The incoming Speaker of the California Assembly could learn something from one of his most illustrious predecessors. Willie Brown, the former longtime Speaker (1980-1995), contends that politicians helped create the state’s current problems by increasing employee costs.
The deal used to be that civil servants were paid less than private sector workers in exchange for an understanding that they had job security for life.
But we politicians, pushed by our friends in labor, gradually expanded pay and benefits to private-sector levels while keeping the job protections and layering on incredibly generous retirement packages that pay ex-workers almost as much as current workers.
Talking about this is politically unpopular and potentially even career suicide for most officeholders. But at some point, someone is going to have to get honest about the fact that 80 percent of the state, county and city budget deficits are due to employee costs.
Sounds like someone needs to stand up to the public employee unions.
Somehow, I don’t think this will stop California Democrats and their cheerleaders in the MSM from blaming the state’s budget woes on Prop 13.