I joined the Detroit Police Department in 1986. At that time the city had an agreement with the federal government that made Detroit Police officers ineligible for social security and Medicare. We were led to believe that this was to our benefit. We were told that we would be taken care of upon retirement with a pension and health care.
Who told you that? Was it your union?
Today, this is no longer true. Because of the bankruptcy filing by the city of Detroit, the Emergency Manager has stripped me and my fellow officers of our health-care coverage and is trying to void our pension income.
No, Detroit went bankrupt because you, and a lot others like you, demanded that the city spend your pension funds on something else first and you believed they could still be spent on your pension. That of course is impossible; you can only spend a dollar once.
When this began you made up the "difference" by borrowing money. But borrowing is simply a promise to pay tomorrow what you don't have today, plus interest. Rather than say "NO!" to you for that additional spending, they said "YES!" -- but remember, it was you who voted for those people, including most-particularly your union that only existed because you authorized them as your bargaining representatives.
In other words you slit your own throat.
I spent more than 23 years with the Detroit Police Department as a patrol officer. I patrolled the streets of Detroit. I answered calls for service. I did not have an administrative job, nor was I an executive. I have seen some really horrific scenes and fought against the worst violent acts that most people cannot even imagine.
So what? You were paid for that. You also had funds put aside for pension and medical. And that would have been ok except that you didn't put aside enough because you believed that you could earn 8% when the economy was growing at half that, and in addition you spent the damn money on something else right up front so in fact there was nothing.
The simple fact of 8th grade math was intentionally ignored by both you and the rest of the people involved. In short you believed in unicorns and pots of gold at the end of rainbows, even though both are children's fairy tales and have never existed.
The belief in myths is bad enough but what's worse is when you start believing in things that are physically impossible, then charge that there's a conspiracy when they don't happen. Those who believed the oil companies "suppressed" 100mpg carburetors are among those fools, as are those who believe that pension funds can be blown on other things and still exist later.
Physics and mathematics are not suggestions and indeed they are superior to the laws passed by man. Man can repeal a bad law but nobody can repeal the laws of mathematics or physics. They just are, and you have only two choices: Accept them or face the consequences of refusing to do so.
I did not take a duty or medical retirement at the advice of my union. They told me not to worry---the retirement insurance coverage would take care of me. But that’s not true anymore.
Your union lied to you. But you are just as responsible, because if your union told you that your magical blue suit would prevent you from being shot or run over by a car, you wouldn't believe that. Nor would you believe that the magical blue suit would make you impervious to drowning if you were submerged in the Detroit river.
Yet you somehow believed that one can take less than the money required to fund a pension, promise someone 8% returns against an economy that has never returned that on a durable basis over the last 100 years (remember, "durable" is a roughly 40-year work career) and yet somehow the magical money fairy will make the funds you were "promised" appear.
You were defrauded by those who made those promises, but the chief defrauders were your very own union. I would assign all the blame there but that would be dishonest -- some of it is yours, along with the rest of the residents of the city, because you voted for and allowed the city to have a budget process that spent all your money twice, which is a physical impossibility, and you did nothing about it at the time.
Indeed the only way this could have worked is if you later stuck a gun up the nose of the residents of Detroit to replace the funds you already spent. I don't know if I need to state the obvious -- those who rob others deserve to be dropped where they stand -- but in this case that doesn't matter either because those who saw it coming and had something to rob moved away where you couldn't threaten to shoot them any more -- politically or physically -- if you didn't get your way.
Now that the results are clear you wish to whine about it. But this is dishonest because if you have a high school education, and thus were minimally qualified to be a cop, you either knew or fraudulently claimed to have passed the math classes you had to pass to be able to be hired that these promises could never be kept.
I'm sorry you got hurt in the line of duty.
But I'm not sorry that you lost your pension because you both caused and allowed the city to spend those funds on other things, and in fact you demanded that your city and union not properly fund that pension and not spend it on other things.
When you have $500 for the car payment and go to the casino and blow the $500 on blackjack when the car is repossessed for failure to make the payment it's on you, not the casino.
Incidentally, in case you're curious I warned you about exactly this -- in May of 2008.
MORE THAN FIVE YEARS AGO.