The administration and congressional Democrats are teaming up to force a taxpayer bailout of private unions’ underfunded and over-promised pension benefits.
On May 6, the Treasury Department rejected a plan by the Central State Teamsters trucking union to reduce some of its pension benefits to prevent the plan from going belly up within a decade. And on May 25, Senate Democrats sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell calling for Congress to “protect” the United Mine Workers of America’s health and pension benefits by passing the Miners Protection Act (S.1714), and to “address” troubled union plans like Central State’s.
“Protect” and “address” are code for bailout.

These proposals would bail out select, and politically influential, private-sector union pension plans. Half a billion a year for the United Mine Workers of America or even a couple billion a year for Central State may not seem all that significant, but it would open the bailout floodgates to more than $600 billion in unfunded pension promises across private union plans. And although single employers have far less political clout than the unions, they hold another $800 billion in unfunded pension promises that could fall to taxpayers.