No Super Bowl Resolution (but one on no pension bailout)

The wikipedia entry for Jason E. Chaffetz, U.S. Representative from Utah, includes this interesting tidbit:

Resolutions
Chaffetz has pledged to vote against what he calls “trivial resolutions,” including those dealing with sports, such as congratulating the winning team of the Super Bowl. Chaffetz feels that the House could be taking up more important legislation.

You may wonder what type of resolutions Representative Chafetz would take up.  Well, on January 21, 2015 he submitted H. RES. 41 which was referred to the Committee on Education and the Workforce and, if only for the laundry list of real problems enumerated, I post stating with the first Whereas:

  • Whereas the Federal Government is operating at an annual deficit and is increasing its outstanding debt every year;
  • Whereas the Federal Government, as of January 2015, is carrying more than $18.0 trillion in debt, of which $13.0 trillion is owed to the public and $5.08 trillion is owed to Social Security and other trust funds;
  • Whereas the Federal Government borrowed 14 cents for every dollar it spent in 2014;
  • Whereas foreign governments, individuals, and corporations as of October 2014 own 47 percent of Federal debt held by the public;
  • Whereas Social Security’s unfunded liabilities in 2014 are $10.6 trillion over 75 years and $24.9 trillion over the infinite horizon;
  • Whereas the Federal debt held by the public is expected to increase by more than $7 trillion from 2014 to 2024 according to the Congressional Budget Office;
  • Whereas State and local governments are heavily dependent on Federal revenues;
  • Whereas more than 16 percent of the entire Federal budget goes directly to States and local governments;
  • Whereas more than 22 percent of total State and local government general revenue comes from the Federal Government according to Census Bureau’s latest Annual Survey of State and Local Government Finance;
  • Whereas numerous State and local government employee pension plans have offered overly generous retirement benefits to its employees and are in dire financial situations with combined unfunded liabilities of more than $4 trillion;
  • Whereas many State and local government pension plans have understated liabilities and overstated asset growth rates and have employed methodologies that private sector plans are prohibited from using by Federal law; and
  • Whereas several State and local pension plans are expected to fully exhaust their funds within ten years.

Now, therefore, be it resolved that it is the sense of the House of Representatives that—

  1. the Federal Government should not bailout State and local government employee pension plans and other post-employment benefit plans; and
  2. State and local governments should immediately institute reforms to their employee pension plans, including replacing defined benefit plans with defined contribution plans.

23 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by skip3house on February 1, 2015 at 12:18 am

    Freeze SS benefit rates.
    Tax all incomes at same rates as SS now.
    Freeze debt/interest payments until Revenue is up to task of balancing budget by going back to 1950s rates of Income tax.
    One gas tax collected/distributed by government to handle all roads in country.
    All schools supported by a general income tax so States stop competing.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on February 1, 2015 at 2:22 am

      And universal healthcare (not “Cadillac”, but enough) supported by MUCH higher (and steeper grading of) FIT than that which is in place today.

      Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on February 1, 2015 at 10:55 pm

      The state’s Will tax the trillions of untaxed dollars in IRA accounts and the 529 college account trillions, the government needs money. IRA’ s unchecked have exploded over the last decades far beyond supplemental retirement accounts, legacy and wealth building was the intent. The Republicans will cut the IRS budget and weaken legislation to prevent pre-retirement taxation of retirement accounts, soon this taxation will be a given. I believe Mittens dropped out because of his offshore holdings and former Bain Capital retirement holdings.

      Reply

  2. Posted by Tough Love on February 1, 2015 at 2:19 am

    Excellent, simply excellent.

    The only change I would make, is to add to the end of the last sentence (#2 above) the following words …….. “for all CURRENT Public Sector workers.”

    Reply

  3. Posted by Anonymous on February 1, 2015 at 10:18 am

    Good old tough love. Mooch/steal from current retirees. How immoral can you be?Please no diatribe about you not having a say in the contracts, you are upset the bills due. sour grapes.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on February 1, 2015 at 1:15 pm

      That’s pretty funny …. a Public Sector worker calling a Private Sector Taxpayer …. a “moocher”.

      Let’s REDUCE the Taxpayer-paid-for share of YOUR FUTURE Service pension/benefit promises to ones EQUAL to those typically granted comparable Private Sector Taxpayers …. OK?

      Got a problem with EQUAL ?
      ——————————————————

      And FYI, above, I said “workers” (not “retirees”), at at least until we get a better handle on just HOW BAD the situation is (and how the economy shakes out over time) right now, Taxpayers need and deserve such reductions (meaning future service pension/benefit accruals EQUAL TO their Private Sector counterparts) just for the FUTURE Service of CURRENT current workers.

      Read that proposal a few times. If you can’t or won’t agree, tell me. WHO is the “moocher” ?

      Reply

  4. Posted by Anonymous on February 1, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    Am private and your comments are still immoral. Glad you admit for all to see that it’s okay to steal from current workers.so sad. Tough love for tough love.
    What good for the goose, no?

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on February 1, 2015 at 3:51 pm

      Perhaps your spouse is or was Public and getting or will get a Public Sector pension. Or perhaps your are private now but “was” Public and hoping to get all you were promised.

      And as far as my comments being immoral, that’s YOUR opinion. I look at it as justifiable righting a huge “wrong” perpetrated upon Private Sector taxpayers via the collusion between the Public Sector Unions and our elected officials whose favorable votes on Public Sector pay, pensions, and benefits are BOUGHT with campaign contributions and election support.

      Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on February 1, 2015 at 3:57 pm

      Oh and I missed stressing an important point …

      So you think it’s “immoral” that I (a Private Sector Taxpayer) strongly advocate for prospectively (yes, for their FUTURE service) reducing the pension and benefit accruals of CURRENT Public Sector workers to a level EQUAL to that of comparable Private Sector taxpayers.

