As if it was necessary to point out that Detroit’s problems were liberal ideology driven and self inflicted, we get information like this about the city of Detroit’s pension problem:
I’m rarely speechless, but I’m having trouble putting my emotions into words after reading the latest report on the Detroit pension situation. Now, I admit it: I’m kind of naïve. Usually when I see an underfunded pension, I think to myself “poor pensioners — undone by a combination of stupid tax rules, volatile stock markets and mismanagement by trustees who tried to restore depleted fund assets with an investment approach you might call ‘desperate optimism’.” Thus, I was not entirely prepared for the new revelations about the Detroit trustees’ custom of handing out annual holiday “bonuses” to workers, retirees and the City of Detroit. Between 1985 and 2008, they handed out roughly $1 billion this way. Had they been invested, one estimate says those funds would be worth almost $2 billion today — or more than half the current shortfall in the funds.
These “bonuses” were used to lower the contribution the city was required to make, to give retirees a little something extra around Christmas time, and to fund individual savings accounts that workers are offered along with their pensions. In 2009, when the financial markets were completely frozen and the automakers were shotgunning through the bankruptcy courts, the pension trust paid 7.5 percent interest into those accounts — which is about 7.5 percent more than they would have gotten at a bank. This while the pension funds were busy losing about a quarter of their value.
I literally slapped my forehead while reading some of the explanations that the trustees offered for their behavior. The spokesman for the trustees has the nerve to complain about the actuary’s report that outlines these wild deviations from sanity. Here is how she justified draining the pension fund assets:
She said that the trustees were administering benefits that had been negotiated by the city and its various unions and that they had established an internal account to set aside “excess earnings” that would cover the cost. She said it was appropriate for retirees to benefit from market upturns because they had paid into the pension fund, so their own contributions had generated part of the investment gains.
“People were having a hard time, living hand-to-mouth, and we thought we would give them some extra,” Ms. Bassett said.
Get that? The poor people of Detroit, over paid, underworked because of the union racket, and in general likely to do with their own private budgets exactly what their government is doing with theirs, live hand to mouth! So we need to do more shit that encourages them to be even less fiscally responsible. Now our feds are handing more of our money to these same criminals, to help them out, of course. What could go wrong this time, huh?
And can you imagine the trustees of a private company’s retirement fund management team saying shit like this and not looking at massive jail time? Well, if said trustees were not huge democratic party donors, that is. I tell you that today’s problems, the real big economic ones, for sure, seem all to be government created or exacerbated.
No wonder that the left seems so desperate to destroy the private sector, as soon as possible, so we have no other choices. And their solution is always to take more from the productive to piss down that bottomless progressive hole. It doesn’t matter how insane and broken what the left is doing is, the leftists tell us the solution is not to stop doing what they are doing, but to do even more of it. Even monkeys in experiments showed enough acumen and intelligence to stop behavior that caused them pain. For some reason leftists however are lacking this simple instinct.
For people that claim to care and be empathic, it is quite a surprising thing to note how blatant it is that dogma and ideology come before everything, even the pain/death of everyone, including themselves. Know what I am saying?