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Broken Promises: Pensions All Over America Are Being Savagely Cut Or Are Vanishing Completely

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How would you feel if you worked for a state or local government for 20 or 30 years only to have your pension slashed dramatically or taken away entirely?  Well, this exact scenario is playing out from coast to coast and in the years ahead millions of elderly Americans are going to be affected by broken promises and vanishing pensions.  In the old days, things were much different.  You would get hired by a big company or a government institution and you knew that the retirement benefits that they were promising you would be there when you retired in a few decades.  Unfortunately, we have now arrived at a time when government institutions and big companies have promised far more than they are able to deliver, and “pension reform” has become one of the hot button issues all over the nation.  Many Americans that have been basing their financial futures on their pensions are waking up one day and finding that their pensions are either gone or have been cut back dramatically.  According to Northwestern University Professor John Rauh, the latest estimate of the total amount of unfunded pension and healthcare obligations for state and local governments across the United States is 4.4 trillion dollars.  America is continually becoming a poorer nation and all of that money is simply not going to magically materialize somehow.  So where is that 4.4 trillion dollars going to come from?  Well, either pension benefits are going to have to be cut a lot more all over America or taxes will need to be raised dramatically.  Either way, we are all going to feel the pain of these broken promises.

There simply is not enough money out there to keep all of the pension commitments that have been made.  Something has got to give.  In the end, millions of elderly Americans will likely be plunged into poverty as pensions disappear.

Some local governments around the nation are already declaring bankruptcy and are either eliminating pensions or are cutting them very deeply.  Just check out what just happened in Central Falls, Rhode Island….

For years, city officials promised robust union contracts and pensions without raising revenue to pay for them. Last August, the math caught up with them. Central Falls was broke, its pension fund short $46 million. It declared bankruptcy.

“My daughters grew up here, went to school here. It’s all gone,” said Mike Geoffroy, a retired firefighter.

He said he could not make the payments on his house after his pension was cut by $1,100 a month.

When will the math catch up with the city where you are living?

For years and years most of our state and local politicians have been ignoring this problem.  But eventually a day comes when you simply cannot ignore it any longer.

Check out what Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward said about the situation in his city recently….

“When our annual pension liability is more than our yearly property tax revenues, we have to do something”

Keep in mind that taxpayers don’t get any new services for money spent on pensions.  It is money that goes straight into the pockets of retired workers.  State and local governments are desperately trying to pay retired workers what they are owed and fund ongoing government functions at the same time, but many have reached the breaking point.

All over the country, state and local governments are going broke.  The following is from a recent article by Duff McDonald….

Alabama’s Jefferson County has actually gone bankrupt. Stockton, California is all but ready to do the same. And all you have to do is look to Detroit—or any of the nearby auto towns named after a Buick model of one sort or another—and you see fiscal crisis playing out right now. Look in your own backyard—or at the potholes on your neighborhood roads—and you will likely find the same.

Things are so bad in Stockton, California that they are actually skipping debt payments….

The city of 290,000 that rode the wave of the housing boom in the late 1990s and early 2000s now finds itself littered with foreclosed homes, saddled with pension, health care and other obligations it can’t afford, and unable to pay its bills.

The City Council voted last month to suspend $2 million in bond payments and begin negotiations with bond holders, creditors and unions.

And did you notice what is being blamed for the financial problems in Stockton?

Pension and healthcare benefits.

Sadly, we are seeing pension nightmares erupt all over the nation right now.

For example, check out what is happening to the Public School Employees’ Retirement System and State Employees’ Retirement System in Pennsylvania….

PSERS had an accrued unfunded liability of nearly $26.5 billion, the amount of money the fund is short to cover existing retirement benefits. That hole is expected to grow to $43 billion by 2019. SERS is $12.5 billion in the red, and that shortfall is expected to climb to nearly $18 billion by 2018. Unless the stock market makes giant sustained gains, taxpayers will have to refill those funds.

That doesn’t sound good at all.

In California, the Orange County Employees Retirement System is estimated to have a 10 billion dollar unfunded pension liability.

How in the world can a single county be facing a 10 billion dollar hole?

This is madness.

The state of Illinois is facing an unfunded pension liability of more than 77 billion dollars.  Considering the fact that the state of Illinois is flat broke and on the verge of default, it is inevitable that a lot of those pension obligations will never be paid.

In fact, there are going to be a whole lot of broken promises all over the country.

Pension consultant Girard Miller told California’s Little Hoover Commission that state and local government bodies in the state of California have $325 billion in combined unfunded pension liabilities.

That comes to about $22,000 for every single working adult in the state of California.

So where is all of that money going to come from?

But at least most state and local government employees are still covered by pension plans, even if they are failing.

In the private sector, pension plans are vanishing at lightning speed.

According to the Boston College Center for Retirement Research, the percentage of workers in America covered by a traditional pension plan fell from 62 percent in 1983 to 17 percent in 2007.

That isn’t just a trend.

That is a tidal wave.

And many of the private pension plans that still exist are massively underfunded.  For example, Verizon’s pension plan is underfunded by 3.4 billion dollars.

So what should Americans do in light of all this?

Well, the number one thing to realize is that the pension plan you have been counting on could disappear at any time.

We live in an economic environment that is extremely unstable, and about the only thing you can count on in this environment is rapid and dramatic change.

Do not plan your financial future around a pension plan.  If you do, you are likely to be bitterly disappointed.

Americans that plan to retire in the coming years should do their best to try to fund their own retirements.

Unfortunately, most Americans are not putting away much of anything for retirement.  As I have written about previously, one study found that American workers are $6.6 trillion short of what they need to retire comfortably.


Over the next 20 years approximately 10,000 Baby Boomers will be retiring every single day.

A lot of them are going to be blindsided by empty pension funds and broken promises.

We are facing a retirement crisis of unprecedented magnitude, and there is not much hope in sight.

And if there is a major stock market crash, things are going to be much, much worse.

Most pension funds and retirement plans are heavily invested in the stock market.  If we were to see a major financial crisis like we saw back in 2008 it would be absolutely devastating.  Millions of Americans could see their retirement plans wiped out in short order.

Once again, please do not place your faith in the system.

If you do, you are likely to end up holding a bag of broken promises.

A gigantic tsunami of unfunded pension obligations is coming.  A lot of state and local governments are going to go broke.  A lot of promises are going to be broken.

If you hope to retire any time soon, you better plan on being able to take care of yourself.

  • JohnMc

    I have a big quibble with this report as good as it is. Its premised on the idea that a promise was made to do X that was broken. Well yes it was, but it was a false promise. In the public sector the Pols rationalized it was cheaper to sue for union peace rather than battle it out for a sustainable contract back at the beginning. The Pols knew they would not be in office when the SHTF, so lets kick it down the road shall we? The same has happened with the likes of GM and Ford.

    The fact is the promise for the given payouts were broken the day they were signed. There was no way there were sustainable when they were agreed to back in the 70’s and 80’s. So the problem was not born yesterday.


    • mark

      You are right. I have a brother in law that worked for a big city in California. He never produced anything of value. Pushed useless paper for years. He retired at $5,500 a month with another $2,000 in social security a month. The system cannot pay for these pensions and continue to pay more employees for government services. As taxpayers are we responsible for the fraud commited in return for support from public sector unions? I say no!

    • Save the Republic

      You are right. And the politicians knew they wouldn’t be around when it came down. Hopefully some of them are still alive, so that when all of these people realize who stuck it to them, maybe they’ll band together in force and extract vengeance on them. Sounds like justice to me.

      • Witness the End

        Or pee on their graves!

        • comnenus

          Tracking down their descendants and punishing them would be more effective.

      • “Hopefully some of them are still alive, so that when all of these people realize who stuck it to them, maybe they’ll band together in force and extract vengeance on them.”

        Oh, heck. I say we should find the dead ones, dig up their graves, and publicly desecrate whatever remains.

        Right after we either re-name or destroy every damned ship, building, highway, airport, and other porkulus project named after any politician, starting with George (“Whiskey Tax”) Washington.

  • Tim

    The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) is a federal agency that insures private-sector defined-benefit pension plans. For fiscal year 2011, PBGC reported a deficit of $26 billion! In other words, its liabilities as a result of private plan failures exceeded its assets by that amount. This is the largest deficit ever reported by the agency since it was created in 1974.

    • Michael


      Very good point you added there.

      All of these pensions are being backed by a federal agency that is bankrupt. 😛





        This is a non-story. If the far rightwing of the war party hates socialism so much then they should be completely opposed to some government agency called the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) backstopping private sector pensions at taxpayer expense…………….

        • Gary2

          and not condone the private sector business that cry bankrupt in order to shed their responsibilities and put them on the gov.

          I thought the free market was against socialism for corporations?

  • Gary2

    So where is that 4.4 trillion dollars going to come from?

    Tax the rich hard and spread the wealth!

    Tax the corporations hard and spend their wealth to get demand going.

    Tax the greedy to help the needy.

    I spent my weekend in the inner milwaukee organizing for the dems.

    I ask the crowed” The republicans say you have it pretty good compared to the poor in other countries”

    Their response-the Republicans can go ************ themselves!

    I tell the crowd-the republicans want your kids to be janitors so they can give tax cuts to the rich, the crowd says the republicans can go to hell. I said-they already are going to hell as they are selfish scum who caused the depression we are in now. All I need to do is point out what the conservatives actually say to make my point.

    The right is going down so hard! I love it.

    Guess how many of these folks are voting repube??? thats right none.

    • Michael


      Do you actually believe that the Democrats are going to save America?


      • Cinderella Man

        Yes he does. Delusion runs deep with that man!

      • Gary2

        WAY more than I believe conservatives will save America. Its not even a close call. I would rather we really have a progressive party and not be stuck with the usually too conservative dems but I can work with the dems. I can’t work with conservatives. They are a cancer that needs to be discarded. You do not work with a tumor.

        I truly see that 95% of what is wrong with this country as caused by conservatism/repubes. Their selfish (how many times do they use “I” in their posts)and sickening I got mine screw you give the rich a tax cut supply side BS deregulate everything mantra is what is wrong with this country.

        Come to the inner city and food pantry with me and ask the folks if the rich need more tax cuts. You will probably not make it out in one piece. There is real anger out there and it can be used to destroy conservatism hopefully for a generation like FDR did in the 1930’s. Yep-old newt wants poor kids to be janitors [and clean up after the rich kids]. Oh yeah the right is going down hard.

