ROBBING RETIREES TO PAY FOR PORK
Retirees and government workers in Illinois got completely screwed by their legislators and city officials. Illinois, retirees pension benefits are in such desperate jeopardy that many retirees in their late sixties, seventies, and eighties have to find jobs in order to pay the rent, buy food, or put gas in the tank. Who’s hiring people in their eighties in this god-awful jobs market? Not even fast food joints want these elderly people flipping burgers, making fries, or working the register.
Here’s what happened. For years now, legislators in Illinois have raided retiree’s pension accounts to pay for all sorts of pork that’s important to people in their districts and ensuring that they’ll have a good chance of being re-elected. At the same time, they failed to fund the pension system which the law required them to do. Thus, Illinois has a pension shortfall of 100 billion dollars. Remember too, that government employees also paid into this fund as well. Now their money, and the dough the state was supposed to put in, is gone. So what does the legislature do? They pass a strict pension reform law that severely cuts benefits to those people who were counting on their pensions to help them survive after they left the job market. In other words, the same thieves who stole the money to pay for pork have cut the pensions of elderly people who had no idea this was going on. The 100 billion dollar deficit isn’t a result of retirees living longer or looting the system. It’s the swindlers who were elected to office that robbed the bank, the same bunch that’s now taking it out the people who need desperately these pensions.
Detroit is in the same predicament. Those who make the laws, the rules, and the regulations screwed retired city workers by slashing their benefits. Once again, they raided those funds and never put the money back in and failed to fund and honor those crucial financial agreements. Michigan law does not offer “bulletproof” protection for employee benefits. The money yanked from the pension funds will be used to pay pennies on the dollar to creditors and put up new streetlights and improved garbage pick-up while retirees stand in the breakdown lane and starve to death.