the cost of their exploding pension obligations, some of the craftier government executives appear to be looking into creative methods for reducing their liabilities.
While some retired government workers in California may collect yearly pensions as high as $200,000 to $500,000, a good hit man will generally charge no more than $25,000 a hit, according to the FBI. Australian hit men receive only about US $10,000 per hit, and Russian hit men will rarely charge over US $1,000 a hit. Depending upon contractual benefits to surviving family members, a government might well come out ahead by seeking professional help.
Across the US, government employee pensions are roughly $2 trillion in the red. Already overburdened taxpayers in the private sector are left holding the bag, being forced to work into their seventies so that government workers who retired in their fifties can take expensive and extended vacation cruises.
California's unfunded pension liability is about $60 billion, and that for Illinois is about $55 billion. Both states are sinking rapidly due to the absence of government executives willing to stand up to public employees' unions. New Jersey is also in a serious situation, but the new governor, Chris Christie, is attempting to implement some tough measures which may save the state from defaulting on its sovereign bond debt.
Thanks to public sector unions, several US states are in danger of defaulting on sovereign debt -- just like Greece and Spain. Governments whose workforce is thickly infiltrated with union workers will find it easy to raise wages and benefits when their economies are doing well. But when the economy crashes and tax revenues dry up, the same governments find it virtually impossible to adjust wages or benefits downward, for union employees. Default on sovereign debt can follow.
US federal government programs such as Medicare and Social Security, are likewise ballooning in cost, as the baby boom generation hits retirement age and younger generations fail to maintain tax revenues high enough to pay for the exponential rise in expenses. Consequently, President Obama and the Pelosi congress have devised a clever means to kill off large numbers of US senior citizens, and called it ObamaCare. An unfortunate side effect of ObamaCare is that it will burden the US economy with many $trillions more debt, but perhaps to Obama and Pelosi that is another good thing about the plan.
The use of hit men to eliminate the most costly recipients of overblown public employee pensions is likely to be limited to California -- where peculiar rules make it especially easy for mediocre employees to retire to the guaranteed lifestyle of a millionaire -- and to Illinois, where it is impossible to tell the difference between government and the mob. For most of the other 48 states, the stark example of their most irresponsible fellow states may jolt them into at least temporary sobriety. Hit men should not be necessary.
Regardless, you can rest assured that no Al Fin Syndicate hit men will be allowed to assist California to get out of its public employee pension mess. Al Fin feels that the California Assembly got itself into the mess, and it should either get itself out of the mess or die trying. Either way. ;-)
Previously published at Al Fin