Multiemployer Bailout Committee Answers

The hearing lasted about two hours today. Here is all of it (including 13 minutes of a silent overture):
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And here are some excerpts I found notable:

Doing nothing:
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Cost of doing nothing:
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A really good question:
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Pushing a bailout or bridge:
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17 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Tough Love on May 17, 2018 at 8:34 pm

    Pretty clear these Senators just want to bailout these Multi-employer Plans with taxpayers money (or “loans” that assuredly will NOT be repaid).

    These pensions are the “retirement security” of the Multi-employer Plan participants JUST LIKE 401Ks are the retirement security of most non-Union Private Sector workers.

    What justification is there to bailout onegroup (the Multi-employer Plans) …..and not only NOT bail out the other, but to add insult to injury, make those in the OTHER=401k group help (via their taxes) bailout the Multi-employer Plans ?
    ———————————

    And heavens, perhaps set a president for bailing out the biggest “moochers” of all ….. the Public Section Union/workers.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Tough Love on May 17, 2018 at 8:46 pm

    In the last video, Senator Manchin is just soooo full of BS.

    Referencing the “loans” made to certain US Contortions that were in dire straights in the 2008 recession, he said (while asking for Loans to bailout the Mineworkers’ Plan)…..” they (meaning the US Corporations) paid it back, and we will too”.

    But exactly WHO is the “we” ????

    The Union Plans are broke and will be PAYING OUT the loan interest AND principle. They CLEARLY won’t be able to “pay it back”. And the Companies who employ the workers have zero obligation to do so.

    The “we will pay it back” it just the worlds of another lying politician who wants what he wants ……………. truth be damned.
    ————————————

    Too bad there isn’t a Q& A from people asking the hard questions, and not blindly accepting this BS.

    Reply

    • Posted by Stanley on May 18, 2018 at 5:36 pm

      I would bet that there are more West Virginians who do not receive a MEP pension than those who do. And I would also bet that they strongly oppose bailing out coal miner pensions. It would sure be interesting to see some recent polling on this issue. I am against a bailout, but if there is one I hope that it is only to prop up PBGC. At least that requires a big whack when plans go belly up. Our country is already going into the red at about a trillion bucks per year. I don’t believe anyone can find a case historically that didn’t result in some really serious consequences–a lot more serious than merely getting a pension whacked.

      Reply

      • Posted by Glenn on May 18, 2018 at 10:53 pm

        “I would bet that there are more West Virginians who do not receive a MEP pension than those who do.”

        Sir, you would be correct. I live in West Virginia; based on published news reports, approximately 22,000 people in this state of 1.8 million receive an MEP coal miner pension. If I had to guess at the total number of people in West Virginia receiving a MEP pension, I’d say probably not more than 100,000 people, 125,000 at the absolute maximum.

        I can also say that while nobody in our state is demanding the loss of retired miners/miners’ widows pensions, neither is there a statewide demand to prop up the UMWA pension fund with a taxpayer bailout. Indeed, there has actually been public backlash in the state against the UMWA for its demand of a taxpayer bailout. The pension plan has been mismanaged by the four plan trustees for many years. The trustees, who are made up of two UMWA representatives and two coal company representatives, made changes to the plan over the years which reduced plan contributions and increased payouts. In fairness, the boom/bust cycles of the coal business, multiple coal operator bankruptcies, increased EPA coal business regulation under Obama, and the rise of natural gas as an alternative fuel also had an impact; however, boom/bust cycles and coal operator bankruptcies are nothing new in the coal business and cannot, on their own, explain or justify the plan’s current condition – despite what the UMWA claims.

        Reply

  3. Posted by Stephen Douglas on May 17, 2018 at 9:27 pm

    Maybe there is a president for bailing out 401(k)s …and… US Contortions.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on May 17, 2018 at 10:46 pm

      And heavens, perhaps set a president for bailing out the biggest “moochers” of all ….. the Public Section Unions/workers.

      Reply

      • Posted by El gaupo on May 18, 2018 at 5:14 pm

        Which president would you like to set….Richard Nixon? Andrew Jackson? Ronald Reagan?

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on May 18, 2018 at 6:02 pm

          El gaupo,

          I though you were above responding to spell-check oddities.

          But no, I WASN’T surprised when Stephen Douglas did so ………. I suppose it comes with the mental limitations of having been a light-bulb-changer.

          Reply

          • Posted by El gaupo on May 19, 2018 at 6:48 pm

            A light bulb changer making a six figure pension probably doesn’t have to many mental limitations and no financial ones. Lol.

          • Posted by Tough Love on May 19, 2018 at 7:25 pm

            El gaupo,

            His pension (per him) is just about HALF the $100K you stated ….. pretty good considering what Private Sector light-bulb-changers likely earn.

          • Posted by Stanley on May 20, 2018 at 9:28 am

            “A light bulb changer making a six figure pension probably doesn’t have to many mental limitations and no financial ones. Lol.”

            You’re wrong on that one buddy. There are people enjoying a very pleasant life on $25K per year and people not making it on $100K per year or even more. One of my neighbors worked with an Alaskan oil driller who made a million bucks per year and lived paycheck to paycheck. Most people spend all that they earn plus some no matter how much they earn. When you watch an NFL game, most of the people up in the stands have well above average earnings and are probably sporting an average FICO score of about 650. I admit this is just my speculation, but I would be surprised if more than 10% of folks in the stands have more than a 750 FICO score.

  4. Posted by geo8rge on May 18, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    “Cost of doing nothing:” Is $16 Billion over 10 years a big deal? Sen Brown calls it massive but in a world of trillion dollar budgets, $1.6 billion a year for a decade is not much.

    Reply

    • Posted by Stanley on May 19, 2018 at 8:36 am

      ” Is $16 Billion over 10 years a big deal?” This tar baby is more than just the coal miners. Once you give it a big squeeze, you’re hooked to support miners, truck drivers, grocery workers, teachers and light bulb changers, cops and firemen and so on. Maybe $5–$10T. And that is just for a minority of retirees. What about the rest of the population getting along on Social Security and what they’ve managed to save in 401K and IRAs? You have better off retirees facing a walk around the block instead of a walk around the golf course asking for another entitlement from less well off, working younger people who have the responsibility of providing for their own retirement. More has been promised in retirement benefits than has been set aside to accommodate the retirement benefits. The least malign way of resolving this problem is reduced pension payments. People should be encouraged not to party their way through life and then expect someone else to pay the freight for a retirement.

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on May 19, 2018 at 8:54 am

        Excellent, and THIS part is clearly the takeawayL

        ” You have better off retirees facing a walk around the block instead of a walk around the golf course asking for another entitlement from less well off, working younger people who have the responsibility of providing for their own retirement. More has been promised in retirement benefits than has been set aside to accommodate the retirement benefits. The least malign way of resolving this problem is reduced pension payments. People should be encouraged not to party their way through life and then expect someone else to pay the freight for a retirement.”

        Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on May 19, 2018 at 4:34 pm

        Yes, “party their way through life ” ……. OR

        “party their way from a retirement beginning at an age in the 50s.”

        Reply

  5. Posted by geo8rge on May 20, 2018 at 8:59 am

    0:20 Rep Neal: “A state on the East Coast where I believe a 119 billion of liability is out there.” Is that state Rhode Island? Seems a bit low for NJ.

    Reply

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