$165 BILLION: Reps. Pat Tiberi and Steve Latourette Want to Bail out Underfunded Union Pension Plans, Latourette Cries About Fox News
From Fox Business’ Erik Berte:
A Democratic senator is introducing legislation for a bailout of troubled union pension funds. If passed, the bill could put another $165 billion in liabilities on the shoulders of American taxpayers.
The bill, which would put the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation behind struggling pensions for union workers, is being introduced by Senator Bob Casey, (D-Pa.), who says it will save jobs and help people.
As FOX Business Network’s Gerri Willis reported Monday, these pensions are in bad shape; as of 2006, well before the market dropped and recession began, only 6% of these funds were doing well.
Although right now taxpayers could possibly be on the hook for $165 billion, the liability could essentially be unlimited because these pensions have to be paid out until the workers die.
It’s hard to say at the moment what the chances are that the bill will pass. A hearing is scheduled Thursday, which will give the public a sense of where political leaders sit on the topic, said Willis.
Just last week President Obama said there would be no more bailouts.
You Make It. They Take It.
The resolution, HR 3936, sponsored by Earl Pomeroy (D-ND) and Pat Tiberi, and co-sponsored by Steve Latourette is raising some eyebrows with conservative groups:
Americans for Limited Government (ALG) has sent a letter to 9 House Republicans urging that they withdraw their support from legislation providing a taxpayer bail-out of labor union run pension funds. Among the union pension funds in critical danger are those run by the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA), the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) and more than a hundred other union-run funds.
“We are asking that each Representative remove his or her cosponsorship of this blatant handout to unions, which are now asking the American people to bail them out of their own mismanagement of pensions,” Wilson said, adding that “Compensating poor investment strategies, like those pursued by the multi-employer pension plans, only incentives further underfunding of these plans.”
According to Wilson’s letter to the 9 House Republicans, “While the legislation deals with some challenging issues related to retiree pensions, it is our view that it in fact rewards bad behavior. Those who are asking Congress for this change are largely responsible for the plight of these pension funds, having failed to take the steps to rectify problems that have been looming since well before the stock market drop and recovery over the past two years.”
The letter was sent to Representatives Patrick Tiberi, Ginny Brown-Waite, Jo Ann Emerson, Steven LaTourette, John Linder, Thaddeus McCotter, Tim Murphy, Peter Roskam, and Aaron Schock.[...]
ALG President Bill Wilson said, “The proposed Congressional bailout of union pension funds is outrageous, particularly when you consider that these union run pension funds have failed to take reasonable measures to meet basic solvency requirements.”
“HR 3936 does not require that a union cut benefits, have participants pay part of the pension costs, change retirement ages, limit access to younger employees, or use union dues to supplement the plan. It doesn’t require that unions negotiate for higher pension payments from employers in lieu of other benefits. Instead, it merely throws the unfunded liabilities onto the backs of taxpayers – a potential $165 billion dollar bailout,” Wilson explained.[...]
Citing the hundreds of millions of dollars spent by labor bosses to support Obama, the Democratic majority, and the 9 House Republicans (see attachments below), Wilson decried unions’ “audacity to try to cash in on their political investment by foisting these unfunded liabilities accumulated under their watch onto the backs of taxpayers, who are struggling to fund their own retirements.”
I haven’t found a response from Tiberi yet, but Latourette, who has always had close associations with union leaders, went to the floor of the U.S. House and sounded like a clueless a**hole.: