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Archive for the tag “pensions”

PRESIDENT OBAMA- PLEASE SHUT UP!

An open letter to our President and Supreme World Potentate-in-Waiting

Dear President Obama,

I am an 81-year-old veteran and retired. I worked hard to save for my retirement and by the grace of God I have had a blessed life in Texas and the United States of America. I have baby boomer children who are currently trying to retire after working all of their lives. They have also saved to prepare for their retirement as I encouraged them to do. Today I feel that the hard work and savings advice I gave my children was horrible. Today in America you can get free food;  free college education;  free healthcare; and subsidized or free housing; if you did not or do not work. These benefits are available in greater amounts if you are a minority or an illegal alien.

Every since you were elected my and my children’s savings have plummeted. While you have improved the lives of the minority and alien voters, you have destroyed my family’s savings and the dreams of retirement for my children. I suppose I can find a job at Wal-Mart as they seem to be the only opportunity for old folks or I can deplete my savings and you will provide for all of my family?

I feel sure that there are millions of other Americans who have tried hard to work and save to make their supposed golden years more comfortable. I would like to ask you to stop making TV appearances to discuss the economy. Every time you speak, like last night, I suffer another years loss in my 401K.

Sadly the news media has made you a hero and Saint by supporting you blindly and distorting the facts. Today’s news is the reason I wrote this letter as they blame todays losses on the fact that Germany is not going to bail out Greece.

Your Majesty I really do not give a flip if Greece Socialized itself into bankruptcy. I do really care that you and your revenue sharing policies are bankrupting America.

Until next November just shut up.

Clyde Brewer 

LABOR DAY-A SAD DAY FOR AMERICA

Deindustrialization of America

The United States is rapidly becoming the very first “post-industrial” nation. All great economic nations eventually become fat, lazy and waste the wealth previous generations left them. The pace at which America is becoming a Socialist nation is unbelievable. America was the leader of the industrial revolution.

Americans showed the world how to mass produce everything from automobiles to televisions to airplanes. It was the great American manufacturing base that defeated Germany and Japan in World War II.

Tens of thousands of factories have left the United States in the past decade alone. Millions upon millions of manufacturing jobs have been lost in the same time period. The United States has become a nation that consumes everything in sight and yet produces less each year. Our biggest export today is waste paper. Yes, trash is the number one thing that we ship out to the rest of the world as we spend our money on whatever the rest of the world wants to sell to us.

At one time Americans could literally out produce the rest of the world combined. Today we consume more than anyone else in the world.

Every great nation throughout history has been superior at making “things”. We have created the biggest debt bubble in the history of the world. Progressives and unions have demanded a standard of living for every American that is impossible to maintain when we have 9% unemployment and over 40 million people on welfare.

Why? Look over the 18 following specific events that should wake up every American, and hopefully union members, to force our President and Congress to stop the eternal election cycle and do something “NOW”

#1 The United States has lost approximately 42,400 factories since 2001. About 75 percent of those factories employed over 500 people when they were still in operation.

#2 Dell Inc. (computers) has announced plans to dramatically expand its operations in China with an investment of over $100 billion over the next decade. They will close the last large U.S. manufacturing facility in North Carolina in November and 900 jobs will be lost.

#3 in 2008, 1.2 billion cell phones were sold worldwide. Guess how many of them were manufactured in the United States? None.

#4 According to the Economic Policy Institute, if the U.S. trade deficit with China continues to increase at its current rate, the U.S. economy will lose over half a million jobs in 2011.

#5 By the end of July, 2011, the U.S. trade deficit with China had risen 18 percent compared to the same time period a year ago.

#6 The United States has lost a total of about 5.5 million manufacturing jobs since October 2000.

#7 According to Tax Notes, between 1999 and 2008 employment at the foreign affiliates of U.S. parent companies increased an astounding 30 percent to 10.1 million. During that exact same time period, U.S. employment at American multinational corporations declined 8 percent to 21.1 million.

#9 In 1959, manufacturing represented 28 percent of U.S. economic output. In 2008, it represented 11.5 percent.

#9 Ford Motor Company announced the closure of a factory that produces the Ford Ranger in St. Paul, Minnesota. Approximately 750 middle class jobs will be lost because making Ford Rangers in Minnesota does not fit in with Ford’s new “global” manufacturing strategy.

