CNN Exposes ‘Lavish’ Government Pensions despite Economic Crisis

Government employees can draw on their pension beginning at age 50; depending on the years of service they can get as much as 80 percent of their final salary.

By Anthony Kang
From the Media Research Center

Wall Street Journal
2/26/2010

All this week CNN has been taking a look at “Broken Government” and in some cases the cable channel deviated from the mainstream media norm by providing a critical view of government.

That was the case on Feb. 23 when Wolf Blitzer and Lisa Sylvester scrutinized lavish pension-plan and retirement-packages for government officials during “The Situation Room.”

“Many Americans will spend half a lifetime or more working for the same company only to find little or no safety-net when that job ends,” Blitzer said to begin the report. “Others, especially those on Capitol Hill don’t have that problem.”

“This is certainly nice work if you can get it,” reporter Lisa Sylvester noted, alluding to the troubling disparity. “Lawmakers on Capitol Hill get automatic pay-raises and they never have to worry about their retirement, but that’s not the case for many middle-class Americans.”

How to get by after retirement is a question that weighs on many citizens. CNN found a former auto parts worker who had his pension cut 30 percent by the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation after his company Delphi went bankrupt and his pension was taken over by the government.

While the economy and many Americans struggle to find or keep jobs and pay their bills, the public-sector has been rapidly expanding. The U.S. is also facing a fiscal crisis with the national debt currently above $12.4 trillion, but that hasn’t stopped “generous” pensions for former government officials.

“They can draw on their pension beginning at age 50; depending on the years of service they can get as much as 80 percent of their final salary, there are cost-of-living-adjustments added on, and they’re still eligible to receive Social Security.”

The article continues at the Wall Street Journal

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