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If lesson was learned, it sure could be costly
Three public-sector unions are collectively millions in the red annually and are looking for a taxpayer bailout through, in part, additional fees associated with the purchase of certain insurance policies (“Pension funds turn to Minnesota government for help,” April 3).
State Sen. Sandy Pappas, DFL-St. Paul and chair of the Legislative Commission on Pensions and Retirement, stated that “we have been responsible, but the stock market is a problem so some of these funds need a little shoring up.”
Up to $36 million a year? A little shoring up? Somebody should tell the senator that the S&P 500 hit an all-time intraday high earlier this week.
What are these three public-sector pension funds going to do when the Fed stops buying bonds as part of whatever iteration of QE we are on now? Pappas went on to say that “[w]e kind of learned our lesson that when times are good, it doesn’t mean you can give extra benefits.” This is something that needed to be learned? From the perspective of stock market performance, times are good. Glad the senator and the rest of the committee learned their lesson.
Charles Keenan, St. Paul
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Once again, taxpayers are being asked to bail out underfunded public-employee pension plans, this time for Duluth and St. Paul teachers. Sorry, folks, the stock market is to blame, not consistent underfunding, unrealistic return-on-investment assumptions and liberal benefits to reward our union voters.Just need to shore things up a bit. What, you say? Your private 401(k) and IRA retirement accounts also have shortfalls due to underfunding, unrealistic assumptions and poor stock market performance? You’re not a government worker. No taxpayer bailouts for you.
David A. Walberg, Arden Hills
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The arm of the law can never be long enough
The Connecticut mass murderer, Adam Lanza, shot his mother three times in the face as she slept. He did it in order to steal her firearms. She didn’t “give” them to him. How does an April 4 letter writer think a background check would have stopped a man willing to murder a gun owner in order to get a gun in order to go and murder dozens of schoolchildren? How many felonies did he commit before he got to the schoolhouse door?
The Star Tribune’s own article last week about a young man with a gun in north Minneapolis told readers that he went to Chicago (and into criminal channels) to get it. He bypassed all legal channels in at least two states. Did a law stop him? How about the first-degree murder statute?
Joseph Olson, Roseville
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.