#10 By the end of 2009, less than 12 million Americans worked in manufacturing. The last time less than 12 million Americans were employed in manufacturing was in 1941.

#11 In the United States today, consumption accounts for 70 percent of GDP. Of this 70 percent, over half is spent on services.

#12 The United States has lost 32 percent of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000.

#13 In 2001, the United States ranked fourth in the world in per capita broadband Internet use. Today it ranks 15th.

#14 manufacturing employment in the U.S. computer industry is actually lower in 2010 than it was in 1975.

#15 Printed circuit boards are used in tens of thousands of different products. Asia now produces 84 percent of them worldwide. We manufactured 100% at one time.

#16 The United States spends approximately $3.90 on Chinese goods for every $1 that the Chinese spend on goods from the United States.

#17 One prominent economist is projecting that the Chinese economy will be three times larger than the U.S. economy by the year 2040.

#18 The U.S. Census Bureau says that 43.6 million Americans are living in poverty and that is the highest number of poor Americans in the 51 years that records have been kept.

Unions, progressive politicians and greed have created this unfortunate loss. Our government is now creating totally new regulations to force all industry to be unionized. Other than union members how many other Americans agree that unionizing everything will accelerate job growth?

HAPPY LABOR DAY TO ALL UNION MEMBERS. You have just about eliminated your future. Those cushy pensions and out of control wages and benefits you demanded will dry up the money well, it’s just a matter of time so hurry up and dig your own grave.

 

Please share this with everyone you know.  C Brewer

Thanks Jack

GOVERNMENT WASTE- HOW DID THEY GET IN THE BUDGET?

These are all the programs that the new Republican House has proposed cutting. Read to the end.

Corporation for Public Broadcasting Subsidy. $445 million annual savings.

Save America ‘s Treasures Program. $25 million annual savings.

International Fund for Ireland . $17 million annual savings.

Legal Services Corporation. $420 million annual savings.

National Endowment for the Arts. $167.5 million annual savings.

National Endowment for the Humanities. $167.5 million annual savings.

Hope VI Program.. $250 million annual savings.

Amtrak Subsidies. $1.565 billion annual savings.

Eliminate duplicative education programs. H.R. 2274 (in last Congress), authored by Rep. McKeon, eliminates 68 at a savings of $1.3 billion annually.

U.S. Trade Development Agency. $55 million annual savings.

Woodrow Wilson Center Subsidy. $20 million annual savings.

Cut in half funding for congressional printing and binding. $47 million annual savings.

John C. Stennis Center Subsidy. $430,000 annual savings.

Community Development Fund. $4.5 billion annual savings.

Heritage Area Grants and Statutory Aid. $24 million annual savings.

Cut Federal Travel Budget in Half. $7.5 billion annual savings

Trim Federal Vehicle Budget by 20%. $600 million annual savings.

Essential Air Service. $150 million annual savings.

Technology Innovation Program. $70 million annual savings.

Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Program. $125 million annual savings.

Department of Energy Grants to States for Weatherization. $530 million annual savings.

Beach Replenishment. $95 million annual savings.

New Starts Transit. $2 billion annual savings.

Exchange Programs for Alaska , Natives Native Hawaiians, and Their Historical Trading Partners in Massachusetts . $9 million annual savings

Intercity and High Speed Rail Grants. $2.5 billion annual savings.

Title X Family Planning. $318 million annual savings.

Appalachian Regional Commission. $76 million annual savings.

Economic Development Administration. $293 million annual savings.

Programs under the National and Community Services Act. $1.15 billion annual savings.

Applied Research at Department of Energy. $1.27 billion annual savings.

FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership. $200 million annual savings.

Energy Star Program. $52 million annual savings.

Economic Assistance to Egypt . $250 million annually.

U.S. Agency for International Development. $1.39 billion annual savings.

General Assistance to District of Columbia . $210 million annual savings.

Subsidy for Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. $150 million annual savings.

Presidential Campaign Fund. $775 million savings over ten years.

No funding for federal office space acquisition. $864 million annual savings.

End prohibitions on competitive sourcing of government services.

