Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Pew Study Finds That Grandma Will Be Eating Catfood

Checked on your retirement fund lately? You know the one that's disappearing -
"the gap between the promises states made for employees’ retirement benefits and the money they set aside to pay for them grew to at least $1.26 trillion in fiscal year 2009, resulting in a 26 percent increase in one year." The difference is broken down as follows: "State pension plans represented slightly more than half of this shortfall, with $2.28 trillion stowed away to cover $2.94 trillion in long-term liabilities—leaving about a $660 billion gap, according to an analysis by the Pew Center on the States. Retiree health care and other benefits accounted for the remaining $604 billion, with assets totaling $31 billion to pay for $635 billion in liabilities." In other words, states have roughly 5 cents for every dollars in health benefits obligations.  
The Real Effect
What is wildly entertaining and depressing at the same time is the sheer number of people that just...don't...get it. Try talking to one of the individuals once. This is not all the complicated. I would imagine it would go something like this.

You - Do you know the states and banks are stealing your retirement?
Them - That's just silly talk. What are you, a kook?
You - No, seriously the Pew Center is reporting that the funds are only 5% funded.
Them - So? I saw my statement, it said $350,000. It's still there.
You - That is just a piece of paper. Try getting that money once.
Them - Why should I? It's there.
You - Because it's a lie, there's no actual money there. They say you have money, but it's a lie.
Them - There are laws against that sort of thing, they would go to jail.
You - Individuals have admitted, under oath to these sorts of crimes recently and no one has brought charges so far.
Them - SO?
You - Ok, fine. Your hide. I guess we'll see you in the soup line in a few years?

Part of the economic downturn starting in 2008 was based on fraudulent reporting. The banks and agencies were claiming things that didn't exist. When some of them went belly up, the Congress did what? Did they make you, the person that lost your shirt whole? No, they took your other shirt, sold it and gave the proceeds to the guy that stole your first shirt.

So let me ask you now - WHY do you think we will recover when we are rewarding the thief?

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