Perhaps the most indefensible provision was an $86 billion bailout for unions’ private pension funds. This unprecedented handout could pave the way for a much more expensive bailout of public-sector pensions.
The American Rescue Plan Act creates a new federal grant program to support multiemployer pension funds. There are more than 1,400 of these retirement plans, which are jointly funded by unions and the private companies that contract with them through collective bargaining agreements. All told, this arrangement serves more than 10 million current and retired workers. Most of the funds are doing fine, but 124 of them are in “critical” financial condition, according to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), a federal entity created in the 1970s as a financial guarantor for multiemployer pension plans, which is itself on pace to be insolvent by 2027.
Unlike COVID-19, this crisis didn’t suddenly pop into existence. Democrats in Congress have been seeking federal aid for these retirement plans for years, while Republicans have been pushing for reforms in exchange for new loan or grant programs to prop up the pension system. The American Rescue Plan granted aid with no strings attached.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
Everything is Infrastructure Now
How spending got out of control and words lost their meaning
DEA Still Insists Marijuana Has No ‘Accepted Medical Use'
DEA still maintains that the plant belongs in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), a category supposedly reserved for especially dangerous drugs with no accepted medical use.
History – Walking the Delicate Line Between Reporter and Activist
I spent the second half of the 1990s hanging out with people who operate unlicensed radio stations. That was partly because I was covering them as a reporter, and it was partly because I was active in a movement to legalize their illicit transmissions.
Do We Really Need New Anti-Asian Hate Crime Laws?
A holistic look at the data shatters the narrative about bias-based violence.
Cynthia Lummis, Crypto Queen Of The U.S. Senate
The Wyoming Republican explains why she’s long on bitcoin.
What happens when a community bail fund stops paying bail and starts trying to abolish it?
Cubans Rose Up. America Should Step Up.
After thousands of Cubans poured into the streets in early July to protest the island nation’s Communist government, President Joe Biden said America “stands firmly” with the people of Cuba.
Economist John Cochrane Is Still Worried About the Debt
The U.S. national debt held by the public is currently almost $22 trillion, or about $67,000 per citizen, surpassing the country’s annual GDP for the first time since World War II. The Congressional Budget Office predicted in March that the U.S. debt would grow to 102 percent of GDP by the end of 2021, to 107 percent by 2031, and to 202 percent by 2051. Those estimates came before President Joe Biden signed the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, which made the long-term budget outlook even worse.
How Many Union Members Does It Take To Operate A Train?
President Joe Biden’s proposed $2.25 trillion infrastructure spending bill is more than just a huge barrel of federal cash for road, bridge, and rail projects. It is also a vehicle for reauthorizing America’s surface transportation laws, providing an opportunity for special interests to write new rules and mandates into federal policy.
Jane Coaston – Meet The New York Times' Libertarian Podcaster
Jane Coaston on the polarization of everything