Taxpayers beware! Bailouts not a thing of the past
Already, the voices are talking about a taxpayer bailout.
And the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation, charged with insuring pensions for about 43 million Americans, has a deficit reaching $34 billion in the past year, a record for the corporation. Overall, the agency's liabilities stand at $119 billion.
It is funded by insurance premiums on private employers and investment returns on its reserves. It says Congress needs to allow it to increase the premiums charged. The problem hasn't developed over night.
These are small potatoes, perhaps, compared to the fiscal cliff issue and the soaring deficit. But they are part and parcel of the entire problem.
Like Social Security, where there are obvious and simple fixes, these problems do not need to continue festering and growing.
Yet government, specifically Congress, fails to act. Why? Why are the losses, the problems allowed to continue to grow when simple solutions can be found?
Why is government in the housing mortgage business?
Why shouldn't pension insurance premiums be adequate to support the system?
Why shouldn't Social Security's retirement age be indexed to the major advances in life expectancy gained since the system was inaugurated?
Government's failures, and often its actions, are adding to the problems.
A fine example, of course, was the payroll tax cut reducing revenue for Social Security even as the very people voting for the tax cut wrung hands over the system's growing deficit.
The taxpayers are being left on the hook. And the hole is getting deeper.
Watch closely. Your future, and the future of your children and grandchildren, is at stake.