A Lawless Presidency - Part 2 - Obama Steals Delphi Pensions - Do You Think Your 401K is Safe?
On this Labor Day weekend, it is appropriate to look at the effect of President Obama's and his Administration's actions are having on real people. People who spent their careers laboring for a company only to have their pensions stolen through a corrupt bankruptcy system. As pointed out in Part 1 of this series, Secretary of the Treasury, Timothy Geithner used his position on the US Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC) to strip the pensions and life insurance benefits of 20,000 Delphi employees. After writing that article I received an email from one of those employees. A lady I will call Patti B.
Patti B. is a real person. A sixty-two year old widow who spent thirty years of her life working for Delphi. She spent her life in this company knowing that in her retirement years, she would be taken care of by a pension she worked hard for and earned every penny of. Unfortunately, because of the calculated actions of Obama's Administration that was not to be. If Obama can take away the pensions of this woman and 20,000 other workers of Delphi, what makes you think he can't do it to you? Oh, you don't have a pension? What about your 401K? What about any other retirement savings or programs you might have? What makes you think a nation struggling for cash and a President with no regard for the rule of law won't just see that nest egg and confiscate it?
The truth is, Obama set out from the beginning to use the bankruptcy system to facilitate his redistribution of wealth program. He has corrupted an already troubled bankruptcy court system and is using the process to reward unions who remain among the few solid supporters Obama has left.
Here is Patti B.'s story. Listen closely to it and put yourself in her place. Her story could be your story, or that of your mother's or your sister's or your neighbor's.
"I am a Delphi Salaried Retiree, living in Dayton Ohio. I retired in 2003 with 30 years of service. I was promised (and EARNED) a set amount of pension income to be paid every month for the rest of my life. That was the agreement I had with GM: instead of "salaried" employees being paid an "hourly" wage, we were promised this as part of our compensation package in lieu of high hourly wages.
"Fast forward to 2005. Delphi "declares" bankruptcy and in 2009 we are thrown into a bankruptcy and bailout situation without representation on how our pensions would be handled. That our pensions should have been in play in the first place is a mystery to 20,000 of us. The issue here is that this president comes out and extols the virtue of being candid and open with the American people.
"Last time I checked I WAS BORN in Dayton Ohio and have the proof, making me a bona fide citizen. My understanding that ALL American citizens were to be treated fairly under the law.
"Problem is, Obama makes his own laws and can decide which ones to uphold. He forgets that it is the people that elected him and expect that he treats all with dignity and respect. I did not vote for him; I had a bad feeling about this guy that came out of nowhere and then suddenly began sticking his government's nose into a private industry's day to day business practices.
"You know, I am frankly tired of this slant of the vicious lap-dog media minions not really getting the truth out about this travesty. They “praise” the auto bailout without knowing what really happened when this toothy, demon-eyed charlatan allowed his pundits to cut deals behind closed doors.
"And the scary part about all this is ALL American tax-paying citizens are the ones being duped. They are the ones paying for this. It is unbelievable how hateful the media has become. I frankly don’t know how they lay their head down on a pillow each night and sleep. How pathetic it must be to live a life that is just eat up with vile and hate for their fellow American. How sad.
"I am tired of the truth being covered up by this corrupt administration and watching them literally lie to our faces and to Congress. There are REAL stories behind this stealing of our pensions. Look, I retired in 2003. Delphi declared its “bankruptcy” in 2005. I put myself back in the workforce in 2006 (I became widowed and was suddenly financially strapped.) So from 2006 (under the Bush administration), up to May 28, 2010, I held a full time job.
"In 2010 (under Obama) I lost my job. Seems that the president offered a 'Jobs For Main Street', or 'H.I.R.E.' incentive program creating payroll tax credit for businesses to “hire” new hires. I was working for a small, family-owned business in Dayton Ohio. At that time, I had lost my health care insurance because of Delphi’s actions to terminate them. I was able to get insurance coverage through the small company.
"I was working for basically a minimum wage and when this government incentive was presented to businesses across the country, aiming to “stimulate” job growth, the company decided to fire me and hire a new person, a younger person.
"The company didn’t necessarily do anything illegal. After all, the President dangled this carrot in the face of small businesses. The rub here is that this small business did not add an ADDITIONAL employee to her rolls, she replaced one.
