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Forum Post: It's Not True, What They Say About Pensions By Dick Meister

Posted 2 years ago on March 25, 2012, 8:06 a.m. EST by flip (6818)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

So, what are we going to do about those big fat pensions collected by public employees? You know, those retirement benefits that supposedly are threatening to bankrupt state and local governments everywhere. What to do? That's easy. We can make that problem disappear quickly – just like that! We need only realize that the problem simply does not exist, despite the claims by rabid anti-union forces and the many people who they've duped. Here's the basic situation: Anti-union forces are attempting to weaken the public employee defined pension plans that provide employees a specific monthly payment on retirement. The plans cover about five million older Americans, providing money that many drawing benefits very much need to escape poverty and stay off government assistance. Those receiving the benefits, many at rates granted originally in lieu of pay raises, in turn create more than $358 billion in economic output nationwide and create more than 2.5 million jobs. State spending on pensions amounts to no more than 4 percent of the state budget, on average. In most states, employees must contribute up to 8 percent of their wages to their pension fund, a bit more than private employees contribute toward their pensions. You should also know that, despite what you may have heard, government pension funds are not going broke. They in fact have been growing as Wall Street has been doing better. Those basic facts and others that are often lost amid the anti-pension clamor from those on the political right who would just as soon do away entirely with pensions, But they were laid out clearly by panelists in a forum earlier this year sponsored by the National Public Pension Coalition. Panelist Dean Baker, an economist who's co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, noted the concern that pensions are endangering government services stems from "a crisis that has been invented" by employer groups. Baker said the make-believe crisis stems largely from the 2008-09 market crash. That caused an estimated $800 billion of the $1 trillion shortfall in pension plans, but he said the plans should be able to recoup their losses. But what of the public employees supposedly drawing pensions of $100,000 a year, or even more? As panelists pointed out, they're pretty much make-believe, too. Then how much do they make? In New York, as another panelist, New York State Controller Thomas DiNapoli reported, the average pension, including those of police and firefighters, is just a little over $19,000 a year. Three-quarters of New York's pensioners overall get less than $30,000 a year, and less than one-half of 1 percent get more than $100,000. Panel member Janet Cowell, North Carolina's state treasurer . said the average pension in her state is a mere $22,000 a year. She said fewer than 300 retirees get $100,000-plus pensions – "and some of those are basketball coaches. Rhode Island retiree Dolores Bresette, a voice from the trenches, as it were, told her unfortunately not uncommon story to the panel. She said "I worked for the State of Rhode Island for 37 years and contributed 9 percent of my salary to my pension fund. Now, after years of saving and preparing for my retirement, so much of what I and thousands of other public workers were promised is being taken away." That's because of last November's enactment of a "Retirement Security Act" which, among other things, suspended cost-of-living adjustments for Rhode Island retirees indefinitely. "There are real human implications of the current efforts to dismantle public workers' pension funds", Bresette declared, "and people in Washington and the country need to see that." She and other panelists warned that "in addition to the human implications there are serious social and economic consequences that will develop over the long term if the shift away from defined-benefit pensions continues. Instead of dismantling public employee retirement systems, policymakers should be working to improve retirement security for the private sector workforce." Policymakers will soon face another major crisis related to retirement benefits, noted panel member Hank Kim, an expert on public employee retirement systems. He said that overall, pension funds covering privately employed workers now contain more than $8 trillion less than they'll soon owe retirees. If pension benefits are denied or reduced as a result, that could very well cause a significant segment of the 75 million baby boomers to delay retirement. Which would put them in competition for jobs with 80 million younger workers, the so-called millennials, over the next 10 to 15 years.

That could also cost taxpayers. For, as panelist DiNapoli said, if needy retirees couldn't find jobs that would provide them enough to live on, the government would ultimately have to provide them welfare grants.

The pension opponents wouldn't be left with much of a choice. They'd have to abandon their anti-pension position or agree to tax increases which, as you might imagine, they don't much care for.

Either way, we'd be winners.

88 Comments

88 Comments


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[-] 1 points by PublicCurrency (1387) 2 years ago

give EVERYTHING to the banksters and the military industrial complex !

