As I reported last month, Obama has nominated Andy Stern, the leader of the Service Employee’s International Union (SEIU). Now the concerns are mounting over the quality of this choice and Obama’s true motives for his fiscal policy group.
The Washington Times reported that Mr. Stern has left SEIU in ruin while having protected his own benefits.
SEIU’s pensions are in even worse shape. Both of SEIU’s two national pension plans, the SEIU National Industry Pension Fund and the Pension Plan for Employees of the SEIU, issued critical-status letters last year. The Pension Protection Act requires any pension fund that is funded below 65 percent of what it needs to pay its obligations to inform its beneficiaries of the deficit .. Unlike SEIU’s pension plans for rank-and-file members and union employees, SEIU’s officer pension plan, the SEIU Affiliates Officers and Employees Pension Plan, was funded at 102 percent in 2007.
The motivation for SEIU to support health care reform is becoming more clear each day. The union will likely become insolvent if it can’t push a huge portion of it’s benefit liability on to the tax payers. SEIU’s political agenda is even more in-questions when we learn that many of their protests against Bank of America were at a time when it owed $80 million to the same bank.
Not only did Stearn shirk his responsibilities to the union members by not funding their benefits, he increased the union’s liabilities from $7.6 million to $120 million (more than 15 times) from 2000-2009 while only increasing assets from $66 million to $187 million (just 3 times) and a large portion of that asset growth comes from IOU’s from it’s own local union organizations.
Obama’s self-touted Deficit Reduction Panel is looking more like a political machine intended to only further his free-spending agenda. Andy Stern has shown no propensity for fiscal responsibility and no history of controlling liabilities. The only reason Stern is on this panel is to thank him for the $85 million he spent to get Obama and his party members elected, $85 million that should probably have gone to the SEIU member retirement and benefits funds.