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Sat Feb 9, 2013, 02:06 PM

Why it is not really taxpayers’ money that funds public employees’ pensions.

Last edited Sat Feb 9, 2013, 06:50 PM - Edit history (3)

What bothers me most about discussions of underfunded public employee pension funds is the lie that it is "taxpayer money" that pays our pensions. It is NOT the taxpayers' money. It is the employees' money.

The taxpayers' taxes fund government functions and services, just as an employer's money pays for the work of his employees. But once the employees do the work and get paid, the money is no longer the "employer's money"; it is the EMPLOYEES' money.

The following scenario might help people understand why it is misleading to say that taxpayers’ money is used to fund these pensions. That is like saying that the paycheck a worker deposits into his bank account is his employer’s money. It isn’t. Sure, the employer’s money is used to pay the worker, but once the worker is paid, that money is his money, not the employer’s.

If the worker does the contracted work, but the employer doesn’t pay him his wages, or doesn’t pay him part of his wages, the money the employer withholds is still the employee’s money, and by withholding it, the employer is helping himself to an interest-free loan for however long he keeps that money—while depriving the employee of the interest that money would have earned if it had been in the employee’s bank account.

And if the employer never pays the employee the money at all, then the employer is stealing the employee’s money.

Here is the analogy:

Say my employer notices that I have trouble saving money or avoiding temptations to spend unwisely, and he worries I might need some savings cushion in the future. Meanwhile, he sometimes has cash flow problems; even though he has money enough to pay my wages, sometimes he must cover other expenses that run him short temporarily.

Imagine also that he has a partner (the story's analogue for the taxpayer) who has a lot of power over but little understanding of the business side of their business.

My boss works out an arrangement with me. He will pay me the agreed upon wages, but not all at once. I accept the idea of being paid only, say, 85% or 90% of the money I have earned in each paycheck, but he promises to deposit the withheld portion in my bank account, though sometimes he will have to TEMPORARILY postpone a deposit if he runs into a serious cash flow problem.

Meanwhile, he keeps his ignorant partner happy by showing that he is getting my work at a below-market price (since he is actually paying me only 85%-90% of what he owes me at any given time), and he encourages his partner to admire and even reward his financial savvy for doing so. For years, his partner accepts the lie and remains ignorant of how much I am contracted to be paid for my work.

But usually, when the cash flow problems are not pressuring my boss, he doesn't bother to deposit into my account the money he still owes me. Since our arrangement has locked me out of my account for a few decades, because we agreed that would help me resist the temptation to blow my money rather than saving it as I need and want to do, I cannot get to my withheld wages until the agreed upon time, but he assures me that when I am finally able to access my account, I will find all the money there. During the years when I cannot access my account, instead of depositing my withheld wages he keeps using MY MONEY, THE MONEY HE STILL OWES ME, to pay for his own stuff and his partner's stuff, even when they have plenty of their own money to use.

In other words, he keeps using as an interest-free loan the portion of my pay (MY MONEY) that he is supposed to be depositing in my bank account (which means, of course, that he is not only using my money, but also depriving me of the interest I would be earning on that money if he were depositing it into my account the way he is contractually obligated to do). Not only is he not paying me the money he owes me, but he is also causing me to lose a lot of money that my withheld pay would have earned in interest over the years and decades if it had been sitting in my bank account as it was supposed to be doing.

Then when it is time for me to start accessing my own money in my own savings account, I am told there is little or no money in there after all, because the portion of my pay that was withheld was never deposited in my account after all, even though our signed and legally enforceable contract promised that it would be.

When I insist I should be paid the money that I earned but that was supposedly only temporarily withheld from my paycheck, the ignorant partner starts screaming about my greedy attempt to get "extra" money out of their business after I no longer am even working for them.

And my other boss, who knows better but who likes having MY money to spend for his own and his partner's purposes, encourages his partner to continue thinking that it is THEIR money I am demanding, not MY OWN money that they have been using for years rather than paying me directly or depositing for me in my temporarily locked account.

