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Tidbits Political Quotations
To Accompany the September 28, 2017 edition of Tidbits          
Bob Jensen at
Trinity University

USA Debt Clock --- ubl

In September 2017 the USA National Debt exceeded $20 trillion for the first time ---

How Your Federal Tax Dollars are Spent ---

To Whom Does the USA Federal Government Owe Money (the booked obligation of $20+ trillion) ---
The US Debt Clock in Real Time --- 
Remember the Jane Fonda Movie called "Rollover" ---
One worry is that nations holding trillions of dollars invested in USA debt are dependent upon sales of oil and gas to sustain those investments.

To Whom Does the USA Federal Government Owe Money (the unbooked obligation of $100 trillion and unknown more in contracted entitlements) ---
The biggest worry of the entitlements obligations is enormous obligation for the future under the Medicare and Medicaid programs that are now deemed totally unsustainable ---

How Americans Get Health Insurance ---


Sometimes the grass is greener on the other side because it's been fertilized with more bullshit.


Shoot for the space in between, because that's where the real mystery lies.
Vera Rubin


Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.
T.S. Eliot

There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.
Leonard Cohen

Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters.
Margaret Wheatley
Even conversations that are not politically correct.

Why, we grow rusty and you catch us at the very point of decadence --- by this time tomorrow we may have forgotten everything we ever knew. That's a thought isn't it? We'd be back to where we started --- improvising.
Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (Act I)

It's hard to beat a person who never gives up.

Babe Ruth, Historic Home Run Hitter
What's sad is to witness what Syria has become because nobody will give up.

And "because they're nonstate actors, it's hard for us to get the satisfaction of [Gen.] MacArthur and the [Japanese] Emperor [Hirohito] meeting and the war officially being over," Obama observed, referencing the end of World War II. 
President Barack Obama when asked if the USA of the future will be perpetually engaged in war.

We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. 
Joseph Campbell

If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking. 
George S. Patton

If you don't know where you're going, you might not get there.
Yogi Berra

Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.
Henry David Thoreau

Two of the largest veterans organizations in the country are slamming National Football League (NFL) players who kneel during the national anthem ---

John Cleese Makes a Stand Against Political Correctness ---

If colleges take precautions to protect their campuses when a controversial figure comes to speak, they aren't coddling students but encouraging a safe exchange of different ideas, argues Eddie S. Glaude Jr., a professor of religion and African-American studies at Princeton University, in this Twitter thread ---

Purdue University has won praise for embracing all expression. What risk does that posture bring in an era of violence? ---

Antifa Has Backed Its Message With Violence for Decades in Europe

When Sharia Law And The U.S. Tax Law Collide ---

How do you cool 7.5 billion people on a warming planet?
700 million:   New air conditioning units expected to be added by 2030, largely in developing countries. One issue yet to be solved is that additional air conditioning units are positively terrible for the environment, given that the hydroflourocarbons that they use as refrigerants have thousands of times the warming potential of more common greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide.

The Washington PostAt $76,260, New Hampshire had the highest median income in 2016, according to the Census Bureau. The state also had the lowest poverty rate: 6.9%.---

Gay Seattle Mayor Ed Murray Resigns Following Fifth Child Abuse Claim, This Time From His Own Family ---

The U.S. Asian population is growing faster than any other U.S. racial or ethnic group, climbing 72 percent between 2000 and 2015 according to a new study from the Pew Research Center. Asians Americans are projected to eclipse Hispanic Americans in 2055 to become the largest immigrant group in the country.
Pew Research Center ---

Hurricanes Drive Immigration to the USA (and now Canada where the majority of people sneaking into Canada are from Haiti) ---

Our Forests are in Flames ---

The Washington Post:  Conservatives say campus speech is under threat. That’s been true for most of history ---

A study published in Nature Geoscience claims we've overestimated the planet's warming to date. Updated models suggest humanity could emit three times more carbon than the UN currently suggests and still meet the 1.5 °C warming target of the Paris climate pact. As Nature notes, not all scientists are convinced by the study. But even a little breathing room could make the climate fight easier: as we’ve reported before, tight climate deadlines make for huge CO2 capture costs.
MIT Newsletter on September 19, 2017

