Frank Gallagher is the perfect metaphor for state governments and Wall Street when it comes to retirement pensions.
If you’re not a regular viewer of the television show Shameless you are missing a great portrayal of one of the most amoral human beings in the history of entertainment.
That would be Frank Gallagher, played by the wonderful William H. Macy.
Frank is the father of a barely-working class, struggling Chicago south side family, the likes of which makes the word dysfunctional seem wholly inadequate.
But it is Frank I want to focus on here.
Frank Gallagher is a drunk and drug addicted soul whose only reason to actually get a job is to scam some workman’s comp within the first day of work.
In fact, in one episode he takes a job because it requires him to breathe toxic fumes. But when he discovers it would take years to get sick enough to collect on it, he grabs a staple gun and staples his hand to a wall.
The time he is not spending on getting sotted at The Alibi, the local pub, he is working on separating somebody, mostly women, from their savings accounts. Or their meds.
I couldn’t help thinking of Frank Gallagher as I heard about Donald Trump’s plan to toss out a simple reform negotiated under the Obama administration called the Fiduciary Rule.
The Fiduciary Rule was an attempt to keep Wall Street from acting totally like Frank Gallagher when it comes to our retirement savings and investments.
It would require financial advisors to act in their clients’ best interests.
The United States Chamber of Commerce has advised Trump to dump the rule.
We are urging immediate action to undo the Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule. If enacted, it would choke economic growth, increase frivolous litigation against financial advisers, and make saving for retirement more difficult for hardworking Americans.
Damn! That “more difficult for hardworking Americans” part is exactly the hustle Frank Gallagher would use.
The Labor Department estimates that if enacted, the Fiduciary Rule will cost industry $16 billion over the next decade, but that it will save IRA investors more than $33 billion.
It seems that by electing Donald Trump, we just invited Frank Gallagher into every current and future retiree’s home.