        The best thing for America would be a hard left move and I and MANY others are seeing to it as best we can. What did you do to take back your country last weekend. How much community organizing did you do? None?? good cause I and the other progressives will be cleaning your clocks.

        • I hope and pray that the right is going down hard. Every day something happens that exposes their sickening, corporatist, selfish corruption.

          I don’t believe that the Democratic party as it stands right now, is even close to “the answer”, but as Gary says, I can work with them. I would like to see something far, far more radically green and left and SOCIALIST in place.

          • gary2

            Finally someone who makes sense! good in-site!

        • Witness the End

          You’re correct Gary! We conservatives should be discarded. Just give us 5 states with one decent port, seal off the borders and let us live by our own conservative laws.

          • gary2

            the blue states way support the red states. This is a fact you can google for yourself.

      • Rowell

        Neither party can save America. Neither of them have the political will or the testicular fortitude to do so. The writing is already on the wall, in big bold neon letters.

        • Jerry

          Actually commenting on the far left democrat “progressive.” When you blue staters are starving to death don’t come to us red staters. Oh wait, all you progressives think that food and meat come from supermarkets.

      • Paul


        neither the Democrats nor the Republicans will do anything about it.

        You really need to get away from your one-party/two-wing system.

        There isn’t much difference between Dems and Reps. One raises the debts and the next takes our more loans.
        One starts a war and the other extends it and sacrifices more soldiers.

        The best thing would be to bring all the soldiers home and have them clean the cities and care for the elderly.
        That way the cities can save money as the soldiers are paid anyway.

        Just think about all that money wasted on campaigning. That money should be put into schools instead. Fix the schools and pay tradesmen (keep them employed).

        Or tax all contributions to political parties with 90%. And that money shall go to homeless pensioners.

      • View from Abroad

        “Do you actually believe that the Democrats are going to save America?”

        Most probably not – but with the pace the candidate quality is deteriorating on the republican side…well, if they ever decide to continue “The West Wing” with a republican president, they will most likely have to offer the role of POTUS to Charlie Sheen.


        Michael, Gary2,


        Neither conservatives or liberals will save anything except their own rear ends. The globalst pigs will be sitting off-shore on their private islands and yachts While you two sit around on the deck of the amerikan titanic arguing which side of the war party is going to do what, while its sinking………….

    • Kevin2


      4.4 trillion? It’s not coming from all of your ideas. The entire US GDP is 14 trillion. You can’t get blood from a stone. Sure levy a billion dollar tax on a corporation that makes 50 million profit and let me know how you make out. It’s called killing the goose that laid the golden egg.

      The US is loosing 500 billion per year (compounded) to foreign virtual slave labor. There lay the problem and the solution.

      • Gary2

        if you squeeze hard enough you may get some water.

        Also we need to TAX THE RICH and spread the wealth. Don’t believe the right wing lie that you can take 100% and only make a small dent. All BS. there is so much money and wealth at the top there is MORE than enough to fix our problems.

        tax the greedy to help the needy. BTW saying that is a wonderful way to defeat the give the rich more tax cut repubes not only because it is 100% true but because people can see that every dollar that is cut in programs that help them goes to some rich Mother Fucker who already has too much at their expense. This whole austerity is gonna cause the entire country to erupt. There are way more of us (poor) then their are of them (rich)

        • Benjik

          Gary, your use of the term “Mother F***er” may be commonplace at your rallies, in your home and around your children, but it is absolutely uncalled for in a public forum. My children, among others, enjoy reading this blog and do not need to be subjected to such profanity. If you can’t make your argument without resorting to profanities maybe it’s time to reassess your strategy.

          • Saq

            I doubt seriously your children read blogs about pensions and economic doom and gloom…. so grow the ****** up.

        • Kelly

          Gary, you’re Scary.

        • Big Bear

          Only problem with that is, the super-rich get most of their wealth from manipulating a system they control. Fiat money not backed by anything except faith in a system. Tax them at 100% and you will discover the emperor has no clothes.

          What it boils down to is people with 3-digit IQs are supporting those with 2-digit IQs. Maybe if the poor didn’t spend so much on drugs, they wouldn’t be so poor, and the brains might function better.

        • John W.

          Gary most of your heroes in the Progressive actually Regressive camp are very wealthy Pelosi, Boxer, Kerry, Clinton, Kennedys just to name a few. Are not the Rocerfellers Progressives? How can that be “O deluded one”? Are you not a very confused person for posting the drivel that you do? You should get some help especially since you yourself were at one time quite well off according to your own narrative. All the bitterness is destroying you.

    • Barn Cat

      You certainly know how to spread lies and hatred. You’re the perfect example of a Democrat: all emotion and no rational thought. In the past people like you were Nazis in Germany or Communists in Stalinist Russia. People like you are dangerous. You make the world a worse place. You want to keep black people on that democratic plantation that’s kept them enslaved for the last 50 years.

      • Gary2

        another right wing nut call it communism if you do not understand it. No surprise here.

        • Mal R.

          fascism or communism – the difference is pretty slight and I think it’s YOU that doesn’t understand it.

          Explain why you’re on here day after day after day whining about bailed out corporations by YOUR President and then ask for more of same with your redistribution of weath nonsense. You think that money is coming your way? Uhhhhhhh, not so much. A pittance for your slavery there tuff guy.

      • Rowell

        Republicans and democrats are two sides of the same coin. Neither one is better than the other.

      • You seem to be a master of lies and hatred yourself. That’s the most ignorant comment I’ve seen today, Barn Cat.

        • gary2

          there is a study out of Canada proving conservatives are not as smart as the average person. I think that by reading the comments on this site one can see that the study is 100% correct. The depth of conservatives ignorance is astounding.

          • Jerry

            Astounding, I wonder who did that study? Probably the same guy writing the book that informs us that obuma is a perfect human being and his failures are everyone elses fault.

    • nowwthen

      Where is this inner Milwaukee where you spent your weekend organizing for the Dems? Obama’s approval dropped to the lowest it’s been since he took office while you were there. Nice job Gary! Keep up the good work.

    • Paranoid

      Only a cruel fool will be happy about this, you think your poor Dem friends are gong to somehow get their pensions, Yeah, the Repubs are going down, In the same bonfire as the Dems and when the food stamps won’t buy bread, the poor won’t eat. And just who cares, who gets blame; starving kids cry the same. You are an idiot

    • David

      So, when your socialist utopia finally takes root it will look much differently than the Soviet utopia of the mid 20th century? No, sadly it will look the same and enslave its people to a hopeless future.And, by the way, when you want to change that system, be sure you have a gun, because one will be pointed at you to make sure that you do not make waves.

    • So your going to plan on taxing the rich for 4.4 trillion?


      To pay back 1 trillion at $1 per second it would take you 32,000 years to pay it back & thats without interest.

      There is no amount of taxing that will cover 1 trillion let alone 4.4.

      Your mad & dont have a clue as to how bad the problem is.


    • Daniel

      This is joke, right?

    • chris

      I don’t know what brings a crazed Statist like yourself here. Few, if any, people on here care to hear your crazed ramblings and bumper sticker slogans. Most also don’t appreciate your constant inflammatory remarks directed at religion. In many cases your disgusting remarks are pointed directly at the proprietor of this very blog who is still gracious enough to approve your hateful comments. Please just go do your “community organizing” in Chicago amongst the other Bolsheviks, you have no audience here.

      • Gary2

        I am trying to bring some sanity to this blog. It is so unbalanced and tilted to the right it is amazing. Plus I know Michael can do better than cater to the lowest common denominator which he does on a regular basis with his right wing slant. Michael-pill head bimbo is going down, why follow him off the cliff??? National ads were pulled from his show today.

        Given the caliber of many of the comments I read I am not succeeding. You can bring a horse to water but you can’t make them drink.

    • doug

      If democrats ran the country unabated, we would have gone bankrupt 20 years ago! Atlas will shrug and the unproductive leeches will drown.

    • alinnj

      spoken like a true socialist — look at where the socialist nations are — no better off than we are …you offer false hope — your solution is that of a simpleton — do you really think you can fix all of this financial abuse ( caused by both parties) just by clubbing successful people over the head? this method has been tried before ( lenin, castro, chavez ) look where those nations ended up —

      • gary2

        you must have missed the Scandinavian countries who are beating the USA in most every category.

    • BL10

      Gary go to a repub rally and see how many are voting dem none you were preaching to your choir silly

    • Witness the End


  • Barn Cat

    Government pensions are way too high. They’re obscene. NOBODY in the private sector has pensions anymore. They have 401ks that they have to contribute to. Government pensions are bankrupting the country at all levels of government.

    • Tim

      The federal government’s liability for federal employee and veteran retirement benefits is the second largest liablity on the Consolidated Balance Sheet of the U.S. Government. As of September 30, 2011, that figure was $5.8 trillion! The largest liability is the publicly held portion of the national debt. Curiously, the intragovernmental portion of the national debt is not shown as a liablity on the Consolidated Balance Sheet. I used to be a government accountant, but I still don’t undertand why this is. 😉

    • goldnguns

      “NOBODY in the private sector”??? Uh, hello, UAW, IBEW, ALPA, etc are all private sector unions. The cost to support the UAW pension and healthcare guarantees to you – the buyer of a Ford truck let’s say – is over $12,000. For every vehicle sold.

  • Rain23

    This is really awful. These people, like the Social Security recipients, got money taken from their paychecks and supposedly the reward for that was to have a retirement income and medical coverage.

    My mom paid in for 25 years to the same company. She even took her bonuses in company stock that was supposed to pay a small dividend when she retired (at 72). Supposedly for her years of service to the company her medical plan was grandfathered in and she would get 100% coverage. Her pension was a set amount without increases for inflation, but it was enough for property tax, food and groceries, and whatever small things she needed like books or a new sweater (We are not in the yacht-owning class).

    Now the coverage has dropped to 70%, most places in town don’t even accept it, and there’s a huge deductible of $3,000 per year. She is so terrified that her pension payments will be cut that she won’t get her cataract surgery “In case I have to pay property taxes, I can’t lose the house.” Reading and being on the computer were the things she really enjoyed and was looking forward to in retirement. Now someone has to tune the radio so she can listen to it. All those books she looked forward to at the library are just a blur.

