Regardless of whether you worship at the church of Rolling Stone or the Manhattan Institute, Matt Taibbi brings up a very good point about transferring wealth from local public sector retirees to hedge fund managers in his second critique of Rhode Island pension cuts.
Not only are states like Rhode Island paying millions in fees to outrageously expensive money managers, but those millions will be taxed at a rate far below what the teachers and police and sanitation workers who are being forced to swallow cuts in those states pay on their dwindling incomes. This is thanks in large part to a tax loophole preserved for years by cowardly Wall Street-supplicating politicians hailing, as Henn correctly notes, from both parties, Republican and Democrat.
Sam Bell, of the Rhode Island Progressive Democrats, tackles the part about Taibbi going soft on Democrats here:
Most out of state pundits forget this, but the legislature that so gleefully passed the pension cuts is the same legislature that passed a voter ID law. These are the people who gave us a D+ rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America–the worst of any solid blue state. It was these so-called Democrats who pushed through the steep 2006 tax cuts for the rich that blew up the budget in the first place. The top four leaders of the Democratic caucus in our state legislature–House Speaker Gordon Fox, Senate President Teresa Paiva-Weed, House Majority Leader Nick Mattiello, and Senate Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio–have each taken thousands of dollars from the NRA. And I believe those contributions were illegal. (The Board of Elections is still deliberating on my complaint.)