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Guest Post: My State Presently Owes Its Pension Funds $208 Billion What About Yours?

Tyler Durden's picture


From Fred Cederholm of Financial Sense

Pensions: A New Crisis is About to Hit the Headlines

My State presently owes its pension funds $208 BILLION, what about yours?

I’ve been thinking about pensions. Actually I’ve been thinking about
the State of our Union, unemployment/ underemployment, working people,
Illinois obligations, dona/ gifts, defined benefits, defined
contributions, deferred compensation, and bankruptcy. We are about to
venture into major untested areas in 2011. There are a great many
problems facing US/ us, but the issue of pensions has not yet even been
put on the table of concerns for our consideration. That is going to
change in the very near future. Which state or city will be the first to
seek redress or forgiveness from obligations? What will be the areas of
forgiveness sought? When the first hits, many others will follow!

see on Tuesday evening President Obama will deliver his third State of
the Union message before the US Congress. We were told in advance that a
central topic was to focus on unemployment/ underemployment. The
officially released figures chronicle a 9.3% rate. This is nowhere close
to the reality. Uncle $ugar eliminates people from the rolls after a
“moving” defined period of time. Then, the assumption is made that such
people are no longer looking for work. Just last month 600,000 people
were dropped from the calculation for this reason… as were those who
took a part time job to replace the full-time one with whatever benefits
that they held. Re-considering these factors raises the rate to well
over 22% of our population being unemployed --- a rate not unlike the
Great Depression of the 1930’s. Obama will not address this number

We are “about” in the middle of a major economic
downturn. We have clearly not yet hit bottom, but Obama will not include
this in his address either. Our government
has refused to admit how there can be no recovery without job growth
and a return to a “fully” employed populace. The President may come
close, but the political “dancing” will preclude such an admission. The
myth of “the recovery” has to be continued. Right now spin, hype, smoke,
and mirrors are all they have going for them. As long as the public
buys it, they in the government have bought more time before any great
social upheaval.

People exchange their time and skills for some
form of compensation. This compensation includes wages, salaries,
bonuses, benefits, and pensions. Not all employment includes benefits
--- particularly pensions. In my 15 or so years in public accounting and
working for the government at the FDIC/ RTC, I was excluded from any
so-called pensions. I did pay into Social Security and IRA accounts and
will be able, GOD willing, begin to tap into these come December when I
turn 62. I am not unlike many of the workforce in this regard. But… this
is beyond the scope of my column for this week.

Federal, State,
and municipal governments are feeling the recession/ depression. This
is showing up in the deficits, and what and who they owe. Illinois is in
one of the worst positions nationally in this regard. Since they are on
the “cash basis” of accounting, there is no real chronicling of what
are presently the state’s accounts payables, or outstanding liabilities.
We have been getting some information in the media. The numbers keep
growing. And… we can speculate.

We know that Illinois has NOT been making the requisite payments
each year into the pension funds to meet the coming obligations. We
know that 16 years ago, under Governor Edgar, the pension funding was
current. We now know that the Prairie State is in arrears. The big Q is
what is the liability?

Last week, I was forwarded an analysis that
really set me on end. According to a report by the American Enterprise
Institute, public pensions are under funded by more than $3 trillion
nationwide. Illinois pensions alone are $208 BILLION UNDERFUNDED using
realistic measures. The overall level of funding is 29% --- the worst in
the entire nation. Illinois SERS pensions at 23% of funding is $36
BILLION in arrears, Illinois teachers pensions at 28% of funding is $98
BILLION in arrears, Illinois Universities pensions at 30% of funding is
$35 BILLION in arrears, Chicago Teachers pensions at 43% of funding is
S16 BILLION in arrears, and Illinois municipal pensions at 47% of
funding is $24 BILLION in arrears. To get this money, total population
and corporations of the state will have to be taxed. This will not occur
without a fight --- so Illinois is looking for an “out” from these
obligations and also what it owes schools, health care providers, and
nursing homes. Be prepared to get stiffed!

It will go to the
courts in 2011. States, unlike individuals and corporations however,
cannot just file for bankruptcy and just walk from what they (in theory)
owe. They will need special dispensations and approvals from the US
Congress. This is already being discussed in the halls of Washington, DC
and in the major law firms across this nation. Is there any precedent? A
central matter for the courts on these pension questions will be: were
these retirement benefits free gifts (dona) from the states and
municipal entities, were they from defined benefit plans, were they from
defined contribution plans, or were they really deferred compensation?
How these pension obligations are classified will greatly impact the
pension beneficiaries standing in the courts, and the final amount
actually owed.

