Sunday, December 6, 2015

Thousand Points of Right (TPR - November 24th, 2015) - LODD Pensions...And a Response

America's Public Pension Crisis

One of my favorite blogs is John (G’s) TPR. It’s ALWAYS a good read.

With JG’s November 24th’s piece he struck a nerve with me and I’m certain my views will be far LESS popular than those expressed by the far more diplomatic TPR (

In that piece he begins, “TPR has been warning, for years, that there is no assurance... repeat... NO ASSURANCE that a LODD pension will be tax free, if the current IRS is replaced by a Flat Tax, Fair Tax, Consumption Tax, etc., by any of the Presidential candidates and Congress,” and continues, “Be careful for whom you vote in the upcoming Presidential election, because the Unions are NOT asking the candidates (NOW) how their New Tax Plan will affect Police and Fire LODD Retirees. Now, of course, is the time!”

In my view, this is a pretty short-sighted view. Worse still, it comes off as an US against THEM approach with regards to our tax-paying neighbors. After all, in the case of the Fair Tax (consumption-based tax system) there'd be NO income tax from which to be exempted. So, this APPEARS to come down to, in effect, being angry that everyone else would get the SAME deal that disabled retirees already income tax at all!

Regardless of motivation, it LOOKS LIKE the height of selfishness and serves only to stir up more righteous anger and indignation from a public that is well over 85% NON-public sector workers. Perception IS reality, so such appearances DO matter....a LOT!

Not only would every worker and retiree be better off under the Fair Tax, but the economy would do MUCH BETTER for EVERYONE!

It's akin to all those NJ cops, State Troopers and teachers who failed to see that Chris Christie in refashioning those NJ pensions with slightly increased pension and healthcare costs to the public workers was the ONLY NJ politician trying to SAVE that state's failing pension system.

The Democrats in NJ had/HAVE a "workable plan" and that let that state's pension costs simply implode the system and have the feds "bail them out." Every retiree would get the federal maximum of $2500/month disabled, or not.

There was no option available to NJ to, "Increase taxes a bit to put back the monies that Jon Corzine & Christie Whitman failed to put into it, as mandated by law." The tax increases required to do that were impossibly high, ESPECIALLY for a state that’s lost well over 20,000 millionaires since 2000. The ONLY available options for NJ was either Chris Christie's option of saving that pension plan at a slightly greater cost to public workers, OR the Democratic plan of letting the entire system implode, in order to "Get the state out from under providing pensions and healthcare for its retired workers."

In regards to public sector workers, individual states often act more like Corporations than Municipalities. Public sector workers are seen as "net COSTS." Many GOOD-hearted and well-intentioned politicians, especially those from poorer urban areas DON'T see a mandate to take care of, in their view, "already wealthy workers" (people often earning over $100,000/year). They can see many more urgent uses for such monies.

In NYC, Charles Barron has repeatedly said, "Those workers should've provided for themselves over the course of their working lives...I've always been more worried about those who couldn't work...often weren't allowed to work." Those sentiments are echoed by many other politicians across the political spectrum. The HUGE pot of pension and healthcare money set aside for retired public workers is a BIG target of those who want to "equalize" society.

Personally, I have to admit that I applaud those Democrats willing to promise public sector workers that, they'll “never touch their pensions,” while at the very SAME time plotting to pull the rug out from under us.

It's SOUND politics. THAT’S the way that game has ALWAYS been played!

Politicians have ALWAYS have promised things they’ve had no intention of delivering on. Moreover, it's ALLOWED....cops and politicians are both ALLOWED, even encouraged to lie in order to “get results.”

Dealings with BOTH politicians and police have always been a "Buyer Beware" scenario.

So we all SHOULD be very cautious about whom we vote for...KNOWING that many of those who say the things we MOST WANT to hear and promise us the things we MOST CHERISH, really see that big pot of money as a "largesse" and see it "better used" for "other (more “humanitarian,” or favored) purposes/causes.

If we fail to see how our vision is often at odds with that of those we would vote for, then that is ALL our own faults.

Sometimes concessions are necessary in order to save a given system.

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