Now that interest-free loan that they have been using my money for turns into outright theft, because they do not intend ever to give me that money at all.

The pension money IS NOT THE TAXPAYERS' MONEY. It is the EMPLOYEES' MONEY that the taxpayers have been for years allowing the government to spend for the benefit of either the taxpayers or, even more often, the politicians and their cronies.

I suppose you can tell from my post that I am a state employee.


NOTE: This was originally posted as a comment on another thread, in response to another poster who kept saying that public pensions are paid with taxpayers' money. Here is a link to the original thread:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=2341841

61 replies, 3486 views

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Arrow 61 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why it is not really taxpayers’ money that funds public employees’ pensions. (Original post)
tblue37 Feb 2013 OP
we can do it Feb 2013 #1
libtodeath Feb 2013 #2
ProgressiveProfessor Feb 2013 #3
Lordquinton Feb 2013 #11
ProgressiveProfessor Feb 2013 #14
Lordquinton Feb 2013 #18
ProgressiveProfessor Feb 2013 #22
Lordquinton Feb 2013 #30
ProgressiveProfessor Feb 2013 #40
Lordquinton Feb 2013 #45
ProgressiveProfessor Feb 2013 #47
Lordquinton Feb 2013 #50
shanti Feb 2013 #33
Lordquinton Feb 2013 #34
shanti Feb 2013 #35
Lordquinton Feb 2013 #36
ProgressiveProfessor Feb 2013 #42
shanti Feb 2013 #52
dkf Feb 2013 #28
ProgressiveProfessor Feb 2013 #44
dkf Feb 2013 #48
Egalitarian Thug Feb 2013 #37
Starry Messenger Feb 2013 #4
tblue37 Feb 2013 #5
Starry Messenger Feb 2013 #6
tblue37 Feb 2013 #7
gollygee Feb 2013 #8
annabanana Feb 2013 #9
WillyT Feb 2013 #10
ReRe Feb 2013 #12
DirkGently Feb 2013 #13
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #15
JDPriestly Feb 2013 #16
Live and Learn Feb 2013 #17
secondvariety Feb 2013 #19
timdog44 Feb 2013 #20
tblue37 Feb 2013 #32
duhneece Feb 2013 #21
duffyduff Feb 2013 #54
Barrett50 Feb 2013 #23
tblue37 Feb 2013 #24
Barrett50 Feb 2013 #26
Gidney N Cloyd Feb 2013 #27
Barrett50 Feb 2013 #29
TexasTowelie Feb 2013 #25
tblue37 Feb 2013 #31
Gidney N Cloyd Feb 2013 #38
tblue37 Feb 2013 #41
freshwest Feb 2013 #39
tblue37 Feb 2013 #43
freshwest Feb 2013 #46
dkf Feb 2013 #49
alarimer Feb 2013 #51
duffyduff Feb 2013 #53
Festivito Feb 2013 #55
bigapple1963 Feb 2013 #56
FreeJoe Feb 2013 #57
SHRED Feb 2013 #58
KristaM Feb 2013 #59
RoccoR5955 Feb 2013 #60
hfojvt Feb 2013 #61

Response to tblue37 (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 02:08 PM

1. You are absolutely correct, I am sick of assholes wanting to deny others of their EARNED PAY.

Yes, it is deferred, but it was pay earned for hard work, not something to be stolen to further enrich the greedy.

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Response to tblue37 (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 02:14 PM

2. The ones crying about it are the same that would block a union at there job who would fight

for the same for them.
Just idiots

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Response to tblue37 (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 02:23 PM

3. The issue is when the fund becomes unsound per audits/actuaries who has to pay to may it right

Using CALPERS as an example, the cities are having to pay more in to the defined benefit programs.

In the case of a defined contribution retirement, your argument would be perfectly correct.