    Her pension and insurance isn’t something negotiable. She had a contract and fulfilled her part of it. The stocks she bought I understand are worthless now. But she paid into that pension and medical at the maximum amounts for years. If a private person tried this, it would be called fraud. Why isn’t it so for the big companies? How can they get away with sneaking away with the profits while not paying their obligations?

    • Gary2

      gotta love capitalism, NOT!

      • Mal R.

        See, there you go again calling our system capitalism. Proof positive that you dont understand what you’re talking about. Capitalism would have allowed for bankruptcy and we a small fraction of the debt we have. What we have is socialism and fascism and keynesian economics. These are what you pine for tuff guy.

        • gary2

          socialism for the rich. crapitalism for the rest of us.

          • Malcolm Reynolds

            You mean this country isn’t BURIED in Medicare, Medicade, Social Security and Welfare, endless types of sick, lame and lazy disability payments? You mean it ALL goes to the wealthy? Huh, WHO KNEW!? You are delusional and you’re little communist agenda is going to wash this country in blood – including yours at the hands of your masters.

    • JasonD


      You should have a look at n-acetyl l-carnosine eye drops for the cataracts.

    • justamom

      Rain23, I am sorry about your Mom. This is a difficult situation.
      Thank you for your posts in recent articles. You have good insight.

  • Benjik

    Considering the U.S. economy is entirely based on debt, this should come as no surprise. Besides, the financial markets are on fire and jobs are once again plentiful, obviously we have nothing to worry about….

  • deadby2020

    ALL the money has been STOLEN, get it…?

  • David Gurney

    Even if they have to squeeze the taxpayers to their last drop of blood,the bondholders must be paid,as states could never again borrow.Besides,many retirees have their entire net worth in municipal bonds because income is needed.

    • Save the Republic

      It’s never gonna happen. There is a point where maximum tax revenue is reached when taxpayer’s incomes aren’t going up. Any more tax, and the revenue will actually start falling, i.e. raise sales tax, people spend less, raise property tax, people go into foreclosure, etc. If they don’t have the money, there will have to be some kind of default, at least partial.

  • I just had this conversation with my 73 year old mother-in-law. I explained to her that the Social Security Act of 1935 planted the seed for the entitlement mentality we see today. One which unions public and private have leveraged to maximize the promised benefits to their members.

    The sin is not that we cannot pay these benefits, but that we promised to pay so many people so much money for so long that they have lost sight that they alone are responsible for their own welfare. Economists have been telling us since I was in college in the 80s that Social Security and government pensions would not be there so those of us under fifty have been fairly warned.

    Whether benefits are reduced or paid in full using inflated money, the end result is the same – less buying power for those who rely on others for their well-being.

    • Anthony

      Social Security is not an entitlement, we paid into it. The entire problem stems from selfish **cks at the top of the corporatist food chain, not the people who did good by “the company” for decades expecting to get the retirement they were TOLD they were going to get.

  • Ken Nohe

    Interesting how reality can catch up with us quickly. My wife lost her pension 5 years ago and never invested in one personally so I guess we will have to stay young forever 😉

    It is the “others” I am worried about! Somehow they haven’t managed the trick and are getting old by the truckload claiming ever more benefits of all kind. Here in Japan it is even worse than in the States, a disaster of epic proportion waiting to happen. But amazingly, the worse it gets, the less people want to hear about it. Raising such worries has almost become impolite in society. Somehow people cling to the hope that “things” will sort themselves out: Well, it is definitively not what history teaches us!

    • Ken Nohe

      I have been thinking of running to the hills since the Tsunami last year, but most hills are volcanoes around here: HELP!


    • Mal R.

      You mean you recognized that there’s something wrong with our system (you’re here), and you’ve left your money in someone else’s hands? Take the hit and get it out while you still can.

  • William

    Govt employees are about the only ones with defined benefit pension plans, with the addition of some union employees. The rest were left with self financing their retirement with 401K/IRAs. How neatly big corporations shifted the responsibility of retiree income from the corporations to the individual employee.

    • Gary2

      with the addition of some union employees

      This is why we need the employee free choice act and heavily unionize these scum bag service sector jobs. Walmart can pay way better living wages. Make it easy to unionize, stick and close lots of their stores and they will come around. The Waltons have enough money. Time to give back. If they will not voluntary then the gov can simply take (repatriate) their ill gotten exploit [people wealth. Its not theirs anyway they stole it from the workers.

      • Witness the End

        … simply repatriate the peoples wealth…

        I think Karl Marx came up with that idea. So far, I don’t think it worked out too well for those countries who tried it.

    • JustanOguy

      I did not realize it was somebody else’s responsibility to provide retiree income.

      Since I’m self employed… does that mean I’m responsible for saving money / investing for my own retirement?

      • Gary2

        another selfish conservative. I got mine so to hell with you. Nothing new here.

        • Malcolm Reynolds

          You mean YOU arent selfish for wanting to FORCEFULLY take from someone what they have EARNED, and they are selfish for wanting to keep what they HAVE earned? That’s an interesting take on things. Delusional…

    • Tim

      Ah, but there’s more! Most federal employees hired after January 1, 1984 are covered under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). Under FERS, federal employees have a three-tiered retirement plan. First, they have a defined-benefit pension. A retiree’s monthly benefit is based on the number of years of service and several other factors. Secondly, they can contribute to the Thrift Savings Plan, a tax-deferred retirement savings plan similar to a 401(k). Thirdly, federal employees covered under FERS pay into Social Security, so they are entitled to those benefits when they retire!

      Pretty good, huh? Not so fast, my friend. First of all, as I commented earlier today, the federal government has a huge liablity for federal employee and veteran retirement benefits. As of September 30, 2011, that liability stood at $5.8 trillion! How much of that $5.8 trillion does the federal government have invested? Zero. It’s an unfunded liability. Regarding Social Security, the federal government has promised way more than it can afford to pay. The unfunded liability for Social Security itself is in the trillions, and it grows every year. I’m in my 30s, and I personally don’t expect to see any of the money that I’ve paid into the system. As far as savings in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), federal employees have several options as to how those funds are invested, including several equity funds, a bond fund and a Government securities fund. Personally, I withdrew my TSP money after I separated from federal service as I felt that it would either eventually be confiscated or become worthless when the dollar fails.

      So, federal employees today, like most Americans, are in a very precarious situation regarding the future.

  • PatriotOne

    They (the governments) have a plan. By cutting pensions and healthcare to seniors they will in affect be exterminating seniors. Of course one of their problems is that government employees retire at a much younger age than the typical private pension employee at 65. By age 65 most government employees have been retired 10 or 15 years. What gives government employees the right to make up to 60% more then the civilian doing the same type of job and retire early at 55?

    Forgive me if my heart doesn’t go out to government employees. Oh did I forget to mention that most government employee pensions are also tied to the CPI for cost of living adjustments.

    Governments have gone wild and now they are going into a self preservation mode. Let the Tyranny begin!!

    • Gary2

      corporate profits are at record highs. Corporations need to pay gov benefits and wages and not have gov lower itself to the ************ private sector.

      Stop the race to the bottom.

    • Save the Republic

      I agree, it’s ridiculous that government employees can retire after 20-25yrs, getting paid for potentially more years than they actually worked, while the rest of us that are currently working will probably not even be able to completely retire at all. All the time we will have to work so they can retire early. Aren’t government employees supposed to serve the people, not the other way around?

  • Antonio Gonzalez

    Now you know because the printing money is going to Wall street,
    to fill the pension fund big hole.

    But how many time Bernanke can do that?

    1, 2,3…..5,….10 years, I don’t think so.

  • Tatiana Covington

    And you were expecting what?

  • Kevin2

    There is plenty of money to pay for all of these pensions. The problem is not a shortage of money but rather a shortage of money with value. Your pension is $3000 per month? No problem it’s just a gallon of ink and a yard of paper away.

  • El Pollo de Oro

    Michael T. Snyder writes: “Unfortunately, most Americans are not putting away much of anything for retirement.” No, they certainly aren’t. The vast majority of Americans who work in the private sector these days don’t even have pensions, and good luck saving for retirement if you are self-employed. Many small business owners like myself have SEP IRAs. If profits are down (which is likely given that The Banana Republic of America is in a depression), that means that you are contributing less to your SEP. And to make matters worse, the ridiculously low interest rates of 2012 mean that IRAs are earning a lot less interest than they were in the past. There are no bailouts for small-business entrepreneurs in the BRA, only the oligarchy’s foot up your ass.

    But hey, at least angry, bitter, cynical, jaded Gen-Xers like myself were able to put generous amounts into our retirement accounts during the prosperity of the 1990s, when interest rates weren’t so painfully low and more profits meant more money going into our SEPs. Gen-Y didn’t have that advantage. As I’ve often said, Gen-X got screwed by the fascist oligarchy that runs the BRA; Gen-Y got screwed even worse. And Gen-Z will no memories at all of a time when the former USA wasn’t the Third World banana republic it has become. I thank God I never have kids (being a self-employed workaholic isn’t conducive to family life) because it would be absolutely heartbreaking to watch them grow up in this hellhole.

    Michael also noted that “if there is a major stock market crash, things are going to be much, much worse” because “most pension funds and retirement plans are heavily invested in the stock market.” Very true. And for those who are avoiding the stock market like the plague, those ultra-low interest rates aren’t exactly conducive to a comfortable retirement if your IRA consists of “safe” investments like CDs.

    No doubt about it, the future looks unbelievably grim for
    The Banana Republic of America, collapsing empire of the Third World. Anyone who is optimistic about the future of this Third World horror movie is truly insane.

    • JustanOguy

      Right with you as a self employed person myself — getting the shaft due to the Baby Boomers pissing away all of the wealth this country used to have and replacing it with IOU’s.

      To add insult to the injury, Now we get screwed even more having to pay more for everything due to printing up money to pay the interest on all of that debt.

      Oh well… at least a house or two are paid off.

  • Game Over

    expect nothing, lose nothing…

  • Eva

    Yes, I don’t think anyone under 30 can plan on a pension upon retirement and in our family we’re planning accordingly. We’re not even willing to work in highly fiscally irresponsible places.

    • Mal R.

      Eva, It’s interesting that your first blog post is about freedom and then at the end you sorta hint that you’re in the bag for Romney. Surely you know that he’s a command economy guy too?

  • Robert

    I am a state worker and I am required by law to contribute 7.25% of my gross income into the state pension fund. It BETTER be there when I retire!

