Obama: Destroyer of Non-Union Pensions

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Add another burgeoning Obama administration scandal to the pile of scandals afflicting this administration. The Daily Caller’s Matthew Boyle is reporting that they have obtained a series of emails showing the U.S. Treasury Department, with Timothy Geithner in the lead, “was the driving force” behind terminating the pensions of 20,000 salaried retirees at Delphi, one of the world’s largest auto parts manufacturing companies. The move was made during the Chrysler/GM auto bailout of 2009, and it appears the sole motivation behind it was crassly political: these particular Delphi retirees were not members of an organized labor union. Delphi’s unionized workers “saw their pensions topped off and made whole.”

The Caller notes that the emails “contradict sworn testimony, in federal court and before Congress, given by several Obama administration figures,” and also “indicate that the administration misled lawmakers and the courts about the sequence of events surrounding the termination of those non-union pensions, and that administration figures violated federal law.”

In July, UAW negotiator Ron Bloom, former Treasury official and task force legal adviser Matthew Feldman and former task force member Harry Wilson, all of whom were appointed by President Obama to his Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry, appeared before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s Subcommittee on TARP, Financial Services and Bailouts of Public and Private Programs. Prior to that hearing they had refused to cooperate for over a year with a congressionally mandated investigation by Christy Romero, the special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). The likely reason they did so: Romero had no subpoena power.

During the hearing they were asked–under oath–what role the task force played regarding pensions. All three men dodged many questions from the Committee, but eventually Bloom and Feldman insisted the task force was nothing more than a neutral “facilitator” of decisions made entirely by other entities. They did this despite the fact that the Committee had two emails written by Feldman, one saying he was convinced GM would “rubber stamp” the administration’s preferences on the deal–and the second saying he had discussed the deal with the White House.

Boyle corroborates White House involvement, having unearthed an email chain between Feldman and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) staffer Joseph House indicating the PBGC “believed it needed to clear decisions and action plans through senior administration officials,” despite the reality that PBGC’s charter calls for independent representation of private-sector pensioners. In fact, federal labor law makes PBGC “the only government entity that is legally empowered to initiate termination of a pension or make any official movements toward doing so.”

Furthermore, an email sent by House to several fellow staffers, as well as David Burns, then a principal at the finance restructuring firm Greenhill & Co., and Bradley Robins, Greenhill’s head of Financing Advisory and Restructuring for North America, is particularly damning. In it he reveals that Feldman “reported that he has made progress discussing our proposal with a number of key folks in Treasury and at [the] White House, but he has not yet wrapped up his coordination. He indicated that there is an 8 am call tomorrow that he’ll use to close the communication-loop, and he’s confident he’ll have a fully-vetted Treasury view after that call.”

Feldman has not responded to Daily Caller requests for comment. But Treasury spokesman Matt Anderson insists that “termination of the Delphi salaried pension plan was made by the PBGC in accordance with its standard procedures and applicable laws–not by Treasury,” he wrote, responding to the Caller in an email. “Although the Delphi bankruptcy was very difficult for its employees and retirees, the actions Treasury took to support the American auto industry helped save more than a million American jobs during a period of economic crisis.”

Other emails contradict Anderson. An email dated Thursday, April 2, 2009, shows House discussing a meeting he and his PBGC staffers anticipated attending the next day with the entire auto bailout team. House emailed Karen Morris and Michael Rae, saying that the “agenda” for Friday’s meeting “is everything–lead off with Chrysler, then we’ll get into GM/Delphi.”

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  • oldtimer

    It's time for Romney to go on the offense and disclose all the harm that this admin. has done, all the businesses closed, homes lost, jobs lost, and families that have been broken up because of these things. 0's tactics are dispicable, especially the most recent lie that R caused a man's wife's death, many years after the fact and had nothing to do with R. How low will 0 go. I guess he will say that he had nothing to do with the add. (Bush did it).
    Just like he didn't mean "you didn't build that, someone else built that"……Evil…..

  • kafir4life

    I will not buy union made goods and services whenever possible. Why would I? It's like buying low quality garbage from overpaid thugs. Has anybody seen the "new" GM? Would you buy a car from them? I wonder what percentage of each car sold goes directly into President Stinky's (aka BO) coffers, and how much to pay for hookers for Trumpka the Hutt?

    • Asher

      We will not buy anymore GM products…Also HSBC Master Card is the promoter of Sharia compliant instruments. They are the Base for GM card Users who use their card to gain points to put toward buying GM products. (GM is still in debt, and has never paid back the money they were bailed out with.) We will not support money laundering that go to support terrorists and cartels. A percentage of their profits would be given as zakat to Muslim charities

  • Ezra

    I would not buy a car from GM even if it was the last car maker on the earth.

  • Ezra

    I would not buy a car from GM even if it was the last car maker on the earth.

  • Rifleman

    The message is pretty clear, unionize or some dp politician or dp appointed bureaucrat will unilaterally take your pension and health insurance.

  • Jossi

    Well, what did you expect from an insolent, incompetent and incapable man; above all a Marxist. If (P)resident Zero gets a second term, he'll destroy America completely, and most allies will suffer too. On the other hand the 50 or so % that voted for Zero are dangerous, precisely because they did so, and did not understand what radical he is! and for what a treacherous party they were voting for. The writing is on the wall, I hope a sufficient quantity of democrats are able to read….

  • κατεργάζομαι

    There are days when even the most optimistic of us feels drained and overwhelmed by the unprecedented corruption and incompetence of the Obama administration

  • FairWitness

    Why do this President and those in his Administration have such disdain for Americans who have worked and contributed for their entire lives? Surely something can be done to restore the pensions of non-union Delphi retirees. What happened to them and all the bond holders are massive crimes.

    • kafir4life

      THe productive are not part of Stinky's base. His supporters are mostly the motivationally impaired.

  • stevefraser

    And when Obama wins the next election the Fascist's will be in a position using voter registration and election campaign contributions to destroy their enemies.

  • Asher

    Its time to start hitting them in the belt…Imagine being with a credit card company for over 20 years, paying your debt on time..and paying it off…these are good customers they,( HSBC,) are going to loose…Those who are responsible individuals with good values and ethics…They are loosing these honest dependable people!