Illinois governments have played fast and loose
with the pension monies in contract and labor negotiations. More and
more pensions were the bargaining chips used to negotiate down salaries
and wages. Promises were made for these future agreements to get labor
and services up front. Such considerations will also factor into any
settlement on the liabilities! Debate on these points will occur in the
courts, in the arbitration hearings, and in the streets. A central
question will be “should the entire general population be held liable to
provide for the retirement of the few in the employ of the governmental

Should all be required to pay for the benefits of those
few, when they themselves are not eligible for such levels of
“pensions?”  Hummm…?

I’m Fred Cederholm and I’ve been thinking. You should be thinking, too.


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Wed, 01/26/2011 - 16:59 | 907214 Jason T
Jason T's picture

As walstreepro2 once said "when you're borrowing money just to pay the interst, you are fucked."

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:22 | 907293 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

Jason Respectfully. Do you know what real money means? Do you understand soverign bids? Take a seat, and listen to the forum.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:38 | 907366 spartan117
spartan117's picture

Ok, I'm listening.  Show me the money.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 19:21 | 907664 Zyroh
Zyroh's picture

illinois, the first federally ran state. (not counting dc and the territories)

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:23 | 907298 dlmaniac
dlmaniac's picture

What about the situation in other 56 states?

hmmm, let me think, let me think ...

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:57 | 907439 Commander Cody
Commander Cody's picture

USA has 57 states?  Including territories?

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 18:09 | 907476 Trape
Trape's picture

This might help from the chosen one,


Wed, 01/26/2011 - 18:14 | 907492 Commander Cody
Commander Cody's picture

Oh dear.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 18:18 | 907508 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Well, to be fair, they probably didn't study US state capitals in Indonesia.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 16:59 | 907215 Gubbmint Cheese
Gubbmint Cheese's picture

This is bullish for the market right?


Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:02 | 907229 Dixie Normous
Dixie Normous's picture

In the logic of the dollar getting slammed, yes.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 16:59 | 907216 99er
99er's picture

Half a Trillion. Hey...California always leads the nation.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 19:02 | 907629 Rainman
Rainman's picture

Cali leads so good almost the whole country is totally fucked up now. Our most prized export is the visual crap emenating from Hollyweird and distributed to the masses electronically. Most of the films/TV stuff are shit.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 19:29 | 907682 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Yup.  They also export the crap a few blocks from Hollyweird in San Porn-nando Valley.  For the girls and guys who don't make it on the Hollywood casting couch.

The only things that are ever decent is when they bring in a Brit director and Brit or Aussie cast.   They are few and far between. Batman with C Bale and LA Confidential with Crowe and Pearce. 

The rest of Hollyweird's stuff is shit.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 19:56 | 907752 andybev01
andybev01's picture

Oh, I'm sure they did just fine on the casting couch. It was the screen tests that did them in.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 20:35 | 907855 rosiescenario
rosiescenario's picture

...uh, that would be SoCal, which we in NorCal consider a different country.


In NorCal we create the technology which leads to overseas job creation...we are quite good at it. And, if the job cannot be exported, our companies up here bring the foreign workers to it....

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 21:37 | 908104 Rainman
Rainman's picture

...and you grow some outstanding reefer up there too. NorCal should split away and call themselves South Oregon. Please take Jerry, Diane, Nancy, Gavin and Barbara with you :-} Please.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 22:32 | 908250 tellsometruth
Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:00 | 907219 Id fight Gandhi
Id fight Gandhi's picture

I think pensioners will have to go without a check. Sucks, but that's what we got here. Do we go without fire force, police, teachers so people can kick back and retire comfortably?

It's been a ponzi scheme since the start.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:16 | 907267 Weaseldog
Weaseldog's picture

Do you really think there's going to be a choice?


After the pensioners are stiffed, the states will still need to keep making cuts.


So after the pensioners start becoming homeless, the police and fire departments will star laying off too.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 18:03 | 907454 Dr. Porkchop
Dr. Porkchop's picture

The pensioners are going to keep right on getting paid, cuz they are the ones that do the voting. Now a huge lump of a demographic known as the boomers are going to be retiring, and you can make damn sure they'll be making their desire to keep the checks rolling in known.


No, I think it's the Gen Xers and newer who are truly fucked.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 18:48 | 907586 tbd108
tbd108's picture

I think you're right about the pensioners getting the "checks." However a couple of thousand a week should be able to buy at least one can of high end dog food before QE2+ is over. My dogs recommend Merrick brand. Comes in many different flavors and is made right here in America!

