Government Spending

Shoveling Your Federal Income Taxes Into the Pensions of State Employees, in the Name of Affordable Housing

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Even in 2011, these people

Here's a charming story, care of the San Jose Mercury News:

Santa Clara County's housing authority could have spent $16 million of federal funds to help more struggling families put a roof over their heads. Instead, it chose to more than double the value of its employees' retirement benefits.

That may sound unusual, but federal housing officials say it was an allowable expense. Still, the switch from a 401(k)-style retirement plan to a pension allowing workers to retire early—with guaranteed lifetime payments—is raising eyebrows at a time when generous public employee pensions are under fire. […]

Bill Anderson, chairman of the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Clara's board of commissioners, conceded that the money spent on employee pensions could have been used in other ways, including housing aid for low-income families.

Indeed, the waiting list for federal housing assistance is so long that applicants must now wait four to nine years. […]

Housing authority workers who under the old plan had to wait until they were almost 60 to draw from retirement accounts—which could be shrunk by market losses—can now receive a guaranteed monthly pension check as early as age 50. And they'll have a guarantee of 2 percent annual increases after they retire.

The kicker?

The change in retirement benefits was made possible after the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2008 made the housing authority one of 32 Moving to Work demonstration sites. The program allows more spending flexibility to encourage "innovative" approaches that "use federal dollars more efficiently."

This is the kind of thing George Will was talking about when he wrote: "America is moving in the libertarians' direction not because they have won an argument but because government and the sectors it dominates have made themselves ludicrous."

Link via the nut-punchers at Pension Tsunami. Reason on the pension catastrophe here.

NEXT: Americans Are Favorable Toward a Balanced Budget Amendment

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  1. You serve US.

    Bitches.

    1. “generous public employee pensions are under fire”
      _
      because everyone knows how high on the hog retired teachers, firefighters, & police live. yesir, them mcmansions be fullz of em!

      1. Well, I’d love to retire at 50, low on the hog even.

      2. because everyone knows how high on the hog retired teachers, firefighters, & police live. yesir, them mcmansions be fullz of em!

        They are doing a lot better than the middle class taxpayers who are supporting them are doing on their 401(k)’s, retard.

        1. and who’s idea was it to convert fm defined contribution retirement plans to 401K’s?…which u now dislike

        2. Plenty of those retired pubsecs have nice little lake houses in Northern Wisconsin for their second homes

          Nice lake house, nice pension, all at fifty or so – I bet it looks pretty fucking high on the hog to all those people who are still working at that age, and longer, paying taxes to finance it.

  2. Still, the switch from a 401(k)-style retirement plan to a pension

    Holy fuck they are doing it wrong.

  3. Why do they hate the poor so much?

  4. perhaps neither free housing for able-bodied people, nor luxurious lifetime benefits for govt employees, is a good use for the money we are borrowing from china

    1. No – no. These funds were stolen from the old peoples’ lockbox.

  5. Andrea Mitchell Greenspan just took a liberal down a notch or two in regards to his statistics on MSNBC…that’s right, MSNBC!

  6. I hate everything.

  7. Conspicuously absent from the federal spending/debt ceiling debate was any talk of cutting federal employee wages or benefits, or cutting staff. All of the cuts discussed seemed to be falling on the recipients of the program….

    1. You mean bureaucracies exist to pay bureaucrats?

      No! Say it isn’t so!

    2. You apparently weren’t listening very hard:
      http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..story.html

    3. This article should be required reading for anyone who claims that cutting so much as a penny of federal spending will result in homelessness, starvation and death.

      Who am I kidding…as if reading this will affect their thinking…

  8. Link via the eyebrow-raising, can’t spell tsunami nut-punchers at Pension Tsnuami. Unless it was you, Matt. Which I totally can’t believe.

    1. Thanks for the correction.

  9. If libertarians don’t like the dePRIVation of PRIVate PRIVelege of the agricultural City-State, why do they so reflexively deprecate (using the Hobbesian myth of “nasty, brutish, and short”) the band and tribe Non-State sociopolitical typologies* that humans lived in for 2 million years, now known as the Original Affluent Society?

