Quantifying The Treasury's Plunder Of Retirement Accounts: $80 Billion Between The G- And CSRD Funds Since Debt Ceiling Breach

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Mon, 06/06/2011 - 17:51 | 1344746 IdioTsincracY
IdioTsincracY's picture

Who needs retirement anyhow!?!

Mon, 06/06/2011 - 17:56 | 1344772 Rainman
Rainman's picture

..retirement is transitory.

Mon, 06/06/2011 - 18:19 | 1344867 Perseid.Rocks
Perseid.Rocks's picture

Tell that to Geitner when you take his all his personal accounts away from him. I wonder if he squeals like all the other piggies ?

Mon, 06/06/2011 - 19:28 | 1345126 three chord sloth
three chord sloth's picture

Here is the point: They can't.

They cannot take away earned pensions from government employees. This is well established law, already ruled on by the Supreme Court decades ago.

In short, we the taxpayers are legally required make good on these pensions. If we already paid for them, and congress/the fed/the treasury/the frickin' moonies spend all the money on other things, well... too bad. We pay for it again. Period. No choice in the matter.

This is just a backdoor way to extract more money from the taxpayers... and congress can claim "our hands are tied".

Bend over, suckers. Government pensions outrank taxpayer's wishes. They can steal it and make you pay for it again, and there's nothing you can do about it. Hell, they can steal it again next year and every year... and make you refill it again and again. Over and over and over...

Mon, 06/06/2011 - 19:42 | 1345178 Rainman
Rainman's picture

Written right into the Constitution of the People's Republik of Kalifornia too...the other Greece .

Mon, 06/06/2011 - 20:11 | 1345274 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

  I'm soo far ahead of ya ?

Mon, 06/06/2011 - 23:10 | 1345812 FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

They will always pay, but will what they receive be worthless?  If I were a retired govt. worker, I'd ask for mine in $50. gold eagles at face value.

Mon, 06/06/2011 - 23:55 | 1345892 Monedas
Monedas's picture

Take it all !!! Piss it away on reconstruction in Haiti !!!............Monedas is pleased to announce that John Maynard Keynes was never knighted ! Thank you King George !.............Monedas' History Primer : #1 Nobel = TNT. #2 Hitler = Meth. #3 Leary = LSD. #4 Keynes = Fiat. #5 Monedas = http://trololololololololololo.com/

Mon, 06/06/2011 - 19:49 | 1345206 spinone
spinone's picture

Just like now we have a social security crisis, because they spent the money already, in 10 years we will have a Federal Pension Crisis, cause they are spending the money now.

Mon, 06/06/2011 - 20:56 | 1345420 three chord sloth
three chord sloth's picture

Of course, SS is different. It is not legally considered a pension, so it is not defined as earned (but deferred) income.

If memory serves, SS is legally treated as a transfer program like welfare. And that means unlike pensions, you and I have absolutely NO property rights to a single dime of it. In the legal heirarchy, SS sits somewhere down at the bottom, with the red-headed stepchildren and rented mules.

Mon, 06/06/2011 - 23:03 | 1345802 Id fight Gandhi
Id fight Gandhi's picture

Law or not. They could write a last hour pass like tarp to dissolve it. But I think USA will be at a world war long before that.

Do really think we will have revolutions here in the USA? Or will they have ww3 to rally the union.

Tue, 06/07/2011 - 07:38 | 1346258 blindfaith
blindfaith's picture

"Do really think we will have revolutions here in the USA? Or will they have ww3 to rally the union.".

No to the first question, as long as there are new phone apps, video games, netflix, and factory bio-Vat brewed meat for fast food shops.

Yes to the second,  Americans love a spectacle or ruckus and don't hesitate to send their first born to bring home honorable mention.

 

And, a note on the main article...if Timmy is going it, so is every state, county and municipal.  When the money is gone, what do you do call ghostbusters?

Mon, 06/06/2011 - 20:03 | 1345250 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

The thing about laws is they can be ignored or re-written at will.

Mon, 06/06/2011 - 20:10 | 1345272 Rainman
Rainman's picture

"The illegal we do right away. The unconstitutional takes a little longer."

Henry Kissinger

Tue, 06/07/2011 - 07:45 | 1346274 blindfaith
blindfaith's picture

..... he was (for those born in the 60's or later) referring to President Nixon...nod and wink.  Watergate, Vietnam and Cambodia, and ho, a few other things.

Ford pardoned all crimes against the Nation and Constitution that Nixon may or did do.  And, so set the stage for executive privilege to do as seen convenient with no fear of repercussion (unless it has to do with sex). 

Funny how things can follow on when they are not properly made examples of for all to learn from.

Mon, 06/06/2011 - 20:17 | 1345304 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Exactly.

There is nothing mystical about any man-made written law. Without mutual consent to abide by it, there can be none.

Not a pretty picture either IMO.

Should be interesting when Timmah pulls out the "Hey!...this is your retirement we're talkin about here as well, Congress!!!" card ;-)

Mon, 06/06/2011 - 20:46 | 1345351 Pegasus Muse
Pegasus Muse's picture

"They cannot take away earned pensions from government employees. This is well established law, already ruled on by the Supreme Court decades ago.