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 18:08 | 907473 cossack55
cossack55's picture

Easy fix.  The police can start incinerating the homeless pensioners and then the fire dept can come and put them out. TA-DA. No applause, please.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 19:47 | 907704 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Yup.  If you want to see how this story ends - see the implosion of the USSR.  People living in the subways begging to avoid freezing to death.  Pensioners getting pennies a month with the new currency.   Idiots elected a mu*lim and it is all going down in flames.  F*** em.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:00 | 907220 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

Into Debt. Yes I'm a Righty.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:03 | 907221 Dixie Normous
Dixie Normous's picture

Funny, this AEI report (if it's the one I think you refer to) is almost 1 year old.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:16 | 907270 sodbuster
sodbuster's picture

So we can assume it's a whole lot worse!

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:20 | 907283 Dixie Normous
Dixie Normous's picture

Ahhhh, yep.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 19:59 | 907758 scatterbrains
scatterbrains's picture

actually no what you have to do is look at the total amount of underfunding nation wide and extrapolate what level the Bernank needs SPY to go to cover the gap. There's your upside target on the SPY

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:03 | 907231 StockInsanity
StockInsanity's picture
  FED up with the TRUTH !

We're doing such a fine job manipulating the market so that all you poor folk out there really have no clue as to how bad it really is. We're just gonna keep on monetizing the debt until you dumb-f@#!Ks realize its all a sham. Please continue to pay no attention to what we're NOT doing. Thank you."

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:28 | 907319 andybev01
andybev01's picture

I was just thinking that the Prez acts like the main character in 'The Invention Of Lying'. His mannerisms and his delivery all scream "I am the only person who knows that these numbers are distorted but if I say the words right no one will know that I am taking them for a ride!"

Except that we do see through the fog and I for one for feel slightly insulted by his demeanor.

Or if I may quote Chuck: "I don’t mind your dishonesty, half as much as I mind your opinion of me. You must think I am stupid"

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:04 | 907235 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Default is my guess.

Or would that be better called "Jubilee"?

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:39 | 907360 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

There is an even worse aspect to this than meets the eye.  The obligations that States have include ordinary and simple things such as stationery for offices, janitorial contractors, landscaping contractors, building maintenance firms, trash removal, and a whole array of other small businesses.   These folks will get stiffed big time!  This means a huge number of small folks who will be BK in a flash.  I'm sure it's already happening and the wave will become a tsunami.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:43 | 907379 whoopsing
whoopsing's picture

Come to thinkof it,a friend of mine won't do work w/ Nassau.They don't pay! drag it out forever,been like that about two year's

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 19:39 | 907705 Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

Mr. Great Hat Guy, you have stumbled upon the answer.

If they want to keep getting their checks, the pensioners will find themselves unhappily replacing all the janitors, landscapers, trash removers and other workers who are currently being paid in cash.

Sure, in either scenario the small contractors are toast, but it gives meaningful work to former pensioners who will be living productive and greatly shortened lives.

It makes up for the pension shortfall and radically reduces medicare costs too.

Nobody loses.

At least, nobody IMPORTANT.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 22:06 | 908197 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

These folks will get stiffed big time!


"Will get??"  Vendors doing business with the Illinios state Govt HAVE BEEN getting stiffed for close to two years!

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 20:37 | 907861 rosiescenario
rosiescenario's picture

...lets just call it "The New Dollar"....follow Mexico's lead on this...they were a few years ahead of us....

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:05 | 907239 oogs66
oogs66's picture

NY State oversight board seized control of the finances of Nassau County on Long Island. 

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:14 | 907262 John McCloy
John McCloy's picture

I just saw Fed takes over state finances..slow erosion of county and then state rights.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:35 | 907348 whoopsing
whoopsing's picture

Oh yes,because Albany know's how to run thing's.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 18:22 | 907521 Miss Expectations
Miss Expectations's picture

I found the Times article...

My neighbor is a retired Hempstead detective.  He gets over $100,000/year, plus the disability he somehow got after he retired, plus the lifetime health care for him and his wife. He retired in his early 50's and despite his "disability" he mows his lawn with a push mower and walks the county golf course twice a week.  He also has a Mercedes which he drives around with what my husband calls the "pimp slouch". 

So, thanks for the heads up.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 18:43 | 907595 Confused
Confused's picture

Its seems there is alot of that type of disability in Nassau. I'm not sure which is worse, police salary on LI, or property taxes. 


Wed, 01/26/2011 - 20:29 | 907839 whoopsing
whoopsing's picture

Long Island is going to be the poster child of "what goes wrong when the SHTF"

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:07 | 907241 InconvenientCou...
InconvenientCounterParty's picture

chill out will you?

Dr. Benanke is working on his thesis for PhD 2.0.

The title is "Monetary Parameterization of Infinity"


Wed, 01/26/2011 - 18:26 | 907532 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Yep, all pensions will be off-loaded onto the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp, and Uncle Ben will fire up the presses in order to ensure that the US can "continue to meet their obligations."