    * see Non-State and State Societies
    faculty.smu.edu/rkemper/cf_3333/Non_State_and_State_Societies.pdf

    1. Please don’t feed the genocidal retard.

      1. Is it Thursday already?

        1. Is Thursday Genocidal Retard Day now? I must have missed the memo.

          1. Only if you support the dePRIVation of agricultural City-State, that established PRIVileged people into PRIVate property stolen from the Indians in a ruthless genocide.

            1. PRIVate property stolen from the Indians in a ruthless genocide.

              it can’t be [STOLEN] from the [INDIANS] since they din’t believe in [PRIVate] property so they couldn’t have [OWNED] it in the first place [EMPIRE]

              1. then why did they [HATE} to be [RELOCATED] when the [EVIL] whiteman [FORCED] them from their [HOMES]?

                Hey, this tie-me-up crazy stuff is fun!

              2. Oh, so it’s ok to rape a retarded woman who doesn’t understand consent?

                That’s Libertarian excuses for ya.

                1. Because clearly the [INDIANS]are the equivalent of [RETARDED WOMEN].

                  1. At least the [WHITE INDIAN] is [IS].

                  2. While a woman who doesn’t understand consent is probably retarded or young, the Indians didn’t have abstract property of land because they lived in Non-State tribal society, a superior way to live.

                    At least superior to people who like living in a Non-State sociopolitical typology society.

                    1. Nostalgia by any other name…

                    2. If they were so superior how the fuck did they lose the wars?

                    3. the Indians didn’t have abstract property of land

                      bullshit paternalistic nonsense.

                      http://www.thefreemanonline.or…..americans/

          2. Thursdays are Troll Free, or at least that’s the goal.

      2. This one seems to be just nuts enough to be fun, though.

        1. You’re just a sniveling moocher who likes his PRIVate PRIVilege gained from dePRIVation and genocide of Turtle Island.

          Do you have any land TITLE, the primary big-government enTITLEment program?

          Even some prominent Libertarians have been honest enough to state exactly what it takes to defend the big-government PRIVilege of PRIVate property:

          “Cops must be unleashed, and allowed to administer instant punishment ? unleash the cops to clear the streets of bums and vagrants. Where will they go? Who cares?”

          ~Murray Rothbard (American author and economist of the Austrian School who helped define modern Libertarianism,) The Irrepressible Rothbard http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/ir/Ch5.html

          1. Decent use of CAPS, needs more [BRACKETS].

            1. Yes. I miss Herc.

              1. This is great. I would trade Shreik and Max for this redskin any day.

      3. The agricultural City-State civilization is what is proven to be genocidal. And you support it, don’t you, genocidal Statist?

        You support it because it provides you PRIVate PRIVilege.

        The NeoCons support it fully.

        The Libertarians, bless their heart, have a tinge of guilt about the State aspect of the agricultural City-State system; however, they pacify themselves with fantasies of changing the way the abuser works.

        Good luck with that – you can’t change an abuser. Talk with any psychologist about that.

        1. agricultural City-State civilization

          Now you are dissing on beer and that is something up with which I will not put.

          1. Well, I could live without beer, but the 30% infant mortality seems uncool.

            NUMBERZ

            1. Health and longevity decline when agricultural civilization invades, with the exception of the few PRIVately PRIVileged ones at the top of the hierarchy or the center of empire.

              For reference, see:

              Health and the Rise of Civilization
              Mark Nathan Cohen
              Yale University Press
              excerpt from pages 131-141
              http://www.primitivism.com/health-civilization.htm

              The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race
              By Jared Diamond
              UCLA School of Medicine
              http://www.scribd.com/doc/2100…..Human-Race

              1. You know it’s going to be good when Diamond opens with “gross social and sexual inequality”.

                Somebody needs a fucking sabattical

            2. I could live without 30% of the infants, but the stagnation of society at the Stone Age level strikes me as a bit much.

              1. I dunno, I’ve always wanted to get a bunch of tattoos on my face to commmemorate my hunting victories, but the PRIVileged elite would fire me if I did that.

