San Francisco is the epitome of blue America — a city where to be a liberal is to be center right. These days, it’s a city with a pension crisis: promising too much to city employees and paying too little into the pension fund for years leaves the city of San Francisco with a gaping hole in its budget.As usual, the public employee unions are at the forefront of ruinous policies. Reports the San Francisco Examiner:
The more left-leaning members on the Board of Supervisors find their political strength from Service Employees International Union Local 1021, the largest city employee union. SEIU’s influence was exhibited this budget year when it was able to sink a proposal to contract out security positions at city hospitals that would have saved about $4 million a year. The labor group also exerted political pressure in 2010 to get the Board of Supervisors to change a ballot measure provision that would have calculated pensions based on the pay of an employee’s final three years to two years instead.
Projections show pension costs could double by 2014 and reach 31 percent of the payroll. So: will San Francisco stiff its youth and the poor by cutting services to cover its pension costs — or will it break the promises it made to employees in the past?Either choice is contemptible, but bad politicians, a complaisant media, inattentive voters and unions too greedy and shortsighted for their own good have brought matters to this pass.One thing is clear: the busted state of California will not be bailing out the City on the Bay.