Thursday, April 17, 2014

Brookings Institution Caught in Pension Crossfire

The Brookings Institution is among the well-known nonprofits that receives money from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, a group created by a Texas billionaire and his wife that funds research on the fiscal health of public pensions.

Now, public employee unions, who say that the Foundation is trying to sway public opinion to support replacing public pensions, are taking aim at various entities, including think tanks, that have taken money from the Foundation.

Here is more from The Wall Street Journal:
Union groups are calling on the Washington-based Brookings Institution—which has taken more than $500,000 from the Arnold Foundation from 2012 through this year to produce research on pensions—to cut ties. Spokesman David Nassar said the think tank wouldn't return the grant money and said donors are forbidden from influencing any research.

Brookings scholars have received a research grant of $500,000 for work on "Reforming Public Employee Pensions," and Brookings held an event in February titled "Public Pension Reform: Questions of Politics and Policy."

The WSJ notes that the "confrontation has well-known nonprofits caught between multimillion-member unions and a foundation that is becoming an important voice on the pension issue."

The liberal advocacy group Institute for America's Future recently said that the conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute (AEI) is part of an effort to dismantle public pensions.

Stay tuned for more updates...