Breaking News: Treasury Rejects Central States Benefit Reductions

That was how P&I headlined their report of what Special Master (yes, that is his real title) Kenneth R. Feinberg of the Department of the Treasury informed the Central States trustees in a just-released letter.

Excerpts follow:

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D-Day for Union Plans

The assault on multiemployer (union) plans hits the beach any minute now as a decision is expected as to whether hundreds of thousands of retirees in the Central States Pension Fund (CSPF) will have their benefits cut substantially this July so that the people who run these plans won’t be inconvenienced.  Here is a timeline of the case:

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Disinherited

Subheading of the book being ‘How Washington Is Betraying America’s Young’ and Part I is on “Unfunded Promises” and “Paying for Parents’ Health Care”.

Excerpts follow:

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Back from the Dead

With emphasis on the championships and recovering form pain Back from the Dead by Bill Walton was a fairly quick read though I wonder who would be insulted more – Tommy Curtis whose over-dribbling Walton essentially blamed the 1974 UCLA non-championship season on or the mother of his four children who did not even get a mention.

Excerpts follow:

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Pension Prelude to Bond Defaults

Coincidentally both Puerto Rico and Atlantic City faced default on bond payments today but they have something else in common.

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Only Occasionally Spineless?

There was a conference yesterday covering “the year’s developments in the public employment sector” with “updates on collective negotiations, pensions, health benefits and more” at which it was reported that Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) admitted:

“(New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney) may be an honorable man and intend to do that, but let me tell you, when you get the Legislature collectively together, occasionally we’re spineless,” he told the crowd. “If you’re going to try to get those reforms done after you’ve done the constitutional amendment guaranteeing the payments, I know several unions … will declare victory and will pound members of the Legislature into not coming back to the table to demand reforms. It simply will not happen unless you do the two things together.”

This stratagem was tried in 2011 when, among other things, cost-of-living-adjustments (COLAs) were eliminated in exchange for contractually obligating the state to make their predefined contribution payments. Two things have changed since then complicating another go at this tradeoff: Continue reading

Tax Cut As Alien Concept

Union County freeholders are handpicked for, among other reasons, their unflagging support for maintaining and, where possible, expanding the tax base so as to benefit their patrons and, if possible, themselves. This has become so ingrained that the very concept of a tax cut is alien to their sensibilities.
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