officials have no idea regarding pensions and why should they when they are first to drink from the bucket

      We must also control CalPERS as they are truly Dictators and possibly the cause of our problems.

    14. Don2You says:

      I believe we’ve all missed the critical point; the manipulative ways the numbers are tallied. It is purposeful by the elected California officials. Officials?, smacks of need to take a shower.

      The important thing to remember in evaluating your exchanges, both agree that employee salaries ARE a significant part of the cost to Californians.

      In looking at the deficit, its now at 20 billion as of 5/18/12, these employee costs are in excess of competitive market rates and the budget ability to pay it; somewhere in the range of approximately 25%. Yes about 25% of the California employee cost is still over-priced. Then they would be closer to par with the private sector; coincidentally that pretty much makes up for the deficit, well this time.

      Then next year if they don’t clean up their act, eh hem because they work for US/us, we the citizens need to go back to “their” trough and take more if we need too- maybe in the form of competitive outsourcing of services. The private sector does it better, more efficiently and with a smile of gratitude. And yes, government is here/hear to serve the people.

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