Fri Nov 30, 2012, 08:38 AM
Segami (14,923 posts)
Great American Retirement SCAM: Why The Wealthiest U.S. CEOs Want To TAKE AWAY Your Social Security
As the fiscal cliff debate takes center stage in the national conversation, a well-financed lobbying blitz is underway—one that bills itself as a “non-partisan movement to put America on a better fiscal and economic path.” Who are these dedicated, do-gooders who want nothing more in life than to save us from plunging over the cliff while solving our national debt problems and return prosperity to all Americans? Meet the “Fix The Debt” gang—a collection of more than 80 of the nation’s most powerful and wealthy CEO’s who have generously committed their time, money and lobbying efforts to contribute a solution to the nation’s debt crisis in the effort to avoid an economic disaster. And what do these great Americans have in mind as the recipe to cure our national ills? A plan that leaves it to the poor and middle-class to pay off our burgeoning debt through the scaling back of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
Certainly, there is nothing particularly new about the notion of the 1 percent looking to entitlements as the solution to debt, but these clever executives have added a few wrinkles to the plan that are well worth noticing as these corporate leaders are not simply content to simply lay the debt on the shoulders of those least able to bear it—they intend to make billions in the process. Their proposal comes complete with ideas ranging from granting themselves some sweet tax breaks via a change in the tax laws that would allow their companies to return overseas profits to the US tax free—instantly dropping some $134 billion to their companies’ collective bottom line—to a well buried benefit that will earn them billions as a direct result of modifying Social Security to delay benefits to the millions who will suffer. And all of this—they would have us believe—is in the interest of serving their country.
So, how does this clever little plan work? Prepare to be amazed. It’s no accident that these 80 individuals are paid the big bucks for running our largest corporations. When it comes to sticking it to the other guy in order to make big money for their side of the bargaining table, these people clearly have no equals. First, a little background to set the stage— While only 41 of the companies led by these CEOs even have a retirement plan for their employees (leaving their workers heavily reliant on their Social Security benefits), only 2 of the companies represented in the group are current in their contributions—leaving 39 that have fallen way behind on their employee plan contributions….about $103 billion behind. Keep that figure in mind as we will return to it shortly.
Also keep in mind that these companies have allowed their employee retirement plans to remain seriously underfunded while managing to continue to put away millions of tax free dollars in their executive retirement plans, all of which appear to be fully funded. To expand on the true nature of what is going on here, I turn to a fascinating study out this week from the Institute For Policy Studies entitled, “A Pension Deficit Disorder: The Massive CEO Retirement Funds and Underfunded Worker Pensions at Firms Pushing Social Security Cuts.” If you read nothing else this year, you really should review this easy to follow report containing some truly illuminating bits of information. But a warning—if you take medication for high blood pressure, you are going to want to pop a few beta blockers before proceeding as the study is highly likely to make your diastolic and systolic readings go a bit haywire.
From the report:
- The 71 Fix the Debt CEOs who lead publicly held companies have amassed an average of $9 million in their company retirement funds. A dozen have more than $20 million in their accounts. If each of them converted their assets to an annuity when they turned 65, they would receive a monthly check for at least $110,000 for life.
- The Fix the Debt CEO with the largest pension fund is Honeywell’s David Cote, a long-time advocate of Social Security cuts. His $78 million nest egg is enough to provide a $428,000 check every month after he turns 65.
- Forty-one of the 71 companies offer employee pension funds. Of these, only two have sufficient assets in their funds to meet expected obligations. The rest have combined deficits of $103 billion, or about $2.5 billion on average. General Electric has the largest deficit in its worker pension fund, with $22 billion.
To recap—these CEO’s can retire and expect a huge check each and every month for the rest of their lives from their corporate retirement accounts amassed and fully funded at the very same time they have failed to fund their employee corporate retirement accounts to the tune of $103 billion—and now they want to take away Social Security benefits.
11 replies, 1757 views
Great American Retirement SCAM: Why The Wealthiest U.S. CEOs Want To TAKE AWAY Your Social Security (Original post)
|woo me with science||Nov 2012||#10|
Response to Skidmore (Reply #1)
Fri Nov 30, 2012, 08:48 AM
proud2BlibKansan (96,793 posts)
4. Rendell was the keynote speaker at the KS state democratic convention last year
Having a true progressive as speaker is of course out of the question in Kansas.
But he was good annd I was surprised by how liberal he sounded. But I'm with you - I don't really trust him.
Response to Segami (Original post)
Fri Nov 30, 2012, 08:50 AM
jody (26,624 posts)
6. IMO we need to change thinking from SS as social insurance with some retirement benefits to
retirement benefits with social insurance.
I assume there are a number of people who do or will depend essentially 100% on social security for their retirement.
The above would shift thinking from a retirement income that is bare survival to a larger income for a basic retirement life style.
Response to Segami (Original post)
Fri Nov 30, 2012, 12:47 PM
bvar22 (39,909 posts)
7. Now , now.....
"We can't begrudge them their wealth."
"They are just savvy businessmen."
"Its the Free Market."
"Look at all the Baseball Players."
As far as I'M concerned,
it is OK to despise these greedy sociopaths.
I view them with the utmost contempt.
You will know them by their WORKS,
Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Reply #8)
Fri Nov 30, 2012, 08:26 PM
bvar22 (39,909 posts)
11. Only because WE let them,
....and have forgotten that it is OUR job to hold our "Democrats" accountable.
When they campaign as "the workingman's friend" and then vote to bailout the CEOs, Toss aside "Regulation" that our fathers and grandfathers fought & died for, and vote FOR MORE "Free Trade",
WE need to Call THEM out and Hold THEM accountable for their betrayal.
Politicians in the rest of the civilized World FEAR their electorate.
In the USA, our elected officials LAUGH at us for falling for the SAME scams over & over again.
I want a party that will STAND UP for Working Americans."
photo by bvar22
Shortly before Sen Wellstone was killed
"By their WORKS you will know them."