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Old 11-27-2018, 07:21 AM
 
2,169 posts, read 742,560 times
Reputation: 5533

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MI-Roger View Post
Is it the employee's fault? They were promised a pension in exchange for lower wages. The money for a self funded pension was there but kept by the employer, and the employer or pension plan trustees screwed up and squandered it.
Yeah, that's the problem. One couple in our neighborhood has put their house on the market because he's a retiree from the Railroad system and his pension has been cut twice. I forget the percentages but I think he's now getting something like 60% of his original benefit.

And I wouldn't blame the banking system, either. Yes, they developed crazy products involving collateralized debt obligations but it was the pension trustees who chose to invest in such risky products.
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Old 11-27-2018, 07:40 AM
 
2,707 posts, read 2,377,700 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmarc View Post
What about all the young people struggling with college debt? They can't even discharge those debts in bankruptcy.

If you're going to bail out corporate pensions on the backs of these young folks, then release them from these debts or at least allow them to declare bankruptcy and let them have a fresh start.

And that's why I say "Not only NO, but HE** NO!"

So Guy X "did it the right way" and paid his student loans off $300/month for 10 years or whatever upon graduation from college. Guy Y lived above his means in a downtown loft out of school and deferred payments as long as possible, then started making minimum payments when he had to keep the government off his back. He still owes $35,000.

So release Guy Y from his debts, and what does Guy X get? Does that seem fair to you? After all, being the responsible person he was, Guy X put off having a family until he was closer to financial stability.
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Old 11-27-2018, 07:54 AM
 
Location: Floyd Co, VA
3,416 posts, read 5,147,188 times
Reputation: 7231
Quote:
Originally Posted by athena53 View Post
Yeah, that's the problem. One couple in our neighborhood has put their house on the market because he's a retiree from the Railroad system and his pension has been cut twice. I forget the percentages but I think he's now getting something like 60% of his original benefit.

And I wouldn't blame the banking system, either. Yes, they developed crazy products involving collateralized debt obligations but it was the pension trustees who chose to invest in such risky products.
I assume that most of those trustees relied on the ratings given to those products by those who claimed to do the research and assess them.

If you were looking to buy a washing machine or a lawn mower and you read that Consumer Reports gave it an excellent rating wouldn't you assume that it was an accurate, unbiased review? If you have a good mechanic who says that you need new front brakes do you go ahead and invest in new brakes or not?

We all rely on various experts to provide us with honest assessments about things that we don't have enough knowledge to decide on our own.
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Old 11-27-2018, 08:06 AM
JRR
 
Location: Middle Tennessee
3,689 posts, read 2,235,454 times
Reputation: 5245
As with anything else, all the people with threatened pensions have to do is be very vocal and keep the pressure on the politicians. A good example are the farmers. When they yelled long and loud about being hurt by the administration tariffs, a $12 billion relief program magically appeared. Whether you consider it right or wrong, there always seems to be government dollars available under certain circumstances.
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Old 11-27-2018, 08:21 AM
 
2,169 posts, read 742,560 times
Reputation: 5533
Quote:
Originally Posted by JRR View Post
As with anything else, all the people with threatened pensions have to do is be very vocal and keep the pressure on the politicians. <snip>Whether you consider it right or wrong, there always seems to be government dollars available under certain circumstances.
Do you know where "government dollars" come from? Us. It's either diverted from other programs, raised by additional taxes or financed by more borrowing.

"There is no government money- only taxpayer money."- Margaret Thatcher
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Old 11-27-2018, 08:33 AM
JRR
 
Location: Middle Tennessee
3,689 posts, read 2,235,454 times
Reputation: 5245
Quote:
Originally Posted by athena53 View Post
Do you know where "government dollars" come from? Us. It's either diverted from other programs, raised by additional taxes or financed by more borrowing.

"There is no government money- only taxpayer money."- Margaret Thatcher
I've been around for almost 70 years, so yes, I am well aware of where government dollars come from.
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Old 11-27-2018, 08:43 AM
 
5,556 posts, read 5,086,316 times
Reputation: 3956
Quote:
Originally Posted by JRR View Post
As with anything else, all the people with threatened pensions have to do is be very vocal and keep the pressure on the politicians. A good example are the farmers. When they yelled long and loud about being hurt by the administration tariffs, a $12 billion relief program magically appeared. Whether you consider it right or wrong, there always seems to be government dollars available under certain circumstances.
They are being vocal and putting the pressure on the politicians. So are various industry lobbyists, who want their clients to keep selling overpriced retirement homes, insurance products, medical products, golf carts, you name it. They don't want their golden goose to slip away. I'll bet AARP is working overtime. And that is why you see a bi-partisan push for the taxpayer to make the pensioners whole.

But why penalize the taxpayer? Zugor correctly identified the miscreants. And once you do that, the path to a solution is clear. Make Wall Street pay. It can be done in the form of a tax or fee on certain transactions that is remitted to the PBGC until the pensions are FULLY funded. They can even say it's just temporary until the situation is straightened out. Of course, we all know, that like the income (war) tax, once instituted, temporary "solutions" become permanent, but they can straighten that out later. They could also do a carve-out from the obscene "defense" budget.
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Old 11-27-2018, 08:45 AM
 
5,556 posts, read 5,086,316 times
Reputation: 3956
Quote:
Originally Posted by zugor View Post
I assume that most of those trustees relied on the ratings given to those products by those who claimed to do the research and assess them.

If you were looking to buy a washing machine or a lawn mower and you read that Consumer Reports gave it an excellent rating wouldn't you assume that it was an accurate, unbiased review? If you have a good mechanic who says that you need new front brakes do you go ahead and invest in new brakes or not?

We all rely on various experts to provide us with honest assessments about things that we don't have enough knowledge to decide on our own.
Zugor, once again, you have the right perspective on this. The ratings were bogus.
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Old 11-27-2018, 12:48 PM
 
1,520 posts, read 971,744 times
Reputation: 2863
Quote:
Originally Posted by thinkalot View Post
Those retirees with pensions paid the same taxes as you. Some went to bail out pension plans a generation or 2 ago.
And some ($132 billion) went to bail out the the Savings and Loans in the late '80s ...

https://www.thebalance.com/savings-a...s-cost-3306035

We - the lower 95% or so - always pay the bill to clean up the mess left by them, often with a little extra something for their pocket for the inconvenience.

Been that way for generations.
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Old 11-27-2018, 02:41 PM
 
2,258 posts, read 568,691 times
Reputation: 3971
Quote:
Originally Posted by MLSFan View Post
They are American citizens... What other arguments for investment do you need? They contributed to the country, now they get help when they need it

MLSFan, what other government programs would you cut to pay for the bailout of the failing multi-employer pensions when their sponsoring companies go under?
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