Of course, those monthly checks will have just enough purchasing power to buy your favorite flavor of dog food. But hey, that's the pensioner's problem, not The Bernank's.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:08 | 907242 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

  There is aways a way to place a bet Stock Insanity. Put and Call options. Don't get emotional. Just trade it.  Try f/x.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:08 | 907243 johngaltfla
johngaltfla's picture

The proverbial other side of Municide. They can't fund it due to a real estate crash, they can't charge more sales or income taxes as net wages are still in freefall, and they can't magically print money.

Do I hear QE XXIV on the way?

This is cool. We can start numbering the QE's in Roman Numerals like the Super Bowl.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:14 | 907261 I Am The Unknow...
I Am The Unknown Comic's picture

You mean "QE XLV"    Go SteAlers!!!! 

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:34 | 907343 Mad Max
Mad Max's picture

Ultima ratio Bernanke?

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 18:27 | 907541 TexasAggie
TexasAggie's picture

how cum no one uses QE XXX?

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 18:40 | 907585 Logans_Run
Logans_Run's picture


Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:11 | 907250 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

I need to espouse the 9.3% rate and 208B under funded. Ref: the article

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:11 | 907251 sodbuster
sodbuster's picture

>I’m Fred Cederholm and I’ve been thinking. You should be thinking, too.<

Stop thinking, Fred, American Idol is on tonite. You just don't get it- the solution is to spend more, and make damn sure the banksters get bailed out and the bonuses keep coming. WTF, Fred, we need free health care for anyone who can crawl across our border, and free shit for everybody! There are no problems, Fred! Congress is still dreaming up new programs! You think they would do that if we had money problems?? I used to think like you, but when I voiced my concerns to my fellow citizens, the answer I get 99% of the time is-"Well! The government will NEVER let that happen!!" So there you have it, Fred, problem solved! Now stop thinking and BTFD!!!


Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:17 | 907273 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

Sodbuster. I think I like your thinking. You should consider Politics. Don't ever say NEVER. That word doesn't exist in my Dictionary.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 20:43 | 907873 downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture

Way to attack dispossessed Mexican peasants, sodbuster!  That sure takes guts.

Perhaps you can toss a blind cripple off a bridge for an encore!.

You forgot to mention all those free bombs for brown people.  Funny how Uncle Sam just keeps on handing them out!

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 20:59 | 907940 sodbuster
sodbuster's picture

Dispossessed my ass- they can stay the hell home- they are here illegally. As for the bombs- I think the US should stay home- next time some backwater country asks for help- tell them to talk to France or China.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 21:04 | 907959 downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture

Illegal my ass.  The land was all stolen to begin with, so who the hell are you to talk about legality or ownership, white man?

Blame the victim:  the ideology of ignorant, overprivileged, Austrian-school cowards.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 21:06 | 907962 downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture

"Asks for help" - HA!

What a deluded, flag-sucking punk.  Uncle Sam is nothing more than a gangster for capitalism.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 21:38 | 908107 sodbuster
sodbuster's picture

My, my, aren't we a bleeding heart, pseudo- intellectual, sorry-ass excuse of a liberal. Brown people? Racist! Everybody hates the US- but they all want to come here, don't they?

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:11 | 907253 Common_Cents22
Common_Cents22's picture

Henry Paulson and Kashkari made up a nice round number of 900B for their bankster cronies.   the Bernank added a few more trillion.


Now the Bernank sez no bailouts for the state.   The unwashed masses are on their own.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:13 | 907257 Devout Republican
Devout Republican's picture

Those people should have tucked more away like me!

I don't care what happens so long as there are police to protect my private property.

Praise the Lord!

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:18 | 907278 Weaseldog
Weaseldog's picture



Yeah, the police will take a report down after you've been burglarized, but you'll probably have to file it on a web page managed in Pakistan.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:28 | 907322 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

Hey I'll use my paintball gun. You sissy!

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:32 | 907335 pslater
pslater's picture

If you're going to rely on the police to protect your private property, you're going to be sorely disappointed.  My Mom lives in a well know city in California.  In the last six months, this city has laid off 150 police officers.  Last July, when the first round of layoff were announced, the police department said they would no longer be responding to burglary calls.  I doubt seriously this situation has improved with the second round of layoffs.

Prepare youself physically and tactically and have enough resources to live for awhile without public services.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:43 | 907374 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Oh, my.  What will I do with the bodies of the burglars?  Just put them out on the curb for the trash?  Oops.  No sanitation workers....   Hmmm.   Well, I guess they'll make good fertilizer for my garden.  Just look for the extra large tomatoes.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:46 | 907395 Gene Parmesan
Gene Parmesan's picture

If you gut them while they're still fresh you might have something to mix in with all that rice you're stockpiling!

