Gerald Klatt and Walter Burien are unrecognized heroes. These individuals are national leaders who have communicated how government agencies conceal American taxpayers’ money in surplus accounts that collectively total trillions of our dollars. The data is found in government agencies’ Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFRs).
- California pension and “other” trusts investments total $367 billion. Net pension benefits payable from that $367 billion in 2009 was $1.8 billion (retiree payouts minus current member contributions). Subtracting other liabilities ($48 billion in securities lending obligations that seemed to be borrowed from retirement funds- page 212), the state of California is holding onto over $300 billion of the public’s money that could be used for other purposes (pages 48, 49 of the report).
- The misleading information on pages 154-155 suggests retirement funds are not fully funded. However: over $300 billion is held in investments for $1.8 billion in net benefits. How many votes do you think our present policy would receive from the California public given the alternative of receiving ~$15,000 now and paying a $50 tax every year.
- The investments: $143 billion in “equity securities” (stocks), $92 billion in debt securities (page 83-84). $72 billion is dependent upon foreign markets (page 88).
- The UC system had a budget deficit for this ending school year of $0.65 billion. The policy response was to deny 2,300 students enrollment, lay-off over 2,000 faculty and staff, furlough teaching days and cut 10% salaries, and raise tuition by 32%. For less than one-third of one percent of the investment total of California, UC would have been fully-funded and those reductions eliminated.
- California’s 20,000 laid-off teachers could be rehired at $70,000/year for $3.4 billion; less than 1% of these three CAFR “investments” total.
- One cost of this deception: Governor Schwarzenegger announced a 41 percent cut for the 2010 budget in "general government" services including elimination of CALWORKS (welfare to work and child-care program, which will affect 1.4 million people, two thirds of them children), and sharp decreases in health and welfare programs for single mothers, low-income children, foster youth, the disabled, and senior citizens.
- Los Angeles County has $52 billion in investments (pages 61-63), the City of Los Angeles has $36 billion (page 80). Both have drastically cut programs. Both have pension plans underfunded by current members by less than 2% of their investment totals.