[-] 1 points by flip (6818) 2 years ago

praise the lord - someone with a brain - i have been working the side of the street with mr doofi and mr reason - how do people get so stupid - 401ks are a gift to wall street - hundreds of millions of dollars in fees

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[-] -1 points by Reasonistheway (-13) 2 years ago

Want truth? 2/3rds of public pension plans use at least 8% discounts in arriving how much we owe. That's a giant lie that helps hide how much government has given away to the unions across the country. No, the unions don't want truth.

[-] 2 points by flip (6818) 2 years ago

is this correct - if so what you say makes no sense - the average pension, including those of police and firefighters, is just a little over $19,000 a year. Three-quarters of New York's pensioners overall get less than $30,000 a year, and less than one-half of 1 percent get more than $100,000. Panel member Janet Cowell, North Carolina's state treasurer . said the average pension in her state is a mere $22,000 a year. She said fewer than 300 retirees get $100,000-plus pensions – "and some of those are basketball coaches.

[-] 0 points by aflockofdoofi (-18) 2 years ago

You constantly le.

In Crain's last week, the president of the United Federation of Teachers defended his members' pensions—which average $42,000 a year—with passion and a shot at Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “The mayor's saying we have to protect millionaires and at the same time take benefits away from municipal workers,” Michael Mulgrew said. “Explain to me how someone lives in New York City on $42,000 a year.” OK, Mr. Mulgrew, I will. First, average teachers aren't living on $42,000 a year. If they are over 62, they will most likely receive Social Security benefits of about $20,000. If they wait until 66, they'll get $24,000. Additionally, they don't pay state or local income taxes on their pension. That's worth another 5% to 10%. So the “average'' teacher's real retirement income is probably north of $60,000. Second, teachers are much better off than the average retiree in the private sector, where the average pension is $16,082 a year, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute. The average retirement income of people 65 and older is another eye-opening amount: $28,778. The figures could be a little higher in New York, but not by much. Of course, most private-sector employees don't have guaranteed pensions. They retire on their 401(k) or IRA savings. So what amount would be needed to produce $42,000 from an annuity? About $425,000, according to a calculator at Bankrate.com. And the average 401(k) account balance at Fidelity Investments for people 55 and over is about half that amount, or $243,000. Third, average teachers have retiree health coverage. This insurance is enormously valuable before they qualify for Medicare at age 65 and then covers all the costs Medicare does not. That's worth a pretty penny, too. I understand that Mr. Mulgrew's mind-set isn't confined to union leaders. It's a product of the way Wall Street has made New York rich and all New Yorkers greedy. A longtime colleague of mine insisted that she was middle-class, despite having a family income of more than $200,000, which puts her in the top 10% of New York earners. Likewise, Mr. Mulgrew compares his members' pensions with the nest eggs of people who work in finance. To fund the pensions his members get, Mr. Mulgrew and his fellow union leaders support policies that have given New York a local and state tax burden that is the nation's highest or second-highest, depending on which year is being tallied. As a consequence, many retirees are forced to move to states, like Texas and Florida, that don't have an income tax. Since Mr. Mulgrew's members don't pay local income taxes, they don't have to leave. Now that's a sweet deal.

[-] 2 points by flip (6818) 2 years ago

where did i lie - or le - point out the inaccuracy in the post - 42k too high a pension for a lifetime of work - in the richest country the world has ever seen? well go back to the golden age of capitalism and check the pensions - you do not understand the history - a gift to wall street - figure out the rest if you can. keep fighting for the richest class - i am sure they will reward you - quisling - look it up

[-] 0 points by aflockofdoofi (-18) 2 years ago

I understand pension quite comprehensively. You said they were $19000' they are $42000, so you are a fucking liar.

[-] 2 points by flip (6818) 2 years ago

because you say so it must be true - sorry - i didn't understand that at first now i got it - sure life guards get 100k and so do prison guards - and my ex wife who taught 38 yrs is lying to me when she says here pension is 32k - that shit - i should have known. now my uncle whose finances i manage since he is incapacitated - he gets 1200 per month - nyc teacher - i should sue the state - they have been short changing him for 20 yrs - go away doofi - go play with glen beck or that fat fuck rush - you may believe this shit but no one else here does - oh, i am wrong again - there are a couple of other quislings - mr reason and the flyn man - why don't you start your own site - that would be revolutionary

[-] 0 points by aflockofdoofi (-18) 2 years ago

You report anecdotes. I reported facts with links. One or 2 personal stories dont count. Plus $32000 is way more than $19000 which was your point. You are a liar and I post truths.

