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The Suddenly Poor Life: Millions Will Lose Their Pensions

Discussion in 'Coffee Shack (Daily News/Economy)' started by Goldhedge, Mar 4, 2016.



  1. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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  2. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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  3. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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  4. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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  5. Uglytruth

    Uglytruth Gold Member Gold Chaser

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  6. Buck

    Buck Fabian Society Gold Chaser

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    These are just shell games

    One day, there won't be a can left to kick
     
  7. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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  8. latemetal

    latemetal Platinum Bling Platinum Bling

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    Welfare fraud in Lakewood NJ soaked up a ton of money, no wonder they can't pay their bills, not that news covers it.
     
  9. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Pensions Timebomb In America – “National Crisis” Cometh


    -- Published: Friday, 30 June 2017

    – America’s underfunded pension system is “not a distant concern but a system already in crisis”…

    – Tax may explode as governments seek to bail out insolvent pension plans

    – Illinois, California, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Kentucky and eight other states vulnerable

    – The simple mathematical mismatch at the heart of the pension crisis…

    – Why the pension crisis really is “America’s silent crisis”…

    – Pensions timebomb confronts Ireland, UK and most EU countries

    [​IMG]


    By Brian Maher, Managing editor, The Daily Reckoning


    “This is going to be a national crisis…

    “This” being America’s woefully underfunded pension liabilities, according to Karen Friedman. She’s the executive vice president of the Pension Rights Center.

    (A place called the Pension Rights Center does in fact exist. We checked.)

    MarketWatch columnist Jeff Reeves howls in confirmation that “collapsing pensions will fuel America’s next financial crisis.”

    “This is not a distant concern,” warns he, “but a system already in crisis.”

    According to data supplied by the Federal Reserve, pensions — public and private combined — were roughly 27% underfunded at the end of last year.

    By some estimates, America’s public pensions alone are sunk in a $6 trillion abyss.

    The issue, approached from any direction, is an impossible knot… a tar pit… a minotaur’s maze of blind alleys and dead ends.

    How has the American pension come to such an estate?

    Most public pension systems were built upon the sunny assumption that their investments will yield a handsome 7.5% annual return.

    But consider…

    The average public pension plan returned just 1.5% last year.

    Last year marked the second consecutive year that plans undershot the 7.5% return rate, according to Governing magazine.

    The same plans worked an average gain of 2–4% in 2015.

    A highly technical term describes the foregoing if it goes on long enough… and we apologize if it sends you to the dictionary:

    Insolvency.

    Briefly turn your attention to the Golden State, for example. California.

    State pensions are only in funds to meet 65% of their promised benefits.

    And California pins its hopes on that golden annual 7.5% return to make the shortage good.

    But it’s in a devil of a fine fix if the average public pension plan only returns 1.5%.

    The math is the math.

    California essentially depends on returns 400% above the norm, according to financial analyst Larry Edelson.

    But California is by no means alone.

    We won’t run the entire roll call of shame.

    But the great state of Illinois, for one, risks sinking into a $130 billion “death spiral” from its unfunded pension liabilities, as Ted Dabrowski of the Illinois Policy Institute described it.

    S&P Global Ratings has even threatened to downgrade the state’s credit score to “junk” status.

    New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Kentucky are also among the worst deadbeats.

    But the problems run from ocean to ocean and south to north.

    A report from Moody’s reads thus:

    For many states and municipalities, exposure to unfunded pension liabilities is already at or near all-time highs. Since cost burdens are already expected to further increase, pension fund investment performance is critical for the credit quality of many governments.

    Not even a “best case” cumulative 25% investment return on public pension plans would stanch the blood flow, according to Moody’s.

    They say that best-case 25% would merely reduce pension liabilities a slender 1% through 2019 due to weak contributions and poor past investment returns.

    “But I don’t have a pension,” comes your response. “This doesn’t concern me.”

    Ah, but have another guess — at least if you swear off your taxes in these United States.

    Is it your belief that governments will let their prized public pension plans flop?

