Wednesday, May 11, 2005


Yesterday I heard about the United Airlines Pension case and Champollion had a short blurb on it. However, today Ezra Klein via John Cole show us just how frigging deep the outrageousness gets

The story, amazingly, gets worse. While the Bankruptcy Bill was steamrolling through Congress, Dick Durbin offered an amendment that would've "protect[ed] employees and retirees from the common corporate practice of discharging liability for retirement plans, retained earnings and matching funds when businesses file Chapter 11." This is really, if you think about it, quite amazing. The Bankruptcy Bill made it harder for individuals to declare and survive bankruptcy. Durbin offered an amendment that would've forced corporations, when they were declaring bankruptcy, to fulfill their stated financial obligations to their employees. These financial obligations are retirement plans, matching funds, and so forth. They are, in other words, the exact same long-term assets that are supposed to keep hard-working Americans out of bankruptcy court!

Of course, the GOP managed to make sure this amendment failed.

The debts and liabilities for United's pensions are going to to left with the tax payers. So a bankrupt airline receives the protection of the bankruptcy courts and the pension guaranty system by laying BILLIONS of dollars of pension liabilities off on taxpayers. Meanwhile one of these taxpayers seeking to discharge tens of thousands of debt in bankruptcy will get squat!

But hey, you've got your Social Security to look forward to right?