Friday, Nov. 3, 2006 | I’m going to let you in on a dirty little secret for cutting your loans and interest payments in half. The strategy is devilishly simple: you threaten your creditor that they will get nothing if you go bust, so they’d better cut the bill in half.

When the city of San Diego repeatedly borrowed for pet projects from their Employee’s Pension Fund, they offered interest payments in the form of higher benefits. The only problem was the city’s projects never became profitable, and then came the unexpected stock market crash. The city couldn’t repay the gigantic loans or pay the interest due in the form of higher employee benefits.

Meanwhile, a newly elected city attorney began to discover vague loop holes in the city charter like “Debt Limits” and possible violations of state law such as “Section 1090.” He realized that he could make a gloomy, dark cloud with much legal scribbling and maybe muddle the judge and jury enough to get the city off the hook! A squid couldn’t have squirted a darker ink cloud to cloak itself.

Aguirre’s simple scheme is to threaten city bankruptcy, so that the unions and/or Judge Barton will buckle to his extortion demands and cut in half the debt owed the employees. Aguirre claims the city’s survival must preside over individual pension deals, – his “hierarchy of values” reeking of the utilitarian ethics that every dictator has used to justify violating individual rights.

The problem with his bankruptcy strategy is that America’s Finest City has billion dollar land assets and ever ready taxing power. It should have been used long ago to pay for all the projects and benefit increases to keep experienced workers. If not for the long list of spineless politicians avoiding taxpayer wrath, none of this would have occurred. Our sea shore paradise won’t be permitted to go bust by a bankruptcy court or the State Assembly for its immense net worth, and if for no other reason, the international embarrassment of it all.

Now you know the dirty little secret of halving your debts by fraudulent extortion.

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