      Really ?

      Think about that.

      Reply

  5. Posted by Anonymous on February 1, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    • Posted by Tough Love on February 1, 2015 at 4:22 pm

      A well justified reversal of an incredible rip-off of the Taxpayers … created BY Public Sector workers FOR Public Sector workers.

      Hopefully we’ll see a LOT more of this everywhere, and at the top of that list should be a reversal and claw-back of ALL “retroactively applied” pension increases, being nothing but a theft of taxpayer wealth for which zero incremental service were rendered.

      Reply

  6. Posted by dentss dunnigan on February 1, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    Here’s what is happining that retirees thought couldn’t when the pensions are running on empty ..http://www.freep.com/story/money/personal-finance/susan-tompor/2015/01/16/detroit-pensioners-lump-sum-clawback-susan-tompor/21829671/

    Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on February 2, 2015 at 9:21 am

      This sounds like the pending issue with the trillions of dollars tucked away in IRA’ s and 529 plans. These untaxed dollars could be taxed now to wipe out state and federal deficits. Retirement accounts were intended for retirement not legacy, estate planning wealth management. Be prepared it will be the Republicans coming for these funds, remember Congress controls the federal pursestrings. They are reluctant to tax the rich but taxing the middle-class has never been an issue. The government needs to eliminate foreign debt, it’s a national security issue of the highest priority.

      Reply

      • Posted by dentss dunnigan on February 2, 2015 at 10:56 am

        So why bother saving in an Roth why not just buy gold or real-estate or not bother with life insurance either ? At least buy assets you can pass on to your family when your gone

        Reply

        • Posted by Anonymous on February 2, 2015 at 11:25 am

          Traditional IRAS and Roths remain good supplemental retirement options, the present IRS codes for retirement accumulations do not cover wealth management. The financial services industry is very aware they were treading over the lines for at least a decade. The untaxed dollars would eventually be taxed at retirement, but with wealth management/ legacy schemes the tax deferments extend for generations, not the intent of retirement savings. People are free to shelter their money any legal way available, it is a personal matter. Trillions of untaxed dollars in individual retirement accounts presents a legal opportunity to pay the outstanding national debt.

          Reply

      • Problem is that most “middle class” don’t have all that much saved for retirement in any IRAs, Roths or savings. So other than to tax the income before it is saved in retirement and/or tax any gains I think they will be grasping at one more desparate attempt to right the system. Perhpas the uber wealthy have hefty investment vehicles to tap into but most studies support the fact that mainstream middle class Americas can’t or won’t save for retirement.

        Reply

        • Posted by Anonymous on February 3, 2015 at 10:16 am

          The trillions in IRAS come from a cross section of present and former employees from many sectors of the labor market. Most people don’t talk about their finances, IRA accumulations show up on the IRS radar with withdrawals and retirement distributions. Most private and public sector employees have a very basic understanding of their basic and supplemental retirement plans. Mitt Romney after 19 years had accumulated $128m plus in a retirement account with Bain Capital, the question remains, how did he do that? Every year the IRS announces a cap for retirement plan contributions, clearly Bain Capital ignored those guidelines.

          Reply

          • Most of the labor force is not saving very much in IRA accounts either through their employers or individually. Most private employers match little if any employee contributions into IRAs. Individual amounts that can be saved for retirement are capped at a few thousand dollars and can be taxed before or at time of distribution. How Mitt Romney saved all of that without any red flags popping up on his tax return is anyone’s guess but the rich always seem to be able to beat the taxman. I would disagree that most people don’t talk about their finances. Research is pretty conclusive that the labor force from all cross sections are worried that they will not have enough for retirement and save little if any. With wages stagnant, home prices still sliding downward, taxes going up every year along with utilities, food, houisng, medical insurance, etc. there isn’t a whole lot left over for the the “middle class” to accumulate a decent IRA.

          • Posted by dentss dunnigan on February 3, 2015 at 5:04 pm

            Mitt was in the right spot to invest in emerging companies with his IRA .It would be like if Bill Gates put all his microsoft stock into his pension …in the beginning it was only worth pennies before he went public .

          • Posted by Anonymous on February 3, 2015 at 7:43 pm

            With trillions of dollars in employer-based plans and individual accounts there are millions of Americans saving money for retirement. There has always been a cap for public and private retirement funds. Even at its highest amount for highly compensated employees Mitt would not have reached $128 million.

          • Posted by Tough Love on February 3, 2015 at 8:21 pm

            Anon, but that “cap” has ALWAYS favored Public Sector workers via their very rich DB Plans. It would NOT be unusual for the annual (tax-deferred) cost of a safety worker’s pension to be $75K PER YEAR in each of the 5 years prior to retirement at the end of a 30 year career.

            Compare that to less than a $20K max in a 401K Plan common in the Private Sector.

            Just one more of the MANY ways Public Sector workers get preferential treatment…… and why Private Sector Taxpayers should REFUSE to fund anything more than what THEY get from their employers.

  7. Posted by Tough Love on February 2, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    John, A new article on NJ.com……

    http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2015/02/what_chris_christie_didnt_tell_nj_about_pension_pa.html

    It’s really a shame that they insist on being able to identify commentators as I would like to be able to comment there anonymously under “Tough Love”.

    This article, like many others NJ.com articles is extraordinarily biased, misleading, full of incorrect/misleading facts, and omission of pertinent ones.

    Your unbiased commentary on that article would be appreciated.

    Reply

    • On the skipped payments and the inane legal reasoning of Chrisite;s people on the debt limitation clause these are points that should be better known. Too bad about that reference to the silly NJPP study.

      Reply

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