While we are waiting for the republicans to cut social security

Colorado is getting ahead of the game by cutting the government worker's pension benefits. Wait it gets worse. They are also going to continue hiding the fees that they pay banks to manage the funds. These funds could be as much as $1 Billion Dollars!

Legislature Slashes Pension Benefits for Government Workers

Colorado lawmakers passed landmark legislation late Wednesday, May 9, reducing pension benefits for thousands of teachers and other government workers. But the measure also included language designed to give lawmakers more information about controversial investments that have delivered hundreds of millions of dollars in fees to Wall Street firms.

The narrow disclosure language in the pension bill — which still keeps fee details hidden from the general public — was added following our investigation showing that in recent years, Colorado's Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) has paid more than $1 billion in such fees even as the pension fund has delivered returns that have significantly trailed a low-fee stock index fund.

The bill slashes cost-of-living increases and requires higher pension contributions from educators, firefighters, cops (we have been telling the cops that one day they will come for them too) and other public-sector workers covered by PERA. The changes — opposed by the state’s largest teachers' union and approved after recent teacher protests at the Colorado State Capitol — were designed to shore up the finances of PERA, which faces a $32 billion gap between what it has promised retirees and what it has in the bank.

Add this legislation on to the republicans tax bill and we can see how we have arrived at inverted totalitarianism where money is transferred from the working class to the elite bastards class.

Gawd Bless America!

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snoopydawg's picture

At PERA, Retirees Face Cuts While Wall Street Gets Millions

When Karen Magnuson appeared before a Colorado Senate panel in March, the 62-year-old retired teacher made a desperate plea: Avoid cutting the state pension system’s cost-of-living increase, or she and thousands of her fellow retirees throughout Colorado could be thrown into destitution.

“The costs of the things we need to live [on] keep going up and up,” said Magnuson, recounting how she is now working at a Target to make ends meet after a 32-year career teaching in Greeley, Littleton, Ault and Aurora public schools. “My calculations are telling me I'd better start preparing for poverty at seventy. It seems that many elected officials are trying to fix PERA on the backs of retirees with little to no chance to make up for these losses,” she added, referring to the state’s Public Employees Retirement Association.

Lawmakers ignored her request. They instead voted to advance legislation that would reduce Magnuson’s benefits in order to shore up the state’s finances — a move that recently prompted a statewide teachers' walkout and boisterous protests in a state where teachers' pay is below the national average.

As the Colorado Legislature now considers the final version of the PERA reform bill in the waning days of the 2018 legislative session, the consensus among lawmakers seems to be that Colorado must ask for more sacrifices from PERA's more than 500,000 members, who on average receive $3,000 a month in benefits and do not receive Social Security. And yet, despite all the talk of belt-tightening for state employees and retirees, lawmakers have not done anything to impede the nine-figure payments to one elite set of PERA beneficiaries: the wealthiest people on Earth, who live 1,600 miles to the east.

PERA is no outlier: As states and cities throughout America grapple with underfunded pension systems, they continue to collectively pay out billions of dollars' worth of fees for increasingly controversial “alternative investments” — a catch-all term for private equity, hedge funds, real estate and venture capital.

Both articles are worth a full read

The eulogy for we the little people is close to being written.

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21 users have voted.

Self-censorship actually silences exponentially more anti-establishment opinions. For every one voice you crack down on overtly, a thousand more silence themselves out of self-preservation

gulfgal98's picture

and their pensions are the last big pot of money, outside Social Security, left for the banksters to rob. Our society is being systematically dismantled before our very eyes.

Once charter schools were pushed upon us, using public funds to pay a private entity to educate our children spelled the end to quality public education. This allowed the system to pay lower salaries and to bypass public retirement plans while enriching the operators of these charter schools.

What we are seeing is the complete sucking dry of society's last vestiges of safety net programs. Neoliberalism is working exactly as it was designed to do...the rich get richer and all the rest of us are being systematically impoverished. We are disposable to them.