              2. I bet you think the dePRIVation of the agricultural City-State is somehow progress, just like any Progressive.

            3. Warty, higher infant mortality rates just mean more opportunity for procreative sex. The part you have to worry about is the childbirth mortality rate for women. Especially in a hunter-gatherer society where physical combat may be a necessity for acquiring and maintaining female mates.

          2. I’ve often said that agricultural civilization is a 10,000 year long drunken bender.

            The place looks pretty trashed by now, with alot of abuse, death, and black eyes to go around.

            Did a thirst for beer spark civilization?
            By Michael Kan
            Friday, 15 January 2010
            http://www.independent.co.uk/l…..69187.html

            1. 10,000 year long drunken bender.

              Sounds like [FUN] to me.

              1. To those at the top of the hierarchy and close to the center of empire culture, it often is; that’s why we humans love addictions.

                1. You’re doing it wrong, it’s [EMPIRE] culture!

            2. The place looks pretty trashed by now, with alot of abuse, death, and black eyes to go around.

              Yeah, thank goodness none of that shit was around before beer!

              1. Humans lived an evolutionarily stable lifestyle until the agricultural addiction.

                Your (and a family’s) life isn’t perfect before alcoholism, but it is certainly much worse after.

                1. No way man. Without agriculture and the subsequent rise of indutrialism, I wouldn’t be knee-fucking-deep in top hats and monocles.

                  I have a thought, though – maybe you and your buddies could sequester yourselves in the Amazon or in Borneo somewhere and experiment with your little theory in realtime. If it’s successful, I’ll join you!

                  1. 2 million years of success already in the Original Affluent Society (Sahlins)

                    There’s no place to go now, agricultural City-State has invaded and occupied nearly every square meter of mother earth’s surface; only a few marginal places remain where first families are unmolested.

                    1. Well while you wallow in abandon about how humans will never return to their once-pristine state (nostalgia), we – and others – will try and figure out some solutions that will hopefully help people in the meantime.

                    2. Convenient!

                    3. 2 million years of success

                      Where success is defined as “not going extinct”, sure.

        2. PRIV PRIV?

          1. Malkovich Malkovich?

          2. Shouldn’t that be LORD PRIVvie for you?

          3. PRIVilege PRIVate dePRIVe

            You got it!

            And who said I’m not a good teacher using repetition and positive reinforcement? 😉

            1. I’m still waiting for the positive part.

              1. I praised you, with an exclamation mark. Do you need a shiny star?

                1. a new car would be better.

                  1. LOL Cars aren’t any faster than walking, and walking doesn’t give you diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease like sitting on your ass.

                    “The model American male devotes more than 1600 hours a year to his car. He sits in it while it goes and while it stands idling. He parks it and searches for it. He earns the money to put down on it and to meet the monthly installments. He works to pay for gasoline, tolls, insurance, taxes, and tickets. He spends four of his sixteen waking hours on the road or gathering his resources for it. And this figure does not take into account the time consumed by other activities dictated by transport: time spent in hospitals, traffic courts, and garages; time spent watching automobile commercials or attending consumer education meetings to improve the quality of the next buy. The model American puts in 1600 hours to get 7500 miles: less than five miles per hour.”

                    Ivan Illich on Cars
                    excerpts from Energy and Equity
                    also collected in Toward a History of Needs
                    http://ranprieur.com/readings/illichcars.html

                    1. LOL Cars aren’t any faster than walking,

                      Yer doin’ it wrong.

            2. Dude, you clearly don’t quite understand the intracacies of English composition using latin roots.

              He attempts to show how priviledge and private are linked to poverty by point out the commonality of the “priv” that also exists in the word deprive. However, he completely misses that the DE in deprive indicates that the privilidge and privacy have been removed when someone is DEprived.

              Fucking hell you are heaping pile of douche-scented stupid.

              1. Look up the etymology of “de.”

                Also, look at the historical context of the word.

                PRIVate land owners in Rome dePRIVed the peasants of land.

                de- from L. de “down, down from, from, off; concerning”

                Now we know the primary meaning of “de.”

                But there’s more.

                You’re claiming the latter use is exclusive, and you’d be wrong in defense of your economic secular religion. Nice going, Fundamentalist Creationist type.