Women Lawyers Continue To Lag In Partnership Positions, Pay ---

That Time Susan Rice Said No Wiretapping Of Trump Tower Occurred Under Obama ---

Regular Public School Teachers Miss More School Than Charter Teachers, Study Finds ---

Under President Obama:  Six U.S. Agencies Conspired to Illegally Wiretap Trump (and lied about it to the media) ---

The Media Has A Probability Problem The media’s demand for certainty — and its lack of statistical rigor — is a bad match for our complex world ---

The Economist:  How China is Battling Ever More Intensely in World Markets ---

The Atlantic:  How Campus Sexual Assault Became So Politicized ---

A Hacker’s Guide to Destroying the Global Economy ---

Hackers targeted voter registration systems in 21 states, feds say ---

The state pension mess is even worse than you think  due to hidden post-employment benefits.---

USA Today:  Archive of 864 NFL Player Arrests ---

James Comey (at right) was met with protests when he spoke at Howard University’s convocation Friday, a sign, perhaps, of the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director’s long road ahead at the historically black university. Comey, who was appointed to the King Endowed Chair in Public Policy at Howard last month, was met with protests and chants of “No justice, no peace” and “I love being black,” as well as “We shall not be moved,” when he took the stage. After waiting about 15 minutes, he decided to speak over the chants -- which did not subside throughout his speech -- from a group of students attending the ceremony.

Target to boost minimum wage. Target Corp. said it is raising its minimum wage to $11 an hour starting next month and to $15 an hour within three years, as the retailer competes to fill low-wage jobs in a tighter labor market ---


They say that patriotism is the last refuge
To which a scoundrel clings.
Steal a little and they throw you in jail,
Steal a lot and they make you king.
There's only one step down from here, baby,
It's called the land of permanent bliss. 
What's a sweetheart like you doin' in a dump like this?

Bob Dylan

Well, the rifleman’s stalking the sick and the lame
Preacherman seeks the same, who’ll get there first is uncertain
Nightsticks and water cannons, tear gas, padlocks
Molotov cocktails and rocks behind every curtain
False-hearted judges dying in the webs that they spin
Only a matter of time ’til night comes steppin’ in

Bob Dylan

Oh, what did you see, my blue-eyed son
And what did you see, my darling young one
I saw a newborn baby with wild wolves all around it
I saw a highway of diamonds with nobody on it
I saw a black branch with blood that kept drippin'
I saw a room full of men with their hammers a-bleedin'
I saw a white ladder all covered with water
I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken
I saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children
And it's a hard, and it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard
It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall

Bob Dylan

Hear Bob Dylan’s Newly-Released Nobel Lecture: A Meditation on Music, Literature & Lyrics ---

Patti Smith Sings Bob Dylan’s “A Hard Rains Gonna Fall” at Nobel Prize Ceremony & Gets a Case of the Nerves ---

Who Pays USA Taxes?

USA Debt Clock --- ubl

Truth is, no man has done more to poison the possibilities for fixing America’s broken immigration system than our 44th president (Obama)
by William McGurn
The Wall Street Journal
September 11, 2017

Throughout his political life, Barack Obama has been hustling America on immigration, pretending to be one thing while doing another.

Now he’s at it again. Mr. Obama calls it “cruel” of Donald Trump both to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that protected hundreds of thousands of people who came to the U.S. as children illegally—and to ask Congress to fix it. The former president further moans that the immigration bill he asked Congress to send him “never came,” with the result that 800,000 young people now find themselves in limbo.

Certainly there are conservatives and Republicans who oppose and fight efforts by Congress to open this country’s doors, as well as to legalize the many millions who crossed into the U.S. unlawfully but have been working peacefully and productively. These immigration opponents get plenty of attention.

What gets almost zero press attention is the sneakier folks, Mr. Obama included. Truth is, no man has done more to poison the possibilities for fixing America’s broken immigration system than our 44th president.