    There are votes to consider, after all.

    Jilted pensioners are capable of generating a good deal of hullabaloo, hullabaloo to which the official ear is exquisitely attuned.

    Besides, do you think kind Uncle Samuel will turn the politically strategic states of California and Illinois out on their ears?

    As our resident income specialist Zach Scheidt argues:

    Your tax bill could explode as governments around the country seek to bail out insolvent pension plans. And you know how much politicians like to use your tax money to bail out some constituent. They like to prove their “compassion” with your money!

    “Expect to pay higher state and local taxes for fewer services in the years to come,” adds Larry Edelson, before mentioned.

    And:

    “Don’t be surprised if authorities of all shapes and sizes — from local governments to national agencies — up the ante to get ahold of your assets any way they can.”

    We would have to agree. You shouldn’t be surprised in the least.

    And we can scarcely imagine the holy hell that would follow another financial crisis.

    Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner warns the state’s pension crisis is driving his beloved Land of Lincoln into “banana republic” territory.

    But we suspect the good governor’s mouth ran away with him here…

    Can you imagine comparing the venerable, eminently worthy banana republic… to Illinois?

    The pension crisis is truly “America’s silent crisis” and indeed the world’s silent crisis.

    From The Daily Reckoning newsletter


    Related Content


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    Investing in Gold In Your Individual Retirement Account (IRA)

    News and Commentary

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    Nikkei dives under 20,000 as Asian markets sharply pull back (Marketwatch)

    Tech Spoils Bank Party as Stocks, Dollar Slide: Markets Wrap (Bloomberg)

    The Yellowstone Supervolcano Has Just Seen 878 Earthquakes in Two Weeks (Science Alert)

    [​IMG]

    Source: Cape Shiller via ZeroHedge

    Robert Shiller: “The Index I Invented Is At Levels Last Seen In 1929 And 2000” (Zerohedge)

    How owning a home in Britain became a luxury (Moneyweek)

    Petrodollar wars – Gold in your custody cannot be hacked, erased, or frozen (Zerohedge)

    Should you own bitcoin or gold? That’s easy (SCH)

    Lessons from ten of the greatest trades of all time (Moneyweek)

    Gold Prices (LBMA AM)

    30 Jun: USD 1,243.25, GBP 957.43 & EUR 1,090.83 per ounce
    29 Jun: USD 1,246.60, GBP 959.88 & EUR 1,093.14 per ounce
    28 Jun: USD 1,251.60, GBP 976.25 & EUR 1,101.91 per ounce
    27 Jun: USD 1,250.40, GBP 980.31 & EUR 1,111.36 per ounce
    26 Jun: USD 1,240.85, GBP 975.56 & EUR 1,109.32 per ounce
    23 Jun: USD 1,256.30, GBP 987.70 & EUR 1,125.27 per ounce
    22 Jun: USD 1,251.40, GBP 988.36 & EUR 1,120.13 per ounce

    Silver Prices (LBMA)

    30 Jun: USD 16.47, GBP 12.69 & EUR 14.44 per ounce
    29 Jun: USD 16.83, GBP 12.98 & EUR 14.76 per ounce
    28 Jun: USD 16.78, GBP 13.08 & EUR 14.78 per ounce
    27 Jun: USD 16.66, GBP 13.07 & EUR 14.79 per ounce
    26 Jun: USD 16.53, GBP 12.98 & EUR 14.79 per ounce
    23 Jun: USD 16.71, GBP 13.12 & EUR 14.97 per ounce
    22 Jun: USD 16.58, GBP 13.09 & EUR 14.85 per ounce

    http://www.goldcore.com/us/

    http://news.goldseek.com/GoldSeek/1498827600.php
     
  10. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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  11. Goldhedge

    Goldhedge Modal Operator/Moderator Site Mgr Site Supporter

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    America's Pension Bomb: Illinois Is Just the Start

    We've written quite a bit over the past couple of months about the pending financial crisis in Illinois which will inevitability result in the state's debt being downgraded to "junk" at some point in the near future (here is our latest from just this morning: "From Horrific To Catastrophic": Court Ruling Sends Illinois Into Financial Abyss).

