Monday, May 24, 2010

Pulling the Public Pension Plug


I've been saying for quite some time that the United States is going to have to get out of the "entitlement" mindset if it's ever going to recover from the massive debt hole. In his WND column today, Vox Day discusses the huge problem of lush pension programs on the public dole. Europe is already reaping the whirlwind, and we won't be far behind unless there's a change.

Note: I will have an installment from "The Fundamentals" tomorrow. I have had company for several days, and I'm behind schedule more than usual.

5 comments:

Ron said...

So is the common thought not only include Gov't union pensions or does that include all union pensions? Where is the culpability on the parties who negotiated the (I'll label them) ridiculously lavish pensions and then didn't budget themselves to ensure funding was accomplished? If the funding isn't supplied, no pension, lavish or not, will be solvent in time.

Solameanie said...

I think there's enough culpability to go around. We're in a huge mess. The pension plans etc. of private business are by nature a company affair. However, in the public arena it is public business because it's funded by our tax dollars (by compulsion). We could argue all day over how much is too much in terms of benefits, etc...but the fact of the matter is that we can't afford it anymore. Either there will have to be an enormous increase in taxes, or there will have to be cuts in benefits. The public can't have it both ways. Look at what's happening in Greece, where people are rioting in the streets and the country is basically insolvent. What is the solution? Either cut spending or increase taxes.

I think it's been shown that government typically wastes an enormous amount of money. That is why I am reluctant to allow government to tax me any more than they are.

Solameanie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ron said...

Here's my thought; If a portion of my pay package was to be paid into a retirement fund in lieu of giving me those monies to personally apply them toward a retirement fund, since those monies are included in my total pay package, shouldn't it be logical to expect that they have been applied properly as negotiated? Afterall, I wasn't paid those monies directly, even though they were included in the entirety of my pay package and not an additional benefit, which is how most have come to view them. If I pay 100% of my medical is it a benefit? As a side note, in the private sector, the Taft-Hartly Act was written to protect employees funds in situations where employers were negligent in fulfilling commitments to provide retirement/healthcare by not putting those promised monies aside, much to the chagrin of the employees who came of age to claim those funds. Another note; Corporate heads dispised Sarbanes-Oxley because it made them personally responsible for these acts of negligence. What we're viewing presently is the "Car Crash." We need to hold responsible those whose actions (or the lack of) that placed us here, just as we hold they guy who had twelve beers at the bar responsible for the "Car Crash."

Solameanie said...

I can agree with that. Look at how the government has repeatedly dipped into the Social Security trust fund over the years. State governments (and now even the feds) have been tempted to try and dip into pension funds to cover their insatiable appetite for spending. It's time to turn the spicket off.