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Why Curtis Loftis’ Fight Matters




Since he took office in 2011, S.C. Treasurer Curtis Loftis has been one of the only elected officials to put his campaign rhetoric of “transparency and accountability” into tangible action.

Nikki Haley? Not so much … 

And while Haley has rushed headlong into the arms of the status quo she claimed to be fighting against, Loftis has done the opposite – aggressively challenging one of the state’s most corrupt, entrenched bureaucracies, the S.C. Retirement System Investment Commission (SCRSIC).

Last September, this website exclusively reported on $1.4 million in bonuses paid out by commissioners to the managers of this $25 billion fund – a surprisingly tone deaf move considering its abysmal results.

The only elected official who opposed these bonuses? Loftis – who has been deftly exposing the failure of this fund as well as the shameless self-serving behavior of its corrupt commissioners, led by Reynolds Williams.

Has so-called “reformer” Haley helped Loftis out? Absolutely not. In fact her appointee to the commission led a recent effort to censure Loftis – and she’s been working behind the scenes to block an audit of its corrupt activities.

Loftis – who has now drawn a status quo primary opponent as a result of his tenacity – remains undeterred.

And with good reason …

According to a report released by hedge fund Bridgewater Associates this week, America’s public pension funds are likely to achieve only four percent returns moving forward – meaning a whopping 85 percent of them will go bankrupt over the next three decades.

Public pension funds currently have $3 trillion in assets – but have at least $10 trillion in obligations. To meet that burden, these funds would have to return nine percent – more than twice the Bridgewater projections.

“With the 30-Year long bond yielding a mere 3.5 percent and with stock valuation through the roof, I expect negative returns for 7-10 years,” pension fund expert Mike Shedlock wrote in response to this report. “Stretched out over 30 years, four percent seems about right. Nine percent is out of the question.”

There you have it …

Numbers like that are precisely why Curtis Loftis is fighting the good fight against our state’s incompetent, self-serving pension fund leaders – and why it is so disappointing that Nikki Haley has thrown her support behind the corrupt status quo. Fortunately, Loftis got some help in his efforts recently from S.C. Rep. Jimmy Merrill – who cut bonuses for commission staff from the upcoming state budget. We urge Merrill’s colleagues to support his efforts – and to oppose efforts by S.C. Sen. Hugh Leatherman to restore this money to the budget.

More importantly, we urge them to follow Loftis’ lead in bringing long-overdue accountability to this fund …