It’s being called a “one-sided report” by the AFSCME. The AFL-CIO says it “could have been written by anti-worker, anti-union New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.” As far as we’re concerned, those are fantastic reviews. The report in question is a 60 Minutes piece from Sunday that broke through the union spin and told the truth about how public-sector unions are helping bankrupt states across the nation via pensions plans and more.
The video is a little long, but a must-see. Click here to watch.
The AFL-CIO links to a blog post by left-wing watchdog Media Matters that attacks 60 Minutes for never mentioning the words “tax cuts” in regards to New Jersey’s pension woes. (Because we all know what a low-tax haven New Jersey is.) The post quotes a New York Times article mentioning that tax cuts enacted in New Jersey in 1995 diverted money from the state pension fund.
But as is also stated in the Times article, New Jersey more recently raised pension benefits 9 percent and lowered the retirement age to 55. These giveaways were so absurd that the Securities and Exchange Commission later charged New Jersey with fraud for falsely claiming it had the resources to fund its generous pensions. (Pensions were later curbed a bit when it became evident a crisis was looming.) Oddly, these details never made it into the Media Matters report.
Also overlooked by the left: New Jersey has the second highest tax burden in the nation. And yet the state’s pension system was so unsustainable that even those tax rates couldn’t prop it up. New Jersey’s pension system is underfunded by more than $170 billion, or 44 percent of New Jersey’s gross state product, according to the Mercatus Center. How exactly are state taxes supposed to fill such a massive gap?
Media Matters concludes by accusing 60 Minutes of having a “conservative framing.” But there’s nothing conservative about it. The fact is that the pro-union, big-government position on pensions is such blatant political spin that it’s not worth reporting.