Working Hard And Playing By The Rules

Bill Clinton once said:

"The main idea here is still the old idea of the American dream ... that if you work hard and play by the rules, you ought to have a decent life and a chance for your children to have a better one, " he said.
Via Think Progress, Retired steel worker Steve Skvara retorts:

“After 34 years with LTV Steel, I was forced to retire because of a disability. Two years later, LTV filed bankruptcy. I lost a third of my pension, and my family lost their health care. “Every day of my life I sit at the kitchen table across from the woman who devoted 36 years of her life to my family, and I can’t afford to pay for her health care. What’s wrong with America, and what will you do to change it?”
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, in a post-debate analysis, added, “I wonder if that wasn’t a moment that’s gonna change American political history.”
< Does Anyone Want The Troops Out of The Iraq Debacle? | McConnell and Petraeus: Foxes In the Henhouse >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    I can't imagine hearing his story and not (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Geekesque on Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 09:43:23 AM EST
    being filled with outrage.

    Foxes Appointed to Guard Henhouses (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by squeaky on Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 09:59:51 AM EST
    MSNBC's Chris Matthews, in a post-debate analysis, added, "I wonder if that wasn't a moment that's gonna change American political history."
    Not if creeps like this have any say:

    In the weeks following the Sago mine disaster in West Virginia in 2006, the owner of the Utah mine where six workers remained trapped underground Tuesday called state efforts to pass stricter mine safety laws "seriously flawed, knee-jerk" reactions.

    "I resent these politicians playing politics with my employees' safety," Robert E. Murray told the Columbus Dispatch in January 2006.

    Murray was responding to a proposal in the Ohio legislature that would have created a mining emergency operations center and required workers to wear wireless communications devices.


    I am surprised that Bush has not appointed Murray to be the head of mine safety.

    There is more than one way to kill a worker. (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by debcoop on Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 01:16:12 PM EST
      In tonight's AFL CIO debate the man on crutches who had to retire on disability from LTV Steel, then lost 1/3 of his pension and all his healthcare is the victim of both greedy manufacturing asset scavengers, like the man who bought LTV steel, Wilbur Ross, and the laws and financial mauevers that allowed him to purchase a purposefully bankrupted entity without assuming any of the responsibilities to real stakeholders other than himself.

    Below is a link to the history of LTV steel, go down to 2001 and 2002. Please note that LTV went bankrupt in Dec 2001.  wilbur Ross bought the physical assets of LTV and not the company itself....purposefully to shed the pension and healthcare obligations of the company itself. This has enriched himm enomously....He specialized in buying distressed assets, not distressed companies...and I think my memory is right he is one of the owners of the Sago mine.

    Of course this demonstrates the need for universal healthcare, but the defunding of long earned pension funds seems to be addressed by no one.  While it does demonstrate the rapacity is the primary tenet of the Republican party.


    Not so clear (1.00 / 0) (#22)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 03:49:54 PM EST
    LTV filed for bankruptcy 12/29/2000, not Dec 2001.


    The Court issued an assest protection plan 12/7/2001.

    There are so many problems with pension plans that it is hard to know where to start, and it is not a problem of either party, despite what you say.

    There are basically two types of plans. One is a company funded plan, and the other is an employee funded plan. I would guess the LTV plan the man refers to was a company funded plan. Then there are also company 401K's as well as plain IRA's, annuities, etc.

    The questions that always come up here is simple. If the company is bankrupt, then there is no money in the plan, or else the amount is underfunded for what is owed. Either way the pension funds should never be available to the purchasers of any company, bankrupy or solvent.

    If the man in question retired because of disability, then I would guess he retired under a Long Term Disability plan. LTD is basically insurance purchased by an individual through the company. The amount paid him would be based on the amount purchased, and the evaluation of his disability. At some point, usually age 65, LTD will drop out and the individual will start his company provided pension. His years of service for benefit calculations normally will stop at the time he went on LTD.

    In otherwords, without some details it is impossible to know if the guy made out or was screwed.

    And yes, NHC would help.


    Another type of pension plan: both the employee (none / 0) (#23)
    by oculus on Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 05:23:16 PM EST
    and the employer contribute.

