Are Kamala Harris’ parents proud of her today? Dr. Shyamala Gopalan, a breast cancer specialist, and Stanford University economics professor Donald Harris had Kamala after emigrating to the U.S. from crypto-democracies in India and Jamaica, respectively. Is this what they hoped for from their daughter? That she’d use her law degree to move up the ranks of the state Democratic Party and help maintain California’s status as a crypto-democracy? That their child, in her role as the state’s attorney general, would betray democracy by writing slanted ballot language that doomed two pension reform measures that polls showed voters loved? The doctor and the prof must be proud. With this act of sabotage, Kamala Harris is now the equivalent of a made man in the mafia that run the Golden State. The sky’s the limit now. Who knows how much more Harris can achieve in her chosen role as union tool masquerading as public servant? She’s a thug in a dress.
But then this is nothing new when it comes to California and public employee pensions, is it? Rank-and-file taxpayers are being abused on a 24-7-365 basis.
As I have written before, the title and summary for the pension reform measures that Harris put out are full of red herrings and loaded language, as the California Pension Reform group has detailed:
While the Attorney General accurately describes parts of the initiatives, she provides other statements that are either provably false or grossly misleading:
1. “Reduces pension benefits for current and future public employees…”
This is an absolutely false statement. The proposals do not change pension benefits for current employees. The proposals simply require current employees to pay more for future benefits and then only if the fund is at risk of not being able to pay the employees the benefits they are due.
2. “… including teachers, nurses, and peace officers, but excluding judges.”
The AG selectively lists three positive poll-tested jobs out of thousands of government employee job classifications when both measures apply to all public employees, except constitutionally-protected judges.
3. “Prohibits public retirement systems from providing death or disability benefits to future employees.”
The AG includes the words “prohibits” and “death or disability benefits” in the same sentence when our measures actually specifically provide for those benefits. To avoid any confusion about death and disability benefits, both initiatives say:
“Sec 12 (d) All government agencies that provide pension or other retirement benefits for their government employees may also separately provide death and disability benefits for the benefit of their government employees, regardless of the date of hire. The cost of such death and disability benefits is not subject to the cost limitations established in this section.”
As I noted last month, what’s so infuriating about this is that “direct democracy” is the only means that Californians have to do an end run around the unions, green cultists and trial lawyers who control Sacramento. While California may be a liberal-leaning state, when it comes to ballot measures, many of those liberal voters show common sense, and warm, for example, to the argument that a state with high taxes should be able to make ends meet. There are plenty of signs that many of these liberals were quite willing to believe that pensions are far too generous for public employees.
But not union thug Kamala Harris. She’s in the tank for the union status quo.
This is only the start of how the state government is rigged against the interests of regular Californians.
For years, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System has tried to discredit anyone who questioned its lies about the health of pension programs up and down the state. The main cause of the problems local governments faced? A 1999 state law that led to massive retroactive pension giveaways to hundreds of thousands of public employees. How was it justified? With CalPERS’ lies to lawmakers in 1999 that benefits could be sharply increased with no downside to taxpayers.
When Arnold tried to name someone to the California State Teachers’ Retirement System board in 2006 who wouldn’t go along with the fiction that CalSTRS was well-funded, three Democratic state senators blocked the nomination on the grounds that David Crane was, according to the L.A. Times, ….
… too concerned about the burden of pension shortfalls on taxpayers.
As I have written before, who took Crane’s place? Surprise, surprise. A teacher.
How should Californians think about what we face overall? Here’s how:
We are all Bell.
The nightmares destroyng the small city in Los Angeles County, in one way or another, haunt every taxpayer in California. Virtually every local government, every special district, must make decisions about compensation policies that are directly influenced by public employees, and, in many cases, dictated by public employees. Is it any surprise the resulting policies are crazy?
For years, education reformers have observed that K-12 school policies seem to be much more about protecting the interests of adult employees than students. With the Kamala Harris-orchestrated destruction of pension reform in California, it’s time this thesis be broadened. In Sacramento, state leaders decide on policy in ways that are much more about protecting the interests of public employees than taxpayers in general. Great, just great.
Yo, Kamala: Congratulations for continuing this repellent, anti-democratic tradition. If your parents were capable of judging you with the impartial smarts one would expect of a sophisticated cancer doctor or econ professor, they would be puking all over the place. Think about that as you celebrate your ascension to the top ranks of California’s union thugs.