Mr. Obama’s double-dealing begins with his time as junior senator from Illinois, when he helped sabotage a bipartisan immigration package supported by George W. Bush and Ted Kennedy. Mr. Obama’s dissembling continued during the first two years of his own presidency, when he had the votes to pass an immigration bill if he had chosen to push one. It was all topped off by his decision, late in his first term, to institute the policy on DACA that he himself had previously admitted was beyond his constitutional powers.

Let this columnist state at the outset that he favors a generous system of legal immigration because he believes it is good for America. Let him stipulate too that a fair and reasonable solution to 800,000 children who are here through no fault of their own should not be a sticking point for a nation as large as America. But once again, here’s the point about Mr. Obama: For all his big talk about how much he’s wanted an immigration bill, whenever he’s had the opportunity to back one, he’s either declined or actively worked to scuttle it.

Start with 2007, when a coalition of Republican and Democratic senators came up with a bill that also enjoyed the support of the Bush White House. It wasn’t perfect, but it extracted compromises from each side—e.g., enhancements for border security, a guest-worker program, and the inclusion of the entire Dream Act, the legislation for children who’d been brought here illegally that Mr. Obama claims he has always wanted.

Sen. Obama opted to back 11th-hour amendments that Kennedy rightly complained were really intended as deal-breakers. At a critical point, Kennedy urged that President Bush ask then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to keep the Senate in session to get the last few votes the bill needed. Mr. Reid opted for the Obama approach: Concluding he’d rather have the political issue than actual reform, he adjourned the Senate for the July 4 recess.

A year later Mr. Obama was running for president. Before the National Council of La Raza, he vowed: “I will make [comprehensive immigration reform] a top priority in my first year as president.” Yet notwithstanding the lopsided Democratic majorities he enjoyed in Congress his first two years, he didn’t push for immigration legislation, which makes his promise to La Raza rank right up there with “if you like your health care plan you can keep it.”

Mr. Obama frequently noted the limits on his powers. “I know some here wish that I could just bypass Congress and change the law myself. But that’s not how democracy works,” he said. Then in 2012 he decided he would indeed change the law himself. A June 2012 Journal editorial captures the cynicism built into the DACA memo.

The president’s move, the Journal predicted, “will further poison the debate and make Republicans more reluctant to come to the negotiating table and cut a deal.” The editorial went on: “One begins to wonder if anything this President does is about anything larger than his re-election.”

Today Carl Cannon, executive editor and Washington bureau chief for RealClearPolitics, is almost alone in the national press in pointing to this history, in a piece pegged to the Democratic response to President Trump’s pitch to codify DACA into law. “Instead of responding to this overture in a spirit of compromise,” Mr. Cannon writes, “Democrats chose vitriol and name-calling, their default position in the Trump era.”

Continued in article


Walter E. Williams ---

The Welfare State's Legacy
by Walter E. Williams (who grew up in a ghetto and eventually became a well-known professor of economics)

That the problems of today's black Americans are a result of a legacy of slavery, racial discrimination and poverty has achieved an axiomatic status, thought to be self-evident and beyond question. This is what academics and the civil rights establishment have taught. But as with so much of what's claimed by leftists, there is little evidence to support it.

The No. 1 problem among blacks is the effects stemming from a very weak family structure. Children from fatherless homes are likelier to drop out of high school, die by suicide, have behavioral disorders, join gangs, commit crimes and end up in prison. They are also likelier to live in poverty-stricken households. But is the weak black family a legacy of slavery? In 1960, just 22 percent of black children were raised in single-parent families. Fifty years later, more than 70 percent of black children were raised in single-parent families. Here's my question: Was the increase in single-parent black families after 1960 a legacy of slavery, or might it be a legacy of the welfare state ushered in by the War on Poverty?

According to the 1938 Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences, that year 11 percent of black children were born to unwed mothers. Today about 75 percent of black children are born to unwed mothers. Is that supposed to be a delayed response to the legacy of slavery? The bottom line is that the black family was stronger the first 100 years after slavery than during what will be the second 100 years.