Repeal the Davis-Bacon Act. More than $1 billion annually.

IRS Direct Deposit: Require the IRS to deposit fees for some services it offers (such as processing payment plans for taxpayers) to the Treasury, instead of allowing it to remain as part of its budget. $1.8 billion savings over ten years.

Require collection of unpaid taxes by federal employees. $1 billion total savings.     WHAT ?

Prohibit taxpayer funded union activities by federal employees. $1.2 billion savings over ten years.

Sell excess federal properties the government does not make use of. $15 billion total savings.

Eliminate death gratuity for Members of Congress.

Eliminate Mohair Subsidies. $1 million annual savings.

Eliminate taxpayer subsidies to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. $12.5 million annual savings

Eliminate Market Access Program. $200 million annual savings.

USDA Sugar Program. $14 million annual savings.

Subsidy to Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). $93 million annual savings.

Eliminate the National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program. $56.2 million annual savings.

Eliminate fund for Obamacare administrative costs. $900 million savings.

Ready to Learn TV Program. $27 million savings..

HUD PhD. Program.

Deficit Reduction Check-Off Act.

TOTAL SAVINGS: $2,500,000,000,000.00 OVER TEN YEARS

Thanks Ray

EDUCATION-PUBLIC UNIONS=DISASTER

 

In some states we are finally watching public unions being challenged by new republican majorities. These unions are one of the primary reasons, America is going bankrupt. Unions have used massive spending to get democrat majorities elected for too many years. After the elections the democrats paid the unions back with the power to force union wages and collective bargaining for government union employees. Last November the people were tired of this tax payer abuse and said enough is enough.

Republican efforts, in some states, will create positive change. Someone has to correct the unfair balance that exists with the salaries, benefits and pensions of public employees versus the private sector. Hopefully this has awakened all Americans. I pray that we see all public unions disbanded and that private sector unions will see a massive wave of resignations of its duped members. I have reviewed the 18 largest American unions for net worth, salaries and benefits for the officers. Union members would throw up if they see the facts. I will post this later. Creating right-to-work laws in every state would save enough to retire the national debt a lot faster.

Now let me show you a reverse situation in my home state, Texas. Texas has been under republican majority for several years. We have no state income tax and Texas is a right-to-work state. We now have a republican super majority in the legislature that prevents democrats fleeing to shut down the legislative process. For those who do not know, Texas democrats invented the use of a “labor strike” by legislators when they fled to Oklahoma and New Mexico ten years ago.

As I related in the posting yesterday, our republican controlled Texas legislature will apparently use major cuts in education to meet their budget projections. This is being done without evaluating performance-costs relationships.

 I just learned that the elementary school my youngest grand-daughter attends in Humble, Texas will lose 13 teachers next year. That’s a 20%+ cut being enacted by the Texas legislature. Remember my term “Learning Curve of Survival” posted yesterday.

It is no wonder that Texas teachers are gathering together statewide to construct a battle plan. Our Texas legislator’s action will obviously increase the population of the teacher unions. I am certain that the National Education Association, NEA, net worth of $216,000,000.00 will have a significant increase. When the voters of Texas digest this debacle, you can bet the republican super majority will disappear in 2012. This is a self inflicted wound.

So we have some states actually addressing the reasons they face financial failure and fixing the cause, union abuse. In Texas we have the direct opposite because the lazy legislature will not take the time to find the real causes of budget negatives and there are no unions to blame. If they really desired to discover why Texas has budget problems, they would look in a mirror and resign. Republicans have not or never will learn how to maintain the majority status from the Court house to the White house. America has been without true leadership for over two decades.

Tomorrow you will find ways that everyone can help our least the ones who want to.

EDUCATION UNIONS-OKLAHOMA

 

Teachers unions in Oklahoma promoted a ballot proposal last year that would have forced the state to the average of all surrounding states spend on public education. Wisely the voters shot it down.

A typical Oklahoma school district spends about 80% of its total budget on labor costs. This includes many unnecessary “perks” spelled out in union collective bargaining agreements. Oklahoma also spends millions on automatic annual salary increases and more than generous paid sick and personal days. Teachers are reimbursed for unused sick and personal days, plus pay for “extra duty”. They also receive pay to attend professional conferences, health insurance and many other things.

