Ms. Morris also wrote an email earlier on Friday, indicating that the PBGC would “probably get invited to the Monday meeting at (Friday’s) meeting,” and that the Monday meeting would involve “talks” on the GM and Delphi portions of the bailout plan. Yet after Friday’s meeting, House emailed an update to Morris and another PBGC staffer named John Menke. “We’ve been disinvited,” he wrote. “It’s for the best.” Morris sent a reply asking, “who uninvited us?” “Treasury,” House responded.
Boyle notes that it is “unclear” if there were additional meetings during which the Delphi pension plan was discussed, and whether or not PBGC staff were invited to attend them. But if Treasury officials discussed that pension plan at the initial meeting without a PBGC representative in the room, that means it is likely the aforementioned federal law was violated.
The 20,000 Delphi workers who lost up to 70 percent of their pensions have filed their own lawsuit against the PBGC. As of June, more than 20 months after Federal U.S. District Judge Arthur Tarnow ordered that salaried retirees of auto parts maker Delphi Corp. were entitled to conduct discovery in their lawsuit, the PBGC finally released 62,000 pages of emails and documents. Dennis Black, chairman of the Delphi Salaried Retirees Association, was hardly overjoyed. “Citizens shouldn’t have to hire lawyers to fight against taxpayer-paid lawyers just to find out how and why onerous government policy decisions were made,” he said. Black further noted that, having reviewed more than 100,000 pages of discovery from non-governmental parties involved in the matter, the retirees can prove the PBGC engaged in illegal activity in denying them their pensions–including how the Auto Task force schemed with union bosses over which pension obligations the “new” GM would decide to honor.
As for Tim Geithner’s role in these proceedings, the idea that he remained a neutral force defies credulity. In addition to his role as Treasury Secretary, Geithner co-chaired the Auto Task Force, and served as a board member of the PBGC. Last January Rep. Michael Turner (R-OH) called attention to this obvious conflict of interest, echoing the General Accounting Offices’s (GAO) concern with Geithner’s “multiple roles” in the process. Yet like much of what goes on with this administration, this was yet another story that saw little daylight in the mainstream media.
Whether that will change remains to be seen. Despite the death of Border Agent Brain Terry and a contempt of Congress charge levels against Eric Holder, the media’s calculated disinterest in the Fast and Furious gunrunning scandal remains steady. Yesterday, Senior White House advisor Valerie Jarret ignored questions about the emails unearthed by the Daily Caller, even as the president continues to campaign on how his administration “saved” the auto industry, despite the reality that taxpayers are still on the hook for around $35 billion.
In an update to his piece, Boyle reveals something that many Americans have come to expect from this president: Barack Obama will say anything to get elected–and then do pretty much what he wants, even if he completely contradicts himself in the process. Boyle refers back to a statement made by the president during the 2008 election campaign. “Right now, bankruptcy laws are more focused on protecting banks than protecting pensions,” Obama said then. “And, I don’t think that’s fair. It’s not the America I believe in. It’s time to stop cutting back the safety net for working people while we protect golden parachutes for the well-off. If you’ve worked hard and played by the rules, then you’ve earned your pension. If a company goes bankrupt, then workers need to be our top priority, not an afterthought.”
The only “priority” for this administration are constituencies, like organized labor for example, willing to further Obama’s agenda, often by any means necessary. Everyone else, including the 20,000 non-union Delphi workers who had their pensions snatched out from under them, is an “afterthought.” Once again this administration is involved in something that reeks of scandal. And once again, it is likely that nothing will come of it prior to the election.
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