Treasurer Responds to The State

South Carolina State Treasurer Curtis Loftis issued a blistering rebuttal to an editorial in today’s State newspaper. In the article, editor Cindi Ross Scoppe defends the decision to remove the Trasurer from the state’s pension oversight commission.

Following are Treasurer Loftis’ comments online.

Previous treasurers may have had their problems, but all of their problems together, multiplied by 1000, do not reach the scandalous failure our state’s pension system, aka, the largest swindle in SC history.

Ms. Scoppe stands solidly with those that have squandered tens of billions of dollars and she does so without reservation or apology. She belittles those that work to prevent the financial disaster and she protects those that have led the system into ruin.

Not once has she mentioned the names of her friends and acquaintances responsible for this disaster, or called for their termination (or worse). She seems to believe that the $24 to $40 billion of pension debt, soon to be heaped onto the backs of the innocent taxpayers, was created by well meaning volunteers from a Sunday school class, not highly paid, highly motivated, credential and self-interested people that had legal responsibility to protect the nearly $30 billion fund, not waste it

When this “exterminator” joined the Investment Commission in 2011 it was full of investment professionals and highly degreed people. It was also the worst performing large pension plan in America and simultaneously, it was paying the highest investment fees in the country. Five years later, and despite the State newspaper’s constant belittling of my efforts, the Investment Commission is safely in the “middle of the pack” in both areas and that difference is saving the people of SC billions of dollars.

Not bad work for an “exterminator,” even if I do say so myself.

Ms. Scoppe, now and as she has done over the last 6 years, places her trust in the wrong people. She believes the credentialed folks and powerful politicians that have squandered tens of billions of pension dollars. She ignores their culpability in bankrupting the state’s retirement system and she seems pleased as punch to allow the same people that broke the system to have yet another chance to fix the system. It is, as Einstein would say, insanity.

This proposed bill seeks to strip the duties of the state treasurer and give those duties to those that have racked up tens of billions of dollars in debt …the debt caused by their foolish projections concerning future economic assumptions and their simply awful investment strategy. It seeks to take custody of the funds away from a transparent and accountable treasurer’s office and give it to those that have failed us so miserably, and to force the whistleblower off the commission while not punishing any of those responsible.

The public, including the participants of the retirement system do not support this bill. It is not widely supported by the membership of the General Assembly, but it is supported by Senator Leatherman and Speaker Lucas and they are laying down the law…this bill will pass or else. The members must pass this bill or suffer the consequences. Once again, our outdated system of government discounts the will of the people in favor of the handful of incredibly powerful people in the leadership.

Ms. Scoppe, there is bad governance, and tens of billions of dollars in debt is a sure sign of it. Your solution, and the solution of your high and mighty friends, does not fix the problem, it only serves to protect those that caused the problem


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