[-] 2 points by flip (6818) 2 years ago

wow - you are really good at arithmetic - now let's see how your reasoning skills work - i know it is not so easy but try - what would it mean that someone gets 32k but the average is 19k - come on - you can do it! did you read the original post - correct the numbers in it - let me know what the true average is for ny state - go ahead - no - you would rather put up something about lifeguards making 108k - sure we all believe that

[-] 2 points by flip (6818) 2 years ago

i didn't say anything - you could try to develop your reading skills - i posted an article - so mr doofi - your numbers are correct and mine are not - ok, make your case. also - did you ever think that maybe teachers in nyc have larger pensions than those in fredonia ny?? and why are you here right now - not working or is this your job?? quisling!

[-] 0 points by Jflynn1964 (-206) 2 years ago

You really believe the $19,000 figure. You realize that he adding everybody in the pool to bring the number down. You can't be that gullible:

From the Empire Center: But that commonly cited figure is very misleading. It includes payments to former employees who only minimally vested in a public pension plan–those who worked only part of their careers and those who worked only part-time — many of whom last worked for the government decades ago. It also includes disability benefits and reduced payments to survivors of deceased retirees.

If New York’s newly retired state and local employees earned an average pension of just over $19,000 after a full career in government, Tier 6 wouldn’t be a raging issue now, because pension costs (while still rising) wouldn’t be nearly as high. In reality, the average benefit for newly retired general government employees after a “lifetime of service” is considerably higher than $19,151 – more than two and half times as high".

There are specifics on their website.

[-] 1 points by flip (6818) 2 years ago

you don't believe these numbers and you want me to believe your numbers - sorry i know too many teachers - as in my whole family

[-] 0 points by Jflynn1964 (-206) 2 years ago

Since you want to speak anecdotally, I know the public employees as well and they know exactly what their benefits are and how to game the system to get more. You are telling me that they don't have in their heads exactly when they are going to get when they retire at age 50 and what their next job is going to be?

I can tell you numerous cases of this.

[-] 1 points by flip (6818) 2 years ago

go away - spew that shit on the fox site - they can read can't they

[-] 0 points by Jflynn1964 (-206) 2 years ago

Can't handle the truth so you have to resort to foul language?

[-] -1 points by Reasonistheway (-13) 2 years ago

But you're missing the comparisons and just how many people were talking about. Te discount rate issue is a scandal that makes Enron's accounting lies look like peanuts. The unions don't want to know how much we're into them for. If we knew, we drive reform.

[-] 2 points by flip (6818) 2 years ago

if pensions are not very generous then the whole right wing agenda disappears - so does yours i think - i am not saying that discounting not a problem but it becomes a different problem - corrupt pols and union bosses not pensions that are too big

[-] -1 points by Reasonistheway (-13) 2 years ago

No, it doesn't. The idea that govt should work for all its people and just the employees stands. Look at the fight in Wisconsin. The unions don't like not controlling the boss.

[-] 2 points by flip (6818) 2 years ago

i think this is where i say -this is what democracy looks like

[-] -1 points by Reasonistheway (-13) 2 years ago

No, this is what democracy hijacked by its employees looks like. It's a scandal in need of disclosure and reform.

[-] 2 points by flip (6818) 2 years ago

sorry mr reason - we see this differently and you are on the wrong side of history - i do congratulate you on avoiding the issue - pensions too high??

[-] -1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

I believe all pensions should be 401K plans. That way states would have to pay into them on a quarterly basis. As it is now, many states have been underfunding their pensions, and in some cases not funding them at all on a yearly basis....for years...., hence their obligations have grown astronomically. First though, it would be nice to bring our financial sector into the real world of accountability.

[-] 1 points by flip (6818) 2 years ago

ever heard of anuity - 401k is a gift to wall street - you have not thought this through. why were they underfunding them?

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Aren't pension funds invested in Wall St too? "Why were they underfunding them?" I don't know but, they were being underfunded by both demos and repubs in NJ, so that might rule out wanting to create a crisis situation...wouldn't it? How would an annuity work? If you are in the NYC area..Bill Moyers has a great show on the Middle East on now.

[-] 1 points by flip (6818) 2 years ago

annuities are pretty straight forward - insurance policies basically - put in a certain amount of money and get a pay out for the rest of your life - sounds like a pension to me. sure the dems are at fault also but the main point is that a pension of 19k per year should not break the gov't and that is not the narrative that the gop (and dems to a lesser extent) are selling - 100k is what they want you to think - the usual lies! bill moyers is great - former cia agent i think - worked for lbj!