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Response to ProgressiveProfessor (Reply #3)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 03:27 PM

11. CALPERS

The California teacher pension? The system in place for the state employees who are not allowed to collect SS benefits from their job? These things do not exist in a vacuum, and regardless of the mechanic and wot not, it is all part of the worker's pay. They earned their benefits, and if the cities have to contribute to paying it's employees, I really don't see a problem.

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Response to Lordquinton (Reply #11)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 03:54 PM

14. The defined benefit funds are under performing. The cities are having to put in more money to make

up for employees who are no longer contributing but are still on the books. That they have to do so (and should) is a serious budgetary concern.

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Response to ProgressiveProfessor (Reply #14)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 04:12 PM

18. Do you mean they have to fund a pension for someone who has earned it

but no longer works there? or that people who have worked there and left are getting paid after the time they are no longer employed? Like, is it funding a pool that includes funds to cover income that was previously earned, or is it people collecting pay checks after they left?

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Response to Lordquinton (Reply #18)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 04:44 PM

22. Not really

In principle, the municipal employers and employees paid into the fund at an appropriate amount while the people were working there which would cover the eventual draw on the fund by those employees. For any number of reasons, the funds are now not financially sound. This deficit is being made up solely by the municipal employers, not the retirees.

The municipalities should pay it. It is to cover a defined benefit pension that was clearly earned. However, CA cites are so strapped these days, it is a budgetary concern,

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Response to ProgressiveProfessor (Reply #22)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 05:56 PM

30. "For any number of reasons"

These reasons are very important, and are often left out under "Technical complicated stuff"

Regardless, these are debts that can't just be forgotten about, and should not be discussed under that heading, like SS under the national debit talks.


Also, CA just balanced it's budget (mostly by cutting already bare bones programs) We are a rich state, and there is an easy way to make money. Although, this is now a whole new game now that the state is majority blue in it's administration, so we can get the super majority required by law to do, well, most anything important.

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Response to Lordquinton (Reply #30)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 07:55 PM

40. The balanced budget is yet to be seen and the cities are still hurting

The cities and municipalities are under a lot of financial stress. New employees are being screwed in terms of retirement plans and everyone is eyeing the retired.

I expect some sort of state bailout of CALPERS/CALSTERS at some point.

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Response to ProgressiveProfessor (Reply #40)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 08:06 PM

45. Rome wasn't built in a day

This is the same thing that Obama was accused of, that he took office, and everything wasn't immediately better. The budget has been worked out, and further changes can actually happen now. things only just got started again after the break.

If things haven't cleared up in a year, then we can get the pitchforks out, and I'll be right behind you.

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Response to Lordquinton (Reply #45)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 08:12 PM

47. It not that I do not support Jerry Brown, but it is not all under his control

His actions have also decimated cities etc. It will take more than a year.

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Response to ProgressiveProfessor (Reply #47)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 08:48 PM

50. His actions are in response to previous actions

that left the state in gross debt, which he wanted to get squared away. Like in Iceland, things got really bad, before they could heal. Otherwise we'd still be bleeding and be continuing to do so, while Fox et el. would be shaking their heads saying "There's nothing we can do about it" while taking the payoffs.

At least we got that park situation uncovered...

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Response to Lordquinton (Reply #11)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 06:31 PM

33. just to clarify

CalSTRS is for teachers, CALPers is for state employees.

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Response to shanti (Reply #33)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 06:35 PM

34. I knew I had something wrong

reason I put "Isn't that the..." but the point still stands, it's a debt, not some extra, extravagant cost we can just cut because we feel that it's unfair or something.

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Response to Lordquinton (Reply #34)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 06:38 PM

35. oh yes

i do agree with the OP. i am a current CalPers retiree myself The pension was the MAIN reason i wanted to work for the state.

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Response to shanti (Reply #35)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 06:40 PM

36. Nice

It is very loaded to talk about these issues using terms like "People who no longer work for the state" because a lot of those people are like you, who have retired, not someone who worked there and quit, as is often inferred.

**edit to add**

Thank you for your service to our country. More than just the military make this state, and country work.