In short, we the taxpayers are legally required make good on these pensions."

It is good to recall, when those who might imply it is somehow unfair that government workers be paid the retirement they contributed to their entire working lives, and in stark contrast to corporations like GE, Boeing, and Wall St fat cats (like Mayor Bloomberg who off-shored much of his personal wealth to avoid paying taxes), these government workers actually paid taxes during their working years and will continue paying taxes on their pension income, assuming the government does not renege on its obligations in some form or fashion.

Mon, 06/06/2011 - 21:08 | 1345473 QuantumCat
QuantumCat's picture

These are contribution accounts, much like 401(k)s, but they are called Thrift Savings Plan.  People have actually contributed portion of their paychecks to the G fund, without any matching.  The treasury is looting money from responsible folks who wish to save for their own retirement.  

Tue, 06/07/2011 - 07:51 | 1346284 blindfaith
blindfaith's picture

Using another's money or property without expressed knowledge or permission is called...Conversion.

Conversion is a form of statuary fraud. 

Mon, 06/06/2011 - 23:50 | 1345871 Raymond Reason
Raymond Reason's picture

Black market.  The only way to beat 'em. 

Tue, 07/05/2011 - 23:33 | 1428633 rufusbird
rufusbird's picture

Property tax revenues are dropping and budget cuts are announced almost weekly. Public employees are retiring ASAP...

Mon, 06/06/2011 - 19:46 | 1345208 navy62802
navy62802's picture

So is life.

Mon, 06/06/2011 - 18:00 | 1344800 AAPL_Short
AAPL_Short's picture

Obama: My fellow Americans, we must erect systemts to quantitatively ease those that are too big to fail.

Butt-head: Huh huh huh huh. He said, "erect ... ease ... too big. "
Beavis: Oh, yeah. He said it.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2298/5804732091_d925ef40bd.jpg

Tue, 06/07/2011 - 02:07 | 1346072 natty light
natty light's picture

Ummm isn't Geithner beavis in this pic?

Mon, 06/06/2011 - 18:10 | 1344825 SilverRhino
SilverRhino's picture

If they will rob federal employees, they will rob private citizens with even LESS reservations.

 

Mon, 06/06/2011 - 18:28 | 1344897 Anonymouse
Anonymouse's picture

Has anyone seen a legal argument on this issue?  Of course "sovereign immunity" covers-up a host of sins.  I assume ERISA is silent on this matter, but don't know in the case of the federal government.

But how is this not "debt"?  Clearly the beneficiaries of these pension funds have a legal claim on the assets of the fund.  Even if de-funding the funds is allowable (if immoral), how is this not debt.

The government  taxpayers will have to pay it back.

Presumably they will have to pay it back with interest.

How is this different from any other debt issued by the government?

Debt to the Social Security "Trust" Fund, i.e., the entire balance of the "trust" fund, is counted as debt, even if the unfunded liability is not.  Why is this not similarly treated?

Has anyone seen a discussion of this?

 

Mon, 06/06/2011 - 18:27 | 1344904 Anonymouse
Anonymouse's picture

Also, for clarification, is this tapping of the funds,

1. literally grabbing existing fund assets, or

2. not making contributions to the fund as scheduled

Obviously the effect is the same, but I am unclear on the mechanism

Mon, 06/06/2011 - 19:12 | 1345042 knowless
knowless's picture

from my limited understanding the federal employees pay into the fund in cash which is (largely)invested in treasuries.

so the government is redeeming the treasuries for cash. I think it might be one of those "full faith and credit" deals.

 

main point: there are no existing funds, because of the intertwined nature of cash and treasuries, they get payed unless the government can't pay. catch 22, none of it actually exists.

edit: rainman said it below me in the time it took me to type this.

Mon, 06/06/2011 - 19:28 | 1345141 Mazarin
Mazarin's picture

Wonder what interest rate these forced borrowings are netting the retirees. If the Treasury borrowed these funds from Goldman, you bet they'd be "extracting" some serious yield - like 1,000bp. The employees are probably not even being paid an extra 100bp. 

Mon, 06/06/2011 - 20:19 | 1345312 knowless
knowless's picture

FSS, "investing" for sure. how's that negative yield after inflation treatin' ya? surreal that the system can be so convoluted that people don't even realise they are losing money.

Mon, 06/06/2011 - 23:14 | 1345819 FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

"That's as good as money, sir. Those are IOUs."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GSXbgfKFWg

Fri, 06/10/2011 - 11:20 | 1358000 Anonymouse
Anonymouse's picture

+275000.  Might want to hang on to that one Mr Samsonite.

Mon, 06/06/2011 - 18:36 | 1344941 Rainman
Rainman's picture

Cali has been working the same scam for years and look how good it's working out for them. Their pension contributions are deferred but counted as money good in the pension fund. Money good...I made a funny. 