[-] -1 points by Reasonistheway (-13) 2 years ago

Great, so you know a little about annuities. So try something. Price a life annuity starting at 55 with both inflation protection and right or survivorship. Take that number and consider it savings because that what it represents for the worker. Compare that number both to the savings of comparable non-govt workers paying for it and as a share of lifetime earnings for the worker. It doesn't work. The downturn just brought the revealing forward.

[-] 1 points by flip (6818) 2 years ago

none of this is relevant to the subject at hand - most pensions are not inflation protected and clearly most pensions are not grossly large as the free market fools would have you believe - they are not the problem - as a matter of fact 401k plans are just a gift to wall street and should be changed so that people get defined benefit plans like in 1964 - life was better then for working people - don't you agree?

[-] 0 points by Jflynn1964 (-206) 2 years ago

All DBs have a built in return that is higher than inflation. The big difference between a DB plan and a DC plan is that in the former, the plan sponsor must guarantee the return while in the latter, you are not.

Public plans are way behind the rest of the community in moving away from DC plans to DB plans.

[-] 1 points by flip (6818) 2 years ago

or way ahead depending on your point of view

[-] 0 points by Jflynn1964 (-206) 2 years ago

Well, since corporations are solvent and most of the public plans aren't...you make your own conclusion. Is the pension fairy going to swoop in here and help?

[-] 1 points by flip (6818) 2 years ago

as usual you forgot to ask why - not surprised

[-] 0 points by Jflynn1964 (-206) 2 years ago

Why?

[-] 1 points by flip (6818) 2 years ago

i know it doesn't even occur to you - shows you level of indoctrination - such a sad commetn on our system of education - why this is true - corporations are solvent and most of the public plans aren't - use google and keep and open mind - dont only read wsj or fox

[-] -1 points by Jflynn1964 (-206) 2 years ago

public plans are insolvent because their benefit packages are larger than the asset base. Corporations have moved to DC plans where the individual can control how much is put into the plan.

Sorry this information doesn't come from Fox. The WSJ is the best source of news out there right now. And that is coming from a 30 year subscriber to the NYT. I am not a kid and actually learned my economics in an University.

[-] 2 points by flip (6818) 2 years ago

can't write in full sentences - sorry - what is the average??? come on - give it up - what is the average??? wsj just to the right of nyt - what a joke - and why are you here and not on cato website or some other site for free market fools? ah, university econ - no wonder you don't understand the real world - rational expectations and all that foolishness. read graeber and start your education - then maybe hudson - here is a snippet to tease you -“When central banks create money, they do so for a long-term public purpose. They fund government spending and capital investment and public infrastructure. In most countries in the world, public infrastructure, roads, communication systems, railroads, water and sewer systems have all taken a capital investment that is larger than all the manufacturing capital investment. In the United States, the value of New York’s real estate, alone, is larger than the value of all of the plant and equipment in the United States. The result is: The textbooks that are taught in the United States ignore this difference that we have been talking about. There is a formula, MV = PT. It means an increase in the money supply increases the price level. But the price level that the textbooks talk about are only consumer prices and commodity prices. Nowhere in the textbooks do you find a relation between the credit supply and asset prices, real estate, stocks and bonds. And, yet, 99% of the credit spent in the United States economy is spent on these financial claims. Every day an amount equal to the entire year’s gross national product passes through the New York monetary clearinghouse and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The vast amount of payments are within the financial sector. And, within the last ten years or so, all of the growth of bank lending is to other financial institutions.

(c. 28:17) “In the textbooks there are happy pictures about banks lending to industry to build machines and factories with a smokestack coming out and employing labour. But this is a fiction; this is not what occurs in practice. All of the increased capital investment in the United States economy comes from the retained earnings of corporations—not from banks. Banks do not lend to bring new capital investment into existence. They lend against mortgages, against capital in place, against real estate, against assets that already exist—not to create new assets.

(c. 29:14) “So, when we talk about government money. We talk about government spending that is, indeed, to spur the economy, to spur economic growth, to spur new investments. The function of government investment and government central bank money creation is very different from the private banks. The government money is, indeed, debt, the lira that you have in your pocket are debt. Paper currency is debt. But it’s debt that nobody ever intends to be repaid because, if government currency is debt, than to repay it would mean that you would not have any currency left in the pocket.

