Friday, May 22, 2009

Teachers' Unions Attack On Capitalism Bites them in the Butt

Taxpayers really need to educate themselves on public pensions and teachers pensions. In most cases teachers or the school district will contribute 5 - 9% of a teacher's annual salary to a pension fund. Once retired, teachers typically take 75% of the average of their highest three years of salary as a pension annually. The difference between these two numbers is to be made up by investments and/or taxpayers. Teachers will probably withdraw all that they put into the system in the first three years of retirement. With retirement age so low they could be collecting a pension for 40 years that is a lot of money that needs to be made up by taxpayers and investments and once you multiply that by the millions of teachers you can see what an economic mess the unions and taxpayers are in. These pensions were designed in a way that only doomed them to failure how one math teacher could not see this is beyond me, school boards and legislators across America should be ashamed of themselves for ever enacting such a dreadful pension system, but so goes greed and pandering.

Teachers', SEIU members, etc., will be getting what they deserve, ultimately there is no way governments will be able to pay these pensions out many States and Cities will have to go bankrupt. These pensions should have been stopped years ago but greedy union people and the politicians who pandered to them never did the right thing.

The following piece appears on American Thinker. Be sure to check out the American Thinker site to see the links in the story and the comments.


How's that attack on capitalism working out for teacher unions?

May 21, 2009
How's that attack on capitalism working out for teacher unions?
Jack Kemp
A number of reports are making their way into the press about how various teachers' unions are being hurt by the drop in the stock market. It is realistic to assume that the leaders and many, though not all, members of the teachers' unions are liberal Democrat Obama supporters. So, let us see how it is going for them.

The Minnesota state teachers pension fund is hurt badly by the drop in stock prices - and they want a government bailout. I gather they aren't members of the Ayn Rand Institute.

Some quotes from Twin Cities' own Star Tribune:

Through their Education Minnesota labor union, retirement association and education lobbying organizations, they're asking the Legislature for between $207 million and $223 million over four years to restore their pension fund to economic health. The proposal, part of the overall pension bill making its way through legislative committees, won't kick in until 2011, an acknowledgment that the money simply isn't there this year. ....

"It's just astonishing how tone-deaf Education Minnesota is, how they are pushing this now," said Mark Haveman, executive director of the Taxpayers Association (which is not connected to the Taxpayers League of Minnesota). ....

"It's not doable; we don't have the money," said Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont, and the sole Senate Republican on the Legislative Commission on Pensions and Retirement. "That doesn't just make Republicans nervous. I've seen a lot of DFLers squirm. It's really the problem child in that entire pension plan."

Brian McClung, spokesman for Gov. Tim Pawlenty, said the governor's office is still examining the pension bill, but added that "we've got a multibillion [dollar] deficit to solve, so this isn't a year to tack on big amounts of additional spending."

Meanwhile, in New Jersey, the teachers pension fund is "closer to insolvency," losing "$2.6 billion" in the last fiscal year, according to this April article. There is talk of not being able to pay out full benefits in the near future. To quote the article, "The increase in the deficit, like the overall shortfall, is due largely to stock-market woes and the state's failure to pay the amount it owes into the system this year and for years before."

And in neighboring Pennsylvania, the teachers pension fund lost $20 Billion from June 2008 to March 20, 2009, according to Page 5 of this PDF file report from the Pennsylvania Public School Employees Retirement System. The fund is invested 19.9 percent in stocks and 14.2 percent in Real Estate and 20 percent in foreign stocks, according to Page 3 of this report.

And also in neighboring New York City, the NY Post reports that:

"The city faces potentially catastrophic costs of up to $43 billion from recent pension investment losses, which threaten to drain the municipal budget and put taxpayers on the hook for years.

Recent market losses have left massive gaps for city taxpayers to plug -- $15 billion from Fiscal Year 2008, and an estimated $28 billion from 2009 if the pension funds dip 20 percent as feared, officials told The Post."

New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania all voted for Obama. Be careful what you wish for.

Meanwhile, in Alabama, where Sen. McCain won the vote, there is this press release about a Federal Election Commission complaint against the NEA, concerning teachers' money being funneled to political donations. I'm going out on a limb here and assume it wasn't an NEA donation to the Ron Paul or John McCain campaigns.

'Washington, DC (January 13, 2009) - The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation announced today it will file a formal complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) asking it to investigate charges made by two Alabama educators who discovered a union scheme to divert their money into the National Education Association's (NEA) political action committee (PAC).

Claire Waites, the chair of the science department, and Dr. Jeanne Fox, an assistant principal, both work at Daphne Middle School in Bay Minette, Alabama. Waites and Fox are both members of the Baldwin County Education Association (BCEA), Alabama Education Association (AEA), and NEA teacher unions.

In July 2008, Waites and Fox attended the NEA's annual convention in Washington, DC, as delegates of the BCEA. By telephone, BCEA union president Saadia Hunter informed Waites and Fox that contributions to a "children's fund" in their names were made from money included in their expense reimbursements for their trip to the convention.

Although Hunter told Waites that these contributions were not political in nature, they actually went to the NEA's PAC, the NEA Fund for Children and Public Education.

Later, Hunter admitted that the money would be contributed to Barack Obama's presidential campaign. Sworn statements by Waites and Fox indicate that the AEA union boss also admitted that the PAC contributions were paid with BCEA members' dues. However, it is illegal for unions to contribute to political candidates using "dues, fees, or other moneys required as a condition of membership in a labor organization." '

A leftist I casually know recently was informing me a week ago that he saw a television report of a poet being invited to the White House and he thought this so much culturally better than the previous White House resident's years. Perhaps it was - for the White House resident, but not necessarily for his supporters around the country. I brushed off his remark and changed the subject. The mainstream media reports news of the Chrysler bankruptcy and General Motors pending bankruptcy and auto industry layoffs, but none of this impressed him. And I can't help but wondering that while Pres. Obama enjoys his $100 a pound steak, shortly travels to Las Vegas (after shaming other CEOs not to go there on business trips thus has and endangering Harry Reid's chances of reelection), that all these teacher pension fund losses are a type of poetic justice for those who no longer teach basic economics and characterize all businesses as polluters and exploiters.

There is an old saying in New York. A conservative is a liberal who got mugged. We will shortly see what kind of effect a huge mugging at the pension office and at the grocery store (as their dollars buy less) has on liberal teachers.

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