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 20:06 | 907772 andybev01
andybev01's picture

Oh hell no.

humans are far too toxic to eat. Consider all of the chemicals that we ingest every day in the average diet. Things we slather on our bodies like deodorant and hair restoring chemicals etc, that we pay billions of dollars a year for. Silicone breasts and OTC drugs.

Nope, un-uh, I'll pass thank-you-very-much.


I'll have the salad (or a very strict Vegan if you have one.)

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:54 | 907424 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Except the bones, they compost beautifully. Just cover them with enough straw to keep the varmits out. No different than any other animal carcass.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 18:09 | 907479 JohnG
JohnG's picture

Do you keep hogs?  They'll eat anything.  Just be sure to remove teeth and hair (teeth can perforate intestines, and hair is bad for thier general digestion.)  I find it easier to just remove the head completely with a chainsaw.

Now, a body can be very hard to move in one piece, so what you do is chop them into 6 pices and sort of....pile them together.  Easier and more fun to throw body parts into the hogpen one by one.

Hogs have multiple uses.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 18:13 | 907486 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

They don't even have to be dead yet. Why hog farmers watch their kids like a hawk around the pens.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 18:17 | 907501 JohnG
JohnG's picture

Yet another reason to be wary of farmers that keep hogs :)

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 19:41 | 907710 Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

...and who have surprisingly small families.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 20:43 | 907882 rosiescenario
rosiescenario's picture

....set them up as scarecrows...on the front lawn....they will look better than flamingos and might deter others????

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 21:28 | 908065 Hulk
Hulk's picture

Compost them RR, or feed them to the chickens, which are essentially land piranhas with feathers...

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:44 | 907387 andybev01
andybev01's picture

If you really love your Momma, get her ass out of Oaktown.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:55 | 907426 Devout Republican
Devout Republican's picture

I carry no fear as the Lord will protect me and my family.

Palin 2012!

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 18:04 | 907457 Commander Cody
Commander Cody's picture

She's got guns.  Do you?

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 21:36 | 908099 snowball777
snowball777's picture

She lives near bears. Do you?

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 18:23 | 907523 JohnG
JohnG's picture

Try this experiment:

For  dinner tonight, don't cook anything.  Then sit down at the table, close your eyes, and pray for food.

I'll look for your results later.  I predict you'll still be hungry.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 18:35 | 907566 LFMayor
LFMayor's picture

God didn't invent welfare or free cheese, progressives did.  If you bother to read the Bible there are a few verses in there that say something along the lines of "Get your lazy MF ass up and get to work, so you don't go hungry".  I even heard that other relgions have some similar teachings in them, too.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 18:50 | 907612 Devout Republican
Devout Republican's picture

Hallelujah brother!  Get off you butts and get a job you free loaders.  Move to China if you must.  While you're there you can spread the word of the Lord!

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 18:53 | 907619 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

That was an invention of the Catholic church to inspire workers to greater results at the same pay. It is why Confuscius replaced Tao in China as well. Seemed the emperors wanted a better slave work ethic. 

There is the parable of the worker that would seem to support the worker is worth his wages and the freedom of an employer to pay as he sees fit without other workers complaining, but that isn't the same thing. 

So, say amen with a hoe, and if your a pastor- maybe a ho.. :0)

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 20:34 | 907849 infinity8
infinity8's picture

In the words of my devout Catholic Mother - "God helps those who help themselves"-

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 22:13 | 908212 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

"Pray, but move your feet!"

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 22:18 | 908220 infinity8
infinity8's picture

Jeezuz! never heard that one - thanks!

that should be Gee, Buzz. . .

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 21:40 | 908114 snowball777
snowball777's picture

The parable of the worker is just that: a parable; about getting into heaven being available to latecomers as well as the early (it's never too late, as they say) and has little, if anything, to do with the ethics of actual labor.

Remember: the man had to drop these little nuggets of wisdom in cipher.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 19:05 | 907631 Agent P
Agent P's picture

"God didn't invent welfare or free cheese, progressives did."

I'm neither religious nor progressive, but I seem to recall hearing a story once about some Fish and Loaves, or something like that...just sayin'. 

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 19:43 | 907718 Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

If Jesus wasn't a progressive, Obama isn't Satan.

Screw the fishes and loaves. I just want some found-fresh-daily manna. And I don't want to hear those Soylent Green references.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 20:47 | 907896 downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture

Mayor, translated:

"Can't find a job because capitalism doesn't work in the US anymore?

"Tough shit.  Fuck off.  Die."

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:13 | 907258 John McCloy
John McCloy's picture

  When oil rises along with these record commodity costs this country is going to come to a standstill. Now we have to cope with fuel costs of doing business with never before seen input costs who in their right mind thinks this already bankrupt nations consumers can absorb this? 

Jobs are gonna poof the moment oil hits 120.00 forget about 150.00

I bought a candy bar at duane reade yesterday and do you know how much it cost me? 

