Saturday, February 23, 2013

Dueling data: Crystal Ball Needed to Judge Andy's Smooth Future

       In a thank you note to supporters of her reelection bid, Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner talks of her stepping up as a leader to change the "business as usual" approach to financing cities. What she got for her effort was a pledge by the hacks to cut her off at the knees, but not everyone is being dismissive.
    A professional number cruncher from Monroe County says Mayor Miner's concerns over "pension smoothing" are justified.  Gates Town Supervisor Mark Assini is also a financial analyst and his look at the future varies from Andy's people.
    Let's be charitable and call it an honest difference of opinion between good and honorable people.
    Let me add my concerns. The Governor's plan assumes all will remain as it is now.
    Those who stick with current high pension rates and tough it out may think lower projected rates in the out years will make up for tough decisions now. Could be.
     My experience in politics suggests otherwise.
     Once rates for the non-smoothers (presumably a minority of local governments) drop below the fixed rate the clamor will be on as the smoothed cities and towns will be facing another crisis and will want their rates lowered. Since they will have the political center of gravity, they may get their way. There goes the savings.
    What about the propensity of the Legislature to add pension "sweeteners" once there is a perception rates are moderating ?
     Also, history suggests the Tier Six incarnation of the NYS Retirement System isn't going to be the last tier. In 25 years, we could see many more changes. (Don't forget, the legal gaming of the system will continue as well)
      This is the danger in maintaining a defined benefit system predicated on unrealistic market returns and subject to the shifting sands of the political process.
       A Member of Assembly told me recently the present system is needed because workers can't be trusted to plan their own retirement.
       I might suggest Albany, with all its budgetary nooks and crannies, cannot be trusted to run something this big and costly.
       I won't use terms like "gimmick" as that only antagonizes Eagle Street at a time when we need state help on certain issues.
       I do strongly support Mayor Miner and Supervisor Assini in saying this issue is frought with peril and the easy solution with the easy name of "pension smoothing" may not play out as offered, no matter what good intentions there are now.
Dueling data: What would pension smoothing cost Syracuse? |


Anonymous said...

So don't call it a gimmick and call it "back door borrowing" like NYS comptroller DiNapoli did.

Of course, since DiNapoli is a man, Cuomo said "I don't think anyone can say he's not competent or capable,"
But since Miner is a woman he implied she is incompetent offered to have Albany step in and do yer job as mayor.

Cuomo's pension raid gimmick is not relying on tier VI as much as it is relying on an unlikely recovery and continuous rally on Wall Street. Not going to happen.

Anonymous said...

So what is the answer??? We have a State Assembly, and State Senate who are also in the same pension fund... We have thousands of folks who have paid into the program and now we want to switch it, If it fact they have that ability to change the program in mid-stream will already retired folks have to suffer??????????????????

Mike Flynn 'Middle Class Mike' said...

So how will Mayor Miner Pay for Pensions?

Cities finding the necessary money to pay into New York’s $140 billion public pension fund and to pay the remainder in installments, with interest, over a decade are a major challenge for any Mayor. NYS’s pension fund is financed through contributions from public employers and employees and from investment earnings. As NYS Mayors see a dramatic rise in employer contributions, linked to the need to make up for huge investment losses from the recession.

Okay that’s the problem, when investment gains were high and employer contributions were low, Mayors didn’t gripe about pension costs. They also didn’t by and large make any attempt to build up a capitol reserve for leaner times in case pension contribution costs ticked upwards. Instead of creating a rainy day pension fund, they directed surplus cash into tax cuts or other projects. Any Mayor's free to make that choice right? This is why most politicians can’t be trusted on managing pension money, they’ll rob from ‘Peter to pay Paul’ and Mayor Graham has made that point numerous times.

