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  • Backgrounder posted November 17, 2016 by Rachel Greszler How the Obama Administration’s New Rule to Create State-Based Retirement Savings Could Hurt Savers and Cost Taxpayers

    Private-sector workers, beware: Your personal retirement savings could become subject to your state government’s control. A new rule from the Department of Labor (DOL) may have created the equivalent of Obamacare for retirement savings—that is, if you like your current 401(k), you may not be able to keep it.[1] Moreover, the rule would allow state governments to trap…

  • Commentary posted November 3, 2016 by Rachel Greszler Social Security Needs to Return to Its Anti-Poverty Roots

    Social Security is unsustainable. It faces an $11.4 trillion deficit over the next 75 years. Yet Donald Trump wants to maintain current benefits, and Hillary Clinton wants to expand them. The next president needs to recognize that Social Security is much larger than it was ever intended to be — or needs to be — and that maintaining its current benefit structure will…

  • Commentary posted November 3, 2016 by Rachel Greszler Propping up Disability Insurance With Social Security Bankrupts Both

    One year ago Congress decided to prop up the Disability Insurance (DI) program by siphoning off about $150 billion from Social Security’s retirement fund. But since Social Security’s retirement program is even more broke than its DI program, continued revenue transfers are not a long-run solution. When Congress passed the short-term DI “fix,” lawmakers knew they would…

  • Commentary posted November 3, 2016 by Rachel Greszler US Overtime Rule Will Ruin Workplace Flexibility  

    You’ve probably heard about employers that block workers’ access to personal email accounts on work computers. But now, thanks to a new Department of Labor overtime rule, some employers are blocking workers’ access to work emails after hours. Why? Because although many employers probably want employees to be able to check work email whenever they want, they don’t want…

  • Backgrounder posted October 4, 2016 by Rachel Greszler Disability Insurance Fails Short-Term Solvency Test Even After Transfer from Social Security

    Status of the SSDI Trust Fund According to its Trustees, the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Trust Fund is on course to run dry in 2023. That is seven years later than the Trustees reported last year, when the SSDI Trust Fund was slated for insolvency in 2016. What happened? In October 2015, Congress passed a temporary patch to shore up the SSDI program,…

  • Issue Brief posted September 13, 2016 by Rachel Greszler Congress Needs to Address the PBGC’s Multiemployer Program Deficit Now

    The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) is a government entity that provides mandatory insurance to private pension plans. If a private pension plan fails, the PBGC pays out insured benefits so that pensioners are not left penniless.[1] The problem is, however, that the PBGC’s multiemployer program is itself insolvent and will likely run out of money to pay…

  • Backgrounder posted September 6, 2016 by Rachel Greszler Government Intervention in Coal Mining Seven Decades Ago No Justification for Pension Bailout Today

    Two bills introduced in Congress—S. 1714 in the Senate and H.R. 2403 in the House—would bail out the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) pension plan with up to $490 million per year.[1] Such action would set an incredibly dangerous precedent, opening the door to taxpayer bailouts of more than $600 billion in unfunded union pensions, not to mention trillions of dollars…

  • Commentary posted August 31, 2016 by Rachel Greszler Will Uncle Sam be the mine union’s sugar daddy?

    Should taxpayers have to pick up the tab when unions break their promises? The United Mine Workers of America union thinks so. Its pension fund has promised workers $5.6 billion more than it can pay. Now that it is running out of money, the union has had its friends in Congress introduce legislation (HR 2403 and S 1714) that would use taxpayer funds to cover the…

  • Issue Brief posted August 15, 2016 by Rachel Greszler Why a Coal Miner Pension Bailout Could Open the Door to a $600 Billion Pension Bailout for All Private Unions

    Congress is looking to pass legislation that would use taxpayer dollars to bail out the overpromised, underfunded pension plan of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA). Such an unprecedented move would send the message that Congress will stand behind sending trillions of dollars in overpromised, underfunded public and private pension obligations across the country.…

  • Backgrounder posted July 27, 2016 by Rachel Greszler, James Sherk Why It Is Time to Reform Compensation for Federal Employees

    The federal government pays its employees more than they would earn in the private sector. Economic studies consistently find that federal employees enjoy both higher pay and substantially higher benefits than comparable private-sector workers. Alan Krueger, the former Chairman of President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, documented this pay premium in the…

  • Issue Brief posted April 6, 2016 by Rachel Greszler Rescuing Entitlements and Pensions: Study Shows Americans Can Work Longer

    A new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) estimates that Americans can work significantly longer than they currently do.[1] According to the study, Americans could work an additional 2.5 years to 4.2 years on average between the ages of 55 and 69. This is equivalent to a 30 percent to 50 percent increase in employment among this age group. This is…

  • Issue Brief posted April 1, 2016 by Salim Furth, Ph.D., Rachel Greszler Draft House Legislation Falls Short of Priorities for Puerto Rico

    Congress should not lose sight of key conservative priorities as it considers whether (and how) to respond to the economic and fiscal crisis in Puerto Rico. The troubled territory has been a laboratory for progressive politics and crony capitalism for decades. Predictably, the government has smothered the private sector, and workers receive a lower share of income in…

  • Commentary posted March 29, 2016 by Rachel Greszler Congress Wants Union Pension Bailout, but Can't Afford Promises

    Many workers have been promised far more in pensions than their employers — public or private — can afford to pay them. Puerto Rico, for example, will soon have to start tapping general revenues for some $750 million annually just to cover its pension IOUs. Stateside, a similar day of reckoning fast approaches the United Mine Workers of America. Unfortunately, as the…

  • Issue Brief posted March 22, 2016 by Rachel Greszler Congress Should Not Give Puerto Rico Federal Tax Subsidies

    Policymakers are considering extending federal tax credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC)—but not the rest of the federal tax code—to Puerto Rico as a way to help the island emerge from its economic and fiscal crisis. This would amount to an expensive cash bailout and would not address the core problems that caused Puerto Rico’s…

  • Issue Brief posted March 14, 2016 by Rachel Greszler Congress Can Help Pensioners, But Not Through a Bailout

    Some lawmakers want to bail out a select group of coal workers’ pensions by tapping a fund designated for environmental cleanup. The Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Fund (AML) is needed for cleanup of abandoned coal mines and should not be used to fund the pension and retiree health benefits of one particular coal miners’ union—the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA).…