* Kurt Erickson talks about Bruce Rauner’s attack on public employee pensions…
The ultra wealthy hedge fund manager who is running for the Republican nomination for governor wants to freeze state worker pensions at their current levels and switch everyone to a 401(k)-style retirement savings program.
This is ironic because Rauner became rich, in part, by investing and managing public pension funds, including the Illinois Teachers Retirement System.
While school teachers, prison guards, university employees and child welfare workers are staring at a revamped pension plan that will bite into their future earning power, Rauner is enjoying the fruits of his investments.
He reported earning over $100 million in the past three years alone. Reports indicate he has eight homes, including ranches out West, penthouses in New York and Chicago and a beach house in Florida.
Rauner’s handlers didn’t make him available to discuss the disconnect between Rauner’s riches and his position on ending pension plans for public servants.
But, Rauner’s campaign spokesman said Rauner’s investment firm GTCR delivered ample returns for the pension systems at a time when lawmakers and former governors were not sufficiently funding them.
“So on one side you had the politicians creating the problem and on the other you had GTCR and Bruce creating tremendous returns,” spokesman Mike Schrimpf said.
I suppose I can see the logic in that Schrimpf statement, but I’m not sure that it’s an easy argument to make, especially considering his great wealth.
I mean, $53 million a year is over a million dollars a week, which breaks down to over $200K a day for each work day. He’s making more in a day than most retirees will make in five, six or even more years.
And if you think pointing that out is “class warfare,” then what is Rauner doing?
* By the way, Rauner disclosed another $100,000 in contributions this morning, including $25K from Contractors for Free Enterprise, which is the political arm of the anti-union Associated Builders & Contractors.