WHEN A GOVERNMENT SUSPENDS RULE OF LAW IT SUSPENDS STATUTES OF LIMITATION!
DO YOU HEAR ANY OF THE MARYLAND CANDIDATES FOR GOVERNOR SHOUTING ANY OF THIS
Regarding the organized theft of public pensions in Maryland:
Private pensions were shed over a few decades mainly by Bains Capital attacks on healthy businesses that gut all of the assets from a corporation and then leave the shell with all of labor contracts to sink into bankruptcy.....we saw Hostess do that just last year. Is it legal to gut a corporation of assets and walk away from any obligations of sending it into bankruptcy-----ALL ON PURPOSE! OF COURSE NOT. NO AMOUNT OF LEGALESE WILL MAKE IT LEGAL TO DELIBERATELY SEND A HEALTHY CORPORATION INTO BANKRUPTCY TO SHED LABOR/DEBT OBLIGATIONS. IT IS PREMEDITATED.
Corporations Are Stealing Pension Funds
- Dylan Ratigan Show - 9/15/2011
Uploaded on Sep 16, 2011
On The Dylan Ratigan Show, Ellen Schultz reports on how corporations are pillaging and plundering employees' pension funds. 9/15/2011
Well, what we see now with public pensions is the same Bain's Capital process only done on government coffers. Corporations gutted all levels of government with massive fraud....left them a shell and now want to shed all labor/debt obligations as they zoom in on the rest of the assets.
MARYLAND IS GROUND ZERO FOR THIS PROCESS. IF YOU LOOK AT STATE AND CITY PENSIONS....THEY WERE ALL SENT FROM THE THEN SAFETY OF THE BOND MARKET TO STOCK MARKET JUST AS THE MARKET WAS TO CRASH IN 2007 JUST TO BUOY THE COLLAPSING BIG BANKS. THIS IS PUBLIC MALFEASANCE AND FRAUD.
So, the 1/2 value in public and private pension losses needs to come back as recovered fraud and the gains from the BULL market of these few years need to be damages claimed. PUBLIC PENSIONS ARE FLUSH WITH MONEY THAT WE ARE WAITING FOR PUBLIC JUSTICE TO RECOVER!
Below you see the source of all of this pension-raiding policy------the neo-liberal Brookings Institute. You know, the group that says....NOW THAT SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE TRUSTS HAVE BEEN RAIDED WITH FRAUD WE NEED TO REFORM THESE PROGRAMS! See the pattern? This group of people are much like the Oracle of Delphi. In other words they are out of touch and full of themselves.
'Delphi is best known as the home of the Delphic Oracle or the Pythia, a priestess of Apollo. The traditional picture is of the Delphic Oracle, in an altered state, muttering words inspired by the god, which male priests transcribed. The Delphic oracle sat on a great bronze tripod in a spot above a crevice in rocks from which vapors rose. Before sitting, she burned laurel leaves and barley meal on the altar. She also wore a laurel wreath and carried a sprig'....or just plain sociopaths
Pensions are fine.....we simply need to recover the fraud and reform a little of the over-zealous deals unions made for their members. What these reforms do is take away health care by sending these plans into the same co-pay/deductible system as Affordable Care Act that keep people from affording to access the care. UNION LAWYERS SHOULD BE IN COURT DEFENDING THESE PENSIONS FROM THIS BAD PENSION REFORM POLICY! This next thing neo-liberals want to do is get those pensions into the stock market to be used as fodder by Wall Street. 401Ks are more easily made fodder than managed pensions funds, although pension funds are corrupt as well. 401k is worse.
YET THAT IS JUST WHAT MARYLAND/BALTIMORE IS DOING WITH PUBLIC PENSIONS-----SENDING THEM TO LOCALITIES WHERE THEY ARE THEN SENT TO WALL STREET. Remember, Wall Street is ready to crash from the same conditions as 2007 only super-sized and it is again all illegal....look where your pension funds are this time......sovereign and municipal debt.
HERE IS THE POLICY BEING PUSHED BY NEO-LIBERALS AND FROM OBAMA, TO O'MALLEY, TO RAWLINGS-BLAKE.......ALL ARE FOLLOWING ORDERS!
