(FreedomBeacon.com)- According to an analysis of public financial disclosure filings, 77 individuals who served under Democratic Presidents Barack Obama and Joe Biden experienced an increase in their financial holdings of nearly 270 percent while in the private sector.
Biden’s secretary of defense and four-star general Lloyd Austin is one person who made a good living in the private sector. According to a filing, Austin received $2 million in equity grants and $1 million in cash while serving on the boards of Tenet Healthcare, Raytheon Technologies, and Nucor Corp.
According to Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist for the left-wing think tank Public Citizen, which advocates for corporate transparency, revolving door abuses can be significantly curbed by setting a reasonable cooling-off period. Two to five years, in which the former officials are prohibited from making “lobbying contacts” with their former colleagues in government and from participating in “lobbying activity,” would be a good start.
Holman said something is intrinsically revolting about former politicians cashing in on their public service. However, it is challenging to govern their compensation.
He said that former officials who leverage their contacts made while serving in the public sector for influence-peddling on behalf of a private employer “may and should be subject to stringent regulation.”
Alejandro Mayorkas, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) secretary under Joe Biden, worked for four years at WilmerHale after leaving the Obama administration, where he was the Obama administration’s deputy DHS secretary. According to Mayorkas’ income statement, the law firm still owed him $1 million as of July 2020, and he earned $3.3 million in partnership shares.
According to his financial statement, Sameer Punyani, who worked as the Afghanistan Country Director for Obama’s Department of Defense after his 2008 campaign, joined the defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton in 2017. According to the paperwork, he earned $293,000 as a lead associate, and by 2021, he and his wife had between $293,000 and $970,000 saved for retirement.
But in 2017, Punyani had less than $15,000 in retirement savings. According to property records examined by the organizations behind the research, Punyani, currently working in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, went from a $465,000 flat to a $900,000 townhouse in 2020.
The organizations that put together the revolving door study calculated the percentage rise in each official’s minimum asset income disclosed from 2017 to 2021 to arrive at their 270 percent projection. Assets are listed in a person’s public financial declarations as a range.
Who said politics doesn’t pay? No one did. Ever.