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Sunday, November 13, 2011

We Have Been Socialists Forever

New York Times:

The government also promises to help defense companies shore up their pension funds when they become underfunded. Many of these funds have lost money in recent years in declining financial markets or on bad investments, so the bill for taxpayers has been growing...
 Defense contractors are not the only companies that get such reimbursements.

According to a recent report by the Government Accountability Office, the Department of Energy had 46 contracts with private companies and nonprofit organizations as of September 2010. These contracts covered nearly 200,000 current and former employees and their beneficiaries, the report said, for such expenses as pensions, dental care and life insurance.

In the 2009 fiscal year, the G.A.O. said, the Department of Energy reimbursed $750 million in contractor pension costs, “more than double the amount it had reimbursed the previous year and significantly more than it had budgeted for.” The G.A.O. has not issued a report on the Department of Defense’s pension obligations recently. But some members of Congress have asked the office to look into them and the G.A.O. has just begun its work.

Among the large companies receiving taxpayer reimbursements for pensions and in some cases retirement health care are Boeing, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon. To the degree that these companies work both for the government and private industry, their reimbursable pension costs are limited to their federal contracts.
How can we ever go back to being a private enterprise system? Tell me how. As time goes on, elected politicians will be less able to do anything meaningful for fear of not being re-elected. Then the democractic system will come to an end and we will accept our Corporate Socialism for what it is.


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