Wednesday, March 9, 2011

State public employee pay and pensions are, on average, pretty modest.

In a Washington Post article documenting some outrageous abuses of the public employee pension system - the most egregious anecdote of which has been fixed and is no longer possible - a more significant fact is all but buried:  The average member in California of the largest public employee union, AFSCME,  "earns less than $45,000 a year and receives an annual pension of roughly $19,000." This reality flies in the face of the current demonization of public employees and attempts to destroy their collective bargaining rights by GOP Governors and their national party apparatchiks.

We're not "broke" - Index of investor confidence in the US Treasury

Krugman: Investors, putting real money on the line, are willing to lend funds to the Feds long-term at an inflation-adjusted interest rate of only 1 percent. There is nothing in the markets or the cash flow requiring immediate austerity. Yes, there is a long-run problem* — but this requires long-run solutions.    (Go HERE for the 10-year index of interest rates on US Treasury securities - currently 1%, and about 3% at the height of the recession.)

*On both the federal and private market horizons, the "long-run problem" is primarily rising health care costs that drastically exceed & outpace every other industrialized country that has a modern, high-quality health care system AND universal coverage. Just saying...