    • Save the Republic

      I suggest you form a militia.

    • Paul

      Well, in Germany, people have to contribute 10% to the retirement fund and another 7% to the health insurance, and pay 30% tax.

      Their employer has to pay 9% into retirement and another 8% into health insurance.

      But profits tax is lower than income tax.

      In Hong Kong profits tax is higher than income tax, medical treatment ispaid from tax, nobody has to pay into medical insurance, mandatory contribution to pension fund is max £1,000 per year.

      In Hong Kong the state is swimming in money, Germany like all other Europeans are swimming in debt.

      • Mal R.

        “In Hong Kong the state is swimming in money”

        I’m going to venture that you dont understand what you just said or you’ve never been to Hong Kong. The STATE may be swimming in money, but the people arent. Go look at the western side of the island or around the airport on the Kowloon side. p.o.v.e.r.t.y everywhere.

  • Cinderella Man

    Its very depressing as a young person to think about retirement planning. Most jobs dont offer 401ks let alone pension. Just look at the Greeks. Those people are pissed off because their govt. failed them, the same thing is going to happen to us!! Austerity is in the works, people. Obama is going to spread the pain around next year make no mistake. Some of my Dad’s friends are absolutley terrified of the thought of season 2 of Life With Barry. They know that the end for them is soon. Why do you think gun sales are at record highs!! Smart people know which way the wind blows. Get ready for the ride of your life 2012 has only begun!!

    • Save the Republic

      Yes, if Obummer gets in again, he will have no need to continue the charade of “recovery”, since he will be a lame duck president.

    • JustanOguy

      The Greeks elected the Government they deserve.

      The common theme in all of this mess is that people relied on other people to take care of them — and paid them handsomely to do it.

      As a young person — take the time to read “The Richest Man in Babylon” and apply the rules. Own thy own home, (That does not mean carry a mortgage for life — pay it off), buy assets and not liabilities. Screw the 401K nonsense — take that contribution and apply it to paying off the mortgage first.

      Most of these Baby Boomers that are financially screwed got that way because they pissed their money away. What other country has all of the RV’s we do? (Just one example of many.)I can’t tell you how many people I come across to help financially that cashed out the equity in their homes to go on vacations, pay for crap, etc, etc…

    • Paul

      If you wear yourself out before reaching retirement, there is no need to plan much.

      Here some tips:
      – extreme sports;
      – smoke;
      – get a motorbike;
      – work overtime, like 60h per week unpaid;
      – buy a gun;
      – eat;
      – eat more;
      – participate in eating contests;
      – alcohol and other drugs, get drunk every day;

      • Michael

        Paul that list is too funny 🙂


    • Kelly

      I’m personally of the opinion that all of the things we are discussing that are going to fall apart around us will continue to be artificially held up until AFTER the elections… Once Obama is re-elected (God help us), then the SWHTF. So my bet is the real deterioration begins in 2013 when they finally let go of the rope that’s been wrapped around our nation and dangling off an economic cliff…

  • James

    Some government employees have paid into the Social Security System, before or after their service with the government has ended. However, due to some laws that forbid “double dipping”, they can’t get money from both systems at the same time. They have to take a loss from one of those systems. An example would be if a person worked for an employer in the private sector for 15 years, and worked 15 years for a government entity. that would be a total of 30 years. But, he can only use one or the other system which would only allow him to take a percentage of 15 years worth of payments, which are deducted from their paychecks, not the whole 30 years. This would put him/her at a retired living level far below poverty levels. Why not let the former government employee use both systems, and lower the burden on the local or state retirement systems?

  • TucsonKK

    Raid(STEAL) Pension Funds to pay BONUSES and Pay Increases to the top 1%. How about raiding to pay Bond Holders.
    This is what is happening( read about this several months ago).

  • mondobeyondo

    So much for the concept of a comfortable retirement playing golf, shuffleboard, bingo and going on cruises. That was the 20th century retirement idea. It is dead. Kaput. Muerto. There will be no “retirement” in the years to come. The majority of seniors in the future, if they haven’t properly prepared, will be living hand to mouth, eating cat food as a luxury meal.

    This is the 21st century.
    You want to play golf and go on cruises today? Get a job at Carnival Cruise Lines. When you arrive back “home”, get a weekend gig at a golf course. Do you have a desire to travel and see the world? Get a job as a flight attendant, or join the Peace Corps or military. (Take that, Expedia!)

    Life ain’t what it used to be. Adapt, or die…

    • Save the Republic

      The 21st century retirement home….pine box at potter’s field.

  • M

    Where I came from boomers only hired other boomers and or their immediate family members for cushy .gov jobs. So personally I find it .999 comedy gold, that all these big and small incestous nepotistic pieces o ***** are going to get a long overdue and richly deserved falcon punch from reality ). This is for the most part a boomer problem since anyone under age 50 is not going to see a dime of what they were promised. Reap what you sow and all )

  • tappedops

    Ohhh… you mean everything all the truthers have been preaching since 2004 is all true… ya dumba$$ simpering, lisping ,MPR listining, limp-wristed yuppie scum-dumba$$es— its all true, and thanks to you and the rest of your dumbed down floride head, classicly educated , mind-controlled, TV headed morons, well all be slaves till the end of time… “let your chains sit lightly on you”

  • tappedops

    and dont you dare 86 that… the perps need to see it… thanks MR M

  • MichaelR

    The next major downturn in the economy will wipe out everything.

  • Sid Davis

    Your pension is the debt of some business or government. When this debt and the other debts of these businesses and governments become so large that it is impossible to be paid, you lose. Such is the penalty for relying on promises or professional liars.

    Even what we think of as our money is just the debt of banks; so what will happen when the banks can’t make good on what they owe us?

    The best retirement plan is what worked before we were tricked into relying on businesses and governments to take care of us in our old age, and that is family. Unlike businesses and government which have no genuine personal interest in our welfare, our family should.

    If you have land where you can get firewood, grow fruits and vegetables, raise livestock, and have a working water and sewerage systems, and you have family close by that loves you and is willing to return to you the support that you gave them during your working days, then you have the best retirement plan possible. A stash of real wealth like tools and real money wouldn’t hurt either. This idea that we can quit working at age 65 and sit on our butts is a delusion that was fostered by the energy driven economic expansion which is now a thing of the past.

    We need to face the reality that we can’t be taken care of in our old age by businesses and governments, and those who don’t see that are doomed as this article so clearly warns.

  • SpiderMonkey

    It will definitely be interesting. Government employees are screwed, they will be used up until the last check bounces. Taxation and wealth redistribution will not work, once it begins the wealth will hide and then the alleged beneficiaries and cheerleaders will be left out in the cold.

    I have been reading this site and the comments for some time. I can understand that fellas such as Gary have been through a rough time. However his calls for government sponsored theft is both impractical and ill advised. Any move in this direction would crush capital investment and destroy remaining jobs. The fallout could cascade into anything from civil unrest, civil war, food riots, the break up of America, the final destruction of the dollar, massive famine, …fill in the blank.

    The confidence in the system is failing, these are not the normal times that will tolerate extreme government action. There is no support for such things presently. It is unfortunate that some call for such events to occur.

  • Erik

    We also need to remember the system was set up this way to bankrupt us by the rockefellers and the house of Rothschild. No rational mind would allow a system doomed to failure to take root unless it had backing from powerful interests. The one world govt. may be closer than we think. People will accept anything in the panic that will ensue. Including the mark of the beast.

    • Elainee P.

      The One World Government is already here. Obama is governing America by the United Nations Laws now. He is going around our Constitution and Laws and not one idiot Democrat or Republican in the Congress, Senate or House will do a thing about it. Obama should have already been impeached for what he has done. The majority of Americans do not even know what is coming. They will soon find out.

  • Gary2


    Yep folks this is the republican congress hard at work creating jobs, NOT

    Texas Voter ID Law Blocked By Justice Department

    Here in WI an injunction against drop out gov alec inspired voter ID passed.

    Don’t the stupid repubes know that the independents are watching them ?? they are going down so hard so fast! Ha Ha Ha

    I hope gog and magog eat the repubes!

    • Witness the End

      Great example Gary!

      It takes only two liberal judges from one county to stop a law, even though over 70% of Wisconsin citizens favor voter ID, a law that passed through the State Senate, Assembly and was signed by an elected Governor.

      Fortunately, these two judges will be over-ruled by the State Supreme Court, but not in time for the Dems to fraud one more election.

      Again, Gary is showing us another fine example of a few elites ruling over the vast majority.

      • gary2

        the lawyers in our group said the supreme court in WI will have a hard time overturning the injunction. Given the rank corruption and voter fraud from the walkershaw election dolt that got prosser appointed nothing would surprise me. The repubes overreached but seeing as the gov was a drop out he is not smart.

        Texas also had voter ID blocked.

        ALEC agenda is going down.

      • gary2

        Plus all the studies shop that voter fraud is a right wing myth and no cases can be shown to happen.

        • Witness the End

          I wish I had a dollar for every fraudulent vote.

          Hell, give me a dime for every fraudulent name on the recall petitions. Let’s see… 400,000 give or take a few 10,000 names.

      • Malcolm Reynolds

        Gary2 would have been someone narcing on underground railroad slave escapees. “Back on the plantation with you, we cant you thinking you have a right to something”

  • OH NO

    So who’s paying for the pensions for your local, state, and goverment politicians? your tax dollars are we should eliminate their pensions first because they’re the ones that created these deficits, no politician should get a pension unless they put in 25 years, but they won’t give up their pensions that easily.

  • grandpa

    Spread the wealth… It costs alot to keep body guards..

  • Paranoid

    Forget all the venom, It will do you no good. Everyone on this page was told for years: “SS and pensions wouldn’t be there for most of us.” I admit, I didn’t think the FED would shaft us so bad just to save the bankers. This Zero interest is killing anyone who does save. The stock market cannot possibly return enough. I’m 62 and have enough. Complaining will not help. GET READY FOR WHAT”S COMMING. I have a small Gov pension, I expect it to go away, I expect my Bank account will pay no interest, and inflation will kill it, Bitching about it will not fix it. NOTHING will fix it. Revolution and hanging the Bankers, May stop it from going on forever but “IT WILL NOT BE STOPPED!” Bills must be paid or defaulted, They Cannot be paid! What are you and yours doing to survive it? Everything else is hot air, Washington will provide all we need of that. And no I’m not going to provide recommendations, I have no desire to share the Earth with the Stupid.

