Wednesday, August 29, 2012 – 09:00 a.m.

You gotta hand it to California Governor Jerry Brown.

In an effort to cajole voters into raising taxes on themselves in November, Brown and democrats have reached a deal on reforming pensions in California.

The big question this morning is are they kidding?

The only problem with the whole deal? The estimated savings to taxpayers.

That estimated savings, which is still being figured by the California Public Employees Retirement System (Calpers), is being pegged at somewhere between $18 billion and $30 billion over 30 years.

That’s a whole $600 million to $1 billion per year.

California’s unfunded pension liability is pegged somewhere around $150 billion over the same 30 years, depending on what investment assumption rate is used.

Another looming question is the fact that Brown is asking voters for an estimated $8 billion in “temporary” taxe increases.

So, if it somehow passes, what happens after that?

And then there’s that purported union opposition and outcry over this pension proposal.

Is there really?

It’s likely all a charade by the unions for the benefit of their membership and nothing more.

The next few days will tell the tale.

We’ll know by Friday night whether or not Assembly Bill 340 has any real labor opposition.

Whether this smoke and mirror stunt convinces voters to hand Brown more cash has to be seen.