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Monday, December 27, 2010

Union Pensions, Taxes and the Implosion

What is the first sign of catastrophic fail? Where is the moment of epiphany? At what point does the general public look up from the television, the sports page, the sly motel rendezvous and realize that they are the targets of a government gone berserk?

For a long time now the readers of this blog and the others where I post have seen it coming. They know it is just around the bend. The squealing iron wheels shattering the silence of night as a prelude to the impending crash has been on their mind. Every light has seemed to be a train rather than an opening in the dark tunnel of despair.

Would the ATF come get their weapons? Would Napolitano declare them "domestic extremists" and follow that pronouncement with armed action against them? Would there be an economic collapse, drawing everyone into the fray at once? Or, would the government be more clever than that? Would the government pick us off piecemeal so that there could be no unified action with which to push back?

The latter assumes that government is smart, or that it is trying to avoid the confrontation. Today, I listened to Senator Coburn from Oklahoma describe the dire cuts that will need to be made in the budget, that everyone knows that Social Security cannot remain as it is, that Medicare cannot remain as it is. Oh, they will protect the elderly and infirm already on the roles. That is a given, but everyone else, they will have to tighten their belts. And then came the coup de grace, the government employee union pensions and what to do about them. What to do about them?

As if the gate swung open and I heard the rider shout "Let 'er buck!" I heard the instantaneous sound of someone's rectum slam shut. That is the rub. Will we starve our children so that public employee unions can be given that which they were promised? They earned it, they worked for it, it was agreed to by our governments to pay them this pension. They are counting on it. Should they not be made whole? Should GM not be made whole? Should Citibank not be made whole? It is, after all, government money to do with as they please, right? RIGHT?

Or, do I dare suggest that it is our money and that the government had no right to allow unions into the public coffers in the first place; that the owners, the management, (US) would not get a seat at the table when those negotiations were taking place? What we have is a broker, who has no skin in the game, bargaining with a group of employees to divide up the spoils of those who make and create and produce. They decide, behind closed doors, what to pay and how and when the plan falls apart and the payments cannot be made, who do they look to? Who must make the payments good? US.

Okay, so I don't go too far off the beam here, keep in mind, these people deserve the pensions they were promised. They deserve the negotiated deal. The question remains: at what cost? There is no money left to pay them. In the coming weeks you will hear a lot more about this than you ever thought possible.

Were this a private situation the company would shut down and the owners would be bankrupted to pay for everything possible. The people who deserved those pensions would be out of luck. This is why it is to the benefit of every employee to do one's best to make the company profitable. The government would look at them and shrug: "Too bad, there is welfare, you know and food stamps." "When do you collect Social Security?"

That is not the way it works with government or its employees. Print money, take from the rich, take from the middle class, if necessary, just get us our money. You promised. Property taxes, sales taxes, ownership taxes, vehicle taxes, taxes, taxes, taxes. It is easy to solve that problem. It is the private sector employee who gets nothing but a shrug.

Tomorrow, they will condition you to understand that they can't throw all of those people out into the cold, it is inhuman. There will be protests from every public sector union in the book, every acronym will be deployed. The government can't have that. It would be unseemly. They will take from our accounts, from our savings, from our grocery account, from our fuel allowance, from our tuition savings, from our heat bill money and we will be told to tighten our belts, that to leave these people without funds would be an injustice. And it would, but they do not see the injustice of the correction of the injustice?

We are not even people to them, we are small little ATMs that they might tap when necessary. Never on a whim, you understand, only when necessary and so little even at that. Surely, all of you wealthy private sector employees wouldn't miss some trivial amount to save these people from destitution would you? Of course not, why that would be insensitive.

Now it is yours to decide what to do about it. Do you starve your family to make good on their promises? Or, do you rise up against it and make these governments pay what they can afford and not a penny more?

Cross-posted at WASHINGTON REBEL.

4 comments:

  1. Good post T.L. I agree with your premise about the unions not belonging in the public sector 100%.

    You're right about the private sector when their pension plans become more than the company can manage. They declare bankruptcy and creditors are first in line. Employees are "sucking hind tit" as it were.

    Have a Happy New Year, Mike

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  2. T.L.,Great post! The Govt has put us all in the trick bag once again.The Govt employees should get there pensions.. They were promised this through their contracts.I as a late 40 something was promised Social Security,I have been paying in for years now they want to raise the retirement age.. Um Ok This is renegotiating our contract!? Well if its good enough for us!Should be good enough for all. If these clowns would stop wasting our money there would be enough for all of us! And IT IS OURS!

    China
    III

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  3. Excellent post.

    Remember that "other" Janet? Janet Reno? Waco Janet..... Ruby Ridge Reno. She was a wacko, too. Janet the 1st and Janet the 2nd. Scary. Napolitano is every bit as dangerous as Reno was. Perhaps more dangerous.

    Will they come for our guns? Imagine the cost.

    I just read today that 80% of all the taxes collected in California go to pay the legacy benefits of their public sector workers. Whoa! (That may have come from Coburn's speech. Don't remember. It doesn't surprise me thoughm being California and all...)

    We already know that public sector workers make more than their private sector counterparts. A lot more.

    My personal feeling is that no public sector worker should ever make more than the average worker doing a "similar" job in the private sector. And unions for government employees? They should be abolished. They aren't needed. They hold the people that pay their wages hostage. That's wrong. Non-performers? Get rid of them.

    Just my thoughts. :)

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  4. Robbing Peter to pay Paul.

    My mother used to say to my father - "Hey, loan me $20 bucks. But, only give me $10. Then, I'll owe you $10, you'll owe me $10, and we'll be even."

    Why does that sound so familiar? Needless to say, we don't agree on much. Especially politics.

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