(c. 30:00) “The commercial debt is expected to be repaid; and it bears interest. And, as this commercial debt has grown—the mortgages, the bank loans to companies, the corporate raiding debt—this has loaded down the economy with an enormous debt overhead. The more money commercial banks lend, the more interest has to be paid to carry this debt overhead. And the problem is that money that is spent on paying banks debt cannot be spent on goods and services. So, the result is that when commercial banks create debt, you have a diversion of income away from spending on goods and services—to pay debt service—and that is known as debt deflation. And when debt deflation proceeds as long as it has today, we move into a late stage of finance capitalism, which is the debt deflation stage—the austerity stage. And that’s the stage that Europe finds itself in today.

[-] 0 points by Jflynn1964 (-206) 2 years ago

Yes, I will take direction from somebody named Flip who doesn't believe in paragraphs. Keep it going, this is comical.

[-] 2 points by flip (6818) 2 years ago

sorry i am a bit obtuse - does going to college make you smart? not if you read wsj looks like - you have trouble with a simple question i notice - is 19k inaccurate - then what is the average in ny state - i still think you should look up luther and fundament

[-] 0 points by Jflynn1964 (-206) 2 years ago

Self selection - you have to be smart to get it.

Like I said above, the $19,000 is not accurate. It is playing with the denominator.

By the way, are your trying to craft your sentences this way? Can you write in full sentences?

[-] 1 points by flip (6818) 2 years ago

nobody is saying there aren't problems in the pension system - you seem to want to make them out to be that pensions are too high - that is incorrect in most cases - you still haven't told me average pension for ny state

[-] 1 points by flip (6818) 2 years ago

glad you like it!

[-] 0 points by Jflynn1964 (-206) 2 years ago

By the way, there is an good article in today's WSJ detailing the pension costs of the CIty of Stockton. Hard to refute the problems.

[-] 0 points by AlBundy (8) from Atlanta, GA 2 years ago

You sound llike the type that would crawl through a perfectly good whore house to get to a fat boys ass.

[-] 1 points by flip (6818) 2 years ago

according to you wsj is the best source - i have others - oh the nyt - the ones who backed the war in iraq and said powells address to the un was a slam dunk - the liberal media - ha! you do not belong on this site - come to the park let's see how you can hang - you should find another site - wsj or fox maybe. the pensions were under funded - why? come on you can do it - no you can't - you are a free market fundamentralist and you know what the story is with fundamentalist - they believe in the fundament - google martin luther and fundament

[-] 0 points by Jflynn1964 (-206) 2 years ago

What are you trying to say. From what I can tell you don't know much so I don't put a lot of credence into whatever it is you are trying to say. Try to hang? Did you graduate from college? Go back to the playground and let the adults take care of this.

[-] -1 points by Reasonistheway (-13) 2 years ago

Yeah, it matters a lot. It's amounts compared to pay and to private sector peers in terms of their pay and how much they end up with in savings. That's a common sense gut-check and one understandably the government employees and their unions don't want to hear about.

[-] 2 points by flip (6818) 2 years ago

well we do disagree on that don't we! your language is a bit hard for me to understand but the whole public private thing is a myth of the rich - are you one of them? are the numbers correct - 19k average - your argument disappears if that is correct - thus all the shouting by the free marketeers

[-] -1 points by Reasonistheway (-13) 2 years ago

Not sure if that's correct, but, no, they wouldn't "disappear". The fact remains that public pension plans use too high of discount rates and the effect is to massively understate what's owed. That works for the unions as the more the public learns about what's been given away, the more likely reform becomes.

Have some fun. Go to Fidelity online and price annuities. See for yourself what those pensions are worth and then ask yourself how that value compares to the value of the savings of peers not working for government. And an annuity by Fidelity is worth less than a govt pension as Fidelity can't raise taxes to make good on its annuities if it has problems.

This is what numbers need: comparisons, comparisons to what was earned and comparisons to the private sector. Saying $19k isn't much so therefore there's nothing wrong iis an extremely weak analysis.

[-] 2 points by flip (6818) 2 years ago

19k is all you need to know - the rest follows - i have the opposite view of your basic premise. private pensions should be brought up to the public not the other way around. try to live on 19k plus social security. go cry wolf somewhere else

[-] -1 points by Reasonistheway (-13) 2 years ago

Cry stupid and stay right here, that's your approach. Pending insolvency of governments around the county say otherwise. Smarten up. Maybe that's what you fear. If your neighbors only knew the extent of the scandal, your government goodies would be in danger.