    Unfortunately, the state of Illinois doesn't have a monopoly on ignorant politicians...they're everywhere. And, since the end of World War II, those ignorant politicians have been promising American Baby Boomers more and more entitlements while never collecting nearly enough money to cover them all...it's all been a massive state-sponsored scam.

    As we've noted frequently before, some of the largest of the many entitlement 'scams' in this country are America's public pension funds. Up until now, these public pension have been covered by stealing money set aside for future generations to cover current claims...it's a ponzi scheme of epic proportions...$5-$8 trillion to be exact.

    Of course, the problem with ponzi schemes is that eventually you get to the point where the ponzi is so large that you can't possibly steal enough money from new entrants to cover redemptions from those trying to exit...and, with a tidal wave of baby boomers about to pass into their retirement years, we suspect that America's epic ponzi is on the verge of being exposed for the world to see.

    And when the ponzi dominoes start to fall, Bloomberg has provided this helpful map to illustrate who will succumb first...

    [​IMG]

    Of course, if you live in a state like South Dakota, you may take some solace from the fact that your public pension is fully funded...don't.

    Once the dominoes start to fall, and they will, those "ignorant politicians" we mentioned above will think they're doing the right thing when they attempt to "socialize the issue" with federal bailouts and tax hikes. Unfortunately, this is one crisis that will be too large for even American taxpayers to bailout.



     
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  12. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    This is one of the things that may help bring in a cashless society.
     
  13. Uglytruth

    Uglytruth Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    I think it was a massive state sponsored "SKIMMING" operation.
    Remember it's not just the seen it's the unseen. They took money from people that could have put that money to a better use.
    Paid off house or car faster, started a business, went on vacation and created other jobs........ but it was stolen from them, wasted on wars refugees and illegals, and the never ending govt perks, study's waste etc.....

    Remember this? But what's a few billion here or there.......

    Setting up the central piece of President Obama's healthcare law has cost the administration more than twice as much as originally intended. The Health and Human Services Department (HHS) said in budget documents Wednesday that it expects to spend $4.4 billion by the end of this year on grants to help states set up new insurance exchanges. HHS had estimated last year that the grants would cost $2 billion. The department also is asking Congress for another $1.5 billion to help set up federally run exchanges in states that do not establish their own. The request for extra money comes at a critical time — exchanges are supposed to be up and running in every state by October. But it is also sure to meet hostility in Congress, which just last month denied HHS's last request for additional funds. HHS Assistant Secretary for Financial Resources Ellen Murray punted Wednesday when asked about the consequences if Congress also denies the new request.
     
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  14. xhomerx10

    xhomerx10 Silver Member Silver Miner Site Supporter

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    Interestingly, at around 3:30 the man said, "Here I am on YouTube telling people to get into precious metals and now get into Cryptos as fast as you can."
    Wow. It's going mainstream. I wonder when the pension funds are going into Crypto?
     
  15. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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  16. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Might be dead wrong but if the shit really hits the fan it would be a golden opportunity for tptb to bring in a one world monetary system. Wouldn't really matter what it was called. Your pay / government assistance payment might just be digital purchasing units in a digital account. Go along with the program and your purchases will be allowed. Don't go along and you might not be allowed to buy or sell. Who knows.........might be labeled as some sort of trouble maker. If that were the case you may have to pay for your crimes against the NWO with your life.

    Sounds crazy - doesn't it?

    Who knows what the future holds. Let's hope it doesn't happen.
     
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  17. Uglytruth

    Uglytruth Gold Member Gold Chaser

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  18. xhomerx10

    xhomerx10 Silver Member Silver Miner Site Supporter

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    It sounds more nefarious than crazy. Let's hope it remains the stuff of science fiction!
    [​IMG]
     
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  19. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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  20. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    The face of America's pension crisis


    [​IMG][​IMG]
    The Motley Fool

    Jordan Wathen
    20 hrs ago



    Meet Tony. For years, Tony worked in a plant that manufactured industrial gases. He started working at the plant in 1979, joining the Teamsters after deciding, like many who worked there, that becoming part of the union, and participating in its pension plan, was a smart financial decision.