The problem is not the amount of money that schools receive, but the constraints give the districts no flexibility on how they actually spend it. The unions control the spending of 90% of the budget. It appears the districts do get to buy and sharpen pencils.

The “Education Action Group” has been studying the situation and started with the “Jinks Public Schools” Below is a snapshot of what they found.

Out of a total budget for 2009-10 of $63,947,342.00, labor costs were $58,264,152.00 or 91% of the total. $749,000.00 of labor costs was automatic salary increases over the prior year. 

Jinks district has 678 teachers who took a total of 3412 sick days and 1,049 personal leave days in 2009-10. Their records do not capture the salary and benefits paid for sick and personal days. The records do show that the district paid out $481,632.00 for substitute teachers. The salary and benefits for the regular teachers is several times the cost of substitutes.

Teachers also receive “Extra Duty” pay for coaching, advising clubs, chairing academic departments, school bands and breakfast and lunch supervision. In the 2009-10 year this costs was $983,063.00.

The district also pays $300.00 annually to the Oklahoma Teachers Retirement System for each teacher. This totaled $203,000.00 in 2009-10.

The Education Action Group recommended that sick days be cut to 5 and 2 paid personal time days which are more generous than most private companies today. The only figure that could be reduced, with any accuracy, would be the costs for substitutes that should be 50% less, a savings of $240,816. These must be really nice people as my recommendation would no paid personal time.

The Group also recommended that the teachers pay 50% of the $300.00 to the retirement system. Using the 2009-10 figures this would save $101,700.00 this year. Based on a business evaluation of these facts, I would require that the teachers pay the entire $300.00 themselves. This would obviously save the entire $203,400.00. Just think these cuts could be made without decreasing teacher’s base pay.  

The bottom line is that all of our education systems are in bad need of independent professional operational audits. Do they meet their stated mission objectives and where is the waste hidden?

I would come out of retirement and audit any school district for 10% of the real audited savings. On second thought, I could hire this done, make some money and keep fishing and playing golf. When I think about the U.S. government using the same, no cost, independent operational audits to find just the waste alone in healthcare, I get dizzy. When you audit yourself you will never have the power to change anything.

The deeper I get into the public sector unions, more facts surface. If we had a real Department of Education our success ratios would be well above current levels. Wait until you see how much money has been given to Wisconsin since Obama was elected. What will really make you want to throw up is what they did with it before the last election to cover up the past.

C Brewer

PUBLIC SERVICE UNIONS & DEMOCRATS

 

I created this blog for people who rely upon the main stream media for news on current events. The lack of honest reporting by the media is a shame because an afflicted moron understands you can’t keep printing more money to fund programs that are disasters. Sharing facts and history will hopefully wake up enough voters to stop the runaway train wreck.   

Wisconsin’s looming $3.6 billion 2012/13 budget deficit has thankfully generated nationwide concerns for why we have unionized tax paid employees. It is a fact that private sector taxpayers who fund these unions are demanding that Washington operate with a “balanced Budget”, just like the States have to do by law. 

Wisconsin appears close to imposing economic common sense on the state’s public employee unions by capping their wages, increasing contributions to healthcare/pension plans and eliminating collective bargaining.

Most vocal among Wisconsin’s 300,000 public employee union members are protesters from the 98,000-member teacher’s union. They are now paid, on average, more than $75,000 in wages and benefits. Wisconsin parents should be protesting against these teachers, who are motivated more by tenured job security, than improving student performance.

The latest federal education data reveals less than 40 percent of 8th grade students in the state’s government schools meet basic requirements for math and reading performance. The fact is the state spends more per student ($10,791) than any other Midwest state. In Milwaukee, the average teacher compensation package exceeds $100,000, the graduation rate is under 50 percent and for black children it is below 35 percent. I can’t find a plan to improve this dismal performance to evaluate.

Please read the next sentence slowly.” Government unions face no competition, so there is no impetus to produce or perform at a higher level. To call government union negotiations “bargaining” is insane! 

