• Lost in  a $1.7 trillion pork pie omnibus appropriations bill   has been one spectacular giveaway: $100,000 per beneficiary of the Central States Pension Fund (CSPF). The fund provides pension benefits to nearly 360,000 private-sector workers and retirees, mostly Teamsters Union members. U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, called the deal out in December, noting it was “the largest private pension bailout in American history” that benefited only “a tiny minority of workers.” He suggested it resulted from the insanity of “allowing those who mismanaged pensions to determine whether their funds qualify for taxpayer assistance with no safeguards.”
  • Workers of the world are not united here. This is a cash grab benefiting one group of roughly 360,000 (3 percent) of the 11 million participants in the multi-employer plans.
  • And Covid, schmovid. Even before the panic and the lockdowns, the Congressional Research Service reported that the multi-employer pensions were underfunded by $650 billionIn 2018, CSPF had been projected to reach insolvency by 2025.
  • Now a precedent has been set. The Congressional Budget Office has already said: Sorry, the $86 billion the American Rescue Plan tagged for the union pension plans is not enough. Meanwhile, taxpayers more broadly are faced with a bigger devil lurking in the shadows. America’s public pension plans have robbed the henhouse for years through risky investments, chronic underfunding, implausible rate of return projections, inadequate employee contributions, overly generous benefits, and just plain public-sector greed. These state and local pensions present a problem to be measured in the trillions of dollars.
  • How much is the Teamsters’ mere $36 billion? To put it in perspective, you could run the state of Colorado for a year on that money. You could run all five states of New Hampshire, Vermont, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Idaho, and still have billions left over. The $36 billion is $108 from each man, woman, and child in America into the pockets of the Teamsters. And the White House bragged about it in a press release.

Source: thefederalist.com