When Wall Street Offers Free Money, Watch Out


One of the major problems with pension bonds, for taxpayers, is that they transform a relatively soft obligation into a hard one. Many governments have made deals to trim pension obligations, especially cost-of-living adjustments. But you can’t trim back bond obligations without painful and messy restructuring.

In Pennsylvania, the Republican-controlled legislature would rather trim benefits than incur a hard obligation by supporting Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposal to sell $3 billion in pension bonds.

Wolf wants to pay for the bonds with $185 million a year in projected profits from expanding sales at state-owned liquor stores. On Thursday, he vetoed a Republican package that, among other things, would have converted future pensions into a less-generous 401(k)-style plan…

“Projected” profits — money they don’t have — from a government-owned liquor store used to pay for gambling debts on Wall Street.  Why not?  Everybody’s doing it.  Again.

You can’t make this stuff up.  Which addiction is worse? Opioids, alcohol, or greed?

States are still looking to the financial industry to make easy money, but refuse to require corporations to pay their share in taxes.  Looks like us poor folk will once again be footing the bill for our government’s addictions.

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