After Years of Skimming, Stealing, and General Mismanagement, Governments Create Pension Fund Nightmare

It's spreading like a case of budgetary muscular dystrophy and it cannot be exaggerated. Local and state govs around the U.S. are floundering and vampirishly draining pension funds to cover for their mistakes, and in many cases, outright criminal behavior. And this has been going on a long time. The Washington Post reported just recently that both Maryland and the state of Virginia have "redirected" hundreds of millions per year out of employee pension funds and as a consequence are now avoiding a crisis created not only by their predatory behavior, but by the downturning economy. As the tide of wealth recedes, the hulls of old wrecks grow more visible, and the cries of denial must grow ever louder to compensate.

And further:

By their own assessment, state and local governments acknowledge that their funds for retiree benefits are increasingly falling behind, with the number that are severely underfunded soaring to 40 percent in 2006, a five-fold increase from 2000, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

From as early as 2006, as reported by THI :

  • The City of San Diego was embroiled in its worst financial crisis ever, with an estimated pension deficit of $2 billion threatening to consume as much as one-third of the city's general fund. The city's failure to properly disclose pension liabilities prompted a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation and led to the suspension of the city's credit rating. So far eight former pension officials have been charged with criminal corruption by the U.S. Attorney's Office and state District Attorney's Office.

  • In Illinois, taxpayers faced a pension deficit estimated at $38 billion--the worst in the nation.

  • The state of West Virginia faced a $5.5 billion pension deficit and an additional $3.3 billion in unfunded workers' compensation liabilities--a total deficit nearly three times the state's annual $3.1 billion general fund budget.

  • In California, the teachers' retirement system faces a shortfall of more than $24 billion, and the state's combined contributions to the public employees' and teachers' plans now exceed $3 billion per year.

Are we all going to bend over and take it in the ass as usual? I have zero love for bureaucrats, but even less for stealing.

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