So now with pension costs projected to spiral out of control and bankruptcy looming for Syracuse, Mayor Miner decides to attack Gov. Cuomo’s Pension Smoothing Plan. She’s afraid that after five or ten years, the City of Syracuse will be left unable to meet pension contribution costs. I’d like her to use that five year reprieve on spiraling pension contribution cost to get Syracuse’s budget under control. Mayor Miner seems reluctant to accept that challenge, but has proven gung ho in examining bankruptcy strategies for Syracuse, that would drastically curtail services in the City. Come up with your own plan Mayor Miner, and stop blaming Gov. Cuomo for your lack of leadership ability.

An to you Mayor Graham, I only suggest that Mayor Miner is faced with what you talk about all the time, as a Mayor your obligated to create a responsible budget plan for your City. Mayor Miner has that same obligation to the City of Syracuse, as do all other Mayor's for their respective cities.

Mike Flynn ‘Middle Class Mike’

Anonymous said...

"Good and honorable people?" Where are you seeing these folks, Mr Graham? These are all Democrats. Party line thinkers who would claim the earth is spinning in another direction if it brought them votes from their mindless Mikey types. This is about nothing but a Fool who thinks he can run for president scamming the people of the state by telling them they don't have to worry about their bills. Much like the Great Liar in the White House telling the nation the same thing. In both cases, the bend over media will support the Dicktators, Mikey types will bend over and repeat the lies, and the kids will suffer. But not right away. And THAT is the important thing. Put off reality till another day. This Miner lady just had the nerve to tell the truth about what she was thinking. It happens now and then.

Anonymous said...

What truth did she tell ANON 2:36 in your mindless rant you forgot to mention one. What is she doing as Mayor to get the cities budget in line? That's the topic here, so try staying on it. She goes hat and hand to Albany, NY and the Governor says stand onyour own two feet. A mindless Tea Party type like yourself should understand that part.

Call your Bluff

Anonymous said...

That's right folks. Mikey would have you believe that he favors cuts for Syracuse. He would have you believe that Miner is a dumb girl and can't handle the money. Only thing is that Mikey is a fat liar and does not believe in ever cutting a penny of government spending.

Pension smoothing = corporate raid on pension fund. Go Cuomo! first he ran HUD when it was instrumental in collapsing our housing market. Now he wants to collapse our states pension fund.

First...assume we have a can opener.

Anonymous said...

It's Miner who needs the plan ANON 4:47, so stay on topic, get focused and forget about Mikey. Where's her plan? Speak to that and avoid mindless diatribes please.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Miner already has a plan and executed it. She called out Cuomo's gimmicky, backdoor borrowing, pension fund raid and put the ball back in his court. As a bonus, he is even more unelectable on a national scale than he was before(if that is possible)

And don't tell me about approval gratins...even GWB tied baby Mario in in those at one time or another. If anyone ever challenged Cuomo in a democratic primary, Cuomo would be toast.

Anonymous said...

ANON 7:08

Miner doesn't have a plan except to hold out her hand and wait for the green to fall from the skys. Maybe that's her plan. As for yourself hang in there, keeping loving the 'Miner if you must, but don't call yourself a Conservative if you can't talk sense about her policy planning.

Anonymous said...

Mikey is now posting anonymously. How cute. That must be a big blow, so to speak, to the man's ego. He's fixated on staying on topic an wanting to know Miner's plan. Here you go, Mike in disguise. Is that a funny thought or what? Miner is saying the math doesn't work. Just as many of us say the math doesn't work on the national level, it now doesn't work on the State level. That's the topic, Mikey. Continuing to spend money you don't have, refusing to face up to that fact, then advocating that we borrow and go into debt and ignore the consequences is dumb, even for you. As far as the Mayor of Syracuse having to go "hat in hand" to Albany to deal with pension issues, well, yes Mikey. If the city is located in the state, they have to deal with the Gov and the government of that state when doing their budget. That is not news, Dumbass. Would you rather she go to Vermont to negotiate her city budget? Mikey, try not to be so stupid. Please.

And as far as staying on topic, remember this. If Miner has simply rubber stamped the Dictator's ideas, you would have had nothing to say about anything. As the party pole is where you live.