[-] 3 points by flip (6818) 2 years ago

hey mr reason - you seem to be avoiding the issue - pensions too high?? i now understand franklin's quote - "The way to see by Faith is to shut the Eye of Reason." -- Benjamin Franklin

[-] -1 points by Reasonistheway (-13) 2 years ago

You have one number, but refuse any information helpful to set the context to understand the situation. You work for government, now it's obvious.

[-] 2 points by flip (6818) 2 years ago

you are correct here - i cannot understand what you are spewing since it is nonsense - just like the doofi guy - tell me what the correct number is for average pension in ny state - no you would rather do some silly shit - then go ahead but don't get pissed when we don't believe you

[-] 2 points by flip (6818) 2 years ago

i teach tennis - my own business for 40 yrs - you cannot answer a simple question - that is ok - you are not able to reason and you are not my target audience

[-] 0 points by aflockofdoofi (-18) 2 years ago

I addressed this. There are no $19000 pensions. You lie. California lifeguards get $108000 year.

Prison guards get over $100,000 in pensions.

link:http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704132204576285471510530398.html

Now flip, you answer me. I post facts, you post bullshit. Refute my info or suck my wake.

[-] -1 points by Reasonistheway (-13) 2 years ago

Another reason you can't understand.

[-] 1 points by flip (6818) 2 years ago

go ahead - i will wait - oh no - don't post a link - tell me in your own words - thanks

[-] 1 points by aflockofdoofi (-18) 2 years ago

You libs are hilarious. If one of us erudite patriots posts w/o a link, the post is bogus, per you libtards. Now if we post a link damning your post to hell, its bogus because it isnt in our own words.

Guess what, I just crushed your post with facts. Dont cry, just lick your wounds.

[-] 2 points by flip (6818) 2 years ago

well mr patriot - can you tell me (i am licking my wounds - very salty) - excuse me, mr erudite patriot - can you tell me is this incorrect? "New York State Controller Thomas DiNapoli reported, the average pension, including those of police and firefighters, is just a little over $19,000 a year. Three-quarters of New York's pensioners overall get less than $30,000 a year, and less than one-half of 1 percent get more than $100,000. Panel member Janet Cowell, North Carolina's state treasurer . said the average pension in her state is a mere $22,000 a year. She said fewer than 300 retirees get $100,000-plus pensions – "and some of those are basketball coaches. - now just so you know for future erudite conversation, i don't mind links etc but they do not respond to the specifics of what was posted in many cases so i would like to know exactly what was wrong here - can you tell me - oh, i forgot again - of course you can since you are erudite! nice word - good for sat etc.

[-] 0 points by aflockofdoofi (-18) 2 years ago

Its not today, its tomorrow.

http://blogs.sacbee.com/the_state_worker/2011/12/new-stanford-study-pegs-pension-shortfall-at.html

Todays pension liability is just the tip of the iceberg. Its no skin off my nose, I am affluent and getting richer day by day. Anybody under 40 will be crushed.

[-] 1 points by flip (6818) 2 years ago

so the numbers are correct - thanks - now the question is why they are underfunded - did the governor (that pig of a woman christie todd whitman - yes the 9/11 scum) steal the money like in nj and promise to put it back but never did - or did they make the contract and never fund it properly. which one richie rich - you come to ows and brag about your money - you must be paid - anyone with real money (and i know lots - including my brother! retired at 42 - are you still working??) - well they would not waste their time - so since we have established that the pensions are not very large and that there is lots of money in the country (much of it in private pockets - like you claim to have) then there should be no problem - and remember the printing press so don't worry about the kids - worry about your money because we may be coming for that soon!

[-] 1 points by aflockofdoofi (-18) 2 years ago

on the 6 month anniversary of OWS, a 1000 people showed up to commemorate the beginning. This in a town of 5 million, in a country of 310 miliion.

Your message isnt gaining traction. This movement has become a laughingstock.

[-] 1 points by flip (6818) 2 years ago

this strikes me a bit like the bully who has just been punched in the nose - trying to still sound brave even though everyone knows his days are numbered - feeling a little insecure? if you are right why are you here mr doofi - if we are a laughingstock why are the rich working so hard to keep the movement down - you and the bloombergs of the world - does the term quisling come to mind? look it up - i'll wait!