    The plant, which used processes that were dangerous in retrospect, according to Tony, eventually declined into technological obsolescence. Newer, safer processes became the standard for producing the gases that his plant produced. After a long career, he retired from the plant, and at 58 years old, he and his wife now work at Sam's Club and continue to save diligently for retirement through Walmart's 401(k) program.

    It's a good thing Tony and his wife saved, and continue saving, because the pension he was promised when he started making contributions as a gas plant worker 38 years ago may not be available to him for much longer. In fact, his pension, part of the Central States Pension Fund, is facing a financial crisis of its own.

    He receives reminders of the pension's problems through frequent mailings. The fund most recently wrote him to say that it is in "critical and declining" status, a label ascribed to pension plans that are expected to be insolvent in as little as 10 to 20 years, but Central States could be insolvent in less than eight years, failing by 2025.

    If nothing is done, pension payments to participants could simply stop as the plan's assets slowly bleed out and government-organized pension insurance programs become insolvent under the burden of failed pension plans.

    How the plan fell apart
    The Central States Pension Fund covers workers and retirees from a variety of industries, but most of its retirees are truck drivers who worked for one of the thousands of trucking companies that once dominated American highways.

    Though the trucking industry is as important as it has ever been to the way goods are shipped, its economic fortunes have faded since 1980, when the industry was deregulated. The passage of the Motor Carrier Regulatory Reform and Modernization Act of 1980 removed many of the barriers that restricted competition and buoyed profits.

    The excess profits enjoyed by the trucking industry up until 1980 were more representative of a competition-free bubble than a normal competitive environment. An article written by Thomas Gale Moore, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, explained the unique protections afforded to the trucking industry by earlier legislation, which made them exempt from anti-monopoly laws.

    "In 1948 Congress authorized truckers to fix rates in concert with one another when it enacted, over President Truman's veto, the Reed-Bulwinkle Act, which exempted carriers from the antitrust laws."

    Alongside deregulation and decreased profitability, declining union membership also weighed on Central States and other pension funds' participation levels. Whereas as many as 60% of truckers in regulated corners of the industry were union in the 1970s, only 12% were union members in 2006.

    Non-unionized transportation outfits were enabled by deregulation to publish lower rates and compete on price, scoring more business from costlier unionized service providers. After all, trucking is largely a commodity; price is paramount to winning business. And non-unionized shops simply had the better price, which was a big problem for pension plans that rely on union participation.

    Central States feels the brunt
    The decline of the trucking industry's profitability had a pronounced impact on the Central States Pension Fund, which relied on the industry to supply it with cash from working truckers to pay the benefits it promised to those who had retired. By 1984, just four years after trucking was deregulated, the pension was paying out more in benefits than it received in contributions. Investment income made up for the shortfall, but only temporarily.

    Central States is a multi-employer plan, which means that it serves as a pool into which employees of multiple companies pay in. The contributions are commingled, and the payouts are a collective liability. This type of plan is commonly found in fragmented industries with hundreds or thousands of smaller operators. The trucking industry, once made up of thousands of mom and pop shops, was a natural fit.

    [​IMG]
    © Author The actuarial value of Central States' assets adds up to less than half the actuarial value of its liabilities.

    But Central States began to fall victim to an issue that plagues many multi-employer plans: When companies that participate in the plan fail, they cease to make payments into the program, but the payments to retirees, who were promised years of consistent monthly checks after retirement, keep on flowing. In effect, less cash comes in, but the same amount goes out.

    The failure of trucking businesses around the country has left financial scars for Central States. An analysis by Boston College revealed that of the 50 largest employers that participated in the pension plan in 1980, only four were still around in 2014. It wrote in its 2014 analysis that "roughly 50 cents of every benefit dollar goes to pay benefits to 'orphaned' participants, those left behind when employers exit."

