The Cost of Inaction: Why Congress Must Address the Multiemployer Pension Crisis

After decades of inaction, tomorrow morning the Subcommittee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, spurred by worried retired mine workers, is scheduled to hear from these witnesses:

  • Mr. Joshua Shapiro
    Vice President, Pensions
    American Academy of Actuaries
    Washington , D.C.
  • Ms. Mary Moorkamp (again)
    Chief Legal Officer
    Schnuck Markets, Inc.
    St. Louis , MO
  • Mr. James Morgan
    Blue Island , IL
  • Dr. James Naughton (again)
    Assistant Professor of Accounting Information & Management
    Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University
    Evanston , IL
  • Mr. Glenn Spencer
    Senior Vice President
    U.S. Chamber of Commerce
    Washington , D.C.
  • Dr. Charles Blahous
    J. Fish and Lillian F. Smith Chair and Senior Research Strategist
    Mercatus Center at George Mason University
    Arlington , VA
  • Ms. Mariah Becker
    Director of Research and Education
    National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans (NCCMP)
    Washington , D.C.

 

15 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by skip3house on March 6, 2019 at 9:57 am

    And, this time will be better…..?

    Reply

  2. Posted by Tough Love on March 6, 2019 at 1:39 pm

    Let it fail ………….. the Taxpayers were NOT a party to the Union/Employer pension arrangement and Taxpayer-funds should NOT be used for a bailout.

    Miners get SS and those who cannot meet basis needs for food, shelter, clothing, healthcare should be required to do exactly what similar Private Sector workers in a bad financial situation (but NOT belonging to a Union seeking an unjust bailout) would have to do …. seek out Public assistance.

    NO BAILOUTS !

    What would assuredly follow a MEP bailout ? Demands for similar bailouts from the Public Sector MOOCHERS as their Plans fail.

    Reply

    • Posted by Laura Caporino on March 6, 2019 at 9:13 pm

      The employees that are losing their pensions earned it as much as anyone who contributes to their 401 plans. They gave up raises to provide for their futures. They were GUARANTEED their pensions until s bill was passed that pulled the rug from under them. They worked all their lives for it. The government has money for illegal immigrants, poor countries, disaster funds, falling banks and car makers but not senior citizens. DISGRACEFUL!!!!

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on March 6, 2019 at 9:21 pm

        Quoting ………… “The employees that are losing their pensions earned it as much as anyone who contributes to their 401 plans. ”

        Taxpayers had ZERO to do with this pension arrangement. Taxpayer should NOT be bailing out it’s failure.

        Quoting ………. “They gave up raises to provide for their futures. ”

        Same response as above

        Quoting ………… “They were GUARANTEED their pensions until s bill was passed that pulled the rug from under them.”

        Guaranteed by whom ……. cretainly NOT the Taxpayers.

        Quoting ……….. “They worked all their lives for it.”

        Has NOTHING to do with the Taxpayers.

        Quoting ………… “The government has money for illegal immigrants, poor countries, disaster funds, falling banks and car makers but not senior citizens. ”

        The Gov’t wastes a great deal of money, and we certainly should NOT be ADDING TO that waste by making Taxpayers bailout something (MEP PLans) with which they had ZERO association.

        Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on March 6, 2019 at 10:04 pm

        “Which means that, to a real degree, however unpleasant it may be to contemplate a bailout, Congress owns this problem.”

        A tale of two multi-employer plans,
        Elizabeth Bauer Nov. 27, 2018

        Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on March 6, 2019 at 10:19 pm

        “There seems to be a high likelihood that future generations will have to bear the substantial burden of making up pension benefits for previous generations of state employees. While citizens of states that are particularly hard-hit by the pension crisis may be able to escape to other states, an acceleration of this demographic phenomenon would leave a dwindling taxpayer base behind in the states facing the largest liabilities. This would increase the likelihood of a federal taxpayer bailout in which taxpayers in all states would bear the burden of the states in default. The problem of state and local pension liabilities is therefore a problem for all US taxpayers, not just those in the states with the largest deficits.”

        Josh Rauh

        Reply

        • This would increase the likelihood of a federal taxpayer bailout in which taxpayers in all states would bear the burden of the states in default. “
          Mr Rauh is 100% wrong.The Congress, in which there are two Senators from EVERY state, will NEVER, EVER, not in a bazillion years, backstop gold plated retire at age 50 with $100K/year/COLA adjusted state pensions for states like IL, NJ or CA. Never. Ever.

          Reply

        • Posted by skip3house on March 7, 2019 at 5:20 am

          Was about to comment, but see Tough Luck/Love, etc. have said it all.

          Reply

    • Let it fail ………….. the Taxpayers were NOT a party to the Union/Employer pension arrangement and Taxpayer-funds should NOT be used for a bailout.
      ==
      I understand your thinking. However I do wonder if it is worth backstopping a small portion for the poorest of these pensioners.

      Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on March 6, 2019 at 10:54 pm

        YES!

        From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!

        Oh, wait.

        Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on March 7, 2019 at 7:53 am

        They are already “back-stopped” via the (small) PBGC guarantee, their SS, and the availability of Social Service.

        That’s the “backstop” (w/o the PBGC element) for most low-income non-union Private Sector workers. There is ZERO justification for Union members (e.g., MEP participants) to get more……….. and CERTAINLY not from Taxpayers that had NOTHING to do with their pension Plans.

        Reply

  3. Posted by stanley on March 6, 2019 at 6:15 pm

    I’m curious to know who came up with the thread title. A year or so ago I thought that Butch Lewis had no chance and the worst case was additional funding for MEP PBGC. Now, I have to admit that it wouldn’t surprise me if Butch Lewis did pass. When the deficit is already $1,000 billion, who can say that another $50B or $100B isn’t affordable? Anyone with a reasonable sense of fairness can argue that what can’t be delivered to all should be delivered to no one, IMO.

    This is one perfectly fine mess. There should be a diabolical genius behind it all pulling strings and laughing out loud.

    Reply

    • Posted by Surf Puppy on March 6, 2019 at 10:39 pm

      What has changed your mind on the Butch Lewis Act?? Nothing has changed. It will never pass. The Senate will never pass it and I predict even if it did make it out of the Congress Trump would not sign it. John questions my thinking on Trump’s position, but do you really think Trump will bail out blue state/majority Democrat private union members?? No way. They are not his “constituents”. Never were, never will be! Trump will not help them. Look at the SALT taxes on CA and NY. WHY do you think he did that?? Pay back baby 🙂

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on March 7, 2019 at 7:56 am

        While the Public Sector Plans in the most trouble are mostly “blue”, I believe that the States with MEP issues are mostly “red”.

        Reply

      • Posted by stanley on March 7, 2019 at 8:19 am

        “What has changed your mind on the Butch Lewis Act??”

        I am hoping that it does NOT pass, but the state of politics, the number of democrats who are all almost certain to vote for approval plus some degenerate Republicans, you know RINOS from the affected region. I don’t believe that there will be any significant concern for limiting spending until we are confronted with an extreme crisis. They only need four Republican senators to cross over and who can say what Trump’s position will be? Not me, certainly.

        Another poster gave some very strong arguments not for passing Butch Lewis but for whacking many bailout and welfare programs. A lot of tar babies out there!

        Reply

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