                (see de), also used as a prefix in Latin usually meaning “down, off, away, from among, down from,” but also “down to the bottom, totally” hence “completely” (intensive or completive), which is its sense in many English words. As a Latin prefix it also had the function of undoing or reversing a verb’s action, and hence it came to be used as a pure privative — “not, do the opposite of, undo” — which is its primary function as a living prefix in English, as in defrost (1895), defuse (1943), etc. Cf. also dis-.

          4. No, you ignamuseses, it’s PRIUS PRIUS!!

            1. LOL…two of us now.

              I’m not a Prius owner. Alternative ways of keeping the American road-rage carscape going are mostly pipe dreams. Electric cars would double the needs of the electrical system. I bet it can’t be done.

              1. No shit!

                1. I see you’ve taken Murray Rothbard’s route – stealing the name Libertarian to use for people who should be more accurately called Propertarians.

                  Well, now we know they only want property rights for themselves, and not others.

                  “We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them.”

                  Shit, I thought I owned these comments. LOL

    2. dePRIVation of PRIVate PRIVelege

      Oooo, a clever one.

      1. Yep, and my words are living in your brain rent free now. 🙂

        1. Please look up what the latin term “de” does to the root word “prive” and realize why deprive is the polar opposite of priviledge and private and when you remove privacy and priviledge, you become deprived.

          1. I did look it up. You should. A later use of “de” mean exactly the opposite.

            Aweful used to mean full of awe. Now it doesn’t. Languages do change, but the original meaning of dePRIVation is tied to rich Roman land owners taking away the peasants land and putting it in PRIVate property, much like the English did to the peasantry with the Inclosure Acts.

            1. Wow, you really don’t understand what you’re saying at all.

              One can be brought to a state of awe by something being strikingly bad.

              And you apparently understand next to nothing about ancient Rome, either.

              The original inhabitants of the villages that merged to become Rome were smallholders who became the patricians.

              The plebeians were non-land-owning immigrants, itinerant workers, and freed slaves.

              The patrician Romans didn’t take land away from them. At all.

              Later, as Rome conquered the other tribes and cities of Italy, she would routinely take land away from her defeated enemies and add that land to the res publica of public land of Rome.

              That public land was then leased to individual citizens for their use.

              It was NOT divided into private lots except when it would sometimes be given to demobilized soldiers by a successful general.

              This lease policy ended up favoring the wealthy, since leases had to be paid in cash. The res publica ended up being divided into large parcels and used for what we would consider agribusiness-scale grazing and/or large slave-worked farms called latifundia.

              It was the failure to make land private in Republican Rome that led to that land being exploited by the wealthy.

              Periodic attempts at reform in Republican Rome generally centered around attempts to sell off or distribute the res publica. The Gracchi were murdered because they wanted to increase the amount of private property.

              The politically powerful fought against any attempt to reduce the amount of public land in Rome’s domains, because they (rightly) concluded that a system of public ownership favored them and perpetuated their power.

              1. Wow, you really don’t understand what you’re saying at all.

                One can be brought to a state of awe by something being strikingly bad.

                And you apparently understand next to nothing about ancient Rome, either.

                The original inhabitants of the villages that merged to become Rome were smallholders who became the patricians.

                The plebeians were non-land-owning immigrants, itinerant workers, and freed slaves.

                The patrician Romans didn’t take land away from them. At all.

                Later, as Rome conquered the other tribes and cities of Italy, she would routinely take land away from her defeated enemies and add that land to the res publica or public land of Rome.

                That public land was then leased to individual citizens for their use.

                It was NOT divided into private lots except when it would sometimes be given to demobilized soldiers by a successful general.

                This lease policy ended up favoring the wealthy, since leases had to be paid in cash. The res publica ended up being divided into large parcels and used for what we would consider agribusiness-scale grazing and/or large slave-worked farms called latifundia.

                It was the failure to make land private in Republican Rome that led to that land being exploited by the wealthy.

                Periodic attempts at reform in Republican Rome generally centered around attempts to sell off or distribute the res publica. The Gracchi were murdered because they wanted to increase the amount of private property.

                The politically powerful fought against any attempt to reduce the amount of public land in Rome’s domains, because they (rightly) concluded that a system of public ownership favored them and perpetuated their power.

