Bailouts have become a bone of contention with many people.  I personally do not believe in them, no matter what the industry.

We are faced with another question of whether taxpayers should bailout a private pension.

The Central States Pension Fund is on the brink of insolvency and says it needs to cut benefits for 273,000 current and future retirees in order to keep out of insolvency.  The private Central States Pension Fund involves workers and retirees from more than 1,500 companies across a broad range of industries including trucking, construction and companies like Disneyland.

Thomas Nyhan, the Central States Pension Fund Director is quoted in a CNN Money article that the fund will run out of money in 10 years if nothing is done. "We're doing our best to preserve what we can so that we're able to provide more benefits for a longer period of time".

Again the question is should taxpayers bailout out a failed private pension fund, a fund we as taxpayers had nothing to do with?  If the answer is yes then where does it stop, should people who have no pension funds be asked to pay for people who have pension funds that made commitments it could not keep and quite honestly mismanaged?

I feel for these people and understand the pain and misery it will cause but from a government policy stand point, which I believe should not look at individual cases but our country as a whole, how do we justify the bailout.

In a recent opinion piece written by Teamsters President James Hoffa and published in the Detroit News he believes that taxpayers should bailout private pensions or at least private pensions that union members contributed to.

Nineteen members of the U.S. House of Representatives have signed two separate letters sent to the Special Master of the fund Kenneth Feinberg.  Mr. Feinberg oversees the process of attempting to deal with the possible bankruptcy problem.  The letter urges him to reject efforts to slash monthly pension payments. ep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint Township, and 17 others says doing so is a matter of fairness.

The letter states the following:

“Simply put, America’s workers are entitled to the pensions they’ve earned over a lifetime of hard work — and the big corporations that fall into financial trouble or even declare bankruptcy should not be permitted to take those problems and failures out on employee pensions, especially while executives secure golden parachutes”.

Again I understand the issue and feel the pain of the contributors to the fund but I have an issue with the fact that it is a private pension fund.

Do you believe any private company should be bailed out?

Should the American taxpayer insure that all pension fund public and private be made whole using your tax dollars?

Let’s discuss this today on my program, The Live with Renk show, which airs Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to noon, to let me know your thoughts at (269) 441-9595.

Or please feel free to start a discussion and write your thoughts in the comment section.

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