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Feb. 28, 2011 buzz: Prop. 8 and pension pain in California

February 28, 2011 |  2:08 pm

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Yes, of course, California's economy took a drastic nosedive. But regardless, "Many state and local government employees have been promised pensions that the public couldn't have afforded even had there been no crash," writes the editorial board in Day of reckoning on pensions.

There's nothing inherently wrong with generous pension plans. Pensions, after all, are just a form of compensation that's paid after retirement, not before. The problem, particularly for local governments, is that the plans are proving to be far costlier than officials anticipated or prepared for. By their own reckoning, the 10 largest public pension systems in California had a $240-billion shortfall in 2010.

According to the Little Hoover Commission, a bipartisan, independent agency, without significant changes or a miracle, "pension costs will crush government."

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In Same-sex weddings, now, the editorial board advocates for, um, same-sex weddings now.

Every day that the case drags on, gay and lesbian couples who would like to marry are being deprived of their civil rights. That's not our wording; the federal trial judge decided that issue, at least for now. The denial of constitutional rights, even temporarily, is a deplorable situation that must meet high legal standards to be allowed to continue. In our view, those conditions have not been met.

--Alexandra Le Tellier

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