-By Warner Todd Huston
For the New York Daily News Eileen Norcross and Todd Zywicki penned a piece taking public employees pensions to task for being “too rich for America’s blood.” Of course, they rightly blame unions and compliant politicians for the disaster.
The do, however, give the actual public employees a pass. On one hand you might think that the employees are practically innocent, but you can;t avoid the simple truth that they allowed their unions to run amuck. In fact, the members insisted that the unions grab all they could whether it was good for the nation or not. The writers focus on cops and firemen and still deny that these workers had any part in the mess. But as public servants, cops and firemen especially should have realized that they were going badly off track and were not serving the public but raping them.
Still, it is taken as human nature to realize that people do not self-correct when things are going off track, especially when they are getting free money out of the deal. So, perhaps one can’t be too harsh on the cops and firemen after all.
Of course, the real blame is with the unions secondarily, but the biggest reason we have this mess is the greedy, uncaring, un-democratic, grasping politicians. THESE crooks are the reason we have this pension mess. And the one party that deserves the full blame is the Democrat Party.
Democrats simply DO NOT care what is best for the people. They only care who can fill their pockets with cash and unions did that, so unions got whatever they wanted quite besides what was good for the whole of the people.
Check out some of the corrupt practices that Democrats turned a blind eye to…
For years, unions have succeeded in enhancing pension formulas while incentivizing workers to maximize their pension payouts. Called “spiking,” “padding” or “boosting and tacking,” the strategy of adding “extras” to the final salary in order to nab a higher pension has driven New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority into a budget crisis. The Authority has tried to tackle its $400 million shortfall by cutting bus and rail service. Riders now get to pay the price for years of transit payroll abuse.
But loopholes and gamesmanship aren’t the only reason why public pension systems nationwide face massive funding shortfalls. They are the result of a perfect storm of flawed accounting, which fueled unrealistic employee demands that were then underfunded by politicians. In plans across the country, during booming years of the late 1990s, many workers were promised retirement payouts that were “too good to be true” and, thus, impossible to make good on.
There is a solution to this mess but it begins with eliminating public employee unions nationwide. Then it continues with cutting back benefits, tying benefits hikes to no higher than that of Social Security, instituting 401K0-styled programs, and a much downgraded benefits package for all new hires.
But there is no will in the Democrat Party to take on this tough situation and certainly no sense among the greedy unions that their day of wanton power has come to an end.
It might take the utter collapse of all pensions and retirees getting nothing to fix this. Sadly, many millions of workers will be hurt in the process. But neither unions nor Democrats care.