Pension Alto, California

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The city where I live, Palo Alto, is not very big. The population is about 50,000 people. I was therefore more than a little surprised to see this on the front page of our little daily newspaper:


So let me get this straight………in a town with 50,000 people, there is approaching half a billion dollars in unfunded pension liabilities? That comes to over $8,000 for every man, woman, child, and blogger in this town.

There’s no shortage of articles about the pension time bomb. This is just a small example of it, and it’s a direct result of hugely, hugely, HUGELY over-generous salaries and benefits to the civic workers. We’re all spoon-fed this diet of brave firefighters saving us from death and marvelous policemen getting the bad guys.

The fact is Palo Alto doesn’t HAVE any fires to speak of, and the cops help direct traffic during Stanford football games. They are all paid huge six figure salaries, some of them pushing to like a quarter million bucks, all for hanging out in the fire station or driving their $80,000 Broncos (yes, that’s what the police drive here for their police cars) around lovely downtown Palo Alto.

Government unions for the WIN!