    Large, healthy, and profitable employers have also bought out of the Central States Pension Fund, exacerbating its financial problems. In 2007, the delivery company United Parcel Service paid $6.1 billion to exit the fund, an amount determined sufficient to pay for the pension payments to UPS retirees who were drawing from the fund. When UPS bought out, Central States was already in poor shape. After the UPS payment, Central States was funded between 70% and 75%, according to a 2008 estimate.

    The UPS exit is representative of the unique issues that multi-employer plans face. UPS' $6.1 billion payment to exit the fund might have covered the liabilities owed to its former employees, but there are still many more employees who were "orphaned" by the failure of their employers and need to be accounted for.

    Compounding the issue of financial weakness, the 2007 exit of UPS from the plan proved untimely. Just months after UPS bought out, partially by transferring holdings of the S&P 500 index to the pension, stock and bond prices plummeted as the Financial Crisis unfolded, and thus the pension had to sell assets near their lows to fund payouts to retired workers.

    A broken backstop
    Anyone who participates in a pension has insurance from a government agency known as the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). The agency collects a small premium for each person who participates in a pension, and in turn, it promises to pay benefits to pensioners of failed plans, often at a reduced rate. An illustrative example on its website shows that workers who earned 30 years of service in a multi-employer plan can collect a maximum of $12,870 per year from the PBGC -- far less than many pensions originally promised to pay.

    In effect, the PBGC is to pensions payouts what the FDIC is to bank deposits. It offers limited coverage with promises to pay out a reduced, but non-zero amount, to pensioners who are part of a failed system, just as the FDIC only protects bank deposits up to $250,000 per account.

    For years, the PBGC operated at a surplus, taking in far more than it ever paid out. In fact, up until 2004, it was in the black virtually every single year.

    However, as the baby boomer generation continues to reach retirement age, the PBGC is expected to make good on the liabilities of more pension plans that overpromised and underdelivered. Multi-employer plans like Central States are most likely to experience problems making good on their promises. In its most recent annual report, the PBGC estimated that its multi-employer liabilities tallied more than $60 billion, the bulk of which stems from nearly $59 billion it estimates it will have to pay in "financial assistance to 103 multi-employer pension plans that were probable to receive PBGC assistance in the future."

    Even as stock prices have recovered from their Financial Crisis lows, estimates suggest that the PBGC could become insolvent as soon as 2025. Central States, by far one of the biggest and most troubled multi-employer plans, would put PBGC on fast-track to insolvency. In simple terms, the surpluses earned by the PBGC through 2004 were an illusion, as the agency simply underpriced the risk of pension failures.

    Only recently has the PBGC increased its rates to reflect the increased probability that multi-employer plans run into trouble. Rates more than doubled from $12 per multi-employer plan participant in 2014 to $26 in 2015. In 2017, the rate increased to the current level of $28. At this point, it seems as though the rate increases are simply too little, and far too late.

    Pensions get approval to slash benefits
    In 2014, Congress passed a law that would allow pensions to do the once unthinkable: cut benefits to current recipients in order to stave off a crisis.

    The law opened the possibility of a multi-tiered cut to benefits based on retirees' current age. Those who are 80 or older, or who receive disability-related pension payouts, couldn't have their benefits cut. Those who are aged 75 to 79 would have to tolerate some cuts. For those who are younger than 75, it was open season -- that group would experience the most substantial reductions.

    For what it's worth, Tony, who is 58 years old, was supportive of a plan that would cut his benefits if it meant that payments would be made for longer. "Something is better than nothing," he opined.

    Tony isn't being hyperbolic; for him, getting nothing is a very real possibility if Central States and the PBGC become insolvent. The letters he receives about Central States frequently refer to its financial problems in troubling language. He read aloud to me a recent letter that said his benefits, and the benefits of more than 400,000 people in the plan, could be "ultimately reduced to virtually nothing" if cuts were not made to the benefits of current recipients.

