Democrats Don't Care About Conflicts of Interest - Granite Grok

Democrats Don’t Care About Conflicts of Interest

Regulation, people love it or hate it.

Democrats in New Hampshire do not care about conflict of interest. They don’t care about it in DC. They don’t care unless they can use it to smear the opposition.  Want an example?

Democrat, Senator Gary Peters of Michigan, is a representative of his Party. He is also guilty of a conflict of interest. Well, if there were such a thing as a conflict of interest in D.C. he would be found guilty.

The senator has worked for a federal bailout of state pensions. He wants you and me to rescue the Michigan state pension. His conflict of interest is this. Michigan financial disclosure shows Peters gets more than $50,000 a year retirement. He gets it from the Michigan state pension fund.

New Hampshire is unlike Michigan. New Hampshire essentially has a volunteer legislature. Michigan legislators have a salary, get retirement and benefits. Senator Peters’s $50,000/year benefit accrued from his eight years in the state legislature. There’s no problem with Michigan deciding how to compensate its state legislators.

Peter’s conflict

Peters is supporting a Democrat retirement system bailout. It would affect his own retirement checks. That raises questions. Does his advocacy constitute a conflict of interest? Yes, yes it does. He is using public money to bail out his own retirement.

Compounding the conflict of interest is the fact he has a substantial net worth. The Center for Responsive Politics estimates Peters’ net worth at about $4.4 million (2018).

The senator collected $50,207 from the Michigan state pension fund in 2018. The numbers come from the Michigan disclosure records. Between 2013 and 2018 Peters received over $235,000 from the Michigan pension system. Peters also receives an annual congressional salary of $174,000.

This is not so different from the conflict of interest out of Nashua last year. There was that whole flap about contract violations. It involved the use of facilities for electioneering. There were retirees using facilities… you can look it up.

Do as I say… not as I do

Here’s the take away: Democrats support bailing out state and federal retirement systems. Those systems have huge unfunded liabilities. Their promised benefits cannot be paid for with currently existing assets. The taxpayers will get stuck with that tab. State politicians and regulators okayed the obligations. The problem is many if not most of them collect benefits from the systems.

Don’t we all wish we could vote ourselves bigger retirements that someone else would pay for? We need to start considering public pensions versus private pension. Public retirement benefits are way more generous than private companies can afford to provide. Why is that?

The government does not have to fund pensions to the same standards as private companies. If most state pension funds were in the private sector they would violate ERISA. Those signatories on the obligations would be in prison under ERISA rules. This is why private pensions are essentially gone. It is another case of government double standard. Do as I say… not as I do.

Stealing from the poor and giving to the rich

Peters has been calling for using federal money to bail out retirement funds. He wants the federal government to bail out state and local governments. Adding insult to injury he and fellow Democrats include this in their stimulus bills. Peters is in line with his Democrat colleagues in Congress.

The House Democrat caucus’ most recent stimulus proposal includes $500 billion for the state. How exactly is this virus related? If you bailout a retirement system how does that stimulate the economy? Exactly what does that have to do with the virus? New Hampshire incumbents up for re-election include Pappas, Kuster, and Shaheen. They are Democrats all.

Incumbents, can you explain this to the voters of New Hampshire? Why are you supporting bailing out pre-existing unfunded liabilities at the state level? Why are you proposing to do this with federal money? Are you using your position to buy votes of union workers with public money? Why should NH pay to bail out California, New York, Michigan, New Jersey, and Illinois?