My compliments on the lessening of theft. We are seeing more and more of your own words with this shadow poster you are using. Whatever it takes.

Anonymous said...

Now your imagination contiues to run awat with you ANON 8:30, get some help and talk to the blog and not your imaginary playmates.

The Mayor used to keep people like you in check, but I guess he just can't repect Dannie or Mike enough to be rightous these days.

Ego deflater

Anonymous said...


We want to know your name your such a truth teller. It seems like you'd be eager to talk and get credit for your brilliant slanders agains MCM. What a twist you are, get some med adjustments will you.

Call your Bluff

Anonymous said...

What the government has planned is to raid private pensions to fund the states just like healthcare.

Anonymous said...

I also think that the personal attacs on MCM or Danny Francis get out of hand.
This is not a discussion on subjects no more in the sence of "We agree, that we disagree".

This is disrespect, hate and envy.
Personal matters of commentators should not be discussed or leave alone attacked in this block.

It would be nice to have some civility and blog manners, like respecting or at least tolerating some one elses oppinion wiht out a personal attack.

Anonymous said...

Danny and Mikey don't have opinions. They have party line lies and hypocrisy.
You might think it is fine to say the sky is blue and then Danny and Mikey say it is green and it is just a difference of opinion. Some of us don't think it is fine and know that some things are not a matter of opinion.

Like Danny talking about the rich not paying "their fair share". Meanwhile he gets a pension and pays none zip zero nada zilch state taxes on it. Danny's fair share is ZERO.

Or Mikey saying that Mayor Minor needs to make cuts to put Syracuse back on the right fiscal track. And in the next breath he says that Obama can't cut a penny on the federal level.

No we can't respect or tolerate their opinions. Danny is just too dumb to know how dumb he is. But Mikey knows full well what he is doing but simply has a nasty motive for posting what he posts.

Mike Flynn 'Middle Class Mike' said...

ANON 11:45
I never said President Obama couldn't make cuts on the Federal level and even during campaign season I suggested the Defense Dept. had a lot of fat that needed cutting so accusing me of given Pres. Obama carte blanche on defense spending is incorrect.

Example of my belief that costs must be contained: "I phrased Bill Owens for wanting a cost effective analysis performed on the viability and costs for the 'Anti-Missile' defense system at Fort Drum. Rep. Candidate Matt Doheny had criticized Bill Owens for wanting to evaluate the systems feasibility and costs before he signed on board as being weak on Defense."

Mike Flynn 'Middle Class Mike'

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what the hell 11:45PM is talking about this time?

Anonymous said...

“Danny is just too dumb…” and Mikey “…simply has a nasty motive.”

That’s rich 11:45pm, especially coming from a disillusioned low level party hack wannabe like YOU. Sorry to have to break it to YOU this way… but YOU are the premier “idiot” on this blog as proven time and time again by YOUR irrational partisan aggression.

It has become increasingly clear to non-partial observers, that YOUR deeply troubled mind has developed a competing set of realities reinforced by the constant repetition of YOUR nonsensical mantra and ad hominem attacks.

And, it is this set of competing realities… the right-wing echo chamber vs. the rest of rational America… that drives the partisan divide that is making this country ungovernable. 

YOUR Party of Dwindling Numbers is counting on the fact that their few remaining gullible followers like YOU continue to behave like the stupidest people who've ever walked the face of the earth. Or, as Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal so aptly put it…“The Party of Stupid”!!

They know their naive cronies will swallow any line of BS they tell them like it was a chocolate milkshake…

Thank YOU for demonstrating this simple reality for all to see, once again.

Anonymous said...

Oh shit 12:30...there's three libtards on this blog now?

My party of dwindling numbers, has a democratic mayor and a state comptroller agreeing with me.

I know...I know...she's just a dumb girl so she don't count.

You are giving Mikey a run for his money in the words per nothing said contest.

Anonymous said...

Huh, the mayor is a Democratic?