Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Unions are desperate for a tax-paid pension bailout( unions need a bailout and fast) ^ | 10/18/2010 | Mark Hemingway

Posted on 10/19/2010 11:13:59 AM PDT by goldendays

When it comes to accounting, the devil is in the details.

A new Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) rule taking effect in December requires greater transparency for union pension plans and threatens to bankrupt organized labor.

In order to survive, unions need a bailout and fast.

This presents a political problem -- if unions go bankrupt, so do Democrats. Eleven of the top 20 largest political contributors are labor unions, and nearly all of that money is spent campaigning against Republicans.

By bailing out unions, Democrats are bailing out themselves.

Unions have known for years that their multiemployer pension plans have unfunded liabilities that could run hundreds of billions of dollars.

That's why unions have been loath to accurately report their pension liabilities -- requiring transparency could devastate whole industries as banks and creditors will likely refuse to lend money to companies on the hook for such outrageous pension obligations.

Fortunately for them, it's much cheaper for unions to buy the White House and Congress than to fund their pensions properly. Even by their normally profligate standards, unions went for broke in 2008, spending $400 million electing Democrats.

In 2010, "Democrats are relying more than ever this year on another outside force to help even the playing field: organized labor," reports the New York Times.

Despite being beholden, Democrats have been unable to enact the two laws unions most desire.

Democrats pushed hard but unsuccessfully for Card Check. That legislation would remove the secret ballot in union elections. By making union votes public, labor organizers would know who to target and intimidate in order to pressure them to change their vote.

With new unions, they could use mandatory binding arbitration to force additional businesses to infuse cash into their failing multiemployer pension plans.

The other piece of legislation is, not surprisingly, a bailout bill offered by Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., and co-sponsored by Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin, D-Ill. (A similar piece of legislation is being offered in the House by Rep. Earl Pomery, D-N.D.)

The bill would make failing union pension plans fully backed by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., a government-sponsored entity.

In the plain language of the bill, "obligations of the corporation which are financed by the fund created by this subsection shall be obligations of the United States."

It creates a fund that these pension plans will be able to go to that will be filled by taxpayer funds as needed through the normal appropriations process.

In this sense, Casey's bill is an entitlement for the 7 percent of Americans still in labor unions. There is literally no dollar figure in the bill, but the PBGC had a deficit of $21 billion last year and it's estimated that shoring up failing union pension plans could cost taxpayers another $165 billion.

Rather than make union managers and businesses accountable for their pension mismanagement, these plans would have the full backing of the federal government, removing financial pressures to make the plans fiscally responsible. In the Daily Caller, a Capitol Hill Republican compares the arrangement to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's disastrous backing of the housing market.

With Republicans likely to control at least one chamber of Congress after November and post-census redistricting helping the GOP retain control, a lame duck session could be the Democrats last chance to save unions and help keep their campaign coffers filled.

The question is: Will Republicans be able to stop another special-interest bailout before January? If they succeed, it could be the beginning of the end for unions as an influential political force.

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; US: California; US: Illinois; US: North Dakota; US: Pennsylvania
KEYWORDS: 111th; accounting; bailouts; board; bustunions; california; congress; corruption; democratcorruption; democrats; economy; fail; financial; illinois; northdakota; obama; pennsylvania; pensions; taxcheatparty; taxes; unionbailouts; unioncorruption; unions
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-35 last
To: goldendays
Unions have become just a lower tier of the democrat party...or maybe that should be communist party. They are serving their dem masters in exchange for power over the average workers' lives.

And, they are becoming the "enforcement branch" of the budding socialist kingdom pursued by obama. They are his "leg men" to do the dirty duties. The "right to work" is as basic as any other human right, because without the right to work, you are just an enslaved victim of a protection racket...that's all unions do.

Where do you think obama and the democrats learned all their ways to take your money and your life away from you?

21 posted on 10/19/2010 11:59:09 AM PDT by FrankR (You are only obligated to obama to the extent you accept his handouts.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: goldendays

Eleven of the top 20 largest political contributors are labor unions, and nearly all of that money is spent campaigning against Republicans...