Paper | February 26, 2014
Public Pension Reform Series
By: Patrick McGuinn, Patten Priestley Mahler, Matthew M. Chingos and Grover J. "Russ" Whitehurst
In their June 2013 paper, Are Public Pensions Keeping Up with the Times?, Matthew M. Chingos, Grover J. Whitehurst, and Richard W. Johnson reported a $2.7 trillion nationwide funding gap in states’ public pension systems. In two new follow-up papers, Chingos, Whitehurst and colleagues seek to answer the inevitable question provoked by their initial work: What can be done about the rampant underfunding of public pension systems?
Improving Public Pensions: Balancing Competing Priorities by Patten Priestley Mahler, Chingos, and Whitehurst makes a significant contribution to the public pension discourse by providing policymakers and stakeholders with a framework for evaluating proposed reforms to pension systems – even in light of the frequently competing objectives of such systems. The authors begin by defining three essential goals of a pension system: to provide adequate retirement security; to ensure fiscal sustainability; and to maintain/improve public-sector workforce productivity. By analyzing the performance of various pension system designs against these three goals, the authors conclude that a collective defined-contribution plan is best suited to meet the complex objectives of a pension system.
The collective defined-contribution approach to pension reform combines many of the advantages of the defined-benefit plan currently favored in the public sector with those of the defined-contribution plan prevalent in the private sector.
Whereas Improving Public Pensions provides a means by which to evaluate proposed reforms, and identifies an ideal pension plan, Pension Politics: Public Employee Retirement System Reform in Four States by Patrick McGuinn provides actionable policy recommendations for those states that are looking to enact such reforms. McGuinn examines recent pension reform efforts in four states with diverse political climates. Two of the states (Utah and Rhode Island) succeeded in passing significant structural changes to their pension systems, while the others (New Jersey and Illinois) enacted more limited, less innovative changes. McGuinn highlights what activities have and have not been successful in producing meaningful reform, and details a number of recommendations for other states seeking to successfully improve their underfunded pension systems. Key recommendations include:
Avoid turning pension reform into an ideological issue
Enlist a credible and visible reform champion (having a Democrat lead the effort goes a long way towards countering the charge that reforms are merely a conservative attack on labor)
Clearly communicate the reality of their state’s pension liability and demonstrate pensions’ impact on taxes and other state spending priorities, such as education
Sell the benefits of pension reform to state workers (as ultimately in the best interests of pension participants, relative to a system that can’t meet its obligations)
Sell the benefits of pension reform to school reformers
Anticipate and plan for legal challenges
Chicago has a strong labor and justice system of activists and they know a scam when they see it! Maryland needs to recruit these labor lawyers to come in and get our state back on track with pension accountability and government reform! THOSE ARE THE REFORMS NEEDED FOR HEALTHY PENSIONS!
Look at neo-liberals pretending that pensions are the crisis of our time. These are people running as democrats with the sole goal of dismantling all of New Deal and labor gains knowing it will impoverish the very people who elected them. They are doing it only for corporate gain.
Illinois teachers sue to overturn state pension reform
– Blogs On Politics – Crain’s Chicago Business
Two groups representing educators today filed suit against the state\’s new pension-reform law late today, contending that it violates provisions of the Illinois Constitution.
In an action filed in Cook County Circuit Court, the Illinois Retired Teachers Association and the School Administrators Association contend that, by recently voting to reduce cost-of-living hikes and other benefits without the permission of workers and retirees, the General Assembly acted counter to mandates in the constitution that specifically protect pension benefits once someone is hired.
The new measure, which lawmakers said would save $160 billion over the next 30 years, will not take effect until June 30. \”But the law will be in effect\” then, said Chicago attorney Gino DiVito, the attorney for the plaintiffs.
Worker unions have threatened to sue since even before the bill was approved last month, arguing that their members paid what was required toward their retirement and that the state dropped the ball. Even before the suit, the retired-teachers group on its website had been appealing for funds to pay for it.