Mon, 06/06/2011 - 18:48 | 1344972 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 Step out and ellaborate R/M.

Mon, 06/06/2011 - 18:53 | 1344997 Rainman
Rainman's picture

Municipality deferred funding of pension funds. There are 58 counties in CA. Just one, Riverside County in SoCa ( Palm Springs, LaQuinta, Rancho Mirage) owes over $800M . That's just one.

State of New York is more clever......borrowed $5 billion from the pension fund to repay the $5 billion they owe the pension fund. Keeps everybody thinking all gubmint promises are good...HAHAHAHAHA !!!!!!  

Mon, 06/06/2011 - 19:14 | 1345068 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

Are you a police officer with a thought?  No you an ordinance officer.  I am all ears   I am all ears  You are a good person and part of a dysfunction that needs to be corrected.

Mon, 06/06/2011 - 19:17 | 1345079 nmewn
nmewn's picture

A shell game without the pea ;-)

Mon, 06/06/2011 - 20:13 | 1345280 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 Yes

Mon, 06/06/2011 - 20:23 | 1345315 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Seems so yen...now if we could get the other 10% needed to wake up ;-)

Mon, 06/06/2011 - 21:09 | 1345476 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 I'm half Jewish and half  Christian! Need I say more?

Mon, 06/06/2011 - 21:18 | 1345515 nmewn
nmewn's picture

ROTFL!!!

Now, if you were Caucasian and born in Alabama, you'd have it all wrapped up!...it would all be completely your fault no matter what the issue were...LOL!

Mon, 06/06/2011 - 19:19 | 1345092 Anonymouse
Anonymouse's picture

State of New York is more clever......borrowed $5 billion from the pension fund to repay the $5 billion they owe the pension fund. Keeps everybody thinking all gubmint promises are good...HAHAHAHAHA !!!!!!

That's what we call lifting yourself up by your own bootstraps.

Tue, 06/07/2011 - 09:35 | 1346540 RKDS
RKDS's picture

Same situation in PA.  Democrat governor Rendell stopped all state-side contributions back around 2003.  I don't have the act in front of me, but there was some time limit to this deferment, something like 8 years.  So, basically, he and the Republican legislature wasted that money (and more) on other stuff for the next 6 or 7 budgets.  Yeah, you heard me, the budget GREW even though it wasn't paying into the pension plans.

So come about 2008/2009 when all these national economic problems started really hitting, all you heard on talk radio was this "sudden" pension spike for evil overpaid state employees who were the sole cause for every deficit ever.  Seriously, "conservatives" were blaming taxpayers whose pensions weren't even being paid for budgets other "conservatives" kept helping to inflate.  It's not letting liberals off the hook, their people stuffed the budget with crap too and made it late every single year.

My point is, they both screwed state employees and then, somehow, got the public at large to blame them for their own raping.  It's so difficult to give a damn about your fellow citizens when they're either too stupid so see this broad daylight robbery or too mean to put aside their jealousy and stop this before it gets to their retirement money too.

Mon, 06/06/2011 - 18:46 | 1344981 serotonindumptruck
serotonindumptruck's picture

"Has anyone seen a legal argument on this issue?"

It seems unlikely (to me) that a licensed, practicing attorney would seek to challenge this decision by the Treasury. They would have way too much to lose by filing any kind of complaint. Licensed attorneys are compelled to tow the political line if they wish to continue practicing law. If they bite the hand that feeds them, they stand to lose everything, as they would no doubt have trumped-up ethics charges filed against them through their respective state bar associations. Most attorneys would likely look the other way and choose not to touch this issue with a ten-foot pole.

BTW, I'm definitely not an attorney, but I did stay at a holiday inn express one time.

Mon, 06/06/2011 - 18:10 | 1344826 SilverRhino
SilverRhino's picture

If they will rob federal employees, they will rob private citizens with even LESS reservations.

 

Mon, 06/06/2011 - 22:15 | 1345683 ursus.peracto
ursus.peracto's picture

The Empire is built on paper and promises.

 

The bullets and bombs on credit.

 

 

Mon, 06/06/2011 - 22:52 | 1345776 CompassionateFascist
CompassionateFascist's picture

I Like it: big apparatchik screwing little apparatchiks. This needs to continue.

Tue, 06/07/2011 - 08:36 | 1346378 Forward History
Forward History's picture

There's one thing going on here, and it's very simple: leverage. Take money from the pension accounts, and when the pensioners start really noticing and come complaining, point at the "holdup in the congress", and attack the Repubs for "compromising America's ability to respond to the real pressing problems it faces".

Bring voting bloc to the polls in 2012 on the theme that the evil GOP is out to stop all forward progress even if it means offering up pensions on the sacrificial altar.

Disclaimer: I can't stand either of the big two, so don't call me a partisan.

Mon, 06/06/2011 - 17:48 | 1344747 drink or die
drink or die's picture

Doesn't this only become an "issue" if the debt ceiling isn't raised and this money is never heard from again?

Mon, 06/06/2011 - 17:49 | 1344752 Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden's picture

Yes

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