[-] 0 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

All your link proves is that California didn't live up to its end of the bargain. Doesn't change the fact that a contract is a contract. It's not unions' fault that conservative ascendance over the past thirty years has destroyed nearly every State budget. Nor is it unions' fault that the criminal behavior of Goldman Sachs wiped out pension funds across the country. And by the way, Orange County, California, a conservative bastion in SoCal, went bankrupt in 1994 due to risky investments, not pension funds. Growth and low interest rates were supposed to be adequate to cover rising costs, but the manufactured business cycle wiped them out. The banks got their money in the bankruptcy but the taxpayers were left holding the bag -- as usual for conservative policy.

Bottom lime: conservatives have no fiscal discipline.

[-] 0 points by aflockofdoofi (-18) 2 years ago

Nice lie. California has been liberal for 30 years. I guess you are ok with todays infants owing california prison guards $30000 the day they are born

You hate children, i can tell. From now on call yourself baby crusher.

[-] 1 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

Isn't that special.

California elected Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger. It's mostly liberal but not entirely. And austerity has been the game at the State level for decades. And everyone knows that austerity is a conservative idea. Sorry, Charlie, no tuna for you.

[-] 0 points by aflockofdoofi (-18) 2 years ago

Hey baby hater. If there was austerity, then California would be ok.

Go ahead, figure out more ways to damage tomorrows youth.

[-] 2 points by flip (6818) 2 years ago

so tell me deal - are you wealthy - how did you make it - do you work for the wealthy? did mommy give you money - or are you simply a stooge - angry one at that - and none too bright - you would think they could hire better people with all their money. well they are not so bright either - taleb said it correctly -"if you're so rich why aren't you so smart!" still waiting a response from the post below - i assume you loved ronnie - that sick stupid fuck

[-] 0 points by aflockofdoofi (-18) 2 years ago

My history? My grandfather was am immigrant, spoke no English, was killed by a train when my dad was10. My dad dropped out of school and helped raise his brothers and sisters.

My mom and dad were poor but I was a National Scholar, got an advanced degree and now am a millionaire. My kids are all scientists with advanced degrees and will also be millionaires. I will leave them enough money to be multi millionaires.

Thats how it should be. You folks are whiny sissies because you cant cut it on your own.

[-] 2 points by flip (6818) 2 years ago

oh, one who made it on his own! no public education for you - how tragic and how did you make all that money doofi - earned it no doubt - the old fashioned way - on the backs of others. well that is fine but i don't believe a word of it - you are a shit who works for some rich man - no self respecting hard working multi millionaire would be here arguing with me - and losing no less - no i think you are just the usual ows quisling - bowing to the master and sucking scraps from his table

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[-] 2 points by flip (6818) 2 years ago

mr doofi - no need to explain the rich man's propaganda - i imagine that you believed reagan when he talked about welfare queens driving cadillacs or said that the Sandinista army was "a dagger pointed at the heart of Texas", as it was only two days marching time from the border. The conflict between Sandinistas and the Contras left about 30,000 Nicaraguans dead. Despite the fact that Ortega and the FSLN won democratic elections in 1984, the Contras continued fighting until 1989. - i put up the post - you need to point out where it is incorrect - doofi - very appropriate

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[-] 2 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son.

[-] -2 points by farmerbrown (-3) 2 years ago

If only this were true!

[-] 2 points by flip (6818) 2 years ago

my question to the erudite patriot was which part is not true? please be specific - i am most curious about this part - New York State Controller Thomas DiNapoli reported, the average pension, including those of police and firefighters, is just a little over $19,000 a year. Three-quarters of New York's pensioners overall get less than $30,000 a year, and less than one-half of 1 percent get more than $100,000. Panel member Janet Cowell, North Carolina's state treasurer . said the average pension in her state is a mere $22,000 a year. She said fewer than 300 retirees get $100,000-plus pensions – "and some of those are basketball coaches.

[-] -1 points by farmerbrown (-3) 2 years ago

As any sane person is aware, nationwide, pensions are terminally underfunded. They are so underfunded that they will not be paid under current terms. I know, liberals simply can't understand there is no money. Apparently, they genuinely believe the government can tax or print their way out of all difficulties thereby proving themselves to be idiots.

