The War on the Working Class Marches on


Proving once again why the Wall Street Journal should be required reading for all good lefties, today the paper reports on yet another way corporate America has found to screw the wage slaves among us. As the Journal explains, companies are using our pension funds to finance lavish executive perks:

At a time when scores of companies are freezing pensions for their workers, some are quietly converting their pension plans into resources to finance their executives' retirement benefits and pay.

In recent years, companies from Intel Corp. to CenturyTel Inc. collectively have moved hundreds of millions of dollars of obligations for executive benefits into rank-and-file pension plans. This lets companies capture tax breaks intended for pensions of regular workers and use them to pay for executives' supplemental benefits and compensation.

What's the problem with this? Well, there are basically two of them: a) it's illegal, and b) it causes serious harm to ordinary workers:

A close examination by The Wall Street Journal shows how it works and reveals that the maneuver, besides being a dubious use of tax law, risks harming regular workers. It can drain assets from pension plans and make them more likely to fail. Now, with the current bear market in stocks weakening many pension plans, this practice could put more in jeopardy.

Worse, your tax dollars, and mine, are subsidizing the perks for these already extravagantly compensated execs:

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