YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Arguing Over the 'Anger Initiative'

June 13, 2005

Re "The Anger Initiative," editorial, June 10: It's no surprise that The Times editorial staff views the progressive reforms of Gov. Pat Brown with such praise and has such utter contempt for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

What The Times fails to realize -- or refuses to accept -- is that a dysfunctional Democratic Party completely controls the Legislature. Democrats alone have succeeded in running our state into the ground. The fact that they are beholden to union bosses who desire nothing more than to line their own pockets is completely ignored.

Hopefully, this November, Californians will have the opportunity to overhaul a ruinous and dysfunctional system that burdens current and future generations -- that is, unless the wealthy unions and their liberal special interests (who benefit from the status quo) succeed in killing this much-needed reform.

Where is the anger in that?

Matthew N. Klink

Studio City


In "The Anger Initiative" editorial, I was struck by the sentence, "This page has criticized public employee unions, particularly their extravagant retirement benefits."

I am not sure to what "extravagant retirement benefits" this meaningless, if not downright misleading, statement is referring. I certainly hope you do not intend to include the California State Teachers Retirement System in this blanket statement. If you do, you had better inform yourself so that you can avoid making such misleading over-generalizations in future articles and editorials.

CalSTRS, which is primarily funded by teachers themselves and their districts, provides retired teachers, depending on their years of service and age, a decent, but hardly extravagant, pension. Moreover, what medical benefits teachers receive upon retirement vary from district to district.

When I retired at age 65 from Long Beach City College, I lost my district-paid vision and dental benefits immediately, but fortunately retain my medical benefit with Kaiser until age 67, at which time I will, like most retirees, depend solely on Medicare.

As for my pension, it is adequate, but hardly extravagant.

Not all public employee pension plans are one and the same.

Gary Nagy


Los Angeles Times Articles