Isaiah J. Poole
September 26, 2013
Conservative activists are manufacturing the perception of a public pension crisis in order to both slash modest retiree benefits and preserve expensive corporate subsidies and tax breaks.
|News stories around the country have trumpeted a public pension “crisis” in various states, featuring elected officials who insist that these crises justify slashing the retirement benefits of public employees.What these stories usually don’t say is that conservative activists are manufacturing the perception of a public pension crisis in order to both slash modest retiree benefits and preserve expensive corporate subsidies and tax breaks.
Leading this effort is the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Public Sector Retirement Systems Project and the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. Their role in ginning up the sense of crisis, and in pushing state legislatures to dismantle pension systems that have served workers well for decades and could serve them well for decades more, is exposed in an Institute for America’s Future report released today, “The Plot Against Pensions.”
“This is the story not merely of two nonprofits, nor merely of one set of economic issues; it is a microcosmic tale of how, in the Citizens United age, politically motivated billionaires can quietly implement an ideological agenda in local communities across the country,” the report states.