We’ve already spent about $13 trillion on bail-outs. You’d think that would be enough. But no. Uncle Sam is like the drunken uncle who cosigned loans for everyone who asked. Now it’s the federal guarantee fund for private pensions that is essentially bankrupt.
The federal agency that guarantees corporate pensions was $33.5 billion in the red at the end of March, triple its deficit six months earlier, the agency’s head told a Senate committee yesterday.
The recession threatens to add to the strain on the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. by pushing more companies into bankruptcy and leaving the struggling agency responsible for their pensions. For example, the agency faces a potential tidal wave of claims from Chrysler and General Motors, whose pension plans are underfunded by an estimated $29 billion, the Government Accountability Office said.
If the PBGC’s condition continues to deteriorate, the government could come under pressure to shore it up with taxpayer funds, the GAO said in testimony to the Senate’s Special Committee on Aging.
“The committee has grave concerns about the agency’s viability,” said the panel’s chairman, Herb Kohl (D-Wis.).
Remember, it’s only money! Even if the government takes everything you own to pay off its debts, you can still be happy, right?