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View Diary: Logic of Tom Harkin 2013-2016 campaign for President? (37 comments)

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  •  Also (0+ / 0-)

    If you're talking about him actually winning and serving vs. a symbolic run, then he may likely only want to serve one term due to his age.

    Self-described political "centrists" believe the best policy is halfway between right and wrong. — @RBReich via web

    by BentLiberal on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 08:17:20 PM PST

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    •  Yes, probable result is just agenda-influencing, (0+ / 0-)

      but, if lightning strikes, and he becomes the nominee and the President, then he might be too old for two terms.

      •  emorej--I like Harkin, too, but I look for him to (0+ / 0-)

        leave the Senate at the end of his term for a high paying job in the insurance industry as a lobbyist or consultant.

        He gets a major award from one of the trade (lobbyist) associations on Monday, Jan 28, 2013.

        Just saw this quote in the latest issue of Pensions and Investments:

        Mr. Isakson also keeps his seat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, where Chairman Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, plans to further his universal retirement system proposal.
        Here's an excerpt from the NCPERS news release and a link to the piece in Reuters:
        The National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems (NCPERS) applauds Sen. Tom Harkin for focusing national attention on America's retirement security crisis and the vital role defined benefit pension plans must play in resolving that crisis. . . .

        We look forwards to working with Sen. Harkin and other policy makers to bring defined benefit pensions back to the private sector – and make retirement security a reality for all Americans.

        If Senator Harkin manages to get legislation passed for USA Retirement Funds (a new mandatory defined benefit plan for the American populace), he'll have written his ticket to a multimillion dollar lobbyist job with the insurance industry.

        Senator Harkin is a multimillionaire in his own right, but many Senators and Congressperson leave and go to "K Street" jobs for the big dough, on their way out of Washington.

        I have no problem with this, as long as former officeholders don't go back and forth (revolving-door syndrome) between private and public sector jobs.

         

        Mollie

        “If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

        by musiccitymollie on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 12:38:37 AM PST

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        •  Harkin & NCPERS seem to be promoting the type of (0+ / 0-)

          conservatively invested large pool defined benefit plans, sometimes administered by governmental entities, that minimize management costs and fees.

          Is there a basis for expecting this to endear Harkin to the private insurance (or retirement fund management) industry?

          •  The basis is the following . . . (0+ / 0-)

            From the online website Pensions and Investments:

            New Congress offers hope for pension issues

            While wholesale policy changes are not expected in President Barack Obama's second term, some new Capitol Hill assignments have sparked a glimmer of optimism among retirement and investment industry observers. . . .

            Mr. Isakson also keeps his seat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, where Chairman Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, plans to further his universal retirement system proposal.

            Maybe it seems like a small feat to you, but IMHO being responsible for setting up a system that ensures that the entire American populace is participating in a universal (private) retirement system, which clearly provides insurance companies with millions of new American taxpayers/customers would ingratiate him to the industry IF he should want to put in a few years once her retires.  After all, the insurance companies sell the annuities that are part of the defined benefit plan--USA Retirement Funds-- that Senator Harkin is trying to get passed.

            Heck, many prominent lawmakers--Tom Daschle, Dick Gephardt, to name a couple--went on to lobbying jobs.

            And if Senator Harkin manages to set up these federally mandated private accounts, I would imagine that, having provided a windfall of that magnitude to the insurance industry, he would be welcome to work in it (if we so desires).  

            Clearly, I don't have a pipeline into the inner workings of his retirement plans.  He may well be intending to "spend time with the grandkids."  This is merely a possibility, IMO.  I sure don't have concrete evidence.  But again, logic tells me that he would have the opportunity, if he so desires.

            Remember Republican Congressman (Rep) Billy Tauzin, who pushed through the Medicare prescription drug benefit?  

            According to Wikipedia, Former Congressman Billy Tauzin, R-La., who steered the bill through the House, retired soon after and took a $2 million a year job as president of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the main industry lobbying group.

            Here's a short clip of him on C-Span talking about the USA Retirement Funds (if it works--did in one post, didn't in another).  And here's a link to Harkin's USA Retirement Funds plan.

            Here's a quote from Senator Harkin:

            Specifically, I propose providing universal access to a new type of retirement plan – Universal, Secure, and Adaptable (“USA”) Retirement Funds – that can deliver real retirement security for all working Americans.
            And this as well.
            To address the retirement crisis, Harkin proposes to rebuild the private pension system by creating a new type of privately-run retirement plan – “Universal, Secure and Adaptable (USA) Retirement Funds.” USA Retirement Funds combine the advantages of traditional pensions – e.g., lifetime income benefits and pooled, professional management – with the portability and ease for employers of a 401(k). . . .

            Importantly, USA Retirement Funds also make it simple for employers to offer a benefit without having to take on all of the risk and administrative burden.

            And yes, NCPERS has in the past dealt with state plans.  But if you read on, you'll see that they are looking forward to working with him on developing the mandatory federal plan.

            If he does run, btw, I would very likely be in his camp.  So, I'm not dissing your idea or desire to see him as a Presidential candidate in 2016.  
            Just thought I'd throw that information into the mix.  (Have several insurance and securities brokers in our family.  So I tend to hear about this kind of stuff, LOL!)

            Good luck!

            Namaste.

            Mollie

            “If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

            by musiccitymollie on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 09:57:46 AM PST

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            •  P.S. I've seen conflicting information on these (0+ / 0-)

              accounts.

              Some material says flat out "mandatory," unless you're already enrolled in a defined benefit retirement plan.

              Other material says you're automatically enrolled in the USA Retirement Funds, but can "opt out."

              I will be interested to see which criteria applies.

              Mollie

              “If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

              by musiccitymollie on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 10:06:24 AM PST

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