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Response to shanti (Reply #35)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 08:01 PM

42. CALPERS is much more than state employees

Many municipalities use it as well.

I have several friends who are retired from municipalities around the state that have a CALPERS retirement. Many of the participating municipalities are having to put in more funds to cover those already retire and it is becoming a tempting target in the lean financial times.

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Response to ProgressiveProfessor (Reply #42)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 10:09 PM

52. yes

i do know that, and my answer was simplified. i used to work for the city of orange and paid into PERS then as well.

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Response to ProgressiveProfessor (Reply #3)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 05:43 PM

28. Exactly...it is the taxpayer who needs to come up with the shortfall.

 

Since it is "our company".

But is not necessarily the actuary's fault. It's also the difference between the expected investment return and the actual return.

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Response to dkf (Reply #28)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 08:02 PM

44. CALPERS wrote a lot of creative fiction in that area over time and still do to some extennt

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Response to ProgressiveProfessor (Reply #44)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 08:16 PM

48. Unfortunately our state legislators screwed our state employees...

 

http://m.civilbeat.com/topics/hawaii-employees-retirement-system/

Pension administrators blame the program's financial woes on decisions between 1967 and 2005 to divert $1.687 billion of excess investment earnings from the pension program to fund other public programs.

In 1999, the Legislature enacted Act 100, which diverted $346.9 million from ERS investment earnings to help balance the state and county budgets. In 2007, the Hawaii State Supreme Court ruled that Act 100 was unconstitutional.

In 2005, the administration and Legislature halted the diversion of investment earnings, and none of the excess earnings have been diverted since.

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Response to ProgressiveProfessor (Reply #3)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 07:16 PM

37. And this leads to another issue that the financial industry and its advocates rarely discuss.

 

Q: How have the Wall Street brokerages become so fabulously rich and powerful over the last 25 years? How has the financial industry, an industry that makes nothing, contributes nothing, and is purely extractive, come to be almost half of the entire American economy?

A: One of the easiest ways is by trading in accordance with the cash cows. The nonexempt institutional investors. The municipals, insurance companies, pension finds, and so forth that are limited as to how much and how often they can alter their investments. These funds are required by law to notify and limit their movements of the huge amounts of money that they control on the behalf of others.

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Response to tblue37 (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 02:26 PM

4. k&r

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Response to Starry Messenger (Reply #4)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 02:29 PM

5. Thanks. nt

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Response to tblue37 (Reply #5)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 02:44 PM

6. Thank you!

I haven't had the energy to refute those posts. Great public service.

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Response to Starry Messenger (Reply #6)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 02:49 PM

7. Feel free to copy and paste it whenever you think it is needed. nt

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Response to tblue37 (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 03:01 PM

8. Thank you!

Says someone with two parents collecting state pensions! They earned that money. It isn't a gift, and it doesn't belong to the taxpayers.

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Response to tblue37 (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 03:06 PM

9. K! &! R! . .. . . . .n/t

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Response to tblue37 (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 03:09 PM

10. HUGE K & R !!! - Thank You !!!






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Response to tblue37 (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 03:49 PM

12. It's all a shell game.

It's your money. They used it. And in the end it has to be paid BACK to you. With interest.

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Response to tblue37 (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 03:53 PM

13. Yes. A pay cut. Nothing more or less. (nt)

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Response to tblue37 (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 03:54 PM

15. kr

 

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Response to tblue37 (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 04:05 PM

16. K&R. Now if we could only get this written into law.

In case of bankruptcy, employees should get their pension money before any other creditors.

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Response to tblue37 (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 04:07 PM

17. Well said. nt

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Response to tblue37 (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 04:14 PM

19. K&R

This public employee contributes 8% of my pay to my pension. Plus I'll take a hit on my SS because I get a pension (don't ask me why).

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Response to tblue37 (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 04:22 PM

20. Great explanation.

Should be required reading.