$1.08 for Pretzel M&M's.What??

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:23 | 907297 Weaseldog
Weaseldog's picture

Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding!  We have a winner!


In regards to previous comments, if selling our technology, manuafacturing and jobs overseas weren't so profitable, these pensions and medical care wouldn't be an issue.

Once the penshioners are gone and hospitals can't afford to treat people who aren't paying cash up front, we'll find many folks scapegoating the 'entitled' people who still have jobs.


It's all relative....

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:47 | 907402 Gene Parmesan
Gene Parmesan's picture

"What??" is right! I didn't even know pretzel M&Ms existed!

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 18:02 | 907452 John McCloy
John McCloy's picture

Yeah Gene and they are pretty good. 

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 18:16 | 907500 bpj
bpj's picture

They're okay, but I got give props to M&M Peanuts


Wed, 01/26/2011 - 20:17 | 907804 andybev01
andybev01's picture

Saving money by using filler.

Ever notice that every classic chocolate bar now has a 'crunch' equivalent?

Less chocolate and more cookie = more profit!

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 21:52 | 908147 John McCloy
John McCloy's picture

Speaking if bout Taco Bell?
Did people really think 9.00 could buy you an insane amount of food without fillers?
It's all about the margins baby...all across the corporate world.
They need mark to unicorns, triple Dutch tax law circumvention, currency debasement and Slave labor all to squeeze out the pennies.
The US corporations are walking a highwire right now.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 18:43 | 907593 Miss Expectations
Miss Expectations's picture

This woman goes up to the Duane Reade stock boy and asks, "Were are da pens?"  He tells her, "They're up front, near the registers."  She goes up front and comes back a minute later.  She says, " The Depends aren't up there".  I've been waiting to tell that one for quite some time.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:15 | 907265 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture






but don't cash it before 2020....

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:15 | 907266 apberusdisvet
apberusdisvet's picture

I can see what's coming.  At some point the value of my home and my annual property tax bill are going to meet at around $25,000.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:23 | 907296 Dixie Normous
Dixie Normous's picture

I have tried to explain this exact scenario to my local pols, f'n frustrating is an understatement.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:25 | 907304 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

AKA the vanishing point, or the flash point, depending on if your nature is flight or fight.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:34 | 907345 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

they have made "owning" a home a LIABILITY !!!.....

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 20:46 | 907892 rosiescenario
rosiescenario's picture


Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:26 | 907315 Temporalist
Temporalist's picture

Temporalist < Sticks fingers in ears "LALALALALALALALALA there is no debt LALALALALA"

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:28 | 907326 holmes
holmes's picture

Do I really give a fu*k if bomb throwing Bill Ayers gets his pension.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 20:49 | 907907 downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture

On the Pentagon is allowed to throw bombs.

And Pigs.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:39 | 907349 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

Last weekend my son and daughter went to the cinema and could take 2 friends with them.

When we entered, I gave the all 5 euro to buy candy.

My son went for the biggest popcorn and a big cola

My daughter went for a big bag of M&M's and a big cola

Their friends took a big pack of chips and the other and ice cream and both 2 big cola's.

At the registry, they had to pay 46 euro but the had only 20 euro.

With smiling eyes they looked and me.

And with smiling eyes I looked back and said: I gave you 5 euro's each and nothing more. You have to decide what to take.

They all placed back the big cola's.

After they ate all their popcorn, M&M's, Chips and Icecream, they really got thirsty.

"Daddy, can I have something to drink" they said with eyes like they had traveled across the desert.

NO, I said.

Next time, you'll just have to think twice what you take.


My wife and I smiled all the way home and I hope they learned a lesson.

And if not, they'll will the next time.



Some of their friend already have visa card for god's sake! 8 YEARS OLD! What kind of education is that!

I want my kids to know the meaning of money and the fact that it doesn't grow on trees.


Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:45 | 907394 Temporalist
Temporalist's picture

But fiat does grow on trees...they are smarter than you already.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:46 | 907398 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

That's why we don't go to movies.  The snacks cost more than the flick.  I do subscribe to Netflix and we paid for the 50 inch plasma with the savings from watching at home.  I'd like to say we got a free TV but that would be fooling myself.  Rationalizations like that will get an otherwise frugal person in debt!

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:53 | 907420 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

To be honest, I was chocked at the registry.

9 euro each for the tickets :

6 X 9 euro = 54 euro (74 dollar)

Parking : 4 euro

Snacks : 20 for the kids, 15 for for my wife and me.

That was 93 euro (128 dollar) to go to the movies with the kids.

I still think that's a lot of money.