[Public-sector] unions are government organized as an interest group to lobby itself to grow. Unions use dues extracted from members to elect politicians who favor the unions. Governments are not expected to make a profit, but they need to understand the process. Government sits on both sides of the table in cozy ‘negotiations’ with unions. I assume that you are aware that the politicians I refer to are 99% democrats.

During the 2010 election cycle, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees spent $87.5 million in union dues for the sole purpose of electing Democrats. More millions more went to “advocacy campaigns” that skirt the law to promote Leftist candidates. I don’t get a warm fuzzy feeling this helped the taxpayer.

Our business genius, Barack Hussein Obama, whose most vociferous support comes from unions, offered this predictable partisanship: “Some of what I’ve heard coming out of Wisconsin, where they are just making it harder for public employees to collectively bargain, generally, seems like more of an assault on unions.” The federal prisons are full of individuals convicted of fraud but Congress, over the years, has legalized graft for themselves and the union supporters.

The government union game hasn’t always been rigged. Government unions didn’t even exist until 1959, when the state of Wisconsin granted public employees “collective bargaining rights.”  Even Franklin Roosevelt understood that permitting government employees to establish unions constituted a corruption of public trust.

Since 1960 the Democrat Party has supported government unions with even more vigor than its support for non-government unions, and consequently, ignored the best interest of the people with their own self-interests. Today 24 states grant “collective bargaining rights” to government employee unions, and the resulting breach of public trust is evident in each of those states, particularly in education. My state, Texas, is a “Right to Work” state where union membership is not mandated. A future blog will explain how Texas teachers contribute to and run their own retirement system. 

In 1979, Jimmy Carter re-established the U.S. Department of Education. The department’s mission was, ostensibly, to promote student achievement in preparation for global competitiveness. Yet, since its formation 32 years ago, student achievement compared to other nations has declined.  In fact, the Department of Education reported that American students when rated with the 32 largest industrial nations ranked 17th in math, 21st in science and 32nd in reading. Wow, what an improvement.

Unions understand the strategic impact of the battle now underway in Wisconsin. “If we lose in Wisconsin, it’s going to be a domino effect,” proclaimed Teamster John Hennelly. “This is just the opening salvo in a war.” Democrats also know this battle is critical to the perpetuation of political dynasties.

Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA), who decried our nation’s heated political rhetoric in the wake of the Tucson shootings, had this advice for the union protesters, “I’m proud to be here with people who understand that it’s more than just sending an email to get you going. Every once and awhile you need to get out on the streets and get a little bloody when necessary.” I guess Obama’s plea for civility was only directed to the tea party?

Hopefully the new House majority in Washington and all 24 States without right-to-work laws will take a cue from happenings in Wisconsin and stop the flow of money to maintain government employee union benefit programs.

Everyone take a deep look at who actually benefits from Obama/Reid/Polosi “shovel ready” projects.

UNION DISASTERS

 

 Before the Wisconsin debacle that has dominated the recent news, my interest and knowledge about “Unions” was limited to the private business sector. I am fully aware that “Unions” have created the loss of manufacturing jobs that plague the country and why we have to import most of the consumer product we buy today. When you couple “Union” pressured trade barriers with the regulatory pressure of the “Tree huggers”, we have made conducting business in America nearly impossible. I have created businesses in Canada and the United States and without a doubt the Canadian government is far more business friendly. They actually help you get started and survive.

The “Wisconsin Disaster” unveiled another “Union” situation that has been off the radar since Reagan fired the air traffic controllers a long time ago. Unionization of government employees is one of the dumbest things I have seen evolve in my 80 years as an American. Can you just imagine that as this practice expands, we could see the “Unionization” of Congress, the Judicial and Executive branches of American government?

 We have some union type demands already in place like the lifetime terms for Federal Judges and the Supreme Court (tenure). There are no measurements of performance and they can’t be terminated. Congress uses seniority (tenure) as the basis for power and committee appointments. Thank God they can be terminated as we witnessed last November.

 With Obama’s passion for European style Socialism, visualize the potential of “Unionizing” the Executive branch of government. The President and his army of czars could go on strike for better pay and fringe benefits. Who could stop them? What would happen if the Supreme Court decided to strike? If Congress went on strike and refused to function, who could stop them? I could drive you insane with the possibilities of what an uncontrolled government could do. If you wish to see what idiots who mesmerize the populace can do, read what Chavez has done in Venezuela. See how he used the unions to get elected and gain dictatorial powers. Why can’t this happen here? 