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Response to timdog44 (Reply #20)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 06:23 PM

32. Thanks! nt

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Response to tblue37 (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 04:40 PM

21. Pension = Deferred EARNED income

This is income earned by the worker, DEFERRED to a time in the future.

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Response to duhneece (Reply #21)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 10:47 PM

54. Yes. Absolutely. n/t

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Response to tblue37 (Original post)


Response to Barrett50 (Reply #23)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 05:07 PM

24. And if were not for the restaurant owner, the wait staff

and cooks would not have a job or money.

But that doesn't mean that the money the employees are paid still belongs to the restaurant owner after the employees have earned it by doing their jobs.

Furthermore, if it were not for the public employees, the taxpayers would not get the governmental functions and services they demand.

Just as the owner of the restaurant would not have that restaurant to make money with and the customers would not have a place to eat out if it weren't for the restaurant employees and their willingness to work for the pay they were promised when they were hired.

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Response to Barrett50 (Reply #23)


Response to Barrett50 (Reply #23)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 05:40 PM

27. No, it WAS the taxpayers money until the employees earned it. Now it belongs to the employees.

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Response to Gidney N Cloyd (Reply #27)


Response to tblue37 (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 05:08 PM

25. Especially important due to the fact that most public sector employees

earn less than employees in the private sector.

I also avoid company sponsored 401k programs unless there is a generous match by the employer. I prefer to have my assets with as much liquidity as possible and avoid the tax penalties if I decide to cash out when changing employers.

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Response to tblue37 (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 06:19 PM

31. I am not surprised that Barrett50 was PPR'd. He joined today and made only a few posts--some

here on this thread, and all on this thread were pushing the RW claim that employees' earned wages are not "really" their own money, but rather some sort of favor bestowed on them either by their private sector employers or by the taxpayers.

Oh, my! I googled our PPR's friend. I didn't know that a Barrett50 is a type of gun. Apparently there was a poster named "Barrett 50" (space included for that one) who used to post on DU2, but who was tombstoned there.

Maybe it's the same guy, or maybe just someone else who chose the name of a gun as his own user name.

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Response to tblue37 (Reply #31)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 07:41 PM

38. Is Barrett50 (et al) really that dense or is he just working an agenda?

I can understand people being ignorant of how gov't pensions are funded given the PR efforts to obfuscate things but I can't understand it when you give them a fairly simple explanation and they just dig in like you haven't said anything. It's just not that complicated.

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Response to Gidney N Cloyd (Reply #38)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 07:57 PM

41. Well, considering that he was PPR'd, my guess is that he was

working an agenda.

But either way, there's a good chance he didn't bother to read my explanation, or that if he did, he didn't care, because he is so ideologically committed to his hatred of public employees, government, and anything he associates with "liberals" that he cannot accept mere facts.

We have repeatedly seen that the RW rejects verifiable or even self-evident fact when it challenges their prejudices, and recent research shows that offering clear, verifiable evidence that challenges someone's beliefs doesn't convince them, but just makes them dig in their heels and defend their beliefs more vehemently.

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Response to tblue37 (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 07:45 PM

39. Should be turned around this way: Is it okay for your boss to take your pension for his expenses?

The only reason other than conservative billionaire-owned media that this is not being stopped, is transparency. All public expenses, salaries and benefits are just that - public information to be babbled about by the woefully uninformed or deliberately misinformed.

People in the private sector can do what they want - both the employers and the employees, but it's private, NYOB time there. If Americans want transparency in their governmental operations, they'd best learn how things work with an open mind at least and get involved in saving the public sector instead of buying the lies from the aforementioned media.

The other conservative billionaire-owned media talking point is it'll be sooo much better when these public employees are of a job and their pensions stolen. People need to learn things will be worse. Your tax money will still be going somewhere - and when it's private, you'll have no say about how much it costs, who will be served, or what is being done, since surprise, surprise - it'll be NYOB.

That this simple logic escapes the many who are lapping up the conservative billionaire-owned media sources, all of them, is tragic. When they turn off the teevee owned by the same entities who are telling them to hand them the keys to the entire nation, it'll be too late.

