Last night the House GOP led passage of the first significant reforms of our nation's pension laws in more than a quarter-century. From AP
"The House approved an ambitious overhaul of the nation's pension laws late Friday, hoping to prolong the traditional employer-based pension plans relied upon by millions while also promoting new savings options and protecting the government from future taxpayer bailouts.
The reforms in the bill 'represent the most sweeping changes to America's pension laws in more than 30 years,' said House Majority Leader John Boehner, Republican of West Chester.
He said the bill 'will ensure that workers and retirees can continue to count on their hard- earned pension benefits.'"
Pension reform isn't as sexy nor does it whip up conservatives the way talk of reforming Social Security does. But it's an important victory nonetheless - politically and
Politically, the uncertain mood that's fallen over the country has been caused by a number of things: the ongoing Global War on Terror, high gas prices, rising health care costs, etc. Another big one is the fear of losing retirement benefits. Most people know Social Security isn't worth a damn, so they rely on their pension savings. As news has picked up of troubles in the airline and steel industries (just to name two), workers have been concerned. This bill should give a lot of people piece of mind that their benefits will be there for them when they retire.
Policy-wise, the bill will actually force employers to keep their promises to workers. The idea of the government sticking its nose into private commerce is appalling to me, but any good conservative should agree that one of the key roles of government is to enforce privately agreed-to contracts. If employers are breaking their contracts with their employees, there should be consequences. For too long there weren't any. This will change that.
So as we head into August, the House GOP has another victory notch to put on their belt. Here's hoping they can parlay that into positive coverage and - come November 7 - votes.