Tag Archives: Government

A California Teacher Just Retired at 61. His Salary Made Me Audibly Gasp.

no Twitter with current idA few weeks ago I was in Laguna Beach checking out the sights and decided to pick up the local newspaper, The Laguna Beach Independent. What I saw made me reach for my phone to take a picture of this story:

 

Photo: Laguna Beach Independent
Photo: Laguna Beach Independent

 

The story was about a dedicated teacher who, after 25 years, is retiring. It was also about the see-saw battle over who would replace Mark Dressler at his dual job: full time teacher at the local high school and a 40% job at the local middle school.

His former principal was amazed by Dressler’s dedication:

Mark was pretty well tied up for every hour of his day.

Dressler worked 8 hours a day. By teachers’ standards this apparently qualifies as extraordinary.

To be fair, however, Dressler’s job meant some after school and evening work.

Why? Was he a STEM teacher? Did he teach hard sciences or math? Did he lead his students to the Intel awards or even the local science fair? Maybe he led the high school students to win the Constitution Debate contest which required occasional weekend competitions. Could that be it?

No.

Dressler was a drama teacher.

And now he has been enticed to retire at age 61 at a salary of $208,982.56.

Reg Pay              Extra Pay   Benefits         Total

Mark Dressler MIDDLE/HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER
Laguna Beach Unified, 2013
$168,778.00 $3,380.00 $36,824.56 $208,982.56

Source: Transparent California

If you look at the graph below from Ed.100.org , you’ll see how California teachers pensions are quite generous. By year 30, teachers make a fortune in their pensions for the typical salary. The pension dwarfs their salaries.

The graph below expresses the total financial compensation a hypothetical teacher in Oakland receives each year, including each year’s increase in promised lifetime STRS pension benefits. This example is based on the Oakland salary schedule in 2006, a suitably representative example.

Cal STRS

The organization makes anyone with eyes to see who and possesses a pulse ask: Can California afford this?

Well, actually no.

Photo: YouTube
Photo: YouTube

The LA Daily News reports the unfunded liability from the teachers pensions are up to $70.5 billion.  And if you count all public employee pension plans, the number grows to a staggering, at $198 billion. Billion.

Worse:

That’s 31 times the unfunded liability 10 years earlier.

Which brings us back to Mr. Dressler.

According to The Independent, Dressler was given an offer he couldn’t refuse:

At 61, Dressler is taking advantage of an infrequent retirement incentive that kicks teachers retiring early into a higher pension bracket.

Photo: YouTube
Photo: YouTube

Here’s the description of the incentive the California Teachers Association was granted by negotiators on behalf of the tax payers:

The employer pays the benefit’s costs and associated administrative fees to CalSTRS. The terms of the Memorandum of Understanding may place additional, more restrictive eligibility requirements on employees, or may specify groups of employees eligible to receive a 2+2 benefit, a retirement incentive to provide two years of service credit and two additional years of additional age factor.

Dressler got some variation of this deal. He’d be stupid not to take it.

And what did Laguna Beach schools get?

The loss of a beloved, experienced (and, yes, highly paid) teacher.

And they’re hiring two teachers to take his place. Those teachers get pensions, too.

Addendum:

I checked salaries at some of the other districts in California 2012/2013:

San Diego’s Grossmont School District:

teacher grossmont

Santa Barbara School District:

teacher santa barbara

 

 

Hillary Clinton’s broke-ass lament

Hillary Clinton says she and the former president were ‘dead broke’ when they decamped the White House in 2000.

Claiming an adjusted gross income of $416,039 on your 2000 income taxes is not broke. That’s a rich people problem.

Broke Ass Clintons
Broke Ass Clintons

Everybody loves a Zero-to-Hero story, especially voters. John McCain made moderates swoon with his real hero story, Bill Clinton was a boy from Hope (not really, but, hey, he’s rolling), John Kerry compared and contrasted his life before he married money and after, and now Hillary Clinton has begun to spin quite a rags to riches yarn in the run up to the 2016 presidential race.

In her first “exclusive” interview on ABC with Diane Sawyer, (not to be confused with all the other “exclusive” interviews she’ll be dispensing like spiked sugar cubes at the county inoculation clinic), the retired Senator has pulled back the drapes of her Chappaqua, New York manse to allow you a glimpse of her hard earned success. Sigh

Message? Don’t hate me because I make $5 million a speech!

