We had a server outage, and we're rebuilding the site. Most of the site features won't work. Thank you for your patience.
imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

On the Chopping Block: Federal Worker Pensions

by Stephen Lendman Friday, May. 20, 2011 at 10:08 PM
lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net

fascism

On The Chopping Block: Federal Worker Pensions - by Stephen Lendman

Bipartisan support endorses ending vital social benefits incrementally, principally Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, healthcare for those who can't afford it, and public pensions.

Notably, deep Medicare cuts were made. Much more is planned, including slashing Medicaid. Now federal pensions are being targeted. Civilian federal employees receive benefits under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), consisting of three components:

-- a FERS annuity defined benefit plan;

-- mandatory Social Security participation; however most Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) employees aren't part of Social Security unless they qualify separately from additional private sector employment; and

-- the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), a 401(k) type defined contribution plan.

On March 19, Senators Tom Coburn (R. OK) and Richard Burr (R. NC) introduced S. 644: Public-Private Employee Retirement Parity Act to prohibit federal annuities for employees hired after 2012. In other words, beginning January 1, 2013, they want defined pensions for newly hired federal workers ended, eventually eliminating unfunded ones altogether.

Although the other two FERS components are maintained, S. 644 is another step toward halting all federal obligations to working Americans to provide more funds for imperial wars, corporate handouts, and greater tax benefits for America's super-rich. But don't expect Congress, Obama, or major media reports to explain.

Coburn justified S. 644, claiming federal workers earn over 20% more than private sector ones. In fact, according to a National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS) study titled, "Out of Balance? Comparing Public and Private Sector Compensation Over 20 Years:"

Wages and benefits for public workers are lower than for private sector ones with comparable earnings determinants, such as education and work experience. Moreover, the pay gap widened over the last 15 years. Other studies agree, saying public workers can earn more by using their skills in private sector jobs.

As a result, the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE) called S. 644 unfair. For example, a federal employee earning on average $50,000 in his or her three highest earning years, with 30 years of service, gets a $15,000 annual pension, hardly a generous amount.

NFFE also said FERS pensions are less than under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS), the one FERS replaced in 1986 for new hires.

Coburn and Burr claim defined benefit federal pensions are going broke. Last September, in fact, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) denied insolvency problems, saying FERS and CSRS (for eligible employees) will be able to meet their obligations "in perpetuity." Moreover, CRS expects their assets to grow for decades, reaching $15.3 trillion in 2080, far exceeding outlays.

Nonetheless, congressional Republicans, known as "You Cutters," plan other slash and burn efforts to:

-- cut federal pay;

-- freeze hiring;

-- end early retirement benefits;

-- eliminate the time the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) has to defend federal employee rights; and

-- calculate pensions based on the highest five (instead of 3) working years, among other proposed draconian anti-worker measures, including stealing pension funds by borrowing them to fund government operations.

On May 16, Washington Post writer Zachary Goldfarb headlined, "Treasury to tap pensions to help fund government," saying:

Federal retirement funds will be tapped to help fund government operations after the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling was reached as Congress keeps wrangling over raising it. In fact, "the Obama administration has shown growing interest in altering (pension) programs to curb the debt in the long run (by) raising the amount that federal employees contribute to their pensions."

Both parties agree on social spending cuts overall, disagreeing largely on timing ahead of the 2012 election, besides posturing for political advantage. In fact, Obama already committed to cut trillions of dollars over the next decade, mainly essential entitlements, education, healthcare for working households, and aid for America's poor. In addition, federal workers pay was frozen last November for two years. Moreover, as explained at the time, cuts from his April 8 budget deal included:

-- $3.5 billion from Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) funding;

-- $2.2 billion from nonprofit health insurance cooperatives;

-- $600 million from community healthcare centers;

-- $1 billion from HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and other disease prevention programs;

-- $1.6 billion from EPA's clean/safe drinking water and other projects;

-- $950 million from community development grants;

-- $504 million from nutrition aid for poor Women, Infants, and Children (WIC);

-- $500 million from education programs;

-- $390 million from home heating subsidies to the poor, as well as $2.5 billion for the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) announced in February;

-- $350 million from labor programs, including grants for community service jobs for seniors;

-- other social service cuts;

-- $786 million from FEMA first-responder funding;

-- $407 million from energy efficiency and renewable energy programs;

-- $260 million from National Institutes of Health (NIH) medical research;

-- $127 million from the National Park Service; and

-- billions less for public infrastructure and transportation spending, while increasing war appropriations by multiples more, including for conquering and controlling Libya.

Moreover, Obama agreed to more draconian FY 2012 cuts and corporate tax breaks as part of a deal to raise the debt ceiling. It's still being debated at least until August 2 while Congress loots federal pensions to keep government operations running.

Overall, bipartisan support endorses ending safety net protections, especially healthcare for retirees and working households, Social Security, and public pensions, forcing Americans to pay more and get less if anything at all.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A13 12:39AM

lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

test O06 10:01AM

test O06 9:59AM

test O06 9:59AM

100 Ways GOP Have Stolen Elections Since 1876 O06 12:03AM

Proximospective de l'univocité réifiée O05 6:27AM

“Kava-no!!!” O04 6:42PM

Trump & Palestine vs. Genesis, Rashi & The Land of Israel O03 6:29PM

The Criminality of the Elites O03 11:35AM

Business de l'inhumanitaire O03 7:51AM

Marriage Rape/Date Rape Highest Rapes O02 2:59PM

Women I Know Get Raped - Too Many Times To Count! O02 2:55PM

Women In USA Have Stockholm Syndrom O02 2:50PM

Shooting Drill's Are Political Actual Shootings O02 2:47PM

Dr. Ford's Father Works With CIA O02 2:44PM

Weaponizing Frequencies O02 2:41PM

Google Abuses: Worldwide Spying, Censorship, War Promotion, Spying On Children, Etc O02 11:08AM

Paraphysique de l'administration O02 8:34AM

Paraphysique O02 8:31AM

Affordable Rents? A State of Emergency Intensifies O01 11:36AM

A Few Of Many Impeachable Acts by Trump Sessions And Others O01 4:41AM

Désengrammation, l'éloge de la suite S30 7:01AM

someone Should Work In Hollywood - Good Acting! S28 2:55PM

Ford Gives Psych Drugs To Lower Class To Shut Them Up? S28 2:51PM

Hilllary Calls Ford Trailer Trash? S28 2:47PM

Most Rapes Are In Marriages S28 2:43PM

Nice Boys Dirty Deeds S28 2:41PM

Minnesota 2nd Largest Rape State S28 2:39PM

Paraphysique de la plus-value S28 7:18AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy