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Greg,

This is a great post. The CATO Institute did a great study and quick video that describes how public schools lie about actual costs because they don't even calculate pensions or other costs in their per pupil funding.

The state pension program in AZ and in most states is nothing more than an elaborate Ponzi scheme.

Congrats to the Chamber for exposing them, imagine if the Cap Times had instead led with this more accurate headline:

"Enron Style Accounting Rules for Teachers and Retirees"

The main difference is good journalism. BTW here is a link to the CATO study and video:

http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=11432

Actually, you don't need to go to Washington, D.C., to learn more about why the chamber of commerce is concerned. The Goldwater Institute released a study in March 2010, explaining why the state's three leading public pension systems face serious funding problems in the near future.
You can read the report here: http://goldwaterinstitute.org/article/4577

Imagine, the companies and people who pay the taxes to fund the system actually wanting to know how big an IOU they're going to have to pay. The gall! The inhumanity!

(And, before the inevitable retort from some uninformed public employee happens: no, your contribution does not cover the cost of the system!)

Stanford University report.

"Kalifornia government pensions underfunded in the amount of $500 Billion"

Get it now and get as much as you can comrades.

Correct me if wrong but isn't some of the deduction into the 'pot' per paycheck discretionary? I guess you wouldn't want to stir the hornets nest on that one.

The Goldwater Institute report had some inaccuracies about how much money state of Arizona employees make (the state is near the bottom in average or median annual pay) and implied that most state employees will be getting some huge benefit when they retire, ala California, New Jersey and other states. The Arizona retirement system is much less generous in its benefits and pays only a small percentage (25%) of the cost of employees' health care after they retire, while many other states pay most, if not all, of the cost of health care for their retirees.

The Chamber and others like them are barking up the wrong tree to look for money that they don't want to pay in taxes. We cut taxes in this state for 20 years under Symington and his ilk and it got us in trouble as we tried to live off "growth" as an industry. Look why this state doesn't have many of the Fortune 500 companies located here. It's because those companies want more than low taxes. Our state also has one of the largest disparities between the wealthy and the poor. That's bec. we have so many low-paying jobs from companies moving here that don't want to pay decent wages. And when the Census data come out it will show how many people have left this place to find a better living.

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