Usually the Subject of Pensions Makes People Fall Asleep, Not Go Insane

Most people would prefer to read the phone book over news about the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. And since we don't get pension benefits around here, the subject doesn't interest us much either.

But today the PBGC may be the source of some mildly interesting gossip. An operative informs us:

bradley d. belt.jpgRumor hath it that Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation Executive Director Bradley Belt resigned abruptly this week because trying to make sense of the Bush Administration's pension-reform policy has quite literally driven him crazy.

No, really, he quit abruptly and the rumor is he acted pretty nutty on the way out the door....

Maybe it was figuring out why his agency has the antiquated word "Guaranty" in its name that led him to go a bit cuckoo. Or maybe it's the logical result when asked to translate Bush policy into sane programmatic reform. It just can't be done.

Belt's resignation letter doesn't shed much light on the matter. He wrote: "This past two years has been a particularly tumultuous period for the PBGC, which has had to confront unprecedented operational, financial and policy challenges,"

Translation: "The PBGC has a $23 billion deficit. It's totally fucked. I'm outta here!"

And what did the White House have to say about all this?

Question: Scott, Bradley Belt resigned or quit from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. Do you know why? Can you fill us in?

MR. McCLELLAN: No, I don't have any more on that. I mean, I'd be glad to take a look at it, but I imagine it's probably in his letter why he left.

Ah, vintage McClellan. If you have any additional information on Belt's departure -- or more information than Scotty, at least -- please send it our way.

Chief of Pension Benefit Agency to Leave [AP]


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