We have recently reported on the $1.02 trillion federal deficit for 2019. What amazes me is that we are constantly told that the Republican lead U.S. Senate can’t support H.R. 397 (the Butch Lewis Act) and nearly 1.4 million multiemployer pension plan participants because it wouldn’t be “fair” to the American taxpayer. Please stop with this charade. The total cost to save the critical and declining pensions is a drop in the bucket compared to the lost annual economic activity produced by the benefit payments and the lost revenue collected in taxes by federal, state, and municipal entities.
The CBO’s analysis found “that under H.R. 397, the government would disburse $39.7 billion in loans to certain multiemployer pension plans. (That total excludes some forms of assistance that resemble loans but do not receive FCRA treatment because they do not meet the definition of a loan under FCRA.) Under CBO’s official approach (which excludes grant assistance), the present value of loan repayments would total $7.9 billion, CBO estimated, leading to a net subsidy cost of $31.8 billion. Under the alternative approach (which includes grant assistance), the estimated net subsidy cost would be $5.8 billion because some loans would be repaid using grant assistance. The subsidy cost for all loans (regardless of the estimating approach) would be recorded as direct spending.”
The $39.7 billion would represent <4% of the current deficit, if accounted for in one year, but less than 0.1% per year if spread over the life of the loans, which is 30 years. Any claim on the part of our Washington DC leadership that the failure to address our burgeoning pension crisis is because they are trying to protect the U.S. taxpayer is a joke. As we reported, the federal deficit has and will continue to be stimulative to our economy, and shouldn’t create inflationary pressures provided the additional demand for goods and services can be met by our economy’s ability to meet that demand.
No one in DC has earned the right to call themselves fiscally conservative!