Across the country, millions of hardworking Americans are struggling to get by because of President Joe Biden’s cost-of-living crisis, where the price of goods has risen 17.7% since he took the oath of office. As a result, working-class Americans are having to make incredibly difficult financial decisions just so they can afford to put food on the table, clothes on their backs, and gasoline in their cars. And among those who have been hit the hardest are seniors and those nearing retirement. Right now, 25% of Americans plan to delay their retirement. And 1 in 6 seniors are considering going back to work; the number one reason they cite is a lack of money.
Make no mistake, Washington Democrats’ reckless spending agenda created this painful economy. But what’s making matters worse is that Leftist activist organizations are now trying to impose radical “environmental, social, and governance” (ESG) criteria to limit retirement options for seniors. ESG investing funnels Americans’ retirement savings into politically-charged woke investments that put climate alarmism and extreme social policies ahead of supporting the retirement of working-class families. By law, managers of seniors’ retirement funds are supposed to maximize returns for their investors. Working families need that protection to prevent Wall Street money managers from investing in failing, unprofitable ventures. Yet over the last couple of years, we’ve seen the ESG agenda turn into a pressure campaign that allows, and in some cases forces through new Biden administration rules, investment advisors to gamble with retirees’ nest eggs.
As Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, I’m fighting tooth and nail to protect rural and working-class Americans from the Left’s ESG agenda. On November 7, the Ways and Means Committee held a hearing focused on fighting back against the Left’s ESG agenda. As one of the witnesses at the hearing told us, “Virtue signaling is proving very expensive to retirees.” According to the media outlet Bloomberg, investors have pulled back over $280 billion from ESG-targeted stocks since August of last year. In addition, analysis by my Committee found that the top 20 ESG investment funds performed 18 percentage points worse than the stock market as a whole during the past year.
As part of their war on the working class, Washington Democrats and Wall Street have teamed up to create an ESG economy paid for by American taxpayers. Washington Democrats’ so-called Inflation Reduction Act rewarded big banks that support their partisan ESG agenda with three times more in special interest green tax credits than any other industry, including utilities. Their massive tax-and-spend bill shoveled out at least $650 billion in tax credits to pay for “green” energy projects favored by the Democrat donor class and wasted hundreds of millions of dollars to help big businesses “greenify” their corporate HQs. The same taxpayers who see their dollars go to fund this partisan ESG agenda that favors the wealthy are set to lose money in retirement accounts that now lack protection against low-return investments that align with the Left’s extreme agenda.
Under President Donald Trump, the Department of Labor issued rules blocking Wall Street managers from investing Americans’ retirement savings in woke ESG special interests. Unfortunately, the Biden administration axed the policy and replaced it with one that favors ESG activism. Biden even went as far as to veto a Congressional resolution back in March that would have corrected their error. But let me be clear: As your voice in Washington, I will never stop fighting to protect seniors from the climate extremists and far-left activists who want to use retirement savings to finance their radical political agenda.