    Tony's favorable view of cuts designed to elongate the life of the plan isn't necessarily a popular one among other participants, who see a cut to their benefits as an impossible solution. When Central States Pension Fund proposed deep cuts to pensions -- some as large as 50% for younger retirees -- Teamster members rallied to fight the reduction. The Department of Treasury ultimately struck down Central States' plan to cut benefits.

    On the Teamster.org website, Teamsters general president Jim Hoffa referred to the Department of Treasury's decision against benefit cuts as a victory:

    On behalf of our union and the more than 400,000 retirees and participants in Central States Pension Fund, I would like to thank Mr. Feinberg and the Department of Treasury for denying these massive cuts that would destroy so many lives. We worked with thousands of retirees to educate Treasury and Congress on the devastating impact of the proposed cuts. However, this is not over and the Teamsters Union will continue to fight to protect pensions.


    The Teamsters Union wants to have its cake and eat it, too. The Teamsters don't want benefit cuts, but they want the payments to continue in perpetuity.

    To make up the shortfall, one Teamster proposal suggested funding troubled multi-employer pension plans with a "$30 billion legacy fund over 10 years, paid for by closing two tax loopholes used almost exclusively by the super-rich to avoid paying taxes."

    UPS also opposed benefit reductions, as its 2007 buyout included a clause that would put it on the hook for billions of dollars of supplemental payments if Central States ever lawfully cut benefits to its retirees who were left in the program. The final language in the bill carved out UPS employees from cuts, putting them last in line for reductions, a win for UPS that came from aggressive lobbying on the issue.

    What can we really do?
    Hundreds of multi-employer pension plans could fail. The designated backstop, the PBGC, is almost certain to fail, too. That leaves taxpayers, through government legislation, as potentially the funding source of last resort for multi-employer pensions on the brink of insolvency.

    Some argue that a "bailout" by the Federal government is justified, given it would provide a safety net to millions of Americans in retirement. To be sure, it isn't fair that millions of workers will receive less than they were promised (or potentially nothing), but there are few "fair" ways to fund insolvent pensions, given that a small minority of Americans participate in them.

    A government bailout, even if it is paid for by closing tax loopholes for the ultra-rich, shifts the benefit to a select group of pension participants. If taxes are raised on the top 0.1%, for example, why should pension participants, not the other 99.9% of taxpayers, enjoy the benefit?

    Perhaps the bigger issue is that a full taxpayer-provided backstop might encourage pension plans to make even greater promises they can't afford, knowing that the taxpayer will make good on its impossibly high promises.

    The issue has stumped lawmakers and participants alike, but one thing is clear: There will be a real impact for millions of Americans who paid into a failed system.

    Over the phone, Tony spoke to me so calmly and clearly about the issue it felt as though he had tossed it around in his head hundreds of times before.

    He summed up the challenges succinctly, stating that "it's disappointing to find out, at this point at my life, that money that had been taken out of my paycheck every week is not going to be available for me when I need it most."

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/reti...ension-crisis/ar-BBE8iUG?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=iehp
     
  21. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Gov. Wolf to let unbalanced budget bill become law
    • By MARC LEVY Associated Press
    • 14 hrs ago


    HARRISBURG (AP) — For the second straight year, Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf will let a state budget bill become law despite the fact that it is badly out of balance as he presses Pennsylvania's Republican-controlled Legislature to approve a tax package big enough to avoid a credit downgrade.

    Wolf's office released his decision in a statement Monday, hours before the nearly $32 billion spending bill was to become law without his signature at midnight.

    In a statement, he said he hoped lawmakers could come together in the coming days to produce a responsible solution to balance the budget.

    "Our creditors and the people of Pennsylvania understand a responsible resolution must take real and necessary steps to improve Pennsylvania's fiscal future," Wolf said.

    In the 10 days after lawmakers sent it to his desk, Wolf had the power sign it into law, veto it or strike out some of the spending.

