State Sens. Kevin de Léon's and Darrell Steinberg's California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Trust Act is nothing more than an attempt to raid the private sector for cash flow to cover abuse, misfeasance, malfeasance and fiscal recklessness that bankrupted the state's public pension plans.
Anyone who believes this money estimated at $6.6 billion the first year transfused into the public pension system will be left sequestered should check how well that promise was kept for Social Security.
In California, anyone naive enough to think it would remain uncontaminated by an inherently corrupt machine hasn't been reading the papers.
But the overriding question left unanswered on the issue of "guaranteed" retirement income is: guaranteed by whom?
Answer: taxpayers, the same people now stuck with the insurmountable debt of a retirement system in an accelerating death spiral.
The inescapable moral hazard that bankrupted state and municipal pension systems all over America must doom Secure Choice. Money from citizens and businesses goes in; it disappears, and nobody notices until the perpetrators have long fled the scene of their fiscal crimes.
State and municipal governments are more than $4.6 trillion underwater on false pension promises to public workers. In California, that is at least $500 billion and growing fast despite false reforms just signed by Gov. Jerry Brown.
Politicians know the tax increases and service cuts required to fill it are electoral suicide, so last year state and local government union groups proposed a two-pronged attack on beleaguered private-sector workers and businesses.
This California plan is right out of a scheme deployed a year ago by the National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems: "The Secure Choice Pension: A Way Forward for Retirement Security in the Private Sector."
At the same time, the Center for State and Local Government Excellence announced: "Strengthening State and Local Government Finances: Lessons for Negotiating Public Pension Plan Reforms."
One is intended to lure money from private workers and businesses into bankrupt state and local government retirement systems. The other is to preserve as much of existing state and local government benefits as possible under the guise of false reforms.
Both proposals guarantee that average Americans already mugged by Wall Street and the Federal Reserve will not have any hope of a secure retirement.
If you think the California bill is some homegrown initiative, read last year's NCPERS press release: A Secure Choice Pension "public-private enterprise" would spread "investment risks and costs over large pools of plan participants and employers. Both the participating employers and employees would make regular contributions to the SCP."
That would pump billions of dollars a year into those public pension plans that inevitably must go broke absent "drastic reform" now, according to an array of recent studies by credible experts ranging from the Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank to the Harvard Kennedy School Mossavar-Rahmanni Center.
Anyone who thinks entrusting even more money in a Secure Choice "partnership between the private sector and public sector to provide lifetime retirement security for all" should check the public sector history of stewardship.
Certainly tens of millions of Americans now face dire poverty in old age, and at least two generations of younger workers are indentured forever to pay for irresponsible stewardship.
That was not caused by fiscal prudence and wise investment of taxpayer money. It was caused by reckless imprudence at all levels of government by both political parties.
Real solutions to the worldwide retirement crisis are as difficult as they are urgent.
But one thing we know for sure is that funneling more money from the private sector into the hands of those who have proven again and again they helped cause the crisis is no solution at all.