It is barely 7:30 am.  I have been feeling proud of myself and my accomplishments.  Then I received two calls in rapid succession, calls from retired southerners.  People crying because even with two social security pensions combined, they cannot survive.

What a humbling and needed call.  This is exactly the kind of comment and motivation I need to stay focused and on track.

I have a goal of test funding by June, followed by an audit of the funds by September.  We can have a validated pension solution before the next national election.

Now you know my goals.

By now you probably know the Butch Lewis Act is moving forward.  I am calling for a test funding to include states as well as private pensions.  I am considering IL, CT, KY and OH as test cases. I have less familiarity on private pensions but am thinking of Central States, UMWA, and I am interested in learning more about the Local 805 Pension Fund of New York, as mentioned by Mr. Bury in; “Breaking News: Local 805 Refiles”.

I have a simple measure to gauge qualifications. I take the total benefits paid for a year and then divide by the total number receiving benefits.  This gives me a simplistic average pension per year.  I know many deviations to the average exist but for the preliminary qualification I do not care.  I would expect somewhere in the range of $35,000 per year.  A material deviation from this number suggests further investigation is needed.

I insist on using the benefits paid and expenses.  This is the total funds needed to pay benefits.  Credible critics question fees paid by pensions, public and private, to manage assets.  Eliminating fees from my equation would give me a false reading.  I compute an average benefit paid as fully loaded.

Thus far I have eliminated NJ from consideration.

I am hoping to have an abstract of one of my three papers as early as this afternoon for circulation.  The papers will follow later.  It takes time to prepare an academic solution to a complex problem.

My abstract should be sufficient to help keep the Butch Lewis process rolling, which I want.

Are you aware, gentle reader, of the eleven years between 2007 and 2017, the Federal Reserve paid the Treasury more than $800 billion dollars?  My model is to say this surplus money should go for pension relief.  Are you likewise aware the Fed will have a balance between $600-$900 billion dollars this year?  Not a wish, fact.

With the rest of today and tomorrow we will be circling up and deciding our next step-moving from theory to action.  Theory will not feed the hungry, actions will.  And make no mistake, the hungry just called me this morning.

I have two quotes I would like to share from Mr. Chuck Reed and the on the topic of dramatic pension cuts;”

“Think it can’t happen to your city? Think again. Detroit, Mich., and Central Falls, R.I., are polar opposites in many ways, but they have one thing in common: Both slashed their retirees’ pensions when the cities filed for bankruptcy.”

Mr. Reed then states about the public in general;

As John M. Richardson, a pioneer in the study of system dynamics, once put it, “When it comes to the future, there are three types of people: those who let it happen, those who make it happen, and those who wonder what happened.

While writing this blog I received a third call, this one from NB and related to Central States.  The father of the caller is facing massive cuts to his pension.  Our talk was long and productive.

Three calls this morning, asking me to continue.  To Marilyn, I cannot promise a solution.  I can promise that many hardworking people are pressing to fix a national problem, fast.  We are trying.  That is my promise.

To NB and the Teamster father.  You followed the rules over a career, paying into a promise.  I want to see that promise kept.  I hope this update works for you.

Thank you and call or write any time.

Tim Alexander


6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Tough Love on March 9, 2018 at 12:03 am

    You’re certainly are not lacking in enthusiasm ………… kind of reminds me of Tom Cruise declared his love for then girlfriend (and future ex-wife) Katie Holmes and hopped up on Ophra’s couch.


  2. Posted by Retired police on March 9, 2018 at 2:33 am

    Tim, thank you for your continued diligence and straightforward approach, your work is much appreciated.


    • Posted by Triune on March 9, 2018 at 2:58 am

      I will say to you what I said to Marilyn.
      Our world is not made better until we shed our fears and anonymity, stand tall, and be heard.
      I also will repeat that I need you and Marilyn far more than you need me. Your kind encouragement is what keeps me motivated.
      Wish me luck as Friday will be a busy pension healing morning and stay tuned for more.
      Call or write any time.
      Tim Alexander


  3. i subscribe to the simple truism, “the govt has no money” and thus my ongoing skepticism that these funding/pension/issues could be resolved favorably, without impacting someone else unfavorably.


  4. Posted by Stanley on March 10, 2018 at 3:06 pm

    “Are you aware, gentle reader, of the eleven years between 2007 and 2017, the Federal Reserve paid the Treasury more than $800 billion dollars?”
    So? What does this mean? That the Federal Reserve has some magic beans that will “solve” the pension difficulties? Looking at one aspect of Federal finance is simply lunatic accounting. During the same period of time the U.S. Government increased the debt, I don’t know, some $8T to $10T. That, plus the other holes in federal finance such as education finance that is probably 50% bad debt and federal back stopping of Fanny and Freddie–who knows before the next catastrophe how much bad debt is there.

    Anyway, gentle writer, any idea that there is room in government finance for a huge new welfare program is simply nonsense. And besides that, you write of people having a hard time making ends meet on just two social security pensions, which is probably the majority of retirees. And your goal is not for relief of those getting by on social security checks. No, you want a new welfare program for union retirees. All they need is a good recipe for cake.


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