Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Abele Offers Compromise To Robbing Retirees - By Stealing From Them Instead

Last April, Chris Abele sent out more than 200 threatening letters to Milwaukee County retirees, stating that if they didn't pay the county large amounts of money in just days, he was going to go after their pensions.

Abele claimed that the retirees were improperly given too much money in their pensions - or that they shouldn't be receiving a pension at all - due to bad advice given to the retirees by the county itself.

Abele didn't care if it caused the pensioners to lose their homes.  He didn't care that he was ruining their golden years that they had worked for for decades.  He didn't care if it meant that people in their 70s, 80s or even 90s might have to go back to work just to keep themselves fed.

All he cared about was getting his grubby mitts on that money.

The union did what it was supposed to do, which is fight back against this unconscionable act.  But Abele was too afraid to meet with them and ran off and hid.

Even though Abele had promised to come out with more information in the near future, he has strung the retirees on for nine months, leaving them to twist in the wind with anxiety and fear for what would happen to them for the rest of their lives.

Finally, the boy king realized that he put his imperial foot into it and offered "a comprise."  Instead of robbing the retirees, he would just rob them a little less:
Abele is backing away from last year's move to seek millions of dollars in repayments. But going forward, he still wants to reduce future pension payments to some 200 retirees and future retirees because of ordinance violations in the lucrative pension program.


Under Abele's plan, pension reductions going forward could range widely, from $35 a month to $1,000 a month, according to preliminary estimates.

Beyond the cold, hard figures, there's this: A small number of retirees even would lose their pensions altogether unless they returned to work or found some other way to get pension credit.

That's because, without the extra years of service they purchased under the county program, they would not have qualified for a pension in the first place.

In total, nearly $26 million in overpayments and interest, plus another $10 million in future payouts, are on the line, according to estimates by county actuaries. If the county were to recoup or avoid paying that total, $36 million, it also would return $9 million that county workers paid to buy back the extra pension time.
It doesn't appear that the Milwaukee County Board wants anything to do with Abele's thievery. Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic laid it out short and sweet:
Dimitrijevic on Friday told the Journal Sentinel that Abele's plan, even with its alterations, is "immoral" and exposes the county to costly lawsuits.

"It seems unfair that an employer who made mistakes, now comes back and harms the security of older adults who served the public," she said.
Supervisor Theo Lipscomb also made a statement regarding Abele's boorish plan. The paper did not quote Lipscomb fully, but he did make his full statement available on his Facebook page:
The ordinance changes from the Pension Board fix the errors, have no increased actuarial cost and essentially no legal risk; Abele's proposal has an unknown actuarial impact, appears to be illegal and is out of touch with common sense fairness.
In other words, Abele doesn't even need to go after the retirees. The pension fund has accounted for the money, there is no extra cost to the board's plan and it is legally sound. Abele can't say the same for his scheme. For Abele to still insist on attacking the retirees shows exactly what a petty, vindicate and immature fool he is.

Abele defended his immoral plan with this (emphasis mine):
Immoral? Abele had this to say: "It is morally indefensible to me to not to recover as much as we realistically can and put those millions into the social services for the needy and vulnerable who need it now more than ever."
Abele's statement can be taken a couple different ways.  One, he is just blowing smoke and wants that money to cover for the sweetheart deals for his fellow wealthy elitists.  Or two, he is speaking honestly (as hard as that might be to believe), which means that his grand scheme for the county's mental health system is already running low on money and he wants to fill his budget holes with the retirees' pensions.

Either way, it stinks to high heaven and shouldn't be considered for even a second.

In fact, Abele should be offering profuse public apologies for even bringing it up int he first place, much less for the deplorable way he has handled this whole debacle.

Whether this whole fiasco is due to his daddy issues or not, Abele has shown himself incapable of finding his way out of a paper bag and definitely unfit for public office.


  1. It is money from the PENSION fund. It is not money from the general fund, money that was budgeted for social services, etc. If it is decided that they absolutely have to recover it from people who have done no wrong and only collected what they rightly thought and believed was theirs, then it should go back into the PENSION fund, and NOT be used to bail out some tea party politician who has never seen a buck that he didn't think should belong to him or his big moneyed political donors!

  2. And yes, I know he ran as a Democrat. That does not make his actions any less Tea Party. Granted, most Tea Party politicians are associated with the Extreme Right of the Republican Party, but it is not limited only to them.

  3. Lol! I can't even. Too much stupid.

  4. Now we just need Jake from the LP to wander in here and give his thumbs up. Then this'll be exactly like the last 700 times you wrote this blog.

    C'mon, Jake! You're the Seuess caboose.

  5. Unlike private industry, governmental agencies are not required to give retirees an accounting of how their pensions are calculated. While most public agencies, out of decency do anyway, Milwaukee County does not.
    Anyone retiring from Milw. Co could find out decades later, thru some obscure audit, that they had screwed up on a decimal point and you now owe them thousands of dollars with interest and backdated to the day they retired ! As they say in Hunger Games, "May the odds be ever in your favor !"