At one time, almost all black families were poor, regardless of whether one or both parents were present. Today roughly 30 percent of blacks are poor. However, two-parent black families are rarely poor. Only 8 percent of black married-couple families live in poverty. Among black families in which both the husband and wife work full-time, the poverty rate is under 5 percent. Poverty in black families headed by single women is 37 percent. The undeniable truth is that neither slavery nor Jim Crow nor the harshest racism has decimated the black family the way the welfare state has.

The black family structure is not the only retrogression suffered by blacks in the age of racial enlightenment. In every census from 1890 to 1954, blacks were either just as active as or more so than whites in the labor market. During that earlier period, black teen unemployment was roughly equal to or less than white teen unemployment. As early as 1900, the duration of black unemployment was 15 percent shorter than that of whites; today it's about 30 percent longer. Would anyone suggest that during earlier periods, there was less racial discrimination? What goes a long way toward an explanation of yesteryear and today are the various labor laws and regulations promoted by liberals and their union allies that cut off the bottom rungs of the economic ladder and encourage racial discrimination

Labor unions have a long history of discrimination against blacks. Frederick Douglass wrote about this in his 1874 essay titled "The Folly, Tyranny, and Wickedness of Labor Unions," and Booker T. Washington did so in his 1913 essay titled "The Negro and the Labor Unions." To the detriment of their constituents, most of today's black politicians give unquestioning support to labor laws pushed by unions and white liberal organizations.

Then there's education. Many black 12th-graders deal with scientific problems at the level of whites in the sixth grade. They write and do math about as well as white seventh- and eighth-graders. All of this means that an employer hiring or a college admitting the typical black high school graduate is in effect hiring or admitting an eighth-grader. Thus, one should not be surprised by the outcomes.

The most damage done to black Americans is inflicted by those politicians, civil rights leaders, and academics who assert that every problem confronting blacks is a result of a legacy of slavery and discrimination. That's a vision that guarantees perpetuity for the problems.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
This probably does not put enough blame on the evolution/explosion of narcotics and the "employment" opportunities in drug-related crime. Many poor people (not just blacks and Hispanics) see more economic opportunity in crime than in education and training. Gangs beat educators to offering opportunities to income and status. Many end up in prisons that only fester the wounds of crime rather than heal those wounds.

In my opinion legalizing heroin and cocaine and possibly some designer (less-lethal) drugs would take away much of the influence of gangs on our young people. Legalizing drugs is not a magic bullet, but I think it beats the alternatives we live with today. But I admit that I'm no expert on such matters. I defer to those who've specialized in such matters.

Perhaps giving minimum incomes and other economic opportunities to two-parent families also has some promise if not encumbered by a dysfunctional bureaucracy of the welfare system. But as long as there's more perceived opportunity in crime the crime problem will never be solved.

Two of the largest veterans organizations in the country are slamming National Football League (NFL) players who kneel during the national anthem ---

Only Steeler who took field for national anthem leads NFL in jersey sales ---

Jensen Comment
Those who use their media and educational posts for political protests should be aware of backlashes that go with the territory. When politics are not a part of the curriculum plan for a course (think calculus) then I don't think it's appropriate to bring political rants into the course just because a biased professor (right or left) is in front of the class.


I don't begrudge an athlete's right to kneel or burn the USA Flag or give the finger to a police official in a public setting, but I'm not sure it's appropriate to take advantage of being in front of the game cameras to do so.


In doing so expect that the backlash (think Veterans and sincere patriots) may cause more harm than good  to the cause of impeaching President Trump. There's a time a place for everything, and if it's the wrong time and the wrong place expect the backlash. Media events are growing out of hand in ways that ruin the events themselves (including college courses).


 The NFL and our colleges are  becoming tremendous boosters for re-election of Donald Trump.