    • mondobeyondo

      But we were told Social Security would be solvent until at least 2041. No need to panic. Then the government said 2037. If there’s anything the government is good at, it’s lying to the people.

      The whole thing will go belly up before 2020. Medicare and Medicaid, too.

  • Solomonpal

    And that’s just average Americans hitting the pavement. What happens to the super entitlement crowd…when the food cards don’t recharge anymore, section eight payments dry up. It’s going to get ugly.

  • Nats

    What most people seem to miss is that these pensions and retirements were never to be paid out. The system has been rigged from the start and had to be brought down before anyone could retire and enjoy benefits. The money junkies have for decades have made off with a little at a time to enrich themselves for the day. Now that the tab is close to comming due there had to be a reason why all these peoples life savings could not be removed from the plie that they werent a part of in the first place. We all have been had.

    • Tim

      “What most people seem to miss is that these pensions and retirements were never to be paid out.”

      There are many retired Americans who worked in the private sector or the public sector (government) who receive pension benefits. My mother is retired and she receives pensions from her former employers each month. My maternal grandfather, who’s deceased, worked for Westinghouse, retired and received a pension until he died. My paternal grandmother worked for the The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company (A&P), retired and has been receiving a pension for many years.

      The problem is that many pension plans are underfunded today, for various reasons, and public and private-sector organizations cannot make good on the promises made to retirees.

  • luis


  • luis


  • Materialistic Weasle

    The elephant in the room everyone seems to be missing is that over the last 100 years or so you could invest monety virtually anywhere and get a decent return. Now you can’t investit ANYWHERE and get a decent return – how can pensions work in that environment ? until suicidal policies such as ZIRP and QE continue we are screwed

  • JustanOguy

    All Ponzi schemes eventually come to an end..

  • Gary3

    I am constantly amazed at how many retirees fear their mortgage payments. I thought that having your house paid for was the first step toward retirement, which is a fairly new concept in itself. How did we get the idea that the last 1/3 of our adult life was going to be a paid vacation?

    • mondobeyondo

      Relying on your paid-for house to help fund your retirement works fine – as long as your house doesn’t lose value…

      All those people screaming, “But I thought housing prices would rise forever! That’s what my realtor told be in 2005!”. Surpriiise, surpriiiiise! What goes up always comes down.

  • How many people don’t know that our pensions are in trouble?

    This is just one more symptom of the decline of America. The decline of an empire is the start of a very dangerous period. Look at what historian Niall Ferguson has to say in Foreign Policy Magazine:

    “Economic volatility, plus ethnic disintegration, plus an empire in decline: That combination is about the most lethal in geopolitics. We now have all three. The age of upheaval starts now.”

    What’s the solution?

    Forget America, Immigrants With A Dream Are Moving To Chile

    Take what’s left of your pension and move to Chile. Start buying and storing gold in Australia at the Perth Mint.

  • Robert G. Mac Donald.M.D. retired

    Sad—Very sad. RGM

  • NUF

    Re: So what should Americans do in light of all this?

    How’s about bending over and kissing your a$$ goodbye?

  • dave
    • dave

      If you google for “Catherine Austin Fitts On Genocide and The Looting of America” then you get to the link. You see why people are “living their money” as one contributor put it. And you see why this will get worse until something is done.

  • Lots of pension plans are also invested in treasuries. That money is already spent by by you know who.

  • Jodi

    The way I see it we are all screwed. It’s time to prepare whether you have a pension or not. American’s need to wake up!

  • Peter

    The real problem, as I see it, is this – People are out living their money. Whether it is savings, a pension, or social security. None of which was designed for people to live longer than 3 to 5 years after retirement.

    When I was in my 20’s (1070’s) I remember people retiring from their jobs and they were dead within 6 months to a year. Today – people with advanced medical technology and life expanding programs are living longer.

    I have run my own biz for now a good 40 years, and have no plans to retire at anytime soon. Okay, I am not living in luxury – running a biz today is a hand to mouth existence, but I make my way thru the world, and pay my bills, with no help from the outside. In order to do this, I found a niche to work in, and stay in my corner. It isn’t fancy, or glamorous. It is a hard day to day drudge – but – it pays the bills.

    If you ask me, the real reason people are afraid to die, is science has triumphed over religion. People say one thing, (having strong religious beliefs), but in a dark corner late at night KNOW that there is nothing more than this existence. Ask the scientists.

    In the end, they keep on hoping the promises of religion will some how win out – there will be some deliverance from their woes. This has always been the drive behind religion – keeping the masses in line, under the iron boot of the state, hoping for something “better” after they die – give up everything for the rich / the state / for their beliefs, and get some big reward for doing so when they return to the other side.

    Only problem? Dead men tell no tales.

    Nobody ever comes back from the dead and tells of the glorious reward they got for living in poverty so others could live in luxury. AND THEY NEVER WILL.

    Live each day to the fullest, expect NO rewards when you finally do pass, and fight for your place in the sun. Work for yourself – take care of your own, for nobody else will.

    If nothing else, live as you expect to be treated and things will work out okay.

    I fought the good fight all the way. I overcame “Affirmative Action” – reverse discrimination – and tons of other life threatening and way of life ending traumas. I didn’t protest, demand special treatment, or anything else – JUST keep on going when all was dark.

    It is still dark, but I do have a flashlight with fresh batteries, and will push on thru the darkness, still another mile — and in the end, will watch as all this foolishness of pensions, social security, government give-a-ways, affirmative action, and everything else will be swept away — WHAT happens next?

    Watch and see — be alert and prepared, and let nobody rip you off.


  • FedUp

    Here in South Florida we have firemen retiring with six-figure pensions after 20 years service. I’m supposed to cry over this? LOL.

    Let them go get another job…oh wait, they do! They get another government job and rack up another pension, meanwhile drawing a salary AND a pension.

    Who pays for this? I do. Let them eat cake!

    • Saq

      Umm. No. Only the upper echelon of Chiefs make over 6 figures and that is with 30-35 yrs. Geez the disinfo is astounding.

  • hefsmaster

    Michael, you should take a break and check out this video i made. It’s my first compilation.

  • “Obama Admin brings sanctions against China” What a dumb speech he gave….. “Whaaaa Whaaaa China is not playing fair, we made up the rules and China won’t play fair Whaaa Whaaaa”, China invested in rare earth minerals, Obama invested in over paid school teachers and overpaid union cronies, you tell me who made the better investment?

  • Kevin2

    Many people put far too much faith in something taking care of them. My wife’s family were (notice past tense) UAW. Every time I discussed investments at some social function I heard the same three words, Union, Union & Union. Few put in any significant amount in their 401K or had an IRA or ROTH. I spent my years in the Oil Refining Industry that did not have pensions anywhere near that promised by the “Big Three”. We maxed out out our IRA/410Ks and damn near everyone left with a million or better.

    The moral is your ultimately responsible you you. Trusting anyone or anything with that huge responsibility is foolish. Trusting Government and Industry is especially stupid considering their track record with integrity and honesty. It may not be right but is it that way it is.

  • D

    Pensions will eventually be a thing of the past. The younger generations will have no SS. 401ks will be corrupted and stolen anyway. Be ready to slave wage until your 80.

  • harry b

    Rain23 – yes – we have been cheated. I’m in the same boat. My pension has didappeared and when I asked for assistance from my rep in the government I got 000…thouands down the tubes, including municile bonds that no longer have value. I worked in the private sector, and now I look at governmen workers being treated like Kings. When you have 50% of people employed that work for the government something has to give. I invested heavely in (down under) and I have only a reasonable income but at least I’m not completely broke. I can gurantee you it is the government that created this whole problem, so without going into detail all I can say is good luck.

  • John O’Neill

    My wife and I both have government pensions. We worked hard for those pensions and we PAID or contributed at least 6% of our pay each year to fund these pensions. That is how it works for most government folks. Way back yonder when I was 26 years old, I was unable to get health insurance as a result of a medical diagnosis. So, what did I do? Got a job with the government to survive. That is what it’s all about – survival. It’s not the government employees, the private sector employees, the boogie man or the Easter Bunny. IT’S THE SYSTEM!

    We need a new system. The Federal Reserve will be taking our wealth in the near future. They did it in 1933 and they (the Temple) will do it again. It’s that simple. So, the main system is the banking system and the heart of it is the Federal Reserve. If we can’t abolish the Federal Reserve – WE’RE SCREWED.

  • Georgiaboy61

    The relevent question concerning defined benefit public pension plans is this: why should a 25-year old worker, just starting out on his career, be forced to be party to an agreement he had no hand in negotiating, and to whose terms he probably does not agree?

    Public pension schemes are a form of racketeering, and a violation of the public trust, not to mention a Ponzi scheme.

  • Don Levit

    According to the latest budget report, federal employees’ pension liability is around $5.8 trillion.
    Does this mean that almost $6 trillion is needed today to finance these pensions in perpetuity?
    Does anyone know if the trust funds for federal retirees have been borrowed by the Treasury, as has the Social Security and Medicare trust funds?
    Don Levit

  • Thomas James

    401ks today are just a big scam. How the hell are you realistically supposed to retire with just a 401K account ? You pretty much have to not do any spending in your present day life so you can put enough money away when you’re old. The entire financial and monetary system just doesn’t work. I really think an alternative to money is needed.

    • Kevin2

      Thomas James

      At present everything is upside down. The name of the game is start early as soon as your out of school. You put away 10% and “Forget about it”. You need to watch it and educate yourself because if you think you can farm out this responsibility your mistaken. Think about it; if you don’t take time and effort watching your money do you think someone (anyone) else would?

      It may be difficult, it may be tiresome but you have no other choice. You are responsible for you.

  • Aaron

    Wahhh Boo HOoo My fat government check isn’t going to be as fat any more. Waaahhh Boo hooo.

    Welcome to the rest of the world, taxfeeders. Regular, non-leech Americans have been dealing with this for years.

  • In review of the USA financial system before 1933- back to the early settlers there was no retirement system in place for anyone. You had to scrape your nickels together and SAVE.

    Banks were unsafe and you put it in your mattress, then when you were so old and sickly you could not work anymore you could maybe scrape by for a few years. In all these prior 1933 years you were also dependent upon church and family to help you. You were at the mercy of the culture of the times.