                (Corrected for bad tags and one typo.)

            2. Can you provide us with some primary source latin texts showing this?

              1. That was directed at White Indian. I am requesting some primary source latin texts showing the usage of the words he describes.

                From perseus, here’s a wildcard search for “depri”: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/h…..ri&lang=la

                Only one word, deprimo, comes up.

                Looking at “priv” gives more interesting results: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/h…..iv&lang=la

                You see the verb “privo”, which means “to bereave, deprive”, etc… Interesting that they’re using “deprive” in the definition.

                It would seem that the specific term “deprive” has its origins outside of antiquity, as “private” become more and more associated with the latin noun “privatus” (“apart from the State, peculiar, personal, individual, private”) instead of the verb “privo”.

                1. Interesting, this is from etymonline: http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=deprive

                  The “de-” is meant to mean “entirely” and the “prive” comes from the verb “privo” (presented in its infinitive form “privare”) which means “release from”. The conjoining, “deprivare”, is from middle latin, not ancient latin, and literally means “to be entirely released from”.

        2. not for long….*DRINK*

      2. A bit too privy for my taste.

        1. I just dropped a deuce in the PRIVy.

          1. Dookie in De Privy.

    3. Re: White Indian,

      If libertarians don’t like the dePRIVation of PRIVate PRIVelege of the agricultural City-State[sic][…]

      You should know you’re treading in shaky ground when you use a totally arbitrary label, for which you harbor little understanding, just to deride people that could not give a lesser shit about what you have to say.

      1. Etymology isn’t totally arbitrary, but you sure wish my example was. But it’s not.

        I figured Libertarians gave a shit about understanding Non-State sociopolitical typology. Now you tell me they don’t?

        1. No, etymology is totally arbitrary. Words mean what the speaking group says they mean, no more, no less. You can’t get much more arbitrary than that. Just because you wrote down a history full of arbitrary decisions doesn’t mean it’s any less arbitrary.

          1. Oh sweet jesus, another faithful Fundamentalist Creationist type who doesn’t like that uppity intellectualism.

            Should I just discard etymological analysis and read only from the economic priestcraft approved holy canon at Laissez Faire Books?

            1. As opposed to people like Jared Diamond and Charles Mann. Two pseudo-intellectuals if there ever were ones.

            2. You’re free to analyze the world however you see fit: etymologically, scatalogically, or otherwise. Just don’t expect anybody else to believe your analysis.

        2. I got a laugh out of your “agricultural City-State[sic].”

          Go to Scholar.google.com and search for Agricultural+City+State.

          The term “agricultural civilization” is more common, but “Agricultural City State” is equivalent and used in professional literature.

          I use it for the ignorant Marxist and other radicals like libertarian anarchists who want to divorce the State from the agricultural city state.

          It’ll never happen.

          1. Re: White Indian,

            Go to Scholar.google.com and search for Agricultural+City+State.

            I don’t have to, asshole. I am not the one stuck in 500 B.C.

            Idiot.

  10. “America is moving in the libertarians’ direction not because they have won an argument but because government and the sectors it dominates have made themselves ludicrous.”

    Yay! Win by…default? Oh.
    Not win, but we stink less.
    Yay!

    1. Get a new handle!

      1. I was libertarded way before you.

        1. The fuck with the both of you!

          1. Can I watch?

  11. This is the kind of thing George Will was talking about when he wrote: “America is moving in the libertarians’ direction not because they have won an argument but because government and the sectors it dominates have made themselves ludicrous.”

    Also known as Proving Our Point.

    1. Also known as Proving Our Point.

      Will: “not because they [libertarians] have won an argument”

      Faint praise indeed.

    2. I was going to say, the libertarian argument is that government and the sectors it dominates are ludicrous.

    3. So libertarians lose the argument by being proven to be correct?

      I don’t get it.

      1. Libertarians always lose the argument – or so I’ve heard. It’s the Crazy Uncle defense.

        1. I get it. Libertarians are wrong because they’re libertarians. So when they’re proven correct they’re still wrong because of who they are.

