February 09, 2011
Fox News host Bill O'Reilly is smearing public service workers, blaming public pensions and benefits for budget shortfalls: "All across the country it's the same deal: public pensions bankrupting cities and states."
FACT: The average annual pension of an AFSCME retiree is $19,000. As Pres. Gerald W. McEntee wrote in USA Today, the real problems facing cities and states were caused by Wall Street, not public workers.
“Let’s be clear: Underfunded pension systems resulted from unprecedented losses of asset values caused by reckless behavior on Wall Street and the refusal of some politicians to make their required payments. As recently as 2007, pension funds had, collectively, 96 percent of the assets required to meet future expenditures. But Wall Street drove America’s economy and retirement security into a ditch. And now both pension and 401(k) accounts alike must be rebuilt.”
We need to set the record straight and tell O'Reilly and his right-wing friends to stop the lies.