    The original purpose of the Social Securiry Act was to get 12,000,000 old people out of the fragile workforce and let younger people in. The support system evolved in to a social insurance system as we know it today. This has kept money moving in the economy and on an indivudual basis it is not enough in most cases to support granny. She still has to have savings and family and probably church.

    As young workers are imnfluenced to do away with Social Security and Federal Retirement systems the only thing left is the 401K premise, and as business fail so does that savings.

    So save the nickels.

    Another option is to do away with modern health care and go back to dieing at age 40.

    There is no simple answer. There is not enough trees to make the paper to write about this period of history.



    • John S

      Obamacare will do a good job of eliminating modern healthcare. If I’m denied the pacemaker my Dad had, I will die in my sleep at age 72 as his mother did. Certainly solves my retirement planning. And I’m likely to be denied that pacemaker if the medical supply people keep gouging Medicare $50,000 for a device a Chinese slave could manufacture for 50 cents.

      • Trailoftears

        I am no Fan of all of President Obama’s decisions, but I think this problem started way before he took office. I have learned over time, that if you wait for another to feed you, then you starve. Lastly, as for China, we gave our country away a long time ago. Before Made in China it was Made in Taiwan and before that it was Made in India. I miss Made in America!

    • Big Bill

      Yes, those are good observations, but you fail to note, union corruption is mainly responsible for all these broken pension systems, unions should have been abolished in this country decades ago, as THIS is precisely what the backlash is. Fat cat union leaders made sweetheart deals with cities/municipalities, they skimmed off a ton of fiat money for themselves in the process and underfunded the pensions, while the rank and file union members blindly followed their union “leaders” down the merry path. This is also the result of this country going off the gold standard and allowing the federal reserve to control money and inflation by monkeying around with interest rates and printing money out of thin air – thus debasing and ruining the US Dollar and controlling the COLA’s by publishing inflation data that is blatantly wrong and understated. The truth of this is we have printed ourselves into a great big depression with doctored unemployment and inflation numbers, price fixing thru oil/gas lobbies and big banks that are insolvent and only running on taxpayer bailout money. This is how Hank Paulson and big banks extorted almost a trillion dollars from taxpayers b4 GWB left office in 2008 and Nobama did the same thing in Feb 2009 – smoke screens to hid the biggest robberies in US history. Welcome to the new fascism.

      • TheRandyGuy

        Unions bear half of the blame. The corrupt, greedy politicians bear the other half. They willingly sold out to the unions for support at the ballot box and they did it because all the bad consequences were years away. Well, the future is now. I’m 52 and my generation is the greediest one ever to have lived. Most of my friends don’t save and spend like there’s no tomorrow, especially the firemen I know. One guy brags about making more in retirement pay than he made on the job. Well, the crash is fast approaching. We have saved and invested for years and not put it all in the stock market. Yes, my car is 11 years old, our vacations are to family member’s homes, and I don’t have an I-anything, but you know what? I’ll take my life over anybody elses I know. Our small home is paid off and my kids college funds are full.

    • wisefool

      Old Timer, quit buying into evolution propaganda. With decent nutrition and a natural death, before say 50 years ago, it was normal to live over 100 years. With genetic deterioration and the crap in the food, water and air, we may actually see a norm of 40 max.

  • Eric Gunther Oberhauser

    I wonder if golf courses will be maintained. I can do a lot of damage to a golf course in one single night…….AND HAVE.

  • Timmy

    Gary2 is not a Democrat. He’s a member of the Troll party.

  • b

    You mispelled “major” right above the grandma picture. Not trying to be a pain. Love your articles.

    • Michael

      Thanks for catching that. I hate when I make mistakes. 🙁


    • Marc

      Only a loser looks for typos.

    • roger

      Hey b: You misspelled b…..

  • Jim

    I have a buddy in TX that works for the State and he will be “retired” at age 52 next year after working for the State for 20 years He will be getting 80% of his highest averaged salary until the day he dies.

    Can you believe something like this even exists??? Makes me sick to my stomach 🙁

  • D

    Most pensions will be honored. Only with cheap dollars that aren’t worth anything.

  • Unfortunately when the liberals scream tax the rich, they mean the middle class. The Democratic party leaders are the rich too. Are they going to tax themselves? I don’t think so.

    The corporate leaders who made their multi-million dollar salaries and bonuses made their company profits from the same Americans that got cheated out of a job when they sent their manufacturing jobs to some third world country. These companies are, at least, partly responsible for this as well. And as far as I am concerned these super-rich globalist corporations can be taxed out of existence. They helped destroy the pension plans.

    Meanwhile, get prepared.

    • gary2

      And as far as I am concerned these super-rich globalist corporations can be taxed out of existence

      You got that right!

      • Atilla2

        What would happen IF:
        1- the oil companies went away? How ya going to get to work, heat your house in winter, get to hospital or for that matter even survive? OIL moves trucks and a lots of food.
        2- the energy companies went away. Gee NO smart phone, computer or even hospital care for lifesaving problems. Guess lot of people aren’t gonna make it.
        3- who or what will protect you from the thugs that will scavenge everywhere and TAKE what they want.
        4- money is in bank so if bank not working what will you eat with?
        So Gary2 be careful what you wish for, it might just visit you in your perfect little world in ways you never imagined. Personal safety first, water next and then food. So Mr. Gary2 you need them business people more than you think.

  • mike

    Meanwhile the rich get richer, and that little point seems lost in the discussion regarding pensions, public or private. The 1% call the shots and they’ve “decided” that the time is now to gut the social safety net.

    “There simply is not enough money out there to keep all of the pension commitments that have been made.” That is a meme promoted by the already wealthy, who aren’t willing to do with less. The statement is not truth. It is a viewpoint supported by the most wealthy, so it is repeated enough in the media that it becomes truth to the weak-minded.

    If the household income gains made by the 1% since Reagan were, instead, distributed amongst the pension plans, there would be no pension problem. Since that’s not going to happen, and the 1% actually believe they are worth all that, all I can say is, enjoy your gated community with the hired security and concertina wire. What a shame your kids can’t play outside, but you got yours, right? No man and no family is an island. There will be a day of reckoning.

    • gary2

      Great post you are 100% correct!!!

    • TheBeachBum

      No one has a right to complain about the high incomes of business owners in the private sector (OWS’s 1%). They rarely have pensions and thier compensation doesn’t cost taxpayers a dime. They risked thier own money to start thier businesses and often work 16 hour days, weekends and holidays.

      Yet for all that risk and hard work, do you know any small business owners who retire with $5 to $10 million? They are few and far between. But that’s exactly what a private sector employee would need in the bank on the day of his or her retirement to match the $100,000 per year pensions (plus health care benefits and cost of living increases) of government employees paid out over 30 to 50 years.

      Keep in mind that government employees never risked a dollar of their own money. They have lifetime job security. And they rarely work beyond 9 to 5, let alone weekends or holidays. Yet government employees are paid millions by taxpayers to retire early, often on pensions fattened by gaming the corrupt system.

      They are the true 1%’rs.

      • Tim

        The truth be told – you can actually trace all the problems down to the .1% not the 1 %, they are the real criminals on Wall Street who are lawless and corrupt. Just ask Paul Krugman and I don’t even like him. In reality it’s 999 vs 1. The laws are in their favor-Bernie Madhoff is the only one in jail people -What the hell? The Goldman Sach gang and such should be in a 10X10 with Bubba, who is a convicted homosexual rapist from Georgia or Kentucky. Seriously what the hell? Between 1980 and 1994 more than 1,600 banks insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) were closed or received FDIC financial assistance due to the savings and loan scandal. Also over 800 went to jail that time. Our Justice system is a joke.

      • denny

        Better do a tad bit more reading and stop reading Forbes and listening to Rush Scumbag. How’s it going up there in the 1% by the way?

        • simon salosny

          How come not ONE comment about Obama nor his controlled media denouncing this awful situation that is already hitting the elderly people, who have done their share of work and are expecting a decent retirement? The Obama crowd is definitely NOT interested in anything but their reelection. What would justify Obama´s reelection?

      • Annie

        Whoah there, cowboy (The Beach Bum). The 1% does not = small business owners in the private sector. That is very gross missinformation. As for the government employees earning 100,000 per year pension plan…please be specific. I am a government employee. without me, you might not have a decent highway that gets your customers to you. Oh yeah, we were underfunded this year, so we were not able to get to the highway you need. Sorry about that. Unfortunately next year, I will be retired earning a whopping $2,200 per month from my pension. It’s a real good thing that I pinched my pennies and payed off my mortgage before I retired. I was able to do that by getting a second job and working a total of 65 hours per week for 7 years. So please, when you say “government workers,” be specific. If you can do that, I’ll be specific when I define the 1% as the elite corporate leaders who bought our politicians to sanction tax evasion and are the literal leaches of our society. Occasionally you see them flying their private jets to Italy for lunch, but keep their private residence in Dubai.

    • simon salosny

      Why so much fuss about how much money the rich have? It is NOT kept inactive in coffers or vaults or under mattresses. It moves, while the banks loan it, it is invested in all kinds of businesses. The mdia should explain this fact to the ignorant, resentful masses, instead of demonizing “The Rich”.

    • D Smith

      Well put Mike.

  • i’vegivenup

    This amounts to one big…fat…PONZI SCHEME after another. Lies on top of lies. Hope for the future dashed in an instant. America…home of dreams gone away…

    • simon salosny

      Seems that if you negatively comment about the WH guy twice, you get censored (moderation). Would like to find a place where one really has freedom of expression.

  • Rancher

    The way we see it …we have less than zero responsibility to fund any other persons life or retirement. Period. In order to help insure that we have “accidentally” lost all our wealth. We just can not remember where it went…oh darn it anyway.

    Can’t take from us what is not there. I only place in my bank account what we will use for that month or two.

    • John W.

      many people consider playing the LOTTO their retirement plan as they are sure they will win big. Why is anyone else obligated to take care of fools like that? The biggest disaster has been the super low interest rates that have destroyed safe investment strategies that pay a decent return. All so the debt service by the govt. is kept at a minimum. There is a video on U-TUBE where a simple plan yields 57,000 a year for seventeen years with not that much invested. No longer doable because of the low rates which are also wrecking many govt. plans by forcing managers to make risky investments.

