The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Congress-Speak:
Pension Smoothing = Screwing Retirees

Aug 4, 2014

When it was time last week to renew funding for highway projects, Congress did it through “pension smoothing.” In plain English, it means allowing companies to put less money into their pension plans. In other words, this law allows bosses to break their promise to their employees.

And don’t fall for all that b.s. about Democrats and Republicans disagreeing. Democrats, who say they oppose pension smoothing now, used it themselves in the Senate to fund unemployment benefits in April.

And how is this thing even supposed to generate money for the federal government? Well, this way, the politicians say, companies will show more profit, and they’ll pay more taxes. Maybe. IF the bosses don’t find other ways to reduce their taxes.

But one thing is certain. Companies WILL put less money into their pension plans. As they have been doing already for decades – with or without politicians passing laws about it.

And the bosses sure found ways to avoid being held accountable for it, when pensions were cut later as a result. Declaring bankruptcy, for example. And when retirees sued, companies found a judge that sided with them. Workers lost at least part of their pensions they had worked for, and paid into, for years.

If working people had any say in this country, all these crooked politicians and bosses would have been “smoothed out” themselves a long time ago.