How To Save $30 Billion

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So who made up the loss in your retirement savings – assuming you have such an account – when the market tanked? Tanked is the right word here, because the answer is no one made you whole – unless you worked for a tank-maker or other defense contractors.

Gretchen Morgenson at the New York Times pulls back the curtain on how defense-contractor pensions are made whole amid economic woes:

Considering how much ordinary Americans have lost in their own retirement accounts — losses that the government does not cover — reimbursing contractors looks like classic corporate welfare…Asking the taxpayer to cover the costs of retirement benefits at government contractors may have been justifiable 40 years ago, when pensions were a standard at many companies. But in today’s world, this practice is not only quaint, it is an outlier.

She asks an important question: why should the millions of hard-working Americans whose own retirement accounts are in a tailspin be paying taxes to keep pensions paid to well-compensated defense workers toiling for highly-profitable defense contractors in the pink? It’s not an anti-military question. It’s a pro-fairness one.