McClaughry: Union pension bailouts

By John McClaughry

People are just beginning to find out what’s in the massive $1.9 trillion Covid recovery bill that President Joe Biden signed recently. The $1,400 payments to most adults of course got the most attention, but the bulk of the $1.9 trillion bill will go to pay for lots of things that have little or nothing to do with recovery from the pandemic, but everything to do with the left’s wish list for more loot.

Case in point: $86 billion to bail out 185 union pension funds, which don’t have enough money in them to pay the pensions of more than a million unionized truck drivers, retail clerks, and construction workers. This is more money than the total amount of money allocated to COVID testing and vaccinations.

The New York Times reported that declining union membership and bankruptcies have contributed to the trend of pension plans running out of money, and this began long before the pandemic. There are no conditions tied to the funding, meaning the union pension plans aren’t required to make changes or pay any of the money back.

Republican Sen. John Barrassa of Wyoming told reporters, “Why would every Republican vote against it as well as some Democrats? It’s because it is packed with pork. It’s a wish list of liberal spending. It bails out states, bails out big cities, and bails out failed union pension plans.”

And this entire bailout is financed by selling federal debt.

John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.

Image courtesy of Public domain

2 thoughts on “McClaughry: Union pension bailouts

  1. The State Government SPENT the teacher pension fund years ago and replaced it with an IOU. You know, to fund all of their programs. They then made ridiculous estimates on ROI to allow them to not pay it back. Of course, their brilliant (corrupt) predictions fall short and the pension fund can’t recover. They continue to move the goalposts on teacher retirement, forcing older, often less enthusiastic, highly paid teachers to remain in the classroom much longer than they should. If it’s one thing Democrats are good at it’s spending money with no regard for the future.

  2. What we have is what we are seeing, a failure of government to manage and operate an investment; contributions from individual union members, as well as funding from in this case Vermont State Government. The bottom line here is the membership has lived up to their end of the bargain by contributing as required; the State has not. So who should bring things into square?
    I was a member of a school/municipal fund for several years, and I can tell you that the membership in our case lived up to it’s requirement. So when management came to us and asked for more to pay off the bill that they failed to it was no soap, loud and clear. The membership would have considered a way to get out of the hole if there was something there for them, but there wasn’t. It was mismanagement and incompetence right from the start. Enough said. It took Wendy Wilton to straighten it out.

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