Bankrupted By the Pension Pyramid

Teachers of America, worry no more. Nancy Pelosi is galloping back into Washington on her white horse to save the day!

Pelosi announced via Twitter (because she's so hip — just like you!) that she is reconvening Congress to vote on a $26 billion "jobs" bill. I'm sure this time it will work. Just like when the stimulus bill saved all those jobs — wait, unemployment is still almost 10 percent.

But why do we need 26 billion extra dollars when there is still $421 billion still left in the stimulus bill? Money the president said we could use to save teachers:


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: It will help prevent our states and local communities, it will help Governor Ritter and Governor Strickland not have to lay off firefighters and teachers and police.

In this recovery and reinvestment package, we put billions of dollars not only to make sure that school districts that are getting hammered are able to keep their teachers, but also we have money in the package to make sure that we are retraining our teachers around math and science.

They'll be the jobs of firefighters, teachers and police officers that would otherwise be eliminated if we do not provide states with some relief.


Now, I'm not a mathematician or anything, but I think we could take the $26 billion out of the stimulus money — let me break out a calculator to be sure: $421 billion minus $26 billion.... Yeah, there's still a few dollars left over: $395 billion-ish. That's enough to hire 10 million teachers, if we pay them the average salary in America. There are 6.2 million teachers in America now, so why is Nancy Pelosi trying to pass another jobs bill again?

Oh, that's right, because she loves teachers. Conservatives hate them, but progressives love them.

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan loves teachers more than anything — well, almost anything. He's hardly spent any of the $4.3 billion in stimulus money he got. Shouldn't that go to teachers? Seems he'd rather lay them off before his funds are raided. Because the problem is a lot bigger than just teachers' salaries, it's pensions. They are wildly out of control. Those in charge know we are screwed on the pensions. Why? Well, look at what's promised and what it takes to pay for it:

Let's say that a California firefighter retires at age 50 making $125,000 a year. He'd retire with a pension of approximately $94,000 per year. It would take about 19 firefighters making $50,000 per year and putting 10 percent of their salaries (which is on the high end because many firefighters put in nothing) into the pension to pay for one year of that retired firefighter's pension.

Now, when those 19 firefighters retire, it will take approximately another 352 firefighters making $50,000 per year and putting 10 percent of their salaries into the pension to pay for just one year of each of the retired firefighters' pensions.

Clearly it's unsustainable. It only works for one generation and the generation that's about to get screwed is starting to realize that. No one thinks this math works, but here was our fearless leader doing a conference on Wednesday with the AFL-CIO:


OBAMA: I want to thank the AFL-CIO for all you've done to fight for jobs, to fight for tax cuts for the middle class, to fight for reforms that will rein in the special interests, to fight policies that aren't just going to rebuild this economy but put us on a long-term path of sustainable growth that is good for all Americans.


What planet have I landed on? On what planet does this look sustainable? Probably the same one where Andy Stern is on the financial oversight committee. Is this really who we want to cater to and take advice from? The unions? They are the ones who are bankrupting us.

It's like getting marital tips from Tiger Woods; or appointing the designer of the Edsel and Yugo to head up GM; or the inventor of Betamax to be our technology czar; or getting that guy who created smokeless cigarettes to be our EPA chief.

We're turning to the epic failures of our time and hoping they fix all of our problems. How?

You've probably seen the headlines lately, that cities are being forced to take drastic measures and make cuts. And guess who is first up on the chopping block? Teachers, cops and firefighters. Why? Well, progressives don't want to make any cuts. But remember Cloward and Piven; the best way to get their socialist utopia is by financially collapsing the current system and then starting over.

Oh Glenn, that's crazy talk!

OK, let's look at the cities who are either threatening to cut or have actually cut teachers, cops and firefighters:

East St. Louis

What do they all have in common?

You've got sniper attacks and riots in Oakland, the third-worst rated crime city in the U.S.

East St. Louis has a crime index of 3: That means it's safer than only 3 percent of cities in the country, which means it is only slightly safer than Oakland. They just cut 19 officers and will have, at times, only one patrol cop on dangerous night shifts.

Thugs practically shoot at cops for sport in Philadelphia these days. It's so bad the mayor had to ask citizens to help police. Really?

Beautiful Newark (which recently celebrated going a whopping 43 days without a murder — congratulations!) is getting cocky; they are considering cutting 250 police officers.

The cops have to go, yet in Oakland they keep $7 million in costs for museums. You will lose the art in the riots anyway.

Newark has $39,608,662 set aside for "Neighborhood and Recreational Services." As much fun as Newark is, I think we can cut back on all the good times in Newark before slashing the cops.

Philadelphia can save a couple cops right off the bat by cutting the $1 million set aside for mural arts — they already do that for free: It's called graffiti — or the $32 million for "free libraries" — now, I love to read as much as the next guy, but you can't read when blood is pouring down your face.

In Baltimore, cops are on the chopping block, but that $750,000 for the opera house must stay!

This is like my wife saying we are broke, we have to cut down our expenses on food. I turn around and say, OK, when you grocery shop, no more meats, organics, milk — we're cutting that out. Just get Mountain Dew and Cheetos. You wouldn't believe me if I said that, wouldn't you? Cut the Cheetos first!

Would you cut the opera house budget before the cops? This is easy for you to figure out, because you have common sense.

Now, unless everyone involved in Baltimore's budget process is a moron or something else is going on. How do we make sense of their actions?

Look at the things that you know — that you are not supposed to know:

You know about Cloward and Piven, the Weather Underground and the revolutionaries that surround this administration. You know that progressivism is a cancer to the republic. And that civil unrest works in revolutionaries' favor.

Now, look at those cities. Do you see any patterns that fit?

— Watch "Glenn Beck" weekdays at 5 p.m. ET on Fox News Channel