Don Sniegowski / Flickr Senator Mitch McConnell...
Don Sniegowski / Flickr

The man Donald Trump has picked to protect the pensions of 1.5 million people has spent the last seven years managing his family’s trust. Before that, he was a technology executive, but one thing he hasn’t developed is public service experience or expertise on pensions.

Oh, and his wife is the sister of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, who is in turn married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Trump has nominated Gordon Hartogensis to lead the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., a part of the Labor Department that protects workers and retirees from the failure of single- and multi-employer pension funds, despite his total lack of evident qualifications.

An unnamed White House official pushed back against the suggestion that Hartogensis was anything but qualified, telling CNBC that his experience as an investment manager “makes him uniquely qualified to run the PBGC.”

“Uniquely qualified”? “Uniquely”? Is he the only investment manager in the country? If so, how amazing that he’s also the brother-in-law of the Senate majority leader and a cabinet member! And how amazing that apparently the only investment manager out there has been in such low demand that he was cooling his heels managing a family trust.

But it is a perfect choice for Trump, who doesn’t give a damn about workers whose pensions might be in danger and thinks that having given his kids fancy titles at the family company shortly after they graduated from college makes them super-qualified businesspeople.

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