    The "rapacious" WL Ross is a Democrat (none / 0) (#7)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 01:31:05 PM EST
    Rich Husband Cuts Campaign Support To McCaughey Ross

    DISPLAYING ABSTRACT - Lt Gov Betsy McCaughey Ross, who seeks Democratic nomination to challenge Gov George E Pataki of New York,

    blah, blah, blah...

    No (none / 0) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 01:39:23 PM EST
    Her supported his wife.

    Wilbur Ross is for Wilbur Ross.


    BTW (none / 0) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 01:40:43 PM EST
    His wife was the person who wrote the wildly inaccurate TNR hatchet job on universal health care in 1993.

    She was a Republican forever until she decided that it would be more convenient for her to be a Democrat.

    Democrats rejected her bid for office.


    She sure sounds like a Dem to me (none / 0) (#10)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 01:45:43 PM EST
    On the eve of a huge tenant rally, Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey Ross yesterday attacked Gov. Pataki's plan to scrap state limits on rent hikes as tenants vacate their apartments.

    Of course (none / 0) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 01:46:58 PM EST
    she did when she ran for the Dem nomination.

    What McGaughey Ross was and is is a joke.

    You had some bad info SAC. Just fess up and move on.


    The full story (none / 0) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 01:49:22 PM EST
    of the foolish Betsy McGaughey:

    My article included an attack on an (error-laden, tendentious, and dishonest) article by one Elizabeth McCaughey, which was surprisingly important in building opposition to the original Clinton health plan. McCaughey presented herself in the article as a dispassionate expert observer; a few month later, she was the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor of New York. She served one term - before her running mate, Governor George Pataki, pushed her off the ticket in his run for a second term in 1998. Then she became a Democrat and announced that she would run against Pataki for governor in that same race. After losing in the Democratic primary, she became the Liberal party's nominee and ended up with 2% or 3% of the vote in the general election. McCaughey's article was published in The New Republic, whose editor at the time was Andrew Sullivan -- now my colleague and comrade at the Atlantic. . .

    Three earned the designation "pro-choice": Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey Ross, Jim Larocca, and Brooklyn District Attorney Charles (Joe) Hynes.

    So was Rudy (none / 0) (#19)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 02:10:14 PM EST
    In reality, so was Pataki.

    You know nothing about NY politics do you?


    Graduate of both Columbia and Vassar, (none / 0) (#16)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 02:07:06 PM EST
    as well as a professor at both, could it be that she was a Dem before she was a Repub before she was a Dem...
    She has taught at Vassar College and Columbia University, and produced prize-winning studies while at two think
    tanks, the Manhattan Institute and later the Hudson Institute.

    Dr. McCaughey's 1994 article on the dangers of the
    Clinton health plan received the National Magazine Award for the best article in the nation on public policy, the H. L.
    Mencken Award and other prizes.

    As Lt. Governor of New York State, she proposed health legislation that became
    models for legislation in other states and in Congress.

    She has also been honored by the American Society of
    Anesthesiologists for her writings in that field.

    Not possible (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 02:09:33 PM EST
    Both the Manhattan Institute and the Hudson Institute are conservative think tanks.

    SAC, stop burying yourself.



    Background (none / 0) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 01:45:53 PM EST
    on McAughey Ross' hatchet job published in TNR -



    Betsy and Wilbur a ggod match (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by debcoop on Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 02:03:36 PM EST
    They are both more for themselves than for anything else.  Putatively they were both Dems prior to her being picked for Lt. Gov. solely on the TNR article. Pataki dropped her after his first term.

     Wilbur, when he was a humble broker at Lazard Freres, a Dem leaning banking/investment firm, home of Felix Rohayton, gave small sums to good Democrats.  He then had donated nothing until 2004 when he gave money to a Republican. He divorced Betsy right after her campaign for Governor, became a bankruptcy scavenger, got really rich, married his 3rd wife, a Palm Beach society type who is featured in upscale decorating journals.  

    When you spend tens of millions to buy and decorate a home, well you need to deprive men like Mr. Skvarva, of healthcare and pension.  After all the pennies add up.