Economic models are broken, and economists have wildly different ideas about how to fix them ---

How Labor Scholars Missed the Trump Revolt::We thought we knew the white working class. Then 2016 happened ---

When the bottom fell out of the economy in 2008, many in and out of the academy were quick to wag a finger at economists and ask, "Why didn’t you guys see this coming?" Economists responded that the "science" of economics is not of the predictive kind — nor, for that matter, are a lot of the sciences. The economy might have been in unanticipated chaos, but the discipline of economics was still sound.

Others argued that the problem was in the methodology itself — the assumptions and premises that blind practitioners to even the possibility of crisis. The eight American and European scholars who wrote the "Dahlem report," a 2009 analysis of the economics profession, found it "obvious, even to the casual observer that these models fail to account for the actual evolution of the real-world economy." As a result, "in our hour of greatest need," we must fumble in darkness with no explanation, no theory, and no scholarly discipline prepared to answer the simple question: How did we get here?

I am a labor historian — or at least one in recovery. When my colleagues and I saw the financial crisis, our predominant response was something like an exhausted, cynical shrug: "Of course — what did you expect in an age of rampant deregulation and absurd economic inequality?" Yet when the next systemic paroxysm hit our nation — the wave of white, blue-collar rage that helped elect Donald Trump — my field seemed as ill-equipped to explain the "actual evolution of the real-world" situation as the science of economics had been to explain the crash in 2008. One could have polled the entire American Political Science Association and the Organization of American Historians in 2016 and found very few who would have predicted a Trump victory — unless Michael Moore (who nearly alone, in no uncertain terms, predicted a "Rust Belt Brexit," the last stand of the common white guy) happens to be an accidental member of one of those professional organizations.

Richard Hofstadter, the old grandmaster of American political history, laid clear the burdens of being a historian: "The urgency of our national problems seems to demand, more than ever, that the historian have something to say that will help us." The need for salient historical explanation seems more important now than ever, yet a lot of us are coming up empty. Most of what we seemed to know about how class works suddenly seems dated, or simply wrong. As with the economists of the past decade, we may have been blinded by the bedrock assumptions of our own field.

Most labor historians, one way or another, and whether or not they concede it, remain children of the "new labor history." The field emerged in the 1960s and ’70s from several sources: the political vision of the New Left, civil rights, and women’s movements; the rejection of the narrow trade-union economism of the "old" labor history; and, perhaps most important, the 1963 publication of E.P. Thompson’s The Making of the English Working Class. Thompson famously rejected an analysis that addressed class as a "thing," arguing instead for a new analysis that approaches class as a "happening." Smashing icons across the intellectual spectrum, his book began a new age of rich and adventurous writing about the history of working people. He sent historians on a mission to figure out how class worked — without indulging the condescending, instrumental, or teleological traps of previous intellectual models.


In place of institutions and economics, the new breed of scholars put culture, consciousness, community, agency, and resistance at the center of their analyses. In rushed two generations of engaged scholarship, freeing workers from prisons of party, union, and state. No longer intellectual pawns, the working class could have its own voice and reveal its own rich complexity. Liberated history, so the assumption went, would lead to liberated workers. And liberation became the project of the new labor history.

But this paradigm never quite escaped its origins in the political romanticism of the New Left that gave birth to it. At its best, it opened up wide vistas of understanding of the entirety of American history; at its worst, it looked like a cultural whirlpool of radicals writing radical history for a radical audience


. . .


Historians need to reconcile their intellectual frameworks with a "real-world" America that is a messy stew of populist, communitarian, reactionary, progressive, racist, patriarchal, and nativist ingredients. Any historical era has its own mix of these elements, which play in different ways. We should embrace Thompson’s admonition to understand class as a continuing, sometimes volatile happening, and not be blinded by our love affair with dissent as a left-wing movement. Trump voters are dissenters, after all.

My generation’s historiographical compass is left spinning. North is gone. But the white working class is out there. And we still really need to understand it.

Jefferson Cowie is a professor of history at Vanderbilt University. His most recent book is The Great Exception: The New Deal and the Limits of American Politics (Princeton University Press, 2016).

