The Department of Labor classifies almost half of America’s private union pension funds as either “endangered” or “critical” because they are so grossly underfunded. Among the unions on this list are the Democrats’ favorite piggy banks: “the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), the International Brothers of Electrical Workers, the Laborers International Union of Northern America, the International Association of Machinists, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, the International Union of Operating Engineers, and the National Plumbers Union.”
On average, all private union pensions are underfunded by almost 40%. In practical terms, this means that less than 1 of every 160 private union workers has a pension plan that can actually meet its contractually required monthly payouts.
Drunk with self-delusion about the chance to create a “Socialist Worker’s Paradise” since Barack Obama beat a rather weak Republican candidate in 2008, both private and public unions have been shoveling money into Democrat campaigns around the country.
Immediately after the 2008 election, they donated heavily to try to unseat Georgia Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss in a runoff election and lost. Then in 2009, they poured millions into the campaigns of Democrats in Virginia and New Jersey, trying to win governor’s races, and lost.
By 2010, panic and desperation set in, and private unions raided every available source of money in their control – most likely including pension funds – to hold the House and Senate. They held the Senate but only because they redirected their contributions from dying Congressional Democrat campaigns and lost the House in record numbers. The SEIU put up $44 million, and the National Education Association gave the Democrats $40 million of their members’ money. No one in the media asked where this money came from, but we can guess it was from already-dwindling pension funds.
Now Team Obama is asking unions to fund the Democrat National Convention, and they are getting a cold shoulder. Just four month away from the opening gavel in the right-to-work state of North Carolina, the convention budget is short more than $16 million with no relief in sight.
Maybe private unions have bled themselves white chasing Obama’s Socialist dreams. But what is sure is that more of their members retire every day, so things get worse, not better.
Photo credit: terrellaftermath