[-] 2 points by flip (6818) 2 years ago

so i am assuming the post is correct - thanks

[-] -1 points by farmerbrown (-3) 2 years ago

Only to an idiot. :)

[-] 2 points by flip (6818) 2 years ago

not sure how to read that response - is it - so i am assuming the post is correct and then, Only to an idiot. :) - that doesn't make a lot of sense but this less so - thanks, Only to an idiot. :) - just as a by the way - can you point out which numbers are incorrect - no - i didn't think so - Only to an idiot. :)

[-] -1 points by farmerbrown (-3) 2 years ago

What part of underfunded do you not understand? Pensions as they are currently structured will not be paid, can you comprehend that?

[-] 2 points by flip (6818) 2 years ago

ok, so now that you have agreed that pensions are fairly small in most cases now the question is why they are underfunded - did the governor (that pig of a woman christie todd whitman - yes the 9/11 scum) steal the money like in nj and promise to put it back but never did - or did they make the contract and never fund it properly.

[-] -2 points by farmerbrown (-3) 2 years ago

What do individual pensions have to do with a massively underfunded pension system? If it's 500 bucks a month and there's no money to pay it? Do you guys really believe that anyone believes that Whitman had anything to do with 70 years of Democrat run politics and policy that has caused the pension crisis?

How do you think your fantasy world is really going to turn out?

[-] 2 points by flip (6818) 2 years ago

use google - if you need more help let me know - ms whitman raided the pension plans for teachers and cops - let me know what you find out

[-] -2 points by farmerbrown (-3) 2 years ago

Is it genetically impossible for a leftist to tell the truth? What good does lying do you in the age of the internet? It just makes you look like fools.

Here's the truth, except for the part about Whitman attempting to get the unions to kick in more for their retirement, this article didn't find that relevant I suppose.

http://money.cnn.com/2009/05/12/news/economy/benner_pension.fortune/index.htm

[-] 4 points by flip (6818) 2 years ago

are you stupid or a liar - Whitman was one of those star Republican governors of the early 1990s. Like so many other Republican governors who win media attention for innovative approaches, she made her name through the not-so-innovative strategy of cutting taxes. Since she had to offset those tax cuts in order to balance New Jersey's budget, she reduced payments into the state's pension system. And that, as the New York Times noted last August, "contributed to the growth of the unfunded liability" that is now widely blamed for New Jersey's budget shortfall.

It's important to keep in mind that none of this is a surprise. When Whitman was defunding the pension system in order to cut taxes, there were warnings that this is exactly what would happen. Here, for example, is a September 5, 1994 Washington Post article:

The first thing Christine Todd Whitman did upon taking office as governor of New Jersey in January was to cut the state's income tax. Then in July, as she signed into law her first state budget, the Republican cut taxes again while simultaneously closing the huge deficit left by her predecessor.

This is what her supporters call the Whitman miracle, the fiscal accomplishment that has sent her stock soaring among New Jersey's voters and transformed her on the national scene from a political unknown into one of the Republican Party's newest stars.

…

But the key to the Whitman miracle lies neither in her political philosophy nor in her spending cuts, but rather in the fine print of her budget. Contained there is a series of arcane fiscal changes that some experts say amount to this: Christine Todd Whitman has balanced New Jersey's books and paid for her tax cut by quietly diverting more than $1 billion from the state's pension fund.

Whitman calls what she did a "reform" of the pension system that puts it on a more "sound actuarial footing." Others are less charitable. The one thing that even the actuarial consultants hired by the Whitman administration agree on, however, is that the chief effect of the changes will be to shift billions of dollars in pension obligations onto New Jersey taxpayers 15 to 20 years from now.

Let's see, that article ran in 1994, so 15 or 20 years would be right about … now. Huh.

[-] 0 points by farmerbrown (-3) 2 years ago

Are you hoping no one reads the article? Whitman continued a program instituted by her Democrat predecessor but wanted unions to kick in more of their retirement, you can imagine how that went over with the thieving unions.

Read it and weep liar, what you blame on Whitman was a legacy of her Democrat predecessor. But then that doesn't fit the narrative does it. :)

[-] 1 points by flip (6818) 2 years ago

sorry - i didn't realize this was about dems and the gop - i don't doubt that the dems are to blame as much or more than your boys - clinton is a shit and helped to cause this whole financial crisis - if that is your gig i am with you - if you want to blame only one party then goodbye