So you think there's no problem with unions? You think that Obama's push for Card Check and to unionize new industries/companies is about fairness for the workers? Guess again, it's all power. And it's all about destroying free enterprise, regardless of the spin they put on it. Here's where we're headed today, what happens down the road if increased unionization is forced upon us? Take a look a Greece lately? Read on...
Union roadblocks add to state pension woes
4/12/2010 11:05:00 AM by Jo-Lynn Brown, The Free Enterprise Nation
Colorado may not be the first state that comes to mind when you think “fiscal crisis”. Relatively speaking, it’s not in the worst shape at the moment with only a $1 billion budget gap. But the recent legislative moves and the response to those moves, is a classic example of what has happened, in some shape or form, in every state.
Back in November, Colorado Governor Bill Ritter was proposing cuts across the state spectrum. Specifically $28 million from Medicaid and $260 million from public school funding. Later that month, while breaking down the cuts Ritter asked for the school system to return $110 million in frozen funds and suggested cutting the 2010-11 school budget by $150 million.
What happened next is the typical response, the teachers union began a campaign for an amendment that not only would block the proposed cuts but would actually increase what they would receive. They asked for inflation plus 1 percent annually, and a guaranteed raise with inflation for EVERY year following 2011. At the time, The Daily Camera also noted that they would block any cuts with a lawsuit.
Months later, Ritter signed a Senate bill, approved by the Senate Finance Committee, that would change the way retirement and pensions would be calculated for workers in the Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA). According to the most recent numbers from The PEW Charitable Trusts, Colorado currently has an unfunded liability for its pension fund of $16,813,048,000, and the state will be required to pay $1,141,081,000 annually into the fund to keep it solvent.
Again, a lawsuit was filed, attempting to block any cuts. More than likely, retirees were mostly concerned about the cost of living increases, which would be eliminated this year, and would reach no higher than 2 percent any year after, under the new bill. Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry (R-Grand Junction) commented on the suit in The Denver Post, saying that, “If we don’t reduce these automatic pension increases, the entire fund is poised to go bankrupt. Think United. Think GM. That didn’t work out well for the company or the retirees. These reforms are tough but they’re necessary.”
In fact, The Associated Press reported two days earlier, that the budget officials estimated that without reform the fund would be completely gone in 20 years.
This is the obstacle lawmakers must face in every state and every city. What will lawmakers do when cuts and reform are needed, but every move is blocked with a lawsuit? I’ll tell you what they are going to do, raise taxes. The money has to come from somewhere. Government programs don’t have to worry about efficiency, cost-cutting and profits, because they have a bailout all their own—your wallet
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