Teamsters' union calls for feds (taxpayers) to bail out their bankrupt pension funds
The pension fund of Teamsters Union Local 707 is drained. As a result, 4,000 retired members will see their monthly pension payments slashed by more than 60 percent.Short answer: While politicians and union execs can fool both math and reality for some short period--typically only until people learn the ugly truth--no matter how good your intentions it's not possible to defy either math or reality for very long. But of course leftists and dummies will never admit this, no matter how many times it's demonstrated, or how painful the demonstration.
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, a federal agency, said "The insolvency of the 707 fund is the first among a number of larger financially troubled multiemployer plans with benefit levels that significantly exceed the PBGC guarantee limit."
Obviously this is causing lots of problems.
The president of Local 707, Kevin McCaffrey, told the Free Beacon that the state of the trucking and warehouse industry led to the demise of many of the companies that contributed to the pension fund.It sent a letter to all members in 2012 informing them that the fund would be exhausted in five years, and called on the federal government to "provide assistance."
The bankruptcy of the plan appears to have doomed the prospects of the union bailing itself out by winning more-generous contracts or organizing new workplaces. "You can’t organize because nobody wants to get into these plans," said McCaffrey. "And no companies want to work with us because they don’t want to be stuck holding the bag."
McCaffrey says it's not fair to the retirees or their families. "The toughest calls are from widows. … They say ‘my husband told me not to worry because the union will always take care of me.' It's frustrating when you can’t live up to your promises that people expected of us. It's devastating."
The Local 707 is not the only pension program in jeopardy, and the PBGC itself is running out of money as more and more union retirement plans go bust. The agency was created in 1974 to preserve bankrupt pension plans and is entirely funded by investing premiums paid by pension plans and sponsors. Agency head Jim Acosta warned that those rescue funds will be exhausted in just 8 years.
McCaffrey and Acosta both said the federal government should "issue a bailout"--i.e. force taxpayers to pay the pensions accrued by union members--on par with the Obama administration's multi-billion dollar package for General Motors.
"The only way this is going to get settled is if the government steps in," said McCaffrey. "If they helped the automobile industry, why not us? We're American citizens and we worked hard."
Example: Obama and the Dems crowed that through their sheer brilliance and good intentions, not only it was possible to provide "free" health insurance to 30 million people in the U.S. who didn't have any, but that at the same time the average family would save $2500 a year! A moment's thought will show that this ain't even remotely plausible, but that didn't stop the moonbats from ramming this disaster down everyone's throat. (And yes, I understand that there are a couple of hundred-thousand winners from this scheme--paid for by billions of dollars from the rest of the population.)
So...the odds of the feds bailing out the various union pension funds are damn near 100%. Because after all, and the prez of the Local correctly noted: Obama forced taxpayers to bail out GM, "so why not us?"
And there's the reason that first, tiny "freebie"--a government gift to some deserving person or union or company--must be avoided at all costs:
Because once the precedent's been set, where do you stop?
Next up: Federal bailout of California's horribly corrupt, horribly mismanaged public-employee pension system. Then Chicago public schools. Then the entire state of Illinois. Then California.
Think conservatives in congress can stop this? You're dreaming. Even now the numbers of Dem+RINOs versus conservatives in congress is about even. And since members can feel good and signal their virtuousness by passing bailouts--and get re-elected--it's a no-brainer.