  • Juliette of Ohio

    Gary2. You DO realize that many of the corrupted rich are democrats and if you try to take away their money, they’re not going to like you anymore. The Obamas, Clintons, Kerrys, Tom Hanks, etc., are big liberal whiners, but have a gift for confiscating money and they won’t release their hold on it easily.

    Perhaps you think only Republicans are wealthy? Wrong. Check out the net wealth of the Democrats in congress. I doubt any of them were at your little shindig in Minnesota, nor were they trolling the streets to hand out money to “the poor”, without a camera to record it all.

    Both parties are hazardous to our well-being, and you’re being one of the naive masses. Yes, we were wrong to trust the government. The Founding Fathers told us that. My husband and I are both well over the age of retirement and are still working. Our house is not paid off yet, partially as a result of being transferred so frequently. His company discontinued all pension plans, and the company which sold out to his current employer has cut pensions by 67%. Don’t even know how long we’ll get that or social security. Yes, we paid into each fund, but it’s like taxes. You pay and you pay, but there’s never any benefit to you, personally. By the way, my pension is $12.00 a month (I started in the 1960s, and the original pension plan called for a payout of fifty cents a month for every year you worked there.)

    We were all mis-informed and believed both the private sector and the government. Big mistake, but a little too late to do anything about it. There is no money, no matter how much or how little you might deserve it.

    Dave: I’m not trying to be snotty, but who is “Catherine”? What am I missing???

    • Robotic Farm

      Juliette of OH. EXCELLENT post, the others are obviously sheeple bought into the left/right demorepublicrat hoax. That or they’re supplicants to either with a vested interested in the status quo. Did you include the Shurbs and Bill and Hitlery in your list?

    • vicky Bevis

      Juliette of Ohio:

      I too am in Ohio & know what you have written to be true. My working days also began in the 1960’s & frankly, my huband & I just “assumed” that he’d be working for some company that had a defined pension plan. So, we didn’t save like we now know we SHOULD HAVE done.

      When 401k’s came into existence, their originaltors planned for them to be the “3rd. Leg” of a retirement stool that would make the days of getting old, comfortable. However, as the corporations were outsourcing our manufacturing base, mostly in the 80’s, they realized that this was a far better deal for them if they dropped their DPB & just added a “pittance” to their employees 401ks. Then they began taking away bennies for middle managers-no stock options, no bonuses even for outstanding perforance, start picking up part of the ehalth care that at one time, cost

  • Mark brown

    There should never have been pension plans within the gov’t. Everyone should be in social security equally.
    The system has been toppled by ridiculous things like paying pensions for a life time after 20-30 years of showing up.
    Everyday I have to perform at my job or I am gone, even after 22 years. it definitely makes you focus and produce. Way to many transfer payments

    • John W.

      Federal Employees have been in the Social Security system since 1983. FERS started in 87 and it is SS with a 401K if an employee wants to participate. The average Fed is a GS-6 making around forty grand a year with a retirment after age 55 of around 22,000 a year. Many social security recipients make more than that. IBD had a chart showing someone starting to invest 2,000 a year at age twenty to age twenty five at seven percent. At age sixty two they had six hundred thousand in that account with only the five years of deposits. If they truly want to solve the problem let parents start an IRA for their kids the minute they are born.

  • Mad Max

    complaining and Protesting is not a solution.

    Wake up people – Don’t be Afraid!


    U.S. Citizens
    Read “Common Sense 3.1” at ( )

    Non U.S. Citizens
    Read “The OsiXs Plan” at ( )

    “Spread the News”

    • Art Clements

      what do you suggest? Art


    Everyone dedicated to God is considered a minister. The word “minister” in the Hebrew is “mesh-areth'”meaning “to wait upon” to a superior (Genesis 39:4) and in the Greek it is “di-a’ko-nos”-a compound word meaning “through the dust”. which denotes someone who hurries through the dust to carry out his service. In the Hebrew and Greek these words and their related forms applied to both men and women. We don’t accept flattering terms to call ourselves or each other.(Matthew 23: 8-12) and we are all ministers until we die, their is no retirement.


    someone who hurries through the dust to carry out his service I GUESS THAT MAKES ME HIGH SPEED DIRT!!! MORE MEGA DEATH!!!


    Madness comes, and madness goes
    An insane place, with insane moves
    Battles without, for battles within
    Where evil lives and evil rules
    Breaking them up, just breaking them in
    Quickest way out, quickest relief wins
    Never disclose, never betray
    Cease to speak or cease to breathe
    And when you kill a man, you’re a murderer
    Kill many, and you’re a conqueror
    Kill them all…Ooh…Oh you’re a god!

    Ladies and gentlemen of the jury,
    Have you reached a verdict?

    Yes, we have Your Honour, we find the defendant guilty!
    On all counts for crimes against all humanity.

    By virtue of the jury’s decision and the power
    Vested in me by the state I hereby sentence you to be
    Incarcerated with no possibility of parole for life

    Life?…Whadda ya mean life?…I ain’t got a life

    Boy!…Your soul better belong to Jesus!…
    Hmmm-mmm cause your ass belongs to me!

  • liberranter

    I’m sorry, Michael, but I cannot feel ONE DAMNED BIT SORRY for government “employees” who are getting the short end of the proverbial stick. These people knew full well from day one, or should have known, that what they were promised in pension benefits was unrealistic. They also knew, or should have known, that the money paying their salaries was stolen from already overburdened taxpayers who could barely be milked for essential services, let alone frills like bloated pension plans for public-sector tax parasites. If these useless creatures wanted generous pension benefits, they should have gone to work for a major private-sector business that could afford a bloated pension plan, one funded from corporate profits EARNED in the marketplace, not stolen at gunpoint from taxpayers barely able to fund their own pensions. But since most of them are incapable of gainful private-sector employment, that wasn’t an option.

    In summary, these public-sector bloodsuckers, whose naivete is surpassed only by their greed, are getting what they deserve!

    • Art Clements

      you must mean companies like the big 3 automakers and a thousand other private sector companies that just can’t make the payments anymore. Give your head a shake. Everyone expected the pensions to be there.

  • Michael Degler

    Let me ask, Where are these tax -cuts for the rich???? Also, how much taxes do the poor pay?? What about the millions who don’t pay any taxes. Get free health care, heat, food stamps and free or deeply discounted housing. America became great because people took care of themselves. It’s only since we became the most powerful nation on earth do we have all these handouts. Politicans vote themselves raises,make big promises, and the middle class foots the bill.
    I sit and listen to Warren Buffet lie that his secretary pays a higher tax rate then him. Well, what kind of salary does she make? Doesn’t she get the same deductions as the rest of America?? Is all of her income taxed at that rate??? No, What a lie.
    Just like any politician, they make government twice as big, cut it a little and tell you all about how they cut the deficet or spending.
    Another lie is, how all these other jobs are going overseas. If we cut the cost of doing business in America, cut the cost of living, stop giving free handouts to every one who doesn’t deserve it. Get the illegals out and give Americans those jobs. We’d fix alot of problems.
    However everyone got greedy and lazy and feel entitled to everything.
    America has really gone downhill in the last 40-50 years. It won’t get fixed overnight. If we don’t reverse the trend, it’s going to be ugly.

  • Fight for michael

    is Michael and his website under attack by anti-Christians?

  • Cindy


  • Lennie Pike

    It’s my guess that people like him will be the only ones pointing the guns – that is only after they’ve taken control, and I’m sure they will use them as Stalin, Mao, etc. did.

    A control freak mentality due to fear is the reason they’re the way they are, and the fear exists due to no presence of God in their lives. It is a scary world when one is not for God but against Him.


    Gary 2, you don’t seem to know much about history. Most of this current mess can be traced back to Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society. You think maybe he was a right-wing Republican? But, no matter! If you tax the rich to pay the 4.4 trillion, they will close the factories and there will be civil war. If we stay the course and the boomers lose their pensions, there will be civil war. If we let Bernanke keep printing money till we resemble the Weimar Republic, there will be civil war. There is an ugly mood growing across the country. The “Have-Nots” are seething with barely controlled anger. They have seethed before so no big deal. But, wait till they get hungry. Enjoy the peace because the war is gonna be hell!

    • Gary2

      The “Have-Nots” are seething with barely controlled anger.

      You are absolutly correct about the have nots and the never wills

  • Newton

    I fail to see what it is people expect to recieve from other people who are placed in one way or the other ; in a position of power.

    These very people who have obtained power; from the very beginning of our country have abused it and every generation after has been one of more greed, more corruption and hypocrisy.

    To the point where now; it is quite normal to stand before 300 Million people and tell them lie after lie after lie – because you can.

    ” The Earth was created by the assistance of the Sun, and it should be left as it was, The country was made with no lines of demarcation,
    and it’s no mans business to divide it. I see whites all over this country gaining great wealth, just as I see the desire to give us lands that are worthless.

    Oh yeah; we started out liars and cheats and thieves and fornicators back when our country was just beginning. But then; we had good teachers didn’t we ?

    Chief Joseph was just a dog to be whipped into position by first General Howard and then General Miles.

    That was 1867

    Nothing has changed


  • DL

    We get what we deserve.

  • Bruce

    How would you feel if you knew that the state and federal workers who were to recieve those pensions voted to send the jobs to China of people who’s tax base would help fund their pensions….It was very dumb to send our industrial base to china…But I think it’s funny to see it affect people who said it was ok since they thought the Giant sucking sound wouldn’t affect them

  • tappedops

    +1 Aaron…

    ya sure i got killed by the takeover… but i snapped back, found a full time middle -class job ( 30 hours a week @ 11.50 an hour)… i ride a 500 dollar bike and the slaves could only wish they could be me… livin large on well over 1 grand a month… eat your hearts out… lol

  • S. Wiseman

    Why Government Doesn’t Work, by Harry Browne…

    “One need not be an anarchist (vague or otherwise) to recognize the obvious — that government doesn’t work. It doesn’t deliver the mail on time, keep the cities safe, or educate our children properly. Its War on Poverty and its War on Drugs are massive failures. Millions of Americans have lost faith in government precisely because governments everywhere have reached the inevitable stage where nothing about them works as promised.”

    “Government can help the health-care system only by getting out of it. It has no more ability to make us well than it does to make us rich.”