Wed, 01/26/2011 - 18:11 | 907481 Commander Cody
Commander Cody's picture

Damn right that's a lot of money!  Well, we solved the problem:  Sold the kids into slavery, hocked the big screen, grow our own food, and watch over-the-air TV on our 13 inch, 30 year old Quasar.  Bourbon bill is pretty high though.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 20:20 | 907814 andybev01
andybev01's picture

Commander, you need to look into processing your own mash.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 18:13 | 907487 crosey
crosey's picture

Next time stay home and have the kids perform a play for you and your wife.  Far more amusing than the "comedy" at the Bijou, these days.  Keep the cash.

Got a good brew for you if you can get it there.  Stone Old Guardian barley wine.  Son gave me some for Christmas.  Pretty awesome.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 18:16 | 907498 Commander Cody
Commander Cody's picture

I think he's from Belgium.  Now, they know beer and ale.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 18:42 | 907592 irishgurl4
irishgurl4's picture

Damn right they do.  Oh to be in Brussels sippng lambic at Cantillon ... *sigh*

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 20:54 | 907922 Fearless Rick
Fearless Rick's picture

Holy cinematicrap, Batman, $128 is a lot of money. The minimum wage worker in the USA makes $7.25 per hour. The average workweek in the US is about 34 hours. That comes to $246.50 BEFORE taxes (though, at that level they're small). That means the worker would have to work half a week just to take his wife (or husband) and 4 kids to the flicks. Absurd.

Another anecdote: watching the tube, the local hockey team playing a home game (Rochester Amerks). The arena seats about 9800. There are so many empty seats the place looks nearly completely empty. I don't think a lot of minor league pro teams are going to cut it with attendances under 1000 per game, and this one looked like about 400. They are AHL, one step below NHL.

One more: Just saw that SS will run a current account deficit of $65 billion in 2011. I am 57. I have technically 10 more years to go for the Full Monty, but I fear that by that time, the deficit will be so deep, I'll have to pay in, rather than get money out. It all sucks.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 23:29 | 908388 snowball777
snowball777's picture

Yes, trying to have four kids on minimum wage would be absurd. So is attempting to corner the silver market with the change found in your couch. So what?

Walk to the theater and avoid eating the overpriced impulse buy on the way in and it's $74, not $128...or $6 / hour / familymember for a 2 hour flick for 6 people. Have a reasonable number of kids: save $37.

Videogames are about $4/hour of entertainment.

LSD is about 0.30/hour.

Spinning in the park until you fall over: free (for now).

Thu, 01/27/2011 - 02:08 | 908632 trav7777
trav7777's picture

agree; took the 2 + a gf to a theatre and including parking it rang up something like $75.  For a shitty flick that was totally unexceptional

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 20:48 | 907900 rosiescenario
rosiescenario's picture

...speaking of which...up 10% in ah....what a market....maybe the chemtrails folks are actually right?????

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:46 | 907399 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

I am floored they would pay 46 euros for crap with the propensity to cause cancer. Attaboy for staying with the budget though.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:56 | 907434 Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

Your kids will only learn the lesson if you and the wife continue to stick to your plan. People are like water and electricity. They always seek the path of least resistance. Until they are old enough to start earning their own money and can spend what they earn, and with the parents as the only current source of spending dollars they will always push the envelope of trying to entice those dollars out of your pockets.

I've been working since I was twelve years old delivering newspapers to earn spending money, I have so far been unable to learn the value of money. I think the only thing I have learned is that once I turn that money over to another asshole, my chances of getting it back are slim.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 18:32 | 907558 SilverRhino
SilverRhino's picture

+1 to the Euro guy and his good lesson. 

Next lessons: The 4 laws of Gun Safety :-)


Wed, 01/26/2011 - 19:55 | 907748 Rainman
Rainman's picture

.....assume all guns are always loaded. Lesson complete.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 21:53 | 908155 Sokhmate
Sokhmate's picture

Pay with spaghetti next time. It grows on trees

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:43 | 907377 Bastiat
Bastiat's picture

Think how underfunded the pensions would look if not for the massive prop-job on the equity markets.  It depends on the assumed returns used in the actuarial model -- I'm not sure how they are doing it now but I recal (back when I chaired a small pension board) our actuary used a moving average of the past "X" number of years. 

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:45 | 907392 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

and its the reason Ben has no choice but to continue to prop the market until infinity and beyond

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:59 | 907444 Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

With all due respect, Benron can pump the stock markets to infinity and beyond, and it won't matter one least little bit.

"We know that Illinois has NOT been making the requisite payments each year into the pension funds to meet the coming obligations"

New Jersey's governor did the same thing. How much longer can the scheme continue if the ponzi ain't being replenished.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 18:18 | 907507 Bastiat
Bastiat's picture

IF Benron props he market long and hard enough NO contributions would be necessary because the pension fund would start to show a "surplus."

