Arnold going after our pensions

Workers’ Correspondence

California is saddled with Groper Arnie, an incompetent governor. Being a former steroid-using bodybuilder does not qualify a person to run the sixth largest economy in the world.

Schwarzenegger and his staff rarely do their homework. An example is the attack on the Lanterman Act, which keeps developmentally disabled people out of institutions. When 4,000 activists showed up at the capital he backed off, claiming that he had no idea of the impact of his proposed cuts. Arnie, like Dubya with his attack on Social Security and MediCare, now is trying to harm senior citizens, a group that votes more than any other. It seems like these two bozos didn’t think this through.

Tied to the attempt to privatize Social Security is Arnie’s attempt to force state and other public employees into 401(k) plans instead of our CALPERS pensions. The California Public Employees’ Retirement System is the largest public pension system in the world. We pay into it with our own money. Our civil service investment officers have done so well that California has not had to pay an employer portion in two and a half years.

If Arnold gets his way, the state will no longer save the employer portion. But, what is worse, employees could lose their savings in a bad stock market year. People are living longer than ever, so need a steady income. One Sacramento Gray Panther lost $30,000 in one year in his 401(k). Arnie’s so called reforms would end death benefits, COLAs, workers’ compensation and disability programs for new hires.

Arnie claims our pensions are too high. The average state pension is $20,000. The median income in Sacramento County, for example, is $41,500. My pension is $11,400.

Social Security is not broken, and neither is CALPERS. Arnie and Dubya want to make their stock market friends rich with our money. A similar plan was tried in Nebraska and didn’t provide enough income. As a socialist, I don’t want my money in the stock market, but want to have PERS and my credit union continue to safely invest my money.

Please oppose ACA 5 and ACA X1 by California State Assemblyman Richman which are the vehicles for this attack.

— Linda Roberts, state retiree, Sacramento, Calif.