Saturday, May 12, 2007

Trim a $7 billion mistake to under $5 billion

The Washington Legislature made a huge mistake in 1998. They gave away the state's investment gains to the public-employee unions. Now they have bravely taken some of it back - and gave more away. The stock investments backing the public-employee retirement fund sometimes does better, like in 1999, sometimes not so well, like 2001. But the races ahead combine with the drop backs to give good overall growth. The plus 20s and minus 10s average to plus 7.5. But someone said "the stock portfolio is doing so well, let's let the public employees [read unions] have a bonus. So they created what is call "gain sharing." But they didn't couple it with "loss sharing." It has cost the state a lot of money lately. So much that something had to be done. Too little, as we expect under one-party rule. It is still a huge problem. 'Pain-sharing': Olympia deals with $7 billion boo-boo
Over 25 years, the deal saves state and local governments $6.7 billion, including $340 million in the next two years. The add-backs, though, will cost a bundle: $4.4 billion.
One-party rule. This action reduces the problem by 2.3 billion. About 1/3. 1/3. Update. 5/16/07 WEA teachers union sues to block ending "gain sharing."

No comments: