Lisa Benson by Lisa Benson

Lisa Benson

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  1. ConserveGov

    ConserveGov said, over 3 years ago

    That’s what happens when you promise the world to everybody without any real plan to pay for it.

    Call it Hope And Change, but it’s really Bait and Switch.

    And when it does inevitably fail, just blame somebody else again and again.

    Sounds like The Barry Hustle.

  2. alcors3

    alcors3 said, over 3 years ago

    Corporate greed, union greed and a public that thinks $9.99 is way cheaper than 10:00.

  3. mikefive

    mikefive said, over 3 years ago

    The cartoon is a bit disingenuous since I think it is based on negotiations with the city of Stockton. As of April 1, the judge overseeing Stocton’s bankruptcy had not ruled out payment to creditors or reduction of payments in city employee benefits.

  4. I Play One On TV

    I Play One On TV said, over 3 years ago

    If employers were honorable there would be no need for unions. This is not to say that unions are blameless: if union bosses were honorable there would be no desire to bust unions.

    Of course, if people were honorable we wouldn’t need regulations, guns, or most of our laws.

    Guess we have to accept the idea that pretty much anyone can be dishonorable, and plan accordingly.

  5. ARodney

    ARodney said, over 3 years ago

    One big difference is that the union pensions were part of what the workers were paid for work that they did. No one enters employment with the understanding that they have a risk that they might not get paid. Bond holders, on the other hand, were investing in something that paid better than a savings account, precisely because it is more risky than a savings account. If you invest in a city that is badly run, whether because of incompetence in management or because of blind conservative tax cutting that makes the city insolvent, you knew the risks when you invested.

  6. I Play One On TV

    I Play One On TV said, over 3 years ago

    Thank you for making this information available to those of us who don’t know the intricacies of the story.

    If this is truly the case, it would make sense that Lisa should be drawing a different cartoon, showing the workers (“makers”) being shafted by the bondholders (“takers”). The workers should be able to keep the money they were promised. Investors do not have any guarantees that their investments will pay off, and sometimes the investments don’t. That’s what happens when you gamble.

    It makes no sense to me that workers should have to bail out gamblers because of their bad fortune.

    But….since the workers are union, that evidently takes them out of the realm of “makers”.

    So, Ms. Benson seems to be saying that a judge should violate the state constitution so that gamblers can recoup their losses, paid for by working civilians. Do I have this right?

  7. exoticdoc2

    exoticdoc2 said, over 3 years ago

    Those who put out the money for bonds are quickly going to learn to shut out any governments that kowtow to the corrupt unions. They are without doubt an incredibly poor investment.

  8. mickey1339

    mickey1339 GoComics PRO Member said, over 3 years ago

    “Stockton made commitments in pay to it’s employees that are legally required to be met as CA’s constitution says pension commitments are inviolable.”

    A few of the little tiny facts that were omitted. Several years ago when California was feeling flush they over extended their infrastructure commitments for building, and the unions got wage and benefit packages that were some of the best in the country. In California, the unions literally sit in on the budget negotiations for the state funding. They are now so powerful they dictate their wage and benefit increases.

    So yes, the obligation is there on the part of the city, and yes the city mismanaged their funds, but it’s a little more complex than alluded to in the article you quote.
    As has been reported before, this isn’t the first city in California and likely won’t be the last that files for bankruptcy protection. It is also a common issue that the pension obligations and wage and benefit packages of the unions are a significant part of their deficits.

  9. mickey1339

    mickey1339 GoComics PRO Member said, over 3 years ago

    @I Play One On TV

    “Investors do not have any guarantees that their investments will pay off, and sometimes the investments don’t. That’s what happens when you gamble.”

    It’s not quite that black and white doc. Bond holders and senior debt holders are first in the chain under bankruptcy law. They have “loaned money” to the cities for their projects by buying bonds, it’s not anywhere in the same category as “gambling” on a stock purchase. The consequence of this is simple, if the courts don’t uphold the law in this issue the interest rates governments (Federal, state and local) will have to pay for bondholders will increase significantly and demand for government bonds will drop.

    The unions in California have “written their own ticket” in many respects when it comes to negotiations over wage and benefit packages. Now the pension obligations of these cities has been “kicked down the road” and the reality of the debt is coming home to roost. Unfortunately these guys are broke, so who pays?

  10. I Play One On TV

    I Play One On TV said, over 3 years ago


    Thank you for pointing out the subtleties of this issue. I guess this is an example of improper planning and others taking advantage. Again, I see a pattern, which is “what’s wrong with using legal means to get ahead”? Just as the wealthy can use tax dodges, havens, and deductions, and it’s all perfectly legal, so can public-sector unions negotiate for outrageous benefits.

    And when the bubble bursts, everyone ends up crying “unfair”.

    More parallels: when the going gets tough, the question comes up about which sacrifices and which compromises must be struck, and no one wants to give up what they have.

    Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance. If only we could learn this….

    Thanks again for both enlightening me, and not calling me names for having a less-than-perfect understanding of the situation.

  11. I Play One On TV

    I Play One On TV said, over 3 years ago

    And let me quickly add that I was not referring specifically to you about the name-calling. I know you are above that, and thank you for it. On the other hand, many posters here will spoil an otherwise educational post with a tag like, “if you weren’t such a __________, you’d know this, but what can we expect from people like you?”

  12. John Mettler

    John Mettler said, over 3 years ago

    So let’s see, the investment bankers selling phony baloney investments based on worthless derivatives to cities, counties, and states had nothing to do with the current situations we are in now, but the unions did. Interesting but once again Ms Benson is completely full of it.

  13. Peabody-Martini

    Peabody-Martini said, over 3 years ago

    Flagged for advocating violence against people with a different point of view.

  14. dzw3030

    dzw3030 said, over 3 years ago


    April Fool’s Day? Will the judge allow $1 a week payout? If there’s no money, the judgement is free.

  15. Quipss

    Quipss said, over 3 years ago

    We all know those poor shareholders were far more deserving than the employees, taking out of account standard accounting procedures. plus look at the damage it will do to the economy, the wall street investors would have used the cash to buy a yacht, all those lazy workers will only use it to stave off bankrupsy, after all when has a home being foreclosed on EVER been detrimental to the economy.

    As a general rule don’t make promises you can’t keep, that said as a legal rule don’t make contracts you have no intent to keep, thats a great way of finding friends in the court system

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