October 10, 2015

2016 hopeful John Kasich told his audience at a forum that they were "going to have to get over" cuts to their Social Security benefits.

He said that. First, he asked the audience whether they knew what their initial benefit was. A few hands went up.

"Now what if I told you your initial benefit was going to be somewhat lower in order to save the program," he continued. "Would that drive you crazy?"

When an audience member indicated it would upset them, Kasich replied, "Ok. Well, you'd get over it. And you're going to have to get over it."

This comes from a guy who was working for Wall Street when the 2008 meltdown came, who got his big bonus anyway and didn't get over the idea that he shouldn't have received anything.

Then when he was elected Governor of Ohio, he pushed through big pension cuts for state employees. I'm sure he expected them to "get over it" too.

"They want these kind of people for their Rolodex and their deeper knowledge of the political terrain,” said Eileen Appelbaum, a private equity expert at the left-leaning Center for Economic and Policy Research. “Politicians have deep knowledge of how to shift the terrain, where the levers of power are, and what a company needs to do to deal with the regulatory enforcement or alter the rules.”

Kasich is a case in point: While he never registered as a Lehman lobbyist, within two years of being hired by the bank, he was involved in meetings with Ohio pension officials to pitch them on investing in Lehman. While Kasich served as one of the bank’s point people, Ohio pension funds for police officers, firefighters and highway patrol opted to hire Lehman to manage -- and earn fees from -- retirees’ savingsin 2005 and 2006.

In the lead-up to Lehman going bankrupt in 2008, Ohio’s pension systems faced losses of between $220 million and $480 million on various investments in Lehman’s mortgage-backed securities. In the same year those losses mounted, Lehman gave Kasich a $432,000 bonus. Tax records show Kasich was paid a total of $587,175 by Lehman in 2008, the only year for which records are available.


Assuming office a few years after Ohio’s big Lehman losses, Kasich hired another Columbus-based Lehman executive as one of his top advisers. In 2012, he signed legislation forcing firefighters, teachers and other public employees to contribute more of their paychecks to the pension fund -- a move that Kasich said was necessary to begin “stabilizing the systems.”

The reduction in benefits Kasich is referring to is the actuarial projection for how long Social Security can pay 100 percent of promised benefits before running short. No one "has" to get over anything. Congress needs to get up off its butt and fix the cap for Social Security to be more realistic in today's dollars.

Don't be fooled by Kasich's faux populism. He's just like the rest of them, except he's more skilled in how to sell you that shit sandwich sitting on the counter.

Can you help us out?

For nearly 20 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.