Both Gov. Pat Quinn and House Speaker Michael Madigan have expressed confidence that the new law is \”constitutionally sound,\” as Mr. Quinn put it in a statement this evening. \”This historic law squarely addresses the most pressing fiscal crisis of our time.\”
But Senate President John Cullerton has been skeptical and has said he\’s prepared to move forward with a more modest proposal if need be.
The case is assigned to Circuit Court Judge Sophia Hall. But whatever she does, the case eventually is certain to be decided by the Illinois Supreme Court.
Illinois Teachers Lawsuit — Heaton v. Quinn
via Illinois teachers sue to overturn state pension reform – Blogs On Politics – Crain’s Chicago Business.
Below we see Zuckerberg doing just as Brookings Institute outlines above. If we check back on these officers in Tennessee to see how it ends for them....I bet they will be shouting loudly at the results. The spin on these reforms does not allow people to know how all benefits will be lost in the coming years.
So, you see a labor leader who reasons that all across the country these pension reforms are happening.....So cost of living increases down by half and worker contributions up by double that amount AND TALKS THE MEMBERS INTO CONCEDING following the Brookings Institute guide to pension reform.
AND THIS IS DESCRIBED AS A COMPROMISE WHEN IT IS A GREAT BIG LOSS FOR LABOR. THIS DOESN'T EVEN INCLUDE THE HEALTH CARE CUTS. THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED IN BALTIMORE. Public pensions are now heading to the in same place as private pensions lost in bankruptcy.
Look at next article to see why what is being said below is not true!
Facebook Helps Chattanooga Earn Employees' Trust on Pension Reform
A Facebook page created to enlighten people about the mayor's "attack" on the public safety pension fund helped change the tone of the conversation and got some employees to actually support reform.
by LIZ FARMER / February 20, 2014 1
Lack of trust from employees is one of the hardest barriers to overcome for those attempting pension reform but in Chattanooga, Tenn., officials think they have found the answer.
It started off with all the animosity one would expect. Last summer, as talk of rising pension costs escalated, an anonymous group connected to the local police and firefighter union chapters created the Facebook page Chattanooga Fire & Police Pension Enlightener in order to educate people about Mayor Andy Berke’s “attack” on the public safety pension fund. As the mission states, the page’s “hope is to dispel myths and half-truths that the mayor's office is perpetrating against the fund.”
At the time, the city administration had started working with a financial consultant to establish a task force made up of public safety employees, retirees, members of the business community and other city representatives to find a solution to the city’s increasing pension costs. The fund has a roughly $150 million unfunded liability and is 61 percent funded according to actuarial figures (80 percent is considered healthy.) In the 2014 fiscal year, Chattanooga’s public safety pension payments took up about 7 percent of its $215 million budget. In five years, costs were projected to rise to $20 million, or 10 percent of the budget with no relief in sight.
Among the Enlightener’s first posts was an invite to interested groups, including “...the [pension task force members] we trust” to request administrative and posting approval. Another early post asked seasoned fire and police members “what are some of the tactics from past fights” used by politicians to get what they wanted?
“There was a lot of misunderstanding on behalf of employees and taxpayers,” recalls Vijay Kapoor, the consultant from Public Finance Management Inc. who helped guide the task force through the process. “There was a lot of concern that the mayor was trying to come in there and gut the pension fund – that we had some fixed plan from the start and that we were going to railroad it through. And that’s just not the case.”
By the beginning of this year, the Enlightener’s posts had begun to take on a different tone. One in January described the plan proposed by the task force as a “good alternative” to what Mayor Berke was expected to push for. Another commentor reasoned that “all across the country have conceded to pay cuts to prevent layoffs and other deep cuts to their benefits.” Individuals have also posted their support for the task force's proposal.
The plan proposed by the task force that will be voted on by the Fire and Police Pension Board Thursday includes an average reduction in pension cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) to 1.5 percent from 3 percent. (Those with smaller pensions see a higher-than-average COLA and those with larger pensions will get a lower COLA.) It also phases in a 3 percent increase in current employee contributions over three years. Those two changes would help immediately reduce the city’s unfunded liability, boosting the pension’s status to about 71 percent funded.