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 18:36 | 907570 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Easy, start a new quasi-public ponzi called the Pension Benefits Guarantee Corp.

It's like the Fannie and Freddie of the retirement world, insolvent with no hope ever to escape it until it is nationalized.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 19:08 | 907638 Bastiat
Bastiat's picture

Yeah. Or have states issue pension obligation bonds to be purchased by the big banks with free money loaned by the Fed (using the POBs as collateral).


Wed, 01/26/2011 - 22:57 | 908315 TradingTroll
TradingTroll's picture

At Dow 100,000 the selling of means testing for SS might fly in which case SS obligations could be dramatically reduced

But of course the $100trl to get to Dow 100k would only perhaps save a few trl of SS liabilities

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:43 | 907378 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

and to think this does NOT even include the unfunded health care benefits for the public pigs for LIFE......they have now become hogs and will get slaughtered

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 21:04 | 907958 Fearless Rick
Fearless Rick's picture

Will the motto of the revolution be "shoot a bureaucrat or die?" 

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:46 | 907397 Quantum Nucleonics
Quantum Nucleonics's picture

No worries, IL just took out a loan to make its pension contribution for this year.  You can just arb your way fully funded, right?

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 17:51 | 907413 carbonmutant
carbonmutant's picture

 Homeowners are the low hanging fruit in the state's plan to scavenge revenue...

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 18:04 | 907458 Dr. Porkchop
Dr. Porkchop's picture

Obviously they failed to BTFD.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 18:04 | 907460 Hondo
Hondo's picture

Well do you want to pay for the pensions of the power and light companies employees (that's a government given monopoly)?  How about the gas utilities employees (again all public company's with a monopoly power).  What about utility management bonsues.....just throw it in the rate base.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 18:20 | 907516 Commander Cody
Commander Cody's picture

Yeah, let Wall Street run the utilities.  That'll save the customer a ton o'money.  Rates are regulated - for the most part.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 18:13 | 907488 sharonsj
sharonsj's picture

I read that in In NJ, where Gov. Christie is battling with the unions, apparently the pension fund money was used for other state purposes--that's why NJ can't keep its promises.  I wonder how many other states did the same thing? 

Meanwhile, here in PA, to meet pension promises from 10 years ago, my property tax is going up.  So part of my pitiful Social Security is going to support people who earn six times what I do.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 21:08 | 907971 Fearless Rick
Fearless Rick's picture

This f--ing comment box?

So part of my pitiful Social Security is going to support people who earn six times what I do.


That's the worst part. I live within my means and end up paying through the nose to support worthless government ass-holes 

Not happy.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 18:13 | 907489 gookempucky
gookempucky's picture

Cant really place the blame on the state employees---put the blame where it originated--the money managers. This is where your money gets invested in the state of New York. These people are the crooks and its all tied to wall strips.


Wed, 01/26/2011 - 18:21 | 907518 Bastiat
Bastiat's picture

Put the blame on the public officials who approved the union contracts, selling out the future for their personal short-term political gain (union votes).

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 20:23 | 907828 Forgiven
Forgiven's picture

Blame them or burn them, it won't do any good.  Just move.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 21:39 | 908108 ConfusedIdiot
ConfusedIdiot's picture

Quoting Forgiven: "Blame them or burn them, it won't do any good.  Just move."


I did. State pensions?County pensions?City pensions? Fed pensions? Sales tax? Property tax? Utility bills? If you remain in the US you will pay but not receive. Like Karl D. says "it's the math."

I moved. Full time house keeper and cook - $7/day. Always sunny, not touched a dime of savings in over 2 years. 3 b/r, 3 bath, 3 terraces, in town , 5 minute walk to the mayor's office. Full time police and fire, no pension liablities. 100% covered health no limits or conditions. Dr. comes to the house. Dish TV and hi speed internet. $5 lunch is considered very expensive.


Wed, 01/26/2011 - 21:00 | 907945 downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture

Whatever you do, don't blame the war criminals dropping nuclear weapons on babies.

They have nothing to do with the world's financial problems.

Neither do the banker-gangsters who collect interest from us on THEIR fiat.

Nope - you would rather nurses and garbage collectors die of starvation.


Wed, 01/26/2011 - 18:23 | 907526 gookempucky
gookempucky's picture

Heres more as 432 billion pension coalition demands--these money managers couldnt even manage running in place and people wonder where there pension money has disappeared--its called gambling .

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 19:27 | 907679 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Where are you supposed to put your money where it isn't gambling?  Should managers have cornered the silver market and subject themselves to paper ass pounding?  Buy real property and subject their clients to property taxes and title issues?  Buy sovereign debt?

Not that any of them are worth a shit even if there were assets in which you might accurately asses risk...

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