Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Buncha 50-60 year olds regretting their votes now.

The Bush administration and its pals in the corporate suites are pulling off just such a filch right now. In a truly mean-spirited retreat from the principles of hard work and loyalty, they're setting up a raid on middle-class pensions.

"Radical. Anti-worker," fumed Rep. Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.). He calls it another assault by "Enron culture" CEOs whose campaign contributions hold sway in the administration. "It is going to cost employees dearly," warned his California Democrat colleague Rep. George Miller.

Indeed, the General Accounting Office projected that workers could wind up with reductions of 20% to 50% in the monthly pensions they worked for and planned for.

A few years back, the idea of doing away with traditional retirement plans in favor of cash-balance pensions caught on in a big way, and as many as 700 companies imposed the switch on their 8 million or so workers. But they ran into trouble. Employees began to understand what was happening: Older, long-term workers realized that they were the targets. And why not? They were the ones about to retire and put a drain on company profits. They began filing lawsuits and complaints, and the Clinton administration imposed a moratorium on the swindle.