Obama's foreign money can of worms (Hey Obama, check this)

22 posted on 10/19/2010 12:04:11 PM PDT by EdReform (Oath Keepers - Guardians of the Republic - Honor your oath - Join us:
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SC_Pete
One can dream—and instead of counting sheep, we count on Hatch, Snowe, Collins, McCain, Graham, and Cornyn.

To the people of Utah - Never count your Hatch before he chickens:)

23 posted on 10/19/2010 12:04:35 PM PDT by Ken H
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: AdmSmith; Arthur Wildfire! March; Berosus; bigheadfred; Convert from ECUSA; Delacon; dervish; ...

thanks goldendays.

City of Bell Police Union Asks for $71 Million Federal Bail-Out From Congress [Whoa!!!]
Bell Police Officer’s Union and the Municial Employees Union, AFSCME | 10-19-10 | BASTA
Posted on 10/19/2010 6:35:42 AM PDT by joinedafterattack

24 posted on 10/19/2010 12:06:26 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (The 2nd Amendment follows right behind the 1st because some people are hard of hearing.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: goldendays
For the nation and the economy to survive, most unions are going to have to be severely limited in their priveleges, and ALL government employee unions are going to have to be crushed and made illegal.

Defined contribution plans with proper trust management will work on an ongoing basis but the trust management must be entirely separated from union officers.

25 posted on 10/19/2010 12:14:35 PM PDT by Navy Patriot (Sarah and the Conservatives will rock your world.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: goldendays
Reviewing my portfolio, I've got a windfall coming. So, in the spirit of generosity, I'll gladly give a free kick in the crotch to any union man I meet asking for a government handout.
26 posted on 10/19/2010 12:15:07 PM PDT by HKMk23 (The dogs bark, but the caravan rolls on...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: goldendays

Unions need a bailout because they have already looted their pension funds in order to fill DNC coffers. Can you say ‘Misappropriation of Funds’?

27 posted on 10/19/2010 12:39:10 PM PDT by Hoodat ( .For the weapons of our warfare are mighty in God for pulling down strongholds.d)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Ken H

Good one. And so true. Anyone that was a friend of Teddy_________________. (fill in the blank)

28 posted on 10/19/2010 1:20:36 PM PDT by SC_Pete
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

Comment #29 Removed by Moderator

To: goldendays
"..In order to survive, unions need a bailout and fast..."


30 posted on 10/20/2010 11:58:42 AM PDT by Anti-Bubba182
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: EdReform

and Hell no and more hell no. LOL

31 posted on 10/20/2010 12:03:37 PM PDT by dforest
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: goldendays

Do you (or anybody else reading this) know the parameters for qualifying a plan for the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.? I believe a number of bankrupt airline pension plans fell into this bucket, and for whatever reason, I assumed that this “safety net” applied to the pension plan of any entity that went bankrupt, regardless.

32 posted on 10/20/2010 12:04:26 PM PDT by Cboldt
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: goldendays
I went looking for myself - still don't exactly what new giveaway is being proposed, but PBGC does cover, it appears, any company that decides to buy in, in the first place.

PBGC is a federal corporation created by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. It currently protects the pensions of more than 44 million American workers and retirees in more than 29,000 private single-employer and multiemployer defined benefit pension plans. PBGC receives no funds from general tax revenues. Operations are financed by insurance premiums set by Congress and paid by sponsors of defined benefit plans, investment income, assets from pension plans trusteed by PBGC, and recoveries from the companies formerly responsible for the plans.

33 posted on 10/20/2010 12:38:48 PM PDT by Cboldt
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: GeronL

Perhaps unions need to cap pensions to the extent that they are funded. Why rob social security to pay unions. Some of those union guys probably do or will draw SS as well as their pensions.

34 posted on 10/20/2010 1:31:17 PM PDT by IM2MAD
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]


They should fully fund their own pension programs without tax dollars.

35 posted on 10/20/2010 1:36:04 PM PDT by GeronL ( <--- My Fiction/ Science Fiction Board)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-35 last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson