(USA Features) A former Teamsters union member and longtime advocate for taxpayer bailouts of mismanaged pension funds said during a discussion with Labor Secretary Marty Walsh he is “amazed” at how much money fellow union members are spending on new cars and their homes after an injection of cash from the $1.9 COVID relief bill.
Troubled union pensions received $86 billion in funding via the relief measure, which Biden signed March 11.
Mike Walden, the former Teamsters member, joined Walsh and some Ohio Democratic lawmakers during a virtual meeting on Thursday hailing the spending bill’s support for union pensions, Just the News reported. He said that as soon as many union members heard that their pensions were going to be bailed out, the began making new purchases.
“Treasury’s going to get taxes out of that right off the top, you know, back into the IRS, and then we’re going to continue spending our money,” Walden said.
“We’re too old to save, and we don’t make enough to save so we put it back in. I can tell you just the start of this how many of my friends went out and bought new cars as soon as they heard that their pensions are going to be saved,” he added.
“And not only new cars, they’ve stepped up, they’ve picked up remodeling their homes, some of them are looking at homes rather than looking to sell their homes,” Walden continued.
“We have some people that have been foreclosed on because they couldn’t make the payment or didn’t reduce. We’re talking ironworkers in Cleveland, everywhere. But I’m just amazed at how much money just in the last few weeks that my friends are spending, including myself.”
Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Youngstown Mayor Jamael Tito Brown and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley joined Walsh and Walden during the event, Just the News added.