It'll be - NYOB.

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Response to freshwest (Reply #39)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 08:02 PM

43. About your rhetorical question:

"Is it okay for your boss to take your pension for his expenses?"

That question doesn't work with RWers, because they would say yes, it is okay, because (according to them--as you could see from Barrett50's posts if they had not been deleted when he was PPR'd) the money in the pensions--or the money that was supposed to be put into the pension fund--really belongs to the employer, not to the employee.

As long as they believe the money in pension funds is the "taxpayers' money," they will be sure that it is perfectly fine for the "employer" (i.e., the taxpayers--and by extension, the politicians they elect) to use that money for their own purposes.

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Response to tblue37 (Reply #43)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 08:11 PM

46. Until it really hits them ala ENRON. Then they'll squeal for the

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation and or Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid or VA to come and save their dumbasses. They tend to gloss over the fact that the evil government is there for them. All think the reason they don't get smuch money is all the moochers. Somehow they don't believe they might become part of that awful group. The Nile isn't...



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Response to tblue37 (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 08:21 PM

49. Hawaii used the argument that the taxpayer is responsible to do the reverse and take from the ERS

 

Pension administrators blame the program's financial woes on decisions between 1967 and 2005 to divert $1.687 billion of excess investment earnings from the pension program to fund other public programs.

In 1999, the Legislature enacted Act 100, which diverted $346.9 million from ERS investment earnings to help balance the state and county budgets. In 2007, the Hawaii State Supreme Court ruled that Act 100 was unconstitutional.

In 2005, the administration and Legislature halted the diversion of investment earnings, and none of the excess earnings have been diverted since.

http://m.civilbeat.com/topics/hawaii-employees-retirement-system/

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Response to tblue37 (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 09:02 PM

51. Let's not forget that private employers have screwed their employees out of decent pension plans

To my mind, this argument only happens because people who work for private employers have been royally screwed and the argument that public employees are screwing over the taxpayers resonates with them.

These pension plans also exist in part to compensate public employees for lower wages overall. It is a myth, very easily busted, that public employees make more money. They don't, generally, except among certain, narrow demographic groups.

In any case, I think you are correct.

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Response to tblue37 (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 10:46 PM

53. Thank you for a sane post. n/t

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Response to tblue37 (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 11:44 PM

55. Emp gets salary, gets benefits. It's the emp's pay.

We pay for the retirement, other benefits, the salary and the FICA, or, RE-NEGOTIATE.

Don't accept the work of someone you refuse to pay as promised. And, don't hire someone for a price you cannot afford to pay.

Simple.

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Response to tblue37 (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 01:28 AM

56. I think

 

it is unconstitutional in some states to "renegotiate" these pensions plans after the state employees have already earned these benefits.

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Response to tblue37 (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:34 AM

57. Absolutely agree, but...

I absolutely agree that a person's pension is part of their compensation. It is paid in return for their service.

My "but" is to make it clear that I'm not copacetic with the state of today's public pensions. When we reformed the private pension system with ERISA, we did not make public entities live up to the same standards. As a result, we have some public entities that are "paying" people today with pensions that they are not adequately funding. They are getting the services now, but they will be paid by future taxpayers. That is neither fair nor prudent. We should require government agencies to have similar pension funding standards that we require of private companies and they should be required to use similar expected rates of return. Failure to do so is going to cause a lot of trouble in the future when the bills for promises made but not funded start mounting.

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Response to tblue37 (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:52 AM

58. thanks for posting this

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Sun Feb 10, 2013, 12:05 PM

60. K & R from another civil servant! n/t

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Sun Feb 10, 2013, 12:24 PM

61. that's an awful lot of words wasted

because ultimately, it obviously takes taxpayer money to fund these pensions. Money that the taxpayers often do not want to pay, especially the taxpayers who make far less money and have far fewer pension and other benefits than those public employees.

Although, for myself, THIS public employee worked incredibly hard over the last two days.

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