Much fuss was being made about Marc Leder, the wealthy host of the fundraiser featured in the Romney tapes, being a playboy who throws elaborate sex parties, but I don’t care what the guy does with his money. However, I am quite concerned about how Marc Leder makes his money by exploiting federal government programs:
To his critics, he represents everything that’s wrong with this setup. In recent years, a large number of the companies that Sun Capital has acquired have run into serious trouble, eliminated jobs or both. Since 2008, some 25 of its companies — roughly one of every five it owns — have filed for bankruptcy.
Among the losers was Friendly’s, the restaurant chain known for its Jim Dandy sundaes and Fribble shakes.
And how did Sun Capital exploit the taxpayers, you ask?
In the case of Friendly’s, Sun Capital sought to use the bankruptcy proceedings to write off debt and to rid itself of the company’s pension obligations to its nearly 6,000 employees and retirees while continuing to own the restaurant chain. Immediately after Friendly’s entered bankruptcy another Sun Capital affiliate announced its intention to acquire Friendly’s. …
A key part of Sun Capital’s restructuring plan is to shift liability for Friendly’s pension plan to the federal government’s Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC).
In other words, Mr. Leder was allowed by a bankruptcy judge to foist off Friendly’s pension obligations unto the federal government and ultimately us, the taxpayers, in order to make a bigger profit for himself. It’s useful to remember that Mitt Romney used this same strategy to make those huge profit margins for Bain Capital.
And who pays the ultimate price for this vulture capitalism? People like Helen Smolak:
FOR more than 28 years, Helen Smolak worked at the Friendly’s in Denham, Mass. Day in and day out, she served Big Beef Burgers and Fribbles, collected tips and made a decent living.
All that changed one evening last October. That was when Ms. Smolak’s supervisor called to tell her the restaurant was shutting down — immediately.
“It was my family. That was my home,” said Ms. Smolak, 56. “Friendly’s always came first. I was supposed to retire with these people and with this company.”
Willing to bet that Helen Smolak is now one of the 47% who makes too little income in a year to pay federal income tax. And she is only one of the many thousands of loyal, hard working employees of numerous corporations who were similary cheated out of economic security in their old age. They were made victims by ruthless vulture capitalists who care more about profits than people.