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22 users have voted.

"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare." Sun Tzu

The Aspie Corner's picture

@gulfgal98 Of course, since we aren't allowed to question, or , elements forbid, look for alternatives to capitalism, we just keep going around in circles. Even if we were to revive or modernize New Deal regulations, we'd be right back here in another 20 to thirty years.

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12 users have voted.

Modern education is little more than toeing the line for the capitalist pigs.

Naked Capitalism keeps writing about CalPERS thanks goodness, and nothing keeps happening as expected. "That's the system."
Board Members Misappropriate Public Funds by Signing Blank, Undated Expense Forms

That means the Board Services Unit, the Board President as their supervisor, and the board members pre-signing these forms are systematically producing false documents.

This practice is a prescription for fraud. The board members who autograph these pieces of paper are knowingly allowing other individuals to present cobbled-together travel expense forms illegally, as bona fide originals. Under the California Government Code, this is considered to be providing a false account, a form of misappropriation of funds. That is a crime pursuant to Penal Code 424(a)(3).

In addition, what is to prevent members of the Board Services Unit from using these pre-signed forms to embezzle or create entirely different cobbled together document from the many undated, almost entirely blank pages board members have supplied to them?

D-Values? lol

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detroitmechworks's picture

See, I get it. It's an ingenious plan for an evil psycho. Hire a bunch of guys, rile up the public, and then, right before the people revolt, you steal your thugs pensions and hightail it to Singapore or Beijing.

The thugs will take the heat, and you'll take the money!

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15 users have voted.

I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

Lookout's picture

http://realkochfacts.com/koch-funded-johnson-centers-mission-to-destroy-...
First they funded a division at Troy University and hired their faux researcher hit men

https://www.al.com/opinion/index.ssf/2016/08/the_truth_behind_the_big_mo...
Then they lied and misled the purchased and owned legislators.

https://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/story/opinion/contributors/2015/08/...
...but fortunately, for the present, we fought off their lies with facts. Our system is not only solvent but conducts great social and economic good for our state.

Why is it the elites hate that?

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16 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Lily O Lady's picture

@Lookout

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14 users have voted.

"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

gulfgal98's picture

@Lily O Lady We have a winner!

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7 users have voted.

"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare." Sun Tzu

Alphalop's picture

Pensions.

This should be viewed as a breech of contract and I'm at a loss as to why it's not being treated as such.

We agreed to give the majority of our productive years to state service, frequently at salaries lower than those in the private sector with the understanding that in exchange for the lower wages now we will recoup it in the back end via our pensions (Which by and large are not great).

Basically we did what we were told was the best way to proceed, make less now but be prepared for the future by doing so.

Now they want to strip away the very incentive that got so many of us to take those positions in the first place.

"Paging Dr. Guillotine, will Dr. Guillotine please report to congressional aisle one for a clean up ?"

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16 users have voted.

"I used to vote Republican & Democrat, I also used to shit my pants. Eventually I got smart enough to stop doing both things." -Me

snoopydawg's picture

@Alphalop

and they should not be allowed to do it! As you and others have stated, you made a contract with the government on your pensions and they shouldn't be able to claw it back. Especially when they are hiding the fees to how much you are being charged for the banks and hedge funds to manage it. I think it's in the second article that shows that the legislature made this law in 2004 that allows them to do it. This means that no one could see if the banks are doing fraudulent activities. There should always be transparency on financial matters!

This is exactly what would happen if congress lets the banks take control of social security. They certainly don't have a good track record.

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10 users have voted.

Self-censorship actually silences exponentially more anti-establishment opinions. For every one voice you crack down on overtly, a thousand more silence themselves out of self-preservation

gulfgal98's picture

@Alphalop I am on a local govt. pension and this whole thing scares the heck out of me. My husband has paid into Social Security his entire working career, the majority of which was when he was paying both as an employer and employee.

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7 users have voted.

"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare." Sun Tzu