    “Learning, as measured by Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores, steadily declined throughout the 1960s and 1970s. [I attribute this to] the federal government’s heavy hand transforming the public schools and the private schools as they became dependent on it. Yesterday’s schools focused on reading, writing, arithmetic, history, and geography. Today’s schools spend much more time teaching children:
    To be citizens of the world
    To be sensitive to people who are different than themselves
    To pester their parents to recycle cans and bottles
    To understand how western civilization destroyed a peaceful North American continent
    To report their parents if they catch them using drugs; To practice safe sex.”

    “The crusade against victimless crimes reaches the apex of absurdity in the War on Drugs. It is the quintessential example that government doesn’t work. Government has failed completely to stop people from taking drugs. It can’t stop drugs from coming into the country. It can’t even stop drugs from getting into its own prisons.”

    “Federal laws interfere with local police work and violate the Constitution. They also allow government to circumvent the Bill of Rights and subject citizens to double jeopardy. If a jury acquits someone of violating a state gun-control law, for example, he can be re-tried for violating a federal gun-control law-even though the second trial is for the same act.
    The federal government has no special wisdom, no special authority, and no special ability to fight crime. The Founding Fathers thought that would be a terrible idea. The past 35 years have confirmed their wisdom. The federal government’s involvement in local law-enforcement has helped the guilty and hurt the innocent.”

    “The Social Security tax has risen from a combined employer-employee rate of 2% in 1935 to today’s combined tax of 15.3%. And there’s no reason to believe the tax rate won’t continue to rise. As administered by politicians, Social Security is inherently unworkable, because the politicians always spend the money they take in. As the retired population grows, it requires higher taxes to pay the benefits the politicians have promised.”
    Medicare has caused higher health costs; Constitution gives people freedom FROM government”

    “Great Society: federal takeover of ed., welfare, crime. By taking control away from communities, the federal government made schools, police, and welfare systems even more remote from the people who pay for them and rely upon them; the 1992 Health Plan is all about coercion, not compassion. There are some revealing terms in the proposal–such as prison (which shows up 7 times), penalty (111 times), fine (6), enforce (83), prohibit (47), mandatory (24), limit (231), obligation (51), require (901), and so on. No matter what they say, neither the Democrats nor Republicans want to give up the power that allows them to bestow favors and exemptions on friends.”

    “Our salvation won’t come from politicians.”
    The above quotations are from Why Government Doesn’t Work, by Harry Browne.
    Available as a free download in PDF format free online.

  • Fester

    What can I say,

    Corporate – Fascist Use –

    Darwinian Selected…





    And have ruined OUR Country.

    Wake up…Turn-on, or check your hearing aid…The Fat Lady is Singing.

    • Lennie Pike

      That is so true – look at “our” politicians and at who offers them up to us for “consideration as “our” leaders.”

      It’s on record that Goldman Sachs has, and probably still is, recruiting psychopaths as employees because it’s a proven fact that they produce higher profits for the company than non-psychopaths.

  • RJ

    We promised the world to our Gen Pop in the mid 1960s. Much of it was wonderfully optimistic and appropriate, but its legacy has run a muck. In the last 50 years we have devolved into an extremely entitled society, one in which our founding qualities of individualism and self-responsibility have become mere shadows of themselves.

    In Stockton’s case, it has been reported that “after working for just 30 days for the city, an individual could retire with free medical for themselves and their family, for life…”
    Huh????? Really….

    I am so very tired of the Moral Hazard we have created in our society. It will destroy us! Two of my neighbors have told me that “they are letting their houses go because hey, why should they pay for a house that will never be the cash generating vehicle that they thought it would be…” Gee I hadn’t realized you weren’t vested in the neighborhood and were just ‘passing thru’.

    So with all the “freebies” that shouldn’t have been, and people being given credit availability that they did not warrant, I am left asking; When did “your” poor decisions and selfishness become “our” problem?

    I and approximately 30% of the country who conducted ourselves responsibly appear to be fools for playing by the rules. I guess hopefully I will be let off at St. Peter’s and not a truck stop…

  • BK

    Consider this: Likely that State Courts will hold the broken pensions as a forced TAX OBLIGATION on state residents.

    The results will be taxpayers fleeing Illinois, and California, and many other states.

    Did you see that of the 10,000,000 new residents of California from 1985-2005, 7 mm are on public assistance, and only 150,000 are taxpayers! 1.5%

    • John W.

      Those ten million new Calif. residents are mostly immigrants legal and illegal. The two party sham has destroyed the tax base of the country and then saddled it with millions of immigrants who will never be able to pay their own way. They have their benefits waiting for them along with a Democrat voting registration the minute the arrive. In Long Beach there is a store front in a mall where the newly arrived illegal is taught how to get all the free stuff. Suckers!

  • Patriot Alice

    A pension was never part of my future..Private sector blues…

  • comnenus

    There is going to be NO retirement crunch. I guarantee it.

    Very simple. Old people who can’t pay the medical bills will probably die. Once they die, no more retirement money will be spent on him or her.

    Soviet Union didn’t really had to worry about retirement crisis until the youngsters of WWII grew old, and that’s when the bigwigs at Moscow got rid of USSR to stiff the red army pensioners.

  • George

    Defined benefit pension plans have a major flaw that will ultimately render many insolvent. The flaw is the “expected rate of return” on the pension fund’s portfolio of investments. The expected rate of return for the past decade has been set by pension fund managers at 7.75% to 8%. For the past decade the actual rate of return annually(for government pension plans) has been 3%. While that might not seem a huge difference, it equates to a 5% compounded Annual Loss each year.

    So,as an example, let’s assume a very healthy government pension fund was 100% funded in 2001. Then let’s look 10 years later. For each $1000 in original pension assets, there was actually, on average, only $1344 at the end of the 10 year period, which is a 3% compounded return. But, to meet its funding obligations, the pension fund needed $2159 at the end of the 10 year period, which is 8% compounded. In this example,the pension fund has, over ten years, “lost” over $800. Now the pension fund, which was fully funded just a decade ago, is only 62% funded (a loss of 38% in expected value in 2011)because return on investment expectations were not met.

    It is highly unlikely our hypothetical pension fund can ever earn a return of 8% or more over the next decade. More likely,it will be around 3% again. If so, the “loss” by 2021 will be $2850 and the plan will be 39% funded. The total compounded “loss” to the pension fund over two decades is a shocking 61%!

    The math indicates that some pension promises will not be kept.

    • Michael

      Very good comment.


    • Gary2

      hard to argue with your logic. good post!

  • John S

    How will I feel if I spent a career in government and my pension disappeared? Pretty much the same as I feel now in the private sector. I was last offered a pension 10 jobs ago in the 1970s. And that pension vaporized 15 years later when the firm was bought by a French conglomerate.

  • steve2222

    What crock of bull. Google CAFR which is the report of total income in each government agency. All they tell is the budget. That is like you spend $60,000 but are making $100,000 per year. There is so much hidden money out there that all pensions can be paid for and no one would have to pay taxes. Don’t believe google and learn. If your losing your pension, get the info, and force them to cough up.

  • Anastasia

    Michael, thank you for your articles!
    You are a watchtower &
    I appreciate all the time you put
    into researching and writing
    for the benefit of others.
    For the benefit of me, and my family.
    Your sister in Christ, Anastasia

    • Michael


      It is great to hear from another Christian. May you and all of the other readers have an incredibly blessed week. 🙂


  • mondobeyondo

    I read this article on CNN (Calamari News Network) the other day, and could hardly believe it.

    1.5 million people in the United States of America, living on $2.00 a day.

    Let that sink in for a moment.

    1.5 million people in the United States of America. Living on $2.00 a day.

    How is this possible, in the wealthiest country in the world?!? That is a Third World stat. People in Kenya survive on $2.00 a day. Indonesia. India. Madagascar.

    Not the United States of America.

    This is just extremely hard to comprehend. I’m among the fortunate – I have enough money to purchase food to eat. The parking lots at Red Lobster are full on Friday and Saturday nights. Yet many people don’t have two pinto beans to rub together.

    Is this true?? Or just media propaganda?* Incomprehensible to think people living in a world superpower are starving to death! Is that so? Is that what you say? Millions upon millions of people starved to death in Josef Stalin’s Russia, and Russia was a superpower at the time.
    *Yes, it’s true. I live here. I see the lines outside of the food banks – the “front lines”, so to speak. It’s true.

    Send a presidential candidate to St. Mary’s Food Bank here in Phoenix. I dare them to deny the evidence in front of their faces.

  • Johnny

    Take an hour or two and research this. America was founded upon Biblical Law. It was in every State Constitution at the start of this country. Biblical Law was held in the highest regard, this is undeniable. Look at where we are now, a huge mess that no man can fix. Our churches teach that Biblical Law has been done away with-a lie!

  • ALJO

    Greed, envy, short-sightedness, a need for immediate gratification, a lack of spiritual perspective and understanding have led us to the abyss, to the edge of very painful lessons.

    But these lessons will lead us to great insights into the real meaning of life. And these will not include 2 car garages so full of stuff that we cannot even park a single vehicle in them.

  • FOREIGN AID…I’m just sayin’. Y not make it DOMESTIC AID and stop raping American citizens!

  • dieshard

    STOP foreign aid !!! Two wars have screwed the public !! Just think IF those BILLIONS spent overseas had been spent here ????

  • Doug

    You people all miss the point. It’s the fault of our corporate controlled news media. Listen to Wolf Blitzer make the case for yet another war in Iran at the behest of Israel. I was actually relieved to see the Russians move troops into Syria. It’s my hope that the Chinese will move into Iran in an effort to keep world war 3 from being started by the Israelis and the US government. I do agree with the comment on CAFR though. There is a LOT of hidden money out there and it’s not being reported.

  • Cookie Munster

    Who ever had part in the gross mismanagement and lack of security of all pension funds promised for the foreseeable future should be jailed as these promised and relied upon funds are sacred and should have been treated as such..It has been well known for decades the amount of people who had no idea that their retirement funds were at risk at all….IMPORTANT FUNDS LINKED TO RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS WERE SPENT AND PUT AT RISK WHEN THEY SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN…HEADS SHOULD ROLL AND SOME SOLUTION TO DO AS PROMISED MUST BE MADE. How can they justify paying huge salaries/bonuses and expense accounts to the Exec’s without them coming up with a plan to have the company be successful and the retirees secure….Maybe this is what they’re mandate was unfortunately. Coming up with a self created crisis will do it. Crush the average citizen..How sad..I do believe that every Dog will have their day !

Finca Bayano

Panama Relocation Tours



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