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Thread: Michigan AG to defend Public Pensions in bankruptcy

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    Michigan AG to defend Public Pensions in bankruptcy

    Michigan AG to defend public pensions, state constitution in Detroit bankruptcy filing | Detroit Free Press | freep.com

    Some good news in the Detroit bankruptcy fight. As it has been explained on this site, the Michigan Constitution forbids any unit of government from decreasing or lessening the retirement pensions of people who have already retired. Governor Snyder and his appointee in Detroit have said they are going after pensions as part of the Detroit bankruptcy filing.

    But now the pensioners have a valuable legal ally - the Attorney General of the State who will use his office and resource to fight for upholding the Michigan Constitution and the people.

    Taking an opposing side to Gov. Rick Snyder and Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said Saturday that he will defend the state’s constitutional protection of public
    pensions
    in the Motor City’s historic bankruptcy filing. Invoking his role as “the people’s attorney,” Schuette said he will file in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Detroit on Monday to intervene in the city’s federal bankruptcy proceedings, even after his office opposed efforts in a state court earlier this month to halt the bankruptcy filing in challenges brought by pensioners and lawyers for the city’s
    pension
    funds.
    “The City of Detroit’s bankruptcy will cause even greater hardship for many people in southeast Michigan who are already struggling,” Schuette said. Schuette said he will intervene “on behalf of southeast Michigan pensioners who may be at risk of losing their hard-earned benefits,” in accordance with his responsibility as attorney general to defend the Michigan Constitution.
    The move would put Schuette at legal odds on at least one aspect of the city’s bankruptcy with the administration of fellow Republican Snyder, who hired Orr and has defended bankruptcy with steep cuts for unsecured creditors — including pensioners — as the only way to restore Detroit to solvency. Schuette noted that Orr has not detailed the type of cuts he intends to seek from Detroit’s two pension plans, but Orr has said the city doesn’t have money to pay $3.5 billion in underfunding in the two plans that provide retirement pay to about 20,000 people. Pension plan officials bitterly dispute the underfunding levels.
    “Michigan’s constitution, Article 9, Section 24, is crystal clear in stating that pension obligations may not be ‘diminished or impaired,’ ” Schuette said.

    Nice to see the Michigan AG on the side of the people and the Constitution.
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    Re: Michigan AG to defend Public Pensions in bankruptcy

    Quote Originally Posted by haymarket View Post
    Michigan AG to defend public pensions, state constitution in Detroit bankruptcy filing | Detroit Free Press | freep.com

    Some good news in the Detroit bankruptcy fight. As it has been explained on this site, the Michigan Constitution forbids any unit of government from decreasing or lessening the retirement pensions of people who have already retired. Governor Snyder and his appointee in Detroit have said they are going after pensions as part of the Detroit bankruptcy filing.

    But now the pensioners have a valuable legal ally - the Attorney General of the State who will use his office and resource to fight for upholding the Michigan Constitution and the people.



    Nice to see the Michigan AG on the side of the people and the Constitution.
    I think it is a PR stunt. The guy is maneuvering for higher public office...Governor? Senator maybe?

    If there is no money, there's no money. The city would have to sell property at a loss already in bankruptcy (whenever that starts up). If there isn't enough revenue for current city services, where does this guy think it will come from for pension programs?
    If I stop responding it doesn't mean I've conceded the point or agree with you. It only means I've made my point and I don't mind you having the last word. Please wait a few minutes before "quoting" me. I often correct errors for a minute or two after I post before the final product is ready.

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    Re: Michigan AG to defend Public Pensions in bankruptcy

    Based on Detroit's last budget, pensions accounted for 20-25% of monthly expenditures and are expected to be 60% of monthly expenditures by 2015.

    Who takes on the cost of the pensions? The state? The post-bankruptcy city? Who?

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    Re: Michigan AG to defend Public Pensions in bankruptcy

    Quote Originally Posted by haymarket View Post
    Michigan AG to defend public pensions, state constitution in Detroit bankruptcy filing | Detroit Free Press | freep.com

    Some good news in the Detroit bankruptcy fight. As it has been explained on this site, the Michigan Constitution forbids any unit of government from decreasing or lessening the retirement pensions of people who have already retired. Governor Snyder and his appointee in Detroit have said they are going after pensions as part of the Detroit bankruptcy filing.

    But now the pensioners have a valuable legal ally - the Attorney General of the State who will use his office and resource to fight for upholding the Michigan Constitution and the people.



    Nice to see the Michigan AG on the side of the people and the Constitution.
    Yup, it's one of those rare bright spots of hope that all is not lost. The last time I felt there was a bright spot of hope was when County Sheriffs blocked federal agents from access to the hospital of Terry Schaivo. Guns drawn, full on showdown... and they won they day.

    If we can bail out the auto industry, banks, so that reckless idiots can keep their bonuses... we can protect the earned and deserved pensions of some of the most vulnerable in our society, the elderly.

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    Re: Michigan AG to defend Public Pensions in bankruptcy

    Quote Originally Posted by Samhain View Post
    Based on Detroit's last budget, pensions accounted for 20-25% of monthly expenditures and are expected to be 60% of monthly expenditures by 2015.