“We came out of the White House not only dead broke, but in debt,” Clinton told Sawyer, referring to the hefty legal fees incurred during their White House years. “We had no money when we got there, and we struggled to, you know, piece together the resources for mortgages, for houses, for Chelsea’s education. You know, it was not easy.”


ABC US News | ABC Celebrity News

Yes, Hillary and Bill Clinton are now living the glamorous life, going from bossy and broke to flossy and fabulous!

It’s a tough sell.

Bill and Hill were as broke as a rainmaker at the most important law firm in Little Rock, wife of a governor, White Water riding, member of the board of Walmart, wife of the president and recipient of a $1.5 million spiff from Terry McAuliffe to buy the carpet bag cum Chappaqua manse can be. Cattle futures, anyone? 

I begrudge no man the claim to a decent and hard won living. I will not envy. But for the record, claiming an adjusted gross income of $416,039 on your 2000 income taxes is not broke. That’s a rich people problem.

Chelsea’s Sidwell Friends and Stanford educations were expensive, paying legal bills to keep your husband out of jail, squelching bimbo eruptions, keeping Bill in show Bibles for his perv-walks to and from funerals and church and playing keep away with Rose Law Firm records are all very, very expensive accounts payable. Vinnie from special problems doesn’t come cheap.

But, again for the record? In 2000 the median income for all US families was $42, 187.

Clinton added her husband had to double time it in the work force,

“Bill has worked really hard — and it’s been amazing to me — he’s worked very hard. First of all, we had to pay off all our debts, which was, you know, he had to make double the money because of obviously taxes and then pay off the debts and get us houses and take care of family members.”

Them’s some rich people problems. Oh, and it’s the last time you’ll hear her complain about taxes during her campaign. 

Bully EPA threatens Wyoming man with bankruptcy for permitted stock pond

The out of control EPA, the government agency with its own SWAT team, has gone after another

Photo from Before Its News
Photo from Before Its News

land owner who dares touch a body of water on his own land.

PJ Tatler broke the story about Andrew Johnson who built a stock pond on his own land. The EPA says he dammed up a stream on his property to do it and under the federal standards, he will be fined $75,000.00 per day until he restores it. 

Three US Senators, Environment and Public Works Committee Ranking Member David Vitter (R-La.), along with Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), sent the EPA a letter asking the acting water administrator Nancy Stoner what the heck she was playing at:

“EPA appears more interested in intimidating and bankrupting Mr. Johnson than it does in working cooperatively with him,” the senators noted of the severe fines Johnson faces. “…Fairness and due process require that EPA base its Compliance Order on more than an assumption.  Instead of treating Mr. Johnson as guilty until he proves his innocence by demonstrating his entitlement to the Clean Water Act section 404(f)(1)(C) stock pond exemption, EPA should make its case that a dam was built and that the Section 404 exemption does not apply.  As it stands now, EPA’s failure to demonstrate in detail how Mr. Johnson’s building activities constituted the construction of a dam prejudices his opportunity to meaningfully respond to the Compliance Order.”

Indeed, Johnson told Fox News he actually has a permit to build the stock pond and, oh by the way, is also exempt from EPA scrutiny,

The government says he violated the Clean Water Act by building a dam on a creek without a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers. Further, the EPA claims that material from his pond is being discharged into other waterways. Johnson says he built a stock pond — a man-made pond meant to attract wildlife — which is exempt from Clean Water Act regulations.  

The property owner says he followed the state rules for a stock pond when he built it in 2012 and has an April 4-dated letter from the Wyoming State Engineer’s Office to prove it.

Where does the EPA get off telling land owners what they can and can’t do with trickles of water on their own land? 

The EPA’s action was initiated soon after controversy brewed on the Hill over the EPA’s proposed rule redefining “waters of the United States” in the Clean Water Act to include all ponds, lakes, wetlands and natural or manmade streams that have any effect on downstream navigable waters — whether on public lands or private property.

The EPA has been using a nebulous definition of “navigable waters” for years now. Their idea of navigable waters includes creeks that are dry half the year. 

Read the rest here.