For years, the Democrat-controlled congress raised deficits and regulations under Obama. Once Americans had enough and handed both the Senate and the House back to the GOP, Obama vetoed several Republican attempts to balance the budget and put the nation back on economic track once again.
After a high-profile government shutdown, and threats of several more, the Democrats seem to have won. Despite their minority status in both legislative chambers, they continue to cripple the nation’s economy and run up the county’s deficits with reckless abandon.
Economists have long warned that the increased spending across the board would soon have consequences. This week, their warnings have begun to come true.
Of course, it isn’t the government that’s suffering. It’s everyday Americans.
Americans relying on their pension fund may soon find out that they’re not getting the money that they were promised by the government.
More than a quarter of a million active and retired truckers and their families could soon see their pension benefits severely cut — even though their pension fund is still years away from running out of money.
Within the next few weeks, the Treasury Department is expected to announce a crucial decision on whether it will approve reductions to one of the country’s largest multi-employer pension plans.
The potential cuts are possible under legislation passed by Congress in 2014 that for the first time allowed financially distressed multi-employer plans to reduce benefits for retirees if it would improve the solvency of the fund. The law weakened federal protections that for more than 40 years shielded one of the last remaining pillars that workers could rely on for financial security in retirement.
For many workers, the promise of a guaranteed income stream for life — a benefit now nearly extinct for younger generations — was at times strong enough to convince them to sacrifice pay raises or other job opportunities. But after decades of challenges that left many pension funds in tough financial straits, some people are learning in retirement that the promises made to them may have to be broken.
The Central States Pension Fund, which handles the retirement benefits for current and former Teamster union truck drivers across various states including Texas, Michigan, Wisconsin, Missouri, New York and Minnesota, was the first plan to apply for reductions under the new law.
Consumer advocates watching the case say the move could encourage dozens of other pension plans across the country that are facing financial struggles to make similar cuts.
This isn’t the first time that this has happened. Half a million private sector working have already seen similar cuts.