"Some of the criteria for taking advantage of this tax credit incentive was to 1) the new hire couldn’t have worked 40 hours in the last 60 days, prior to being hired 2) the new hire was not to be related to the owner of the business 3) the new hire had to sign an affidavit swearing this info was true (did not require the small business to send proof to the IRS that they followed these criteria) and 4) (here is the killer…) ”the new hire was NOT to replace a full time employee, UNLESS the full time employee was either terminated with cause OR quit.” I was terminated on May 28, 2010 without cause, meaning that I did not steal, or cause a fight, or engaged in any insubordination way to be fired.
"Yeah, I know all about the “employment at will” arguments and how you can be let go for no reason at all. The ironic part about all this, just 3 days after my firing, is that I got my information regarding this “H.I.R.E.” program by happening to watch a free, LIVE webcast (on the internet) that was put on by our own IRS Department.
"The only thing I was guilty of was being old. I was able to get my unemployment. I am under the impression that the company got their payroll tax credit, but by throwing me into the ranks of the then 14 million unemployed Americans, the new hire technically DID NOT add to her payrolls. They didn’t keep me AND the new hire on their rolls, thus growing the economy. So this whole transaction was a wash.
"I was able to, thank God; get insurance coverage through our Delphi Salaried Retiree Association, as I now faced a third life-changing event. But because of the firing AND the termination of my Delphi pension, I had to pay for insurance coverage with considerably less monthly dollars.
"Even after retirement and unemployment, I have kept my clerical skills marketable and would put my tenacity and integrity and values up against anyone. I have applied for numerous jobs in the Dayton area and have gotten a sprinkling of interviews. Jobs that an orangutan in a monkey suit could do and yet I can’t find a job! Such is the plight of the older American. Maybe if I get my pension restored, do ya think I wouldn’t have to look for a job taking a position away from a younger person?
"Or should I just go to sit on a park bench, let pigeons land on my shoulders, drool out the side of my mouth, let ObamaCare fetch me up, and become a burden to society?
"All we (the salaried retirees) are asking, no DEMANDING, that this president be exposed for what he really is. I have 2 brothers and a sister that were part of the IUE union here in Dayton and they were appalled at what has happened to us. We are not begrudging these folks for getting their pensions (albeit the IUE got shafted to a degree); we are DEMANDING that we be made whole, recouping the compensation package that was owed us and restoring our pensions to what once was.
"We are DEMANDING the American people know what happened to 20,000 fellow Americans. If this can happen to a group of hard working, older Americans what is to stop this jerk in office from raiding other retirees’ pension funds or even their kids’ piggy banks?
"I refuse to be a part of a 'shining photo op' moment for this President. I take issue with Obama and his pundits using this GM bailout and bankruptcy as a political achievement, just as his handling of the bin Laden victory. I don’t even want to mention his narcissist pedaling of invoking executive privilege with Fast and Furious.
"Is he going to address our plight and suddenly allow our pensions to be restored prior to November 6th? Suddenly he will pull us out of the fire? How is he going to spin that to the American people? “Yeah, I ordered the stealing of 20,000 fellow Americans’ pensions for going on five years. Yeah, I ordered that every single American taxpayer pay for one of the largest bailouts and questionably illegal bankruptcies in American history. Yeah, I took over a private industry and “saved it” at the expense of countless GM/Delphi families, car dealerships and communities’ livelihoods.
"Yeah, GM came roaring back!” The only roar he is hearing in his cavernous head is the collective voices of the American people telling him to take his questionable politics back to where it came from - under a rock. Somewhere in Chicago, a village is missing its idiot."
Patti B.'s story is full of the pain many of us feel towards this President and his Administration. Real people are suffering from the lawlessness of this presidency. Obama loves to take credit, as Patti B. pointed out, but he never wants to accept responsibility.
Don't think for a second, this cannot happen to you. This President will not let any constitutional protection get in his way of accomplishing his agenda. The Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution guarantees that "No Person... shall be deprived of life liberty or PROPERTY without due process." But, as you saw above, the Delphi retirees were stripped of their pensions without any representation. The Fourteenth Amend guarantees equal protection under the law, yet Obama discriminated against these non-union employees to the benefit of the union employees. Where is the equal protection?
A lawless presidency must not be allowed a second term where they can play out their hand of lawlessness without having to worry about re-election. Imagine what that would be like.
If this theft of property by our government can happen to Patti B., it can happen to you. If you think it can't, just ask one of these 20,000 salaried Delphi retirees.
BankruptcyLawReview.com for more information about our bankruptcy system.
A Lawless Presidency - Part 1 - Obama Administration Rips off Non-Union Delphi Pensions While Preserving Union Pensions
Delphi Salaried Retirees Struggle Under Obama Oppression - Petition to Reclaim Stolen Pension