Jensen Comment
In other words academic historians in ivory towers stayed aloof of the real world much like academic accountants stayed aloof of real world contracting that that became a messy stew of contingencies and uncertainties that bookkeepers just ignored in the ledgers and academics ignored in their analytical models and their empirical regression models. Where have business firms paid the least bit of attention to esoteric and irrelevant academic accounting research? (Yeah I know I'm exaggerating when I write "irrelevant," but I'm not exaggerating when I write that the business firms ignore the esoteric research of academic (accountics science) professors.

What's the greatest tax loophole of all time?

Hint:  Lucky in law but not in love


Jensen Comment
The word "greatest" must be taken in context. This may be super great for those who get to use it, but it may not be the "greatest" in terms of US Treasury aggregate losses.

What loophole costs the government the most aggregate losses?

Tax-exempt income is a good candidate, but probably not enough income that is legally tax exempt unless you consider the illegal  underground, unreported income as being "tax exempt." If you add total unreported income as being the biggest loophole you are probably correct, but I think the context of the article is that the loopholes must be legal loopholes.

In terms of legal loopholes I suspect (without doing a lick of research) that personal exemptions plus the standard deduction add up to the "greatest" aggregate loopholes. Virtually all taxpayers take advantage of both single and multiple-dependent exemptions ---

There are a lot of people 65 or older
In the past, there was an extra exemption when you reached age 65. Now, if you are age 65 or older on the last day of the year and do not itemize deductions, you are en-titled to a higher standard deduction. ... If you are married, you get an additional $1,200 standard deduction..

For nearly half of USA taxpayers any income tax owing after personal exemptions are deducted their tax owing is eliminated by the standard deduction "loophole" ---

This is especially important these days when Congress is considering a nationalized (single-payer) healthcare plan. Other nations in Europe and Canada that have national health care plans do not allow half their taxpayers off the hook when it comes to paying for "free" health treatments and medications. If the USA national health plan is to be paid for mainly with income taxes than the USA should no longer let half the taxpayers pay no income tax. Something will have to be done about the personal exemption and standard deduction loopholes.


 Pension Spiking ---

Pension spiking, sometimes referred to as "salary spiking",[1] is the process whereby public sector employees grant themselves large raises or otherwise artificially inflate their compensation in the years immediately preceding retirement in order to receive larger pensions than they otherwise would be entitled to receive. This inflates the pension payments to the retirees and, upon retirement of the "spikee", transfers the burden of making payments from the employee's employer to a public pension fund. This practice is considered a significant contributor to the high cost of public sector pensions.

Several states including Illinois have passed laws making it more difficult for employees to spike their pensions.[2] The California CalPERS system outlawed this practice in 1993, but as of 2012 it remained legal in the 20 counties which did not participate in this public employee retirement system.[1]

Pension spiking is largely seen in public sector and is an example of the principal–agent problem. In the classic principal–agent problem, a principal hires an agent to work on his behalf. The agent then seeks to maximize his own well being within the confines of the engagement laid out by the principal. The agent, or bureaucrat in this instance, has superior information and is able to maximize his benefit at the cost of the principal. In other words, there is asymmetric information.

In the case of pension spiking the general public (the principal) elects officials to hire the bureaucrat who then hires the public servants, who are the ultimate agents of the general public. Thus, the principal is three steps removed from the bureaucrat. In the case of pension spiking, the public has allowed a pension system to be created which is based on the compensation in the last year of service and delegated the setting of this cost to the bureaucrat.[3] The bureaucrat, who will often himself or herself benefit from a spiked pension or the same laws permitting pension spiking, fails to stop the practice, a clear conflict of interest.

Jensen Comment
The University of California pension "generosity" may not me rampant pension spiking fraud, but it is symptomatic of the public pension frauds that Governor Jerry Brown encountered in the public pension system in California, fraud blamed heavily on unions and corrupt elected officials ---
In Massive Blow To California Unions, A Second Court Rules That Pension Benefits Can Be Reduced ---

Back in September, we noted that, in a surprisingly logical decision particularly for a state like California which is typically devoid of all reason, a court upheld the rights of Marin County (and it's taxpayers) to reduce final year salary levels utilized to calculate pension payments. The ruling was meant to protect taxpayers against "salary spiking," a practice whereby union employees artificially drive up their final year salary, by taking cash vacation payouts or 1x bonus payments for example, in an effort to game the annual pension payment they'll then receive in perpetuity.

