U.S. treasury raids federal employee pension funds to cover debts
by: J. D. Heyes
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
There is a saying, “Desperate times call for desperate measures.” Roughly, it’s an expression that’s meant to be reassuring, conjuring up an image of a true statesman-like leader who is preparing to do whatever is necessary to lead the masses out of danger.
Of course, the expression doesn’t have the same connotation when applied to the Obama administration in its futile struggle to balance the nation’s books. Left to fend for itself by a hapless Congress that couldn’t agree on the color of red bricks, let alone pass a budget that actually curbed spending and lowered the national debt, the administration has taken to theft as a way to pay the country’s bills. Specifically, the Treasury Department is stealing cash from federal employees pension funds so the government can obtain more credit to pay its debts.
In a letter to Congress earlier this week, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said he would “be unable to invest fully” the federal employees retirement system, a tactic the federal government has had to employ six times over the past 20 years in order to remain under the statutory debt ceiling limit.
In addition to shortchanging federal employee retirement, Geithner “has already tapped another seldom-used fund in order to allow the government to continue borrowing without running afoul of the country’s laws,” according to Reuters, which of course didn’t name the “seldom-used fund.”