On the labor side, some benefits would actually increase: Widows of retirees would see increased benefits and beneficiaries of those killed in the line of duty would get nearly double their current pension. The Deferred Retirement Option Program, which allows employees to increase their pensions by deferring retirement and continuing to work, was kept largely intact.
The proposed plan is an alternative to sending a more drastic plan out to voter approval. In California in 2012, San Jose and San Diego both sought and won voter-approved pension reforms that immediately brought on lawsuits from public safety unions.
By no means is anyone under the illusion that the proposal has made everyone happy. There are still angry posts by commenters on the Enlightener’s Facebook page and a group of retirees and some active employees has reportedly hired a Nashville law firm to contest the reduction in COLAs.
But with pension reform, there simply is no appeasing everyone. And a history of bad blood between the union and previous administrations didn’t help the city’s case. But what Chattanooga and public safety employees aimed to do is make the most people happy while keeping the plan sustainable for the city.
“We had to earn the trust in particular of the constituency groups who didn’t necessarily trust…what we were trying to achieve,” says Berke. “Their first response was that we were trying to kill the pension fund and take it over because there had been numerous attempts before.”
If the pension board approves the proposal, it goes to the city council for a vote. Berke says the process has been so open and debated he doesn’t foresee any problems with the proposal making its way to his desk for approval.
Officials here believe the process can easily be replicated for other cities considering a more mediated approach to pension changes. After all, Chattanooga got the idea after PFM helped Lexington, Ky. form a similar task force in 2012 that helped reduce that city’s roughly $296 million unfunded pension liability by nearly half.
“This is a tough process and difficult decision for any mayor,” Berke says. You’re talking about benefit issues for people who risk a lot for the city. By same token you have to be responsible knowing that a  percent-funded pension plan is not sustainable. Getting that through to people took a while.”
REMEMBER----THE PROBLEM WITH PUBLIC BUDGETS IS MASSIVE CORPORATE FRAUD AND NOT PUBLIC BENEFITS!
Families impoverished by this massive fraud should have received compensation by now, instead they are being left desperate and forced into pensions and Social Security disability schemes that limit what they get for later. ALL OF THIS NEEDS TO BE REVERSED AS RULE OF LAW SHOWS THAT THESE FAMILIES WERE DAMAGED BY MASSIVE AND DELIBERATE FRAUD.
Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 03:11 PM PDT
Latest Financial "Services" Scam: Stealing Your Pension
by blue memeFollow
You think that after they took your house, and your job, and your personal savings, you've been squeezed dry? You think milking your meager IRA for fees, which nets Wall Street billions every year, would keep the monster fat and happy? You think manipulating every market metric and stacking the deck in every way imaginable would be enough?
Now they're after your pensions, and it ain't pretty.
The financial services industry is wolfing down an ever-larger share of our economy. As a percentage of GDP, they are north of 8%, which may not sound like much, but in a world where interest rates on savings are counted in fractions of one percent, that's a helluva drag on the rest of us. Their take has been rising steadily since the 1950's, when it was around 2%. But the really telling statistic is that they account for nearly a third of all profits.
How do they do it?
Well, there's the scam by which defined benefit pensions got swapped out for IRAs and 401(k)s. There's the mortgage-backed security scam. The MERS scam. The LIBOR scam. And now the ICAP scam (see Matt Taibi's latest, and weep.) You probably know and can recite the litany.
It has all put the average family under tremendous pressure. That pressure has made many people vulnerable. And now comes a new scam specifically designed to separate the vulnerable from their last remaining assets.
A stunning piece in the NYT by Jessica Silver Greenberg lays bare a new outrage:
To retirees, the offers can sound like the answer to every money worry: convert tomorrow's pension checks into today's hard cash.
But these offers, known as pension advances, are having devastating financial consequences for a growing number of older Americans, threatening their retirement savings and plunging them further into debt.
The advances, federal and state authorities say, are not advances at all, but carefully disguised loans that require borrowers to sign over all or part of their monthly pension checks. They carry interest rates that are often many times higher than those on credit cards.
