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In an interview on "America's Newsroom" with host Ed Henry, Waltz said he hopes that, in the wake of the deadly coronavirus, Americans will rethink their business relationships with the East Asian power player.
"I think big picture: America needs a real wake-up call. And, I hope we have it in the wake of this virus, in terms of our relationship with China. ... Not talking about the Chinese people [but] the Communist Party -- is not our friend," he stated. "They seek to dominate the United States in a new world order with us subservient to them. That's in the words of their leadership, And, they seek to do it economically before they do it militarily."
According to Waltz's recent op-ed in The Washington Times, every month, a combined 5.6 million members of the U.S. military and the federal civil service contribute a portion of their paychecks to the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), a 401(k)-style retirement plan.
The federal government supplements their contributions with billions in taxpayer-funded matching contributions. The TSP, which is administered by the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, is responsible for over $700 billion in assets, making it one of the world’s largest retirement funds and key to the military’s retirement plan.
However, a planned change, scheduled to take effect in the coming months, would broaden the tracking exchange of the TSP I fund. This could mean that over $50 billion of American retirement funds are funneled into Beijing’s stock exchange and state-owned companies.
"And again," Waltz added, "I don't think Americans, and particularly some of [the] financial community, [are] thinking about it like they thought about the Soviet Union in the Cold War. We are absolutely in one.
"So, in this case, the governing board over the military's 401(k)-style retirement plan -- the Thrift Savings Plan -- has made a decision to broaden its global investments including the Beijing stock exchange which will fund, as you said, companies that are building ships, planes, conducting espionage, oppressing the Chinese people," he explained further.
"And, I've introduced legislation to stop it. I've talked to the White House about it and I'm hoping the president will soon seek to stop it on his end as well," Waltz noted, arguing that many people in government share a friendlier posture toward Beijing.
"The problem is these board members -- almost all of them -- are Obama-era appointees and they're Senate-confirmed. So, we need to stop this in the short-term so we can get those people changed out. But, a lot of these folks think like apparently Vice President Biden does -- that the rise of China is a peaceful and good thing. The last thing I want to see is military members' retirement going to fund the adversary they may have to confront someday. It's unbelievable."
Waltz said the TSP is "really the only choice" for National Guard members like him in terms of monthly contributions.
"And look, I want people to make money as well, Ed. But, I draw the line when it comes to national security," he remarked.
"And, the last thing we can have is our entire federal retirement system, our pension systems, funding the very companies that are building out the Chinese military," Waltz told Henry. "So, that's where I draw the line. If you want access to a billion-person economy, look at India. [The] world's largest democracy and our ally and that's how we have to shift our thinking."