Comparing the CalPERS system to a Madoff-like Ponzi scheme could seem to some as hyperbole, but Dan Pellisier makes the case that the pension system’s scheme is much more clever than anything Bernie was able to pull off on Wall Street.

Defrauding thousands of people of billions of dollars using accounting tricks and illegal maneuvers in private may be one thing. But executing the same business structure in public is entirely more difficult.

From the Orange County Register:

In response to the growing movement to include serious pension reform in the state budget negotiations, employee union representatives have been dispatched to the Capitol to confuse legislators with misinformation about the health of state pension funds. While “move along, nothing to see here” may be good political rhetoric, the stubborn facts tell a much different story.

The simple question the defenders of the pension status quo hate to answer is: “When does CalPERS plan on eliminating its pension fund deficits?” The appalling answer is: never.

The 2009 actuarial report used by CalPERS – the California Public Employees Retirement System – to set this year’s state government contribution rates shows pension fund deficits ranging from 35 percent to 46 percent. In fact, there is not enough money in the fund today to support retired CHP officers, leaving no money available someday for CHP officers currently on the street. Bernie Madoff’s victims know that when you take money from new employee investors and give it to past employee investors, struggling to backfill later, you have created a Ponzi scheme that will eventually collapse.

Read the full opinion article here.