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MORE REWARDING OF INCOMPETENCE

One of South Carolina’s most corrupt, incompetent government agencies is about to be rewarded for its abysmal performance by so-called “Republicans” in the S.C. Senate – which would flush another $9 million of your money down the toilet.

In fact the South Carolina Retirement System Investment Commission (SCRSIC) – which has presided over the ongoing implosion of the state’s pension fund – is in line to double its budget for the second consecutive year.

After receiving $5.8 million in fiscal year 2010-11 – this notoriously corrupt agency convinced current S.C. Gov. Nikki  Haley and our “Republican-controlled” S.C. General Assembly to appropriate another $5.5 million in the current budget. This spring, the agency upped its budget request for the coming fiscal year to $19 million.

This request was (wisely) shot down by the typically free-spending S.C. House of Representatives, but now S.C. Senate Finance Chairman Hugh Leatherman (RINO-Florence) has decided to try and insert the money in the state budget anyway.

Is this guy serious?

Sadly yes … Leatherman is joined at the hip with Florence attorney Reynolds Williams, whose law firm has made a pretty penny off of insider deals associated with his role as “Chairman Emeritus” of this agency. However while Williams has been busy padding his own pockets, those who depend on this fund have been taking it up the yin-yang.

South Carolina’s pension fund lost $1.8 billion of value over a six-month period ending January 9. Meanwhile its unfunded liability has mushroomed to $14.4 billion. The agency already pays an exorbitant amount of money on fees and bureaucracy – and the S.C. Senate’s solution to this problem is to expand that institutional incompetence?

What a joke … and it’s even more of a joke that so-called “conservatives” in the S.C. Senate like Greg Ryberg are on board with this nonsense.

S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s office has yet to take a position on this $9 million request, although her appointee to this commission has repeatedly demonstrated that he is in the pocket of the status quo – as has the appointee of S.C. Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom.

Meanwhile S.C. Treasurer Curtis Loftis – who has been fighting to reduce the pension fund’s liabilities and improve its investment performance – has been taking arrows in his back in an effort to clean up this catastrophic mess.

Two months ago, FITS published an exclusive report detailing the real “pay-to-play” scams going on at this commission – scams which Loftis has spent his first year in office investigating. Most of those scams involve the state’s former investment czar Bob Borden, who was forced to resign his post two months ago after Loftis began digging into his administration of the fund.

This funding request will not create higher returns, it will create more bureaucracy. As is the case with our worst-in-the-nation public school system, taxpayers cannot afford to continue to throw good money after bad as it relates to our money-losing pension fund.

Let’s hope Haley – who claims to “know the value of a dollar” – agrees, but we’re not holding our breath.

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