          1. It’s a lot like being Ralph Nader or Dennis Kucinich.

            1. I thought those two were wrong because they look like shaved squirrels who lost their nuts.

              1. Wait, what about me!! I’m a smug intellectual too and I also don’t have any nuts!!

          2. Bingo!

            1. Q: How do you get a sweet little old lady to drop the f-bomb?

              A: Get another sweet little old lady to say “Bingo!”

              1. I lol’d.

    4. That’s just Will trying to avoid admitting that his lifelong tepid defense of the State has been proven vapid and inconsequential.

      Naturally, he blames the State for being what it is, rather than himself for failing to recognize it.

      1. America is moving in our direction not because we’ve won an argument, but because we’re right.

    5. I thought that was our point.

    6. “And a man in my position can’t afford to be made to look ridiculous!”

  12. Well, thankfully, in difficult times at least the Santa Clara public employees are taken care of. I was worried about them.

    1. They’re beautiful and delicate. Like Faberge eggs.

      Love them. Love them.

    2. We were worried too

      1. Here, let me hold you.

        Shhhhhhh. Shhhhhhhh.

  13. White Indian == Herc?

    1. Not enough [brackets] and lacks the obsession with EMPIRE.

    2. I would pay to watch a cage match though.

    3. White Indian== Tony (on heavy X bender)

  14. HOLY SHIT!!!

    We still have 3 hours to go, and the DOW is down 400 points.

    1. did Obama just speak? I saw a sudden drop around 1:45ish.

      1. I shoulda-woulda-coulda bought FAZ (Direction Bear) at $40 – but noooo… now it’s at $77.

      2. Preach it brother.

        I hemmed and hawed last Thursday about picking up a short ETF.

        I was in the car all day Friday, no trading for me.

        My father actually called me this morning to laugh at me for not being short.

    2. This is what you get for saving your money like an idiot. I’ll at least always have my buttock implants, but you’ll have nothing, Investy.

      1. Do those make it more comfortable for your clients?

        1. Yes, but my ass-hairplugs more than make up for it.

    3. So when Obamacare taxes hit, they’ll be taxing my dividends at a much higher rate even though the stocks will be about 50% under water, is that about it? Heckuva job, Barack.

    4. Down 541 as of my typing.

      Debt Ceiling Raise: putting the DOW in down.

  15. You can’t shame the left with this because to the left this is a success.

    Seriously. Hang out at Kos and Eschaton and their other blogs.

    They want all workers to be able to just show up, not do any work, not be responsive to managers or customers, and be richly overpaid and provided with pensions at 50.

    A total disconnect between productivity and reward is what they want. And they want you to pay for it. They’re quite up-front about it.

  16. It’s time to party like it’s 1929.

    1. * looks for tall building with windows that open *

  17. A total disconnect between productivity and reward is what they want.

    This is apparently the Newspeak definition of Middle Class.

    1. Defining class in terms of wealth rather than sociology was already fairly fucked.

      Shit, even actual socialists were mainly concerned about controlling the factors of production, in order to keep more of what they produced. That was wrong-headed and tragic, but modern-day leftism’s desire to turn mooching into a belief system is a farce.

  18. Anybody who can honestly claim to be surprised by the S&P downgrade should be stoned to death on the steps of the Capitol.

    Of course, the surprise was not the downgrade, it was the insolence.

  19. We’ll never get to Peak Gibberish.

    1. Don’t you try to dePRIVe us of delicious gibberISH, dude.

      1. It’s just the same trolls using different handles. Fuck, they’re boring.

        1. Nope, I never posted here before for the last few days. Are you telling me there is other intelligent life out there?

    2. What about PEak Stupid?

      1. Might as well contemplate peak infinity.

  20. Hopefully the poor housing areas will only diminish the property values of the surrounding areas making the state employees homes worthless and unsellable. Heart goes out to the people who need it and were once again let down by the government promising a better America.

  21. BTW:

    White Indian thinks that the Indians didn’t have agriculture.

    Smirk.

    1. Or states, for that matter.

    2. Hey, don’t question him. He’s an intellectual. If you disagree with him you must be anti-intellectual. And that’s terrible.

    3. Hey, it’s not racist to assume people were backwards and primitive just because they were Native American.*

      *If you have good intentions when you do it.

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