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UAW vs. Indiana’s PERF

Dear Editor:

Years ago Chrysler Corp. issued bonds at a pretty good interest rate.  Indiana invested billions of dollars from the Public Employee Retirement Fund to earn that really good interest.  Both parties were happy until the UAW bankrupted Chrysler.  Obama said to Indiana that all the money Indiana invested in Chrysler would have to go to the UAW.  Too bad, Indiana PERF.

Indiana’s PERF did not have enough money to pay out public pensions for more than a few years.  To extend the fund, Indiana assessed government subdivisions like Whitley County, Columbia City and the school corporation a huge chunk of change to make up the short fall and many in local government are wailing and gnashing their teeth about having to pay next year’s assessment (which ultimately we  taxpayers are going to have to pay).

My brother who is a Chrysler retiree told me that he deserved his retirement allotment and he didn’t care if Indiana’s retired teachers didn’t get theirs.  He said that Obama’s Hope and Change was a good thing for him.  He believes that the redistribution of wealth from Indiana’s PERF to Chrysler UAW was a good thing and he supported it.

I don’t have a dog in this fight because property taxes are frozen and the assessed value of my house declined $7,000 this year.  I won’t be on the South end of this wealth redistribution as these government officials tax you readers to pay government retirees.  How elected officials in the towns and city of Whitley County handle this matter may affect you in ways you won’t like.

Keep this in mind when you vote.

Terry L. Smith

More Auto Regulations Coming?

From The Heritage Foundation:

The aftermath of the unintended acceleration hearings involving Toyota is moving to the front burner again as lawmakers are proposing legislation that would increase auto safety regulations to address all potential sources of unintended acceleration. The bill would also increase the budget of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as well increase the maximum financial penalty Congress could impose on an automaker. Draft legislation titled The Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 2010 has been introduced in the House by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Beverly Hills) and Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.).

The Los Angeles Times reports that:

“The bill is likely to face opposition from automakers, in particular over a provision that would remove the existing $16.4-million cap on civil penalties against vehicle manufacturers for violations of safety laws and boost the fine for each violation to $25,000, from the current $6,000.

It would create a new tax of $9 per new vehicle after three years, payable by the manufacturer, to help fund NHTSA and some of the new requirements of the law. The tax could raise more than $100 million a year based on current sales figures.

Beyond fines and taxes, the bill would dramatically overhaul the federal government’s ability to oversee rapidly advancing electronics technology that is at the heart of new vehicles. It would create a center for vehicle electronics and emerging technologies. The measure would require automakers to adopt so-called brake overrides, which cut engine power back to idle when the brake pedal is depressed. It would also set separate new standards on the placement of foot pedals, keyless ignition systems and transmission shift controls.”

In what the LA Times article calls “one of the biggest overhauls of federal motor vehicle safety regulation in a generation”, the new regulations will certainly cost consumers more than nine dollars per vehicle. The important question is what will the real cost of the new regulations be and will the benefits outweigh those costs?

Read the rest at The Heritage Foundation.

God Bless America

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