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View Diary: Protecting Social Security: Let's Tell The Deficit Commission Not to Slash Entitlements (261 comments)

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  •  No; any pension for an employee is part (9+ / 0-)

    of their compensation package. If you're looking for an analogy, the employer (the state) passed the cost onto the customer (the taxpayer).

    Social Security is a wage insurance plan; completely different legally and morally from an employee (public or private) pension plan.

    Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

    by Robobagpiper on Thu Aug 12, 2010 at 03:10:54 PM PDT

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    •  How is it not Welfare or Rose by any other. Name. (1+ / 0-)
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      The employee is contributing a small percentage of what he will eventually extract, with the taxpayer in many cases covering the rest.

      In NY, I recall reading that the pension fund is woefully underfunded, having realized an average return over the last 10 years of about 4% (yet, the state hasn't fired its investment manager, go figure).

      What should the state do at the point it can no longer make payments to retirees?

      (i) Solicit welfare via increased taxes on NY residents.

      (ii) Tell its retirees that it simply can't meet its obligations

      You may not want to admit that public sector employees receive welfare, but anytime the pension fund solicits taxpayer funds to meet its obligations....


      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project.

      by PatriciaVa on Thu Aug 12, 2010 at 03:17:52 PM PDT

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      •  Whatever. None of your digression (8+ / 0-)

        has anything to do with a dedicated mandatory government-managed wage and disability insurance program, and attempts from both left and right to resolve general budget issues on its back.

        Resolve general budget issues in the general budget.

        Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

        by Robobagpiper on Thu Aug 12, 2010 at 03:25:03 PM PDT

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      •  You are actually quite wrong (9+ / 0-)

        Historically, government workers are paid, on the average, less than their private industry counterparts.  In order to attracted talented people, it was necessary to create certain benefits to attract those workers.  Among those benefits was the defined benefit retirement package.

        Government workers essentially got deferred pay...less pay now but a stable retirement.

        If government worker retirement is welfare, then so is everyone's paycheck.  The fault does not belong with the government worker but with the government itself for not setting aside the money.

        Repubs - the people in power are not secretly plotting against you. They don't need to. They already beat you in public. (Bill Maher)

        by Sychotic1 on Thu Aug 12, 2010 at 04:34:16 PM PDT

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      •  IT IS NOT WELFARE (1+ / 0-)
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        and shouting won't make it so.

        The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. --Bertrand Russell

        by denise b on Thu Aug 12, 2010 at 08:56:22 PM PDT

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      •  Your definition of welfare (1+ / 0-)
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        "Something someone else gets that I do not get".

        Pensions and health benefits are part of a compensation package offered to an employee.  The fact that some of the compensation is deferred does not make it something other than compensation.

        The problem is that estimates of how the pension funds would grow were way off the mark.  This is partly due to the fact that our elected representatives have been fiddling with pension funding regulations for years and for many years allowed pension funds to anticipate much higher returns than anyone thought they'd actually get.  Couple that with the recent meltdown of the financial sector and you have a pension disaster in the making.

        The blame for the current bunch of underfunded pensions can be placed squarely at the feet of congress and Wall St.  Blaming the employees who were promised pensions as part of their compensation is petty and ridiculous.

        It's also ridiculous to try to overcome these shortfalls by making other suffering working Americans pony up the difference.  But of course, attempting to make Wall St. and the banks pay for this failure will never happen.

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