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The 2013 Pension 40: Damon Silvers

Damon Silvers
Special Counsel

As special counsel and director of policy for the U.S.’s largest labor group, the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, and its 11 million-plus workers, Damon Silvers has a much broader mandate than pensions. But he remains deeply involved in the fight. “Real pensions provide real retirement security, and that costs real money,” Washington-based Silvers says. “Billionaires fund attacks on public pension funds for the same reason they fund attacks on Social Security: Billionaires don’t want to pay their fair share of the taxes.” On his AFL-CIO blog Silvers, 49, recently criticized the “plutocrats” who seek to lower taxes and cut entitlements including Social Security. “At its heart, the plutocratic center is made up of people like Peter Peterson, Michael Bloomberg and Stanley Druckenmiller,” he wrote. “They want to cut the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) and raise the retirement age — going after the most vulnerable people in the country, the very old and the very worn out.” Silvers, who grew up in Richmond, Virginia, and has an MBA and a JD from Harvard University, intends to make sure that the likes of New York Mayor Bloomberg and former hedge fund manager Druckenmiller don’t get their way when it comes to federal entitlements and pensions.

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