Obama's Auto Bailout: 20,000 Workers Lost Pensions

Why should Ohioans reject Barack Obama? Because he and his Administration are duplicitous.  You think only conservatives think Obama is a cheat and a liar?

Fine. Ask the most liberal member of the senate, your own Sherrod Brown. Brown is now admitting that there was a major flaw in Obama’s auto bailout that affected Ohioans. 20,000 employees of Delphi, a supplier of General Motors based in Dayton, lost their pensions because of the bailout.  Now Brown is “demanding” that Obama restore those pensions.

And just who does Brown want to put in charge of this restoration? Why, none other than Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who would use taxpayer money to top up the pension plans that were eliminated by the 2009 auto bailout. And how does Brown plan to raise the money?

Get this: he would sell taxpayer shares of General Motors stock at a loss. Well, why the hell not? The stock is trading at around $23 right now, and taxpayers wouldn’t make a cent until it traded above $52 – which may never happen.

But wait, wasn’t it Geithner and senior White House and Department of Treasury officials who initiated cutting off the pensions a little more than three years ago? And not only that, rewarded their former firms and possibly stashed away some money for themselves with the profits earned by terminating the pensions?

You bet it was.

And just for icing on the cake, a third House committee is starting an investigation into the Delphi scandal. The House Education and Workforce Committee is asking for the Obama administration to turn over documents. Committee chairman Rep. John Kline

It’s past time for the Obama administration to stop hiding the facts and start cooperating with congressional oversight. For more than three years, Delphi’s non-union workers have been demanding answers about decisions made in secret that weakened their retirement security. They deserve to know who in the administration helped pick winners and losers and why.

Kline and Tennessee Republican Rep. Phil Roe sent a letter to Geithner and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) director Josh Gotbaum reminding them that the administration ignored document requests in late 2009 and early 2010:

Immediately following the December 2009 hearing, committee members wrote to Secretary Geithner requesting the immediate release of all documents and correspondence relating to the federal government’s involvement in the restructuring of GM and Delphi’s pension plans.  Treasury Department responded on April 21, 2010, with a letter assuring members it would provide documents and correspondence consistent with its obligations under applicable law, as soon as possible. Despite this assurance, no documents or communications have been provided by the Treasury Department.

Email evidence contradicts sworn testimony by members of the Obama Administration that the decision to terminate the Delphi pensions came from the PBGC, a federal government agency that handles private-sector pension benefits issues. Just last week, on September 7, the Treasury Department, White House and PBGC ignored a deadline to provide documents on the scandal to the House Ways and Means committee.

So Brown is trying to cover the Obama Administration’s tracks, Geithner is stalling an investigation, and Obama lied about the bailout and cost 20,000 retirees their pensions.

If Ohio can’t see they’ve been snookered, and can’t see that they will continue to be snookered by Obama and Brown, then the Rust Belt will just get rustier and rustier.


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