If you are inclined to give the benefit of the doubt, you might say that there are circumstances where such lenders might actually provide a useful service. But then there's this:
A review by The New York Times of more than two dozen contracts for pension-based loans found that after factoring in various fees, the effective interest rates ranged from 27 percent to 106 percent — information not disclosed in the ads or in the contracts themselves. Furthermore, to qualify for one of the loans, borrowers are sometimes required to take out a life insurance policy that names the lender as the sole beneficiary.
I'm long past wondering how these jackals sleep at night.
What will they take when there is nothing left to steal?
LOOK BELOW AT WHAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS DOING TO FEDERAL POST OFFICE PENSION FUNDING AND YOU SEE WHAT WAS DONE ON STATE AND LOCAL LEVELS WITH PUBLIC PENSIONS.....IT ALL INVOLVES PUBLIC MALFEASANCE AND FRAUD.
The US Treasury is empty----that is why they keep saying the government will shut down in debt ceiling debates. Yet, $4 trillion in Social Security and Medicare has been sent to the Treasury and as we see below the Post Office Pensions are there and gone with the wind.
NEO-LIBERALS ARE WORKING AS HARD AS REPUBLICANS TO MOVE PENSION WEALTH TO CORPORATE PROFIT....IN THE POST OFFICE CASE...THEY ARE BUILDING THE HOMELAND SECURITY/NSA NETWORK ALL RUN BY WALL STREET.
This started with Bush but as we know by the empty Treasury....neo-liberals are raiding this public trust as well.
'Congress needed a way to ensure that $4.5 billion kept making its way from the Postal Service to the Treasury. That’s essentially why Congress came up with a plan to frontload the fund with an aggressive ten-year schedule of annual payments of about $5.5 billion. Mandating those huge payments wasn’t simply about ensuring that the Postal Service covered its retiree health care liability (a liability that wouldn’t come due for decades), and the size of the payments wasn’t based on actuarial calculations. The payments were all about making sure that the billions the Postal Service was overpaying into its pension fund would continue to help out the bottom line of the unified federal budget'.
Politicians Raid Postal Service Revenue
October 7, 2011 politicol
October 7, 2011 Updated: Sept 28, 2012
Another raid on government workers even the Post Office is in jeopardy of a major shutdown even though politicians are responsible for raiding their revenues.
The story you hear in mainstream media is that the US Postal Services in running at a loss, losing billions of dollars, needs a bailout, has to fire workers, cannot honor pensions that were paid for by workers and so on.
Politicians Raid Postal Service Revenue
By raiding the Post Office coffers, transferring funds to make the deficit appear somewhat smaller, the accounting just doesn’t add up. We seem to understand who is behind the attacks on government workers since the 2010 mid-terms and that is an all out assault on unionized workers by the Republican Party.
Their aim for two years has been to destroy union jobs, government workers salary, pensions, healthcare benefits and any dues that have been earned by American government workers. The newest negative effect of all this is that now, US postal workers must “Pre Pay” their health benefits in advance? An outrageous policy not replicated in other industrialized countries.
The pre-payment of health care benefits was set up under George Bush in 2006 known as the
Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act
Basically it makes postal workers prepay their own health care costs presumably because in 2006 the post office revenues were already hacked by the Bush administration.
Postal workers have rallied against these new austerity measures and vow to keep fighting this faked financial crisis.There is not one fact that the post office is in trouble financially only it is due to the government raiding the piggy bank. Clearly the aim of this attack is to completely privatize the post office into corporate hands like UPS, or other major mail carriers.
Politicians Raid Postal Service Revenue
If Congress did not keep moving revenues through underhanded accounting procedures back in 2002 again under George Bush, they would have found that the US Postal Service overpaid into the US government pension plan by 80 billion dollars. That was 9 years ago. If the post office was self-sufficient in providing it’s operating revenues, pensions, healthcare prior to 2002 the and that 80 billion dollars was returned to their balance sheet the repair to the health care prepayments would be solved.
Congress has created the problems of the post office by emphasizing a negative campaign that has been fabricated for the goal of scrapping the US Postal Services by privatization for corporate lobbyists.