Skip to comments.City in Rhode Island Asks Retirees to Sacrifice
Posted on 07/21/2011 6:52:42 AM PDT by Zakeet
CENTRAL FALLS, R.I. The retirees came from near and far, gathering in a muggy auditorium here to listen to an urgent pitch: give back a big chunk of your pension or risk losing it all.
This city of 19,000 is broke and headed for bankruptcy, partly because it has promised retired police and firefighters millions of dollars in pensions and benefits that it cannot begin to afford.
And so Robert G. Flanders Jr., a state-appointed receiver who is trying to right the citys finances, found himself on the stage at Central Falls High School on Tuesday, asking retirees to help solve a horrible dilemma by giving up a significant part of what they had always assumed was untouchable income.
No one blames any of you for this situation, Mr. Flanders told the retirees, many of whom appeared well into their 70s and 80s. We understand, believe me, that we are asking for great unanticipated sacrifices. But there is simply no money in the city to continue on the current path.
But the initial response suggested it would be no easy sell. Why should they be punished for the citys financial missteps over the years, some retirees asked? Why not keep raising taxes instead?
Like many other municipal workers around the country, public safety employees in Central Falls do not pay into Social Security and thus get no Social Security benefits after retirement, a point that several complained about at the meeting.
Although many of the retirees were elderly, some in the crowd were still in their 40s and 50s, people who were allowed to retire early under the citys rules.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Sign ‘em up for Army boot camp?
If i started a business and hired you, and told you to pay 15% of your salary to me and I would take care of you when you retire, and then you found out I was SPENDING the money - what would you do?
Would you take my word for it that when you retire i will pay you out of income I am making THEN?
Why did anyone think that same plan was smart for the government?
Most of those guys in the first few rows do not appear to be retirement-age. Do they get full pensions at 45?
“But the initial response suggested it would be no easy sell. Why should they be punished for the citys financial missteps over the years, some retirees asked? Why not keep raising taxes instead?”
Missteps like the pensions that is bankrupting the city?
And way to offer a solution. “Raise taxes”?
No wonder they are govt. workers.
In my state the elederly can NEVER have their property taxes raise EVER... they are fixed at whatever they were when they turned 65. Quirks like this for certain “special” groups are contributing greatly to the problem.
This is the kind of nonsense that needs to end. Why should the elderly only a fraction of what everyone else is paying in property taxes?
because those over 65 have a limited range of options to earn money and may not have money saved away. yes, yes, I know there are many who spent all their money on fun when they had it, but they have limited options now. I’m not advocating all the special interest advantages for them, not even most, I’m just saying they have disadvantages a 33 year old doesn’t...
So OK, raise taxes
That’s sure to generate all the revenue they need for their pensions and benefits, right?
But wait- until these retirees try to sell their homes to retire to Florida or move to a nursing home, and realize that their community has become a ghost town, most of the working class abandoned their underwater homes and failing businesses and fled to Texas, including their own children and granchildren
Unfortunately this is probably what has to happen to stop this cycle. Clean out the population, eliminate the taxpayers as they vote with feet, starve the tax eaters, then (maybe) start again
The current system allows them to retire after 20 years of service, no matter how old they are.
Something has to give. I guess they went after the biggest cost element they could find. Provided that all other sectors of the city government get the same cuts, as well as future retirees, they should agree.
We put our money in, said Walter Trembley, a 74-year-old retired police officer who drove to the meeting from his home in Lake Worth, Fla. And the city, through their callousness and everything else, just blew it.
No one anywhere funds their own pensions. A retiree usually gets far more from a pension than what they contributed. This city is just a preview of what will happen to Social Security and Medicare. Sure, people are pissed. They were promised rainbows and unicorn farts.
because when taxes inexorably go up, elderly people (over 65) can’t go out and get a better job or a second job to pay them
It’s a humane social policy that keeps a lot of seniors in their own homes instead of evicting them. Not “nonsense”
Besides, what is the “fair share” of someone age 65 and above? in my experience a major thing that drives up property taxes is muppies demanding new schools, more teachers, more parks, public rec centers.
You want em, you pay for em. Once you retire, your civic obligation to OPK (other people’s kids) is not eliminated, but is reduced. You have paid property taxes for 40 years or more.
Given this economy, the retort to seniors “then sell your house an move if you can’t afford the taxes” has become almost unfeasible in the past several years. What is the house worth? Who is buying? Where do seniors go if their kids and grandkids are close by and they cant afford to live here?? Rents are as high or higher than house expenses.
Like it or not, human body parts do start to fail when you hit 65. Is this the future?
Bum: Got any spare change, man?
Abe: Yes! And you ain't gettin' it. Everybody wants something for nothing!
[Abe walks into the social security building]
I'm old! Gimme gimme gimme!
The twenty and out fell by the wayside long ago in most retirement places. I do not know about this particular one.
The problem is that many of us live in a manner that our wages accustom us to. Many people spend what they make and do not save a lot. Even when we save we get a 1% return on our money in today’s interest rates.
The story says substantial cuts. I suppose most retired people on a Government pension could stand a 10% reduction without a lot of undue pressure,and hardship but what is substantial?
Many young people who are paying into Social Security now and are afraid they will see nobenefits are ready and willing to hose down the older pensioners. They cannot see into their future when they get hosed down.
Many of us older pensioners are supporting our kids who are out of work, borrowing from us to pay their Union dues, and house payments. Trying to help them save what they have worked for. Having them move back in with us when they cannot.
It’s easy to say screw those pensioners, they have been on the gravy train too long, but we worked for the better part of our lives we bought, we saved,we paid our tax’s and paid into the pension.
Are we willing to help in this bad situation? If we have to yes, but will we have our pensions returned to us when it is done or will we continue being taxed. That’s really what this is. A tax on pensioners.
“Bruce Ogni, a former police captain who retired six years ago on a disability pension after being injured on the job, said he might as well go on public assistance if the plan was approved.
Its just insane that this is happening in America, said Mr. Ogni, 48. How do I tell my children now that you get rewarded for doing the right thing? I did all the right things, and look how Im getting rewarded”
This guy Ogni abandoned ship at age 42. Wonder if he’s the husky dude wearing white trainers in the second row? God Bless him if he is really “disabled” but call me skeptical, having seen and heard of so many abuses of “the system”
So do you agree with a city being able to raise property taxes to the point where they force a retiree out of thier home? This came close to happening in Indiana, the property taxes were growing so fast that even those that had planned well for retirement were being forced to sell due to not being able to affored the increases. Thankfully Indiana fixed the problem.
As a conservative, I think property taxes are unconstitutional due to you never truely own your property. The government demands you to pay every year or else they take it from you.
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