    PS while spelled McCaughey, it's pronounced McCoy.


    There you have it. (none / 0) (#18)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 02:09:39 PM EST
    Indeed (none / 0) (#20)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 02:11:15 PM EST
    Ross is a skunk.

    I think that was debcoop's point all along.

    Why fight the obvious?


    and there's a lot more (none / 0) (#21)
    by debcoop on Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 02:18:19 PM EST
    about the 2 of them  that I know that are irrelelvant but also inappropriate to a family weblog!

    if you work hard and play by the rules, (none / 0) (#3)
    by Edger on Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 10:04:40 AM EST
    you ought to have a decent life and a chance for your children to have a better one

    instead of being disposable.

    Tears (none / 0) (#4)
    by mindfulmission on Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 10:54:03 AM EST
    This question literally brought tears to both my and my wife's eyes.  

    This is exactly why things need to begin changing.

    LTV Pension (none / 0) (#24)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 05:36:08 PM EST
    PBGC Protects Benefits of 82,000 LTV Workers In Largest-Ever Federal Pension Takeover

    The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) today announced it is taking over three underfunded pension plans covering some 82,000 workers and retirees of bankrupt steel maker LTV Corp., based in Cleveland. The move comes because no purchaser of LTV assets has agreed to assume any pension liabilities and, as LTV's liquidation progresses, no one will remain at the company to manage the plans' assets and pay benefits. With combined assets of almost $2.2 billion and benefit liabilities of $4.4 billion, the plans are underfunded by about $2.2 billion, PBGC estimates.

    "Termination of these LTV pension plans represents the largest trusteeship in PBGC history," said PBGC Executive Director Steven A. Kandarian. "Most LTV plan participants will receive their full basic pension from PBGC," he said, noting that federal law limits the maximum benefit payable. He also noted that monthly checks for those already retired will continue, subject to the legal limits.[...]

    The three plans terminate effective March 31, 2002. The largest plan, the LTV Steel Hourly Pension Plan, covers some 65,000 participants and is underfunded by nearly $1.8 billion. The LTV Steel Salaried Defined Benefit Retirement Plan has over 14,000 participants and is underfunded by about $316 million. The LTV Steel Mining Co. Pension Plan, with about 3,500 participants, is underfunded by around $70 million. There are over 82,000 people in all three plans, including 53,000 already retired and receiving benefits.[...]

    Under federal pension law, the maximum pension guaranteed for workers in plans that terminate in 2002 is $3,579.55 a month (or $42,954.60 a year) for persons retiring at age 65. Maximum guarantees are adjusted for those who retire at ages younger or older than 65 or those who elect survivor benefits. PBGC estimates that most LTV workers will receive their full basic pension benefit. However, certain recent additions to the basic benefit may not be fully guaranteed, and temporary supplements generally are not guaranteed.[...]

    PBGC is a federal corporation created under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 to guarantee payment of basic pension benefits earned by more than 44 million American workers and retirees participating in over 35,000 private-sector defined benefit pension plans. The agency receives no funds from general tax revenues. Operations are financed largely by insurance premiums paid by companies that sponsor pension plans and by PBGC's investment returns.

    by about $2B before WL Ross got involved. It looks like Ross personally took out about $1B after a lot of merging LTV with and buying-out a bunch of other troubled co's.

    LTV was the biggest US-owned steel co. before Ross sold it to a foreign co., although to be fair, his profit from that sale (~$250 million) was no where near his gain from the private and public sales of his LTV stock (~$800 million).

    That said, much of his stock was sold to other US private and public pension funds which have also profited handsomely...


    What he says and what he does... (none / 0) (#27)
    by dkmich on Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 06:57:10 PM EST
    "The main idea here is still the old idea of the American dream ... that if you work hard and play by the rules, you ought to have a decent life and a chance for your children to have a better one, " he said.

    Too bad Clinton didn't remember these words when he passed NAFTA, gave Rupert more media consolidation, and kicked babies off of welfare while never touching a dime of corporate welfare.  Clinton talk is bigger than his walk.