    Still, there were questions about the constitutionality of a budget bill becoming law without a plan in place to pay for it.

    Monday was the 10th day of a budget stalemate between Wolf and the House and Senate Republican majorities.

    There was no sign of an agreement on an approximately $2.2 billion revenue package that lawmakers say is necessary to resolve the state's largest shortfall since the recession and a projected deficit in the fiscal year that began July 1.

    The package will rely primarily on borrowing and involves another big expansion of casino gambling in the nation's No. 2 commercial casino state.

    Looming is the potential for another downgrade to a credit rating already damaged by Pennsylvania's failure to deal with a post-recession deficit.

    Wolf has rejected Republican plans that lean more heavily on one-time cash infusions, and pressed Republicans to support a larger package of tax increases, top lawmakers say. Efforts were still being made to resolve it, Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman, R-Centre, said Monday afternoon.

    "Every hour there's a new plan and hopefully one will come that we can get everyone on board with," Corman told reporters.

    With both the House and Senate in session Monday, Republicans were pressing ahead with other business. It was unclear, however, whether Republicans could even pass a budget-balancing revenue plan without help from Democratic lawmakers, who have backed Wolf.

    Friction revolved around Wolf's insistence that lawmakers produce $700 million to $800 million in reliable revenue, such as tax increases, to help the state avoid another downgrade. Republicans, however, have been unwilling to offer a tax package half that size, Democrats say.

    Top senators said tax increases under discussion involved basic cable service, movie tickets, bank profits, telephone service and electric service. Another element of a proposed budget deal, designed to save money, would give the state the option to shut down unprofitable wine and liquor stores and transfer the stock to a nearby beer distributor to be sold there.

    Wolf has pushed Republicans to agree to a production tax on natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale, his third straight year of doing so. Pennsylvania, the nation's No. 2 natural gas state, is the only large natural-gas-producing state that does not tax the product. However, top Republican lawmakers have rejected that.

    Without a signed budget plan in place, the state has lost some of its spending authority, though the Wolf administration has said it anticipated no program or service interruptions, at least through Monday night.

    Last year, the Legislature sent an on-time, bipartisan spending bill to Wolf, but with no plan to pay for parts of it.

    Wolf let the plan become law without his signature when the 10-day signing period expired and lawmakers delivered a $1.3 billion funding package three days later.

    Enjoying our content? Become a Bucks County Courier Times subscriber to support stories like these. Get full access to our signature journalism for just 44 cents a day.

    http://www.buckscountycouriertimes....cle_39a8c632-2fc9-5583-a5dd-225b82563ed6.html
     
  22. the_shootist

    the_shootist I self identify as a black '69 Camaro Midas Member Site Supporter ++

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    Imagine if we all ran our household budgets like the government runs theirs? WOW!
     
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  23. Uglytruth

    Uglytruth Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    These "leaders" are making their states walk the plank. Are we overlooking / missing something here? If all the sates go broke (like it seems they all are) it will revert power back to the fed's correct?
    No need for state lines or boarders...... or capitals..... or representation........
     
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  24. edsl48

    edsl48 Silver Member Silver Miner

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    The possibility of that happening is why many are investing in physical gold and silver... or at least is why I do.
     
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  25. southfork

    southfork Mother Lode Found Mother Lode

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  26. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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  27. Uglytruth

    Uglytruth Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/slashed-pensions-another-blow-for-heartland-workers/

    Another blow for heartland workers: Slashed pensions
    February was a bad month for Larry Burruel and thousands of other retired Ohio iron workers. His monthly take-home pension was cut by more than half from $3,700 to $1,600.

    Things have been rough in the Rust Belt, but this was a particularly powerful punch in the pocketbook for Burruel, who started in the trade at 19 and worked 36 years before opting for early retirement to make way for younger workers. Unfortunately, this sagging industry doesn't have enough younger workers to pay for retirees like Burruel, whose pension plan is in what the U.S. Treasury Department calls "critical and declining status."

    Read more at link.
     

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