Delphi Pension Scandal: A Story That Should Be Bigger

While it’s true that national campaigns, especially the presidential, have to focus on broader themes and stay on message, there remains a laundry list of specifics that down-ticket candidates and new media types could and should be relentlessly hammering away at. Most notable among the topics are the Fast and Furious scandal, the failure of Solyndra and other stimulus backed “green” initiatives and the cronyism involved in implementing the Affordable Care Act in the form of waivers to Big Labor and other strong Obama supporters.

Perhaps the most insidious case of cronyism occured as part of the auto industry bailout at the Delphi automotive parts manufacturing company. Twenty thousand non-union workers had their pension plans terminated while those of Delphi’s union employees were preserved.

The Obama administration insists that the decision was an independent one made by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. The PBGC is yet another one of the many independent-in-theory organizations that is chartered to make decisions about the private sector yet remains a part of the bureaucratic federal behemoth.

There is evidence, however, that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was pulling the strings that made the PBGC dance. That evidence, along with the overwhelming egregiousness of termination of the pensions, has led to a bipartisan (Isn’t that what we all want?!?) inquiry into exactly what went on during the decision making process for Delphi workers.

The president and his surrogates are fond of trotting out isolated, heartstring-tugging, examples of the purported successes of the stimulus and the auto industry bailout, despite the fact that neither program has had many of them. (And yes, dear liberal readers, I know that the auto bailout began under George W. Bush. I wasn’t a fan of it then, either.)

This administration and its surrogates are forever peddling the notion that they are the only ones who truly care about the futures of seniors and soon to be retirees, which makes its very casual and real disruption of twenty thousand lives (more, actually, when the family members affected are factored in) at just one company all the more hypocritical and cruel. It is true that many pension plans in America are being altered to fit economic realities. Had the PBGC made across-the-board cuts at Delphi this would be just another sad story about this recession. The preservation of the union pensions at the expense of non-union employees makes it a prime example of exactly which Americans the Obama administration is fighting for and which are expendable.

An organization called Let Freedom Ring is producing some videos featuring Delphi employees whose futures were endangered by the Obama administration’s casual application of politics over principle. The video below is the group’s latest ad and will hopefully help push this story into further prominence in the national discussion of the real issues to be considered before November.