Another Bailout for the Unions?

By Varney and Co

Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) is hoping to pass the Create Jobs and Save Benefits Act of 2010. This bill would create a special fund that would guarantee that retirees won’t lose their pensions if their company goes under, but critics fear that it could end up using taxpayer dollars to shore up some under-funded union pension plans. Phil Dine, union supporter and author of “State of the Unions,” joined Varney & Co. to defend Sen. Casey’s bill.

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“These are multi-employer pension plans that are funded by companies,” Dine explained. “All this bill would do is allow the Pension Corporation to weed out those parts of funds that are in danger and take steps to save the overall [pension] plan. In the end, this would actually save taxpayer money.”

Dine thinks that this bill is narrow enough in scope not to have a large effect on most union pensions. “The Casey bill would apply to two to three pension funds at the most,” he told us. “This bill targets two [funds] that are in the trucking industry that went out of business because of deregulation, and possibly a mining company. The unions have nothing to do with contributing to or managing these funds.”

Dine does agree that the mainstream Americans might find the idea of bailing out pensions objectionable, considering the amount of people who are out of work and have lost money in their personal 401(k) accounts. His advice: “if you want a better pension and better pay, join a union.”