How does a public pension fund respond after losing more than $70 billion of its $260 billion fund?
“It is important for you to know that the current credit crisis does not directly affect your retirement benefits, which are securely protected by law, or our ability to pay benefits.”
Translation: Not to worry; the taxpayers will have to bail us out.
And what does it mean to tax payers when said fund loses more than $70 billion of its $260 billion fund?
In the end, taxpayers stand to pay plenty for all this, either through increased taxes or diminished public services — closed libraries and shelters for battered women, fewer trash pickups, shuttered courts, slower police and fire response times, more potholes, early county jail prisoner releases and much more — if local governments see layoffs and furloughs as their only way out.
This is your bed, California. I really REALLY hope that only YOU have to lie in it.