December 9 – Yesterday President Joe Biden announced he plans to funnel $36 billion into the Central States Pension Fund to keep benefit cuts at bay. The money is apparently coming from the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act.
The pension fund covers 350,000 union members.
The Central States Pension Fund was debating cutting benefits by 60 percent before this government bailout, but nothing was done or considered to actually fix the problem that caused the need for the cuts in the first place.
Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM wondered, “Why am I responsible? Why are we borrowing money from everybody else for people that have clearly been incompetent running these pensions?”
“This drives me crazy,” said attorney Clint Barkdoll. “This is a mid-west pension fund, which includes some of these corrupt states like Illinois, that have been insolvent for years and $36 billion of federal money that’s now going to shore them back up, but no fix. The problem will then just keep going on.”
Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM pointed out, “We knew this was going to start happening when was it the coal miners that was the first one that tipped? And then we said oh, now they’re going to start bailing out all these things. What’s the point of having a pension system and people to manage it if you’re just going to then get the taxpayer to back it up? Essentially we’re just going to have government incomes. Number two, they just changed the rules for pension management saying we can bring ESG into consideration. That is not financial. That’s then people deciding from a social point of view, whatever their belief system tells them to do – on the environment, on other social issues and governance. You can set your pension system to that? That’s only going to make less returns.”
Barkdoll said, “If I’m say, Pennsylvania, I would be asking where’s my money for PSERs and SERs? We’re underfunded, so where’s our handout? If you’re going to bail everybody else out, where’s our subsidy? And that’s where I think this becomes a very slippery slope.”