Rahm Emanuel Illustrates Why Public Pension Funds Ought To Be Eliminated

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America has a pension crisis. Pension funds for teachers and public workers around the nation are in trouble, falling well short of funding levels needed to pay out benefits into the future. Nationally pensions are facing an estimated $4.6 trillion in shortfalls, with the average pension fund only 41% funded, according to State Budget Solutions.

Folks on the right argue that this is a systemic problem, that defined-benefit pension plans (which guarantee a certain level of benefits to people meeting a specific qualifying formula) are fundamentally flawed. Folks on the left argue that the pensions are fine, and that they only need tweaks to their investment and benefits models to survive.

But in Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel shows us exactly why huge pension funds being entrusted to politicians is a bad, bad idea. (We ought to have learned our lesson in this regard from Social Security, which saw its trust fund raided by politicians long ago, but I digress.)

Mayor Emanuel, as part of his anti-gun agenda, is pushing to divest his city’s pension funds of any investments in gun-related companies. “The move could deal a hefty blow to the city’s six pension funds, which are only 50 percent funded with combined debt of $26.8 billion,” reports the Washington Examiner. “Gun sales have skyrocketed in response to calls for stricter gun control, boosting the companies Chicago is so eager to dissociate with.”

So to score points for his political agenda, Mayor Emanuel is divesting of already teetering public pension funds investments into profitable and valuable companies. Mayor Emanuel is putting politics above the well-being of his city’s workers.

Why would we expect anything else from a politician?

These pension funds are better off being controlled by the workers themselves, put into 401k or IRA plans where politicians like Emanuel can’t raid them.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • http://nofreelunch.areavoices.com/ Kevin Flanagan

    Rahm made tens of millions as an investment banker, did he invest in the firearms industries?

    • slackwarerobert

      Can’t be sure, but he definitely supports them with all the guns he has surrounding him.

  • Roy_Bean

    But you really have to admire him for putting other people’s money where his mouth is.

  • RandyBoBandy

    Another fine example of how liberals create problems, and then exacerbate them. Now we just need to form a government committee to find out why these pension funds are tanking.

  • mickey_moussaoui

    The American consumer has pretty well demonstrated that gun manufacturers don’t need any Chicago pension fund money. Emanuel is blowing smoke. American investors should stop investing in all Chicago based companies.

  • jualwindowsoriginal

    “Why would we expect anything else from a politician?” it’s a nice words

  • cylde

    Buy low and sell high is the way to invest, and thanks to obama gun sales, profits, and stock prices are up. When they are not owners it is harder for them to interfere in the business, good riddance.

  • http://genelalor.com Gene Lalor

    What the Hell Is Wrong in Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago?

    The once-great city of Chicago, Carl Sandburg’s “City of the Big Shoulders” and adopted hometown of President Barack Hussein Obama, is rapidly devolving into what many are calling the murder capital of America with more homicides than the total of U.S. troop killings last year in Afghanistan–500 in 2012, a 28% increase over 2011, and at least 40 this January.

    Contrast Chicagoland’s numbers, a city with 2.8 million residents, with those of New York City’s 8.3 million inhabitants and barely over 400 homicides and it would seem the Windy City is more like ”Murder City.” Another year like 2012 and the Windy City might have to be re-nicknamed despite boasting some of the most stringent gun control laws in the nation, a long-term ban on assault weapons and high-capacity clips, and the absence of a single gun shop.

    All this gun violence claptrap about our Second City is surely attributable to gun nuts who would like to blame the inept leadership of President Obama’s former Chief of Staff Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the abject failure of the city’s public school system (CPS) formerly headed by Obama’s Education Secretary Arne Duncan and black youth gangs running amok and a pervasive liberal mentality that sucks all sense of civility from anyone unfortunate enough to live under such conditions.

    However, none of those slanders hold any water–as definitively explained by Obama’s close political advisor David Axelrod. In point of fact, people killing people in Chicago as if the town were Dodge City in the late 19th century is all due to someone else.

    In an interview on (where else?) MSNBC, Axelrod gave the reasons for the ongoing mayhem: “We live in Chicago, and one of the reasons we have such a huge problem in this city is that all around us are areas with weak laws and with very lax background checks and a lot of illegal guns flow into this city.”

    So, there you have it folks. Unable to blame George W. Bush for a change, Axelrod finds that the fault lies not in the stars above Chicago nor with Rahm Emanuel, nor with a failed CPS, nor with black gangs, nor with liberalism. The fault, dear citizenry, simply has to lie elsewhere.

    What baloney!

    Axelrod does grant in the MSNBC interview that lax neighboring localities are only “one of the reasons we have such a huge problem” in Chicago but he curiously doesn’t address the various other “huge”problems facing Chicagoland, especially its Democrat Mayor Rahm Israel Emanuel who, not coincidentally, assumed office just as the chaos in Chicago began and set the tone for the city’s future. . .

    (Read more at http://www.genelalor.com/blog1/?p=29958.)

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