Continued in article


L.A. Times: University Of California Is Handing Out Generous Pensions, And Students Are Paying The Price With Higher Tuition ---

As parents and students start writing checks for the first in-state tuition hike in seven years at the University of California, they hope the extra money will buy a better education.

But a big chunk of that new money — perhaps tens of millions of dollars — will go to pay for the faculty’s increasingly generous retirements.

Last year, more than 5,400 UC retirees received pensions over $100,000. Someone without a pension would need savings between $2 million and $3 million to guarantee a similar income in retirement.

The number of UC retirees collecting six-figure pensions has increased 60% since 2012, a Times analysis of university data shows. Nearly three dozen received pensions in excess of $300,000 last year, four times as many as in 2012. Among those joining the top echelon was former UC President Mark Yudof, who worked at the university for only seven years — including one year on paid sabbatical and another in which he taught one class per semester.

The average UC pension for people who retired after 30 years is $88,000, the data show.

The soaring outlays, generous salaries and the UC’s failure to contribute to the pension fund for two decades have left the retirement system deep in the red. Last year, there was a $15-billion gap between the amount on hand and the amount it owes to current and future retirees, according to the university’s most recent annual valuation.

“I think this year’s higher tuition is just the beginning of bailouts by students and their parents,” said Lawrence McQuillan, author of California Dreaming: Lessons on How to Resolve America’s Public Pension Crisis. “The students had nothing to do with creating this, but they are going to be the piggy bank to solve the problem in the long term.”

At a UC Board of Regents meeting this month, university officials began discussing next year’s budget and broached the possibility of another tuition increase. Pensions and retiree healthcare topped their list of growing expenses, but it’s unclear whether regents would approve another hike.

Public pension funds are in crisis across the country, and particularly in California. The underlying cause is essentially the same everywhere. For decades, government agencies and public employees consistently failed to contribute enough money to their retirement funds, relying instead on overly optimistic estimates of how much investments would grow.

UC’s pension problem, while not unique, is distinctly self-inflicted. In 1990, administrators there stopped making contributions for 20 years, even as their investments foundered, leaving a jaw-dropping bill for the next generation — which has now arrived.

After setting aside about a third of the new money for financial aid, university officials expect this year’s increased tuition and fees for in-state students to generate an extra $57 million for the so-called core fund, which pays for basics like professors’ salaries and keeping the lights on in the classrooms. But they also expect to pay an extra $26 million from the fund for pensions and retiree health costs, according to the university’s most recent budget report.

UC spokeswoman Dianne Klein said it’s impossible to say precisely how much of the tuition increase will go toward retirement costs because the university pools revenue from a variety of sources, including out-of-state tuition and taxpayer money from the state general fund, to cover expenses.

The steep rise in six-figure pension payments over the last five years was driven by a wave of retiring baby boomers with long tenures at high salaries, Klein said. “UC, as you know, has an aging workforce.”

University officials have attempted to control costs by increasing the retirement age and capping pensions for new hires, but those are long-term fixes that won’t yield significant savings for decades. And the current budget promises $144 million in raises for faculty and staff, a move that will send future pension payments even higher.

The top 10 pension recipients in 2016 include nine scholars and scientists who spent decades at the university: doctors who taught at the medical schools and treated patients at the teaching hospitals, a Nobel Prize-winning cancer researcher and a physicist who oversaw America’s nuclear weapons stockpile.

The exception is Yudof, who receives a $357,000 pension after working only seven years.