    Who takes on the cost of the pensions? The state? The post-bankruptcy city? Who?
    Nope... Detroit has to launch a renaissance, double it's population, attract start-ups, redevelop... and create the revenue it had when it created those pensions.. when the city was double in size and economically viable.

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    Re: Michigan AG to defend Public Pensions in bankruptcy

    Quote Originally Posted by haymarket View Post
    Michigan AG to defend public pensions, state constitution in Detroit bankruptcy filing | Detroit Free Press | freep.com

    Some good news in the Detroit bankruptcy fight. As it has been explained on this site, the Michigan Constitution forbids any unit of government from decreasing or lessening the retirement pensions of people who have already retired. Governor Snyder and his appointee in Detroit have said they are going after pensions as part of the Detroit bankruptcy filing.

    But now the pensioners have a valuable legal ally - the Attorney General of the State who will use his office and resource to fight for upholding the Michigan Constitution and the people.

    Nice to see the Michigan AG on the side of the people and the Constitution.
    Honestly, I cannot imagine why you are so worried about accrued pension benefits. The state's constitution states quite clearly that they must be honored. Unless Michigan is going to shred its constitution, there is no way accrued benefits are going to be lessened. "The world is watching," so to speak.

    The best taxpayers can hope for is that these defined benefit pension plans go the way of the dinosaur going forward...that Detroit's public sector joins the ranks of 100% of the private sector and participate in Social Security -- and the 70% of the private sector whose SS retirement is bolstered by a defined contribution plan.

    Even in the midst of this debacle, "they" are lying. IMO, they are fearful that the bright light being shone on these Cadillacs (fitting for Detroit, don't you think) will have the worst political backlash they've ever seen. For this reason, the number they're releasing to the press -- the average public pension being collected -- is shown as $19,000. And this is an outright lie.
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    Re: Michigan AG to defend Public Pensions in bankruptcy

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    Honestly, I cannot imagine why you are so worried about accrued pension benefits. The state's constitution states quite clearly that they must be honored. Unless Michigan is going to shred its constitution, there is no way accrued benefits are going to be lessened. "The world is watching," so to speak.

    The best taxpayers can hope for is that these defined benefit pension plans go the way of the dinosaur going forward...that Detroit's public sector joins the ranks of 100% of the private sector and participate in Social Security -- and the 70% of the private sector whose SS retirement is bolstered by a defined contribution plan.
    I disagree. The best taxpayers can hope for is Detroit to increasing it's revenue to pay their obligations so the rest of the state doesn't have to.

    Even in the midst of this debacle, "they" are lying. IMO, they are fearful that the bright light being shone on these Cadillacs (fitting for Detroit, don't you think) will have the worst political backlash they've ever seen. For this reason, the number they're releasing to the press -- the average public pension being collected -- is shown as $19,000. And this is an outright lie.
    I haven't really followed the nitty gritty of this, so I'll have to do some reading before commenting further.

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    Re: Michigan AG to defend Public Pensions in bankruptcy

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Adverse View Post
    I think it is a PR stunt. The guy is maneuvering for higher public office...Governor? Senator maybe?

    If there is no money, there's no money. The city would have to sell property at a loss already in bankruptcy (whenever that starts up). If there isn't enough revenue for current city services, where does this guy think it will come from for pension programs?
    Do you operate under the impression that the City of Detroit has to pay the entire bill for pensions at one time and their current shortfall between income and expenses will prevent them for ever honoring their incurred contractual obligations which are backed by the Michigan Constitution?
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    Re: Michigan AG to defend Public Pensions in bankruptcy

    Quote Originally Posted by Occam's Razor View Post
    Nope... Detroit has to launch a renaissance, double it's population, attract start-ups, redevelop... and create the revenue it had when it created those pensions.. when the city was double in size and economically viable.
    A very wise post. The reality is that in 1950, southeast Michigan had 4.5 million people. Today, the same area still has 4.5 million people. However, Detroit which had 1.8 million is now down to just over 700,000. Those 1.1 million people and their taxes went to surrounding suburbs. Short term gain for them turned into long term problem for the city and now the state.
    __________________________________________________ _
    There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.... John Rogers

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    Re: Michigan AG to defend Public Pensions in bankruptcy

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    Honestly, I cannot imagine why you are so worried about accrued pension benefits. The state's constitution states quite clearly that they must be honored. Unless Michigan is going to shred its constitution, there is no way accrued benefits are going to be lessened. "The world is watching," so to speak.

    The best taxpayers can hope for is that these defined benefit pension plans go the way of the dinosaur going forward...that Detroit's public sector joins the ranks of 100% of the private sector and participate in Social Security -- and the 70% of the private sector whose SS retirement is bolstered by a defined contribution plan.

    Even in the midst of this debacle, "they" are lying. IMO, they are fearful that the bright light being shone on these Cadillacs (fitting for Detroit, don't you think) will have the worst political backlash they've ever seen. For this reason, the number they're releasing to the press -- the average public pension being collected -- is shown as $19,000. And this is an outright lie.
    And what information do you have Maggie to show that this is an outright lie?
    __________________________________________________ _
    There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.... John Rogers

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