Continued in article

September 16, 2017 Message from Joe Hoyle

 September 16,2017 reply from Bob Jensen

It will be interesting to see what Ken Burns does with both the early years and the post-war years as summarized at
It's common to downplay the Kennedy Escalation and some happenings in the war's immediate immediate aftermath,

The Viet Nam War is historically a great waste of human life and great cause of extensive suffering. In context, however, it is not nearly as costly in terms of death and suffering as the really, really great waste of World War I "to end all wars" Yeah Right!---

Perhaps the lessons learned from the Viet Nam War are much greater, however, than the lessons learned from WW I.

Sadly the Viet Nam War may be the last war that will be drawn to a close. Wars in the 21st Century are wars of terror that evolve without end.

And "because they're nonstate actors, it's hard for us to get the satisfaction of [Gen.] MacArthur and the [Japanese] Emperor [Hirohito] meeting and the war officially being over," Obama observed, referencing the end of World War II. 
President Barack Obama when asked if the USA of the future will be perpetually engaged in war.

We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. 
Joseph Campbell

If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking. 
George S. Patton

If you don't know where you're going, you might not get there.
Yogi Berra

Nestlé Makes Billions Bottling Water It Pays Nearly Nothing For ---



Bob Jensen's health care messaging ---

Democrats:  Are You Sure You Want Medicare (plus universal "free" nursing care) for All?
Jensen Comment
If done well it will cost more than the entire USA Federal budget with exploding future inflation expenses.

Obamacare Repeal Is Dead. Here Come the Bailouts.---

Fewer than half of Coloradans now get their health insurance through employers ---

Quiz:  How much do you know about Medicare?
Click the Submit button for more questions


From the CFO Journal's Morning Ledger on September 20, 2017

Good morning. The average cost of health coverage offered by U.S. employers rose to around $19,000 for a family plan this year, while the share of firms providing insurance to workers continued to fall, writes WSJ’s Anna Wilde Mathews.

Annual premiums rose 3% to $18,764 for an employer plan in 2017, from $18,142 last year, the same rate of increase as in 2016. The trend of relatively gradual premium increases has continued for several years, with the growth of premiums damped by a shift toward bigger out-of-pocket costs for employees in the form of high deductibles—a move that slowed this year, as average deductibles were roughly flat compared with 2016.

Still, the rise of premiums over time has resulted in family health plans that can annually cost more than a new car, with the cost split between firms and employees. Employees paid on average $5,714, or 31%, of the premiums, for a family plan in 2017. For an individual worker, the average annual cost of employer coverage was $6,690 in the 2017 survey, or 4% higher than last year, with employees paying 18% of the total.

Quiz:  How much do you know about Medicare?
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Learn more about Medicare ---
Two things to especially note is that workers absolutely must save toward their health care in retirement. Medicare is not free after you retire. There's a monthly charge for you and your spouse as well a considerable monthly fees for supplemental coverage (that I view as emportant). Plus Medicare D will not pay for all your medications (my wife and I always end up in the doughnut hole). Secondly, Medicare pays nothing toward nursing home or long-term care fees that are now costing patients thousands per month out of pocket except for those who go on Medicaid. Those relying on Medicaid typically are getting pretty lousy care in many (most?) cases. Plan ahead for medical expenses that will not be paid by Medicare.

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Current and past editions of my newsletter called Fraud Updates ---

Enron ---

Rotten to the Core ---

American History of Fraud ---

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Shielding Against Validity Challenges in Plato's Cave ---

·     With a Rejoinder from the 2010 Senior Editor of The Accounting Review (TAR), Steven J. Kachelmeier

·     With Replies in Appendix 4 to Professor Kachemeier by Professors Jagdish Gangolly and Paul Williams

·     With Added Conjectures in Appendix 1 as to Why the Profession of Accountancy Ignores TAR

·     With Suggestions in Appendix 2 for Incorporating Accounting Research into Undergraduate Accounting Courses

Shielding Against Validity Challenges in Plato's Cave  ---
By Bob Jensen

What went wrong in accounting/accountics research?  ---

The Sad State of Accountancy Doctoral Programs That Do Not Appeal to Most Accountants ---


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Systemic problems of accountancy (especially the vegetable nutrition paradox) that probably will never be solved ---

Bob Jensen's economic crisis messaging

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