Before you accuse me of insanity, look at what is happening in the real world today. All democratic State Senators in Wisconsin left the State to avoid doing state business. The Governor has not been able to get them to return. The media legal eagles have stated that there is no law being broken and no one has the power to arrest them for anything.  

I would like to say that if a quorum of Congress were to do the same thing, it would be tragic. Unfortunately it could probably be an improvement over the idiotic regulations and Obamacare they raced to impose before the last election. Congress has allowed the Executive branch to run wild for over two years. If the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) alone is not abolished soon, we just think energy prices are high today. Locally the price for gasoline has jumped about 9% in the last week. Coupled with out of control spending, we are watching America destroyed from within. Our current government in action at all levels is like watching cartoons. 

I am now compiling data and facts of what “Unionization” of the teachers in Wisconsin has cost the citizens. The questionable legality of how they are provided insurance alone will amaze you. The teachers own the insurance company and collective bargaining is how they have screwed the taxpayer. Stay tuned for a series on public service unions nation-wide.

C Brewer

 

 

 

U.S. EDUCATION GONE WILD

 

Last week there were two articles written by Kyle Olson and published on http://biggovernment.com . I encourage everyone to read the articles in this publication daily. You will find a link on this blog-site with every issue. I will share and paraphrase some of the highlights that will reveal some disturbing facts that our education system is broken. We the people must force Congress to eliminate the US Department of Education. In addition it is beyond too late to stop the runaway waste caused by the teacher unions. If we don’t we are destined to see our 2009 position of 22nd in Science, 27th in Math and 32nd in reading out of the top 32 industrialized nations. This is sick. 

Take a look at some facts. In too many places school districts have no funds for text books, laying off teachers and increasing class sizes beyond common sense.

One public school superintendent in Wayne Township, Indiana recently retired with a $1,000,000.00 golden parachute provided by the local school board. This consisted of a lump sum payout of $817,000.00 plus an additional $200,000.00 for 150 day assignment as Superintendent Emeritus. No one is sure what he was supposed to do for the $1300 per day expense to be paid by the taxpayers.

Kyle cites another example in Central Falls, Rhode Island where the school system and the city are on the edge of financial ruin. The Wall Street Journal reported that the district’s teachers are paid four times as much as the US median household income.

It is not over as last month the US Department of Education awarded a $1,300,000.00 grant to the Central Falls School District as part of our government’s effort to help improve the nation’s worst schools.

Kyle said; “The second realization I had was that taxpayers have been played for a bunch of dopes. Teacher unions and their political surrogates continually tell us we need to “invest” more and more in education. The reality is that while education spending has skyrocketed, student achievement has flattened. Taxpayers are getting a rotten return on their investment.” I think Kyle is too kind in his assessment!

In my blog last week, I mentioned a new film released named “Kids Aren’t Cars”. Kyle noted the following; “For teachers unions, it’s all about the money. A protester we encountered at a pro-tax increase rally last year in Springfield, Illinois underscored the point.” “Where is the money?” she asked as she rubbed her fingers together. “Save our children! Give us the bucks! Where’s the cash? We need it fast,” she said. Of course she does, or she may need to take a pay freeze or start contributing to her pension plan. She was savvy enough to work children into her demand.”

From 1980 to 2007 the U.S. increased K-12 education spending 571%. It was $101 billion in 2000 and $581 billion in 2007. That is $10,000 per student per year.

I bet you think that we had a big increase in learning for all of that expense? Wrong, every year our high school seniors take the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT’s) to assess readiness for college. The average score for critical reading in 1980 was 502. The average score in 2007 for critical reading was 502. Not much bang for the buck. There was some improvement in math. The 1980 score was 492 and in 2007 it was 515, a modest 4.6% improvement in 27 years. I suppose this is why our world ranking in math was 27th in 2009. Our standing at 32nd place in reading out of the 32 nations measured should tell someone something other than money must be necessary to solve the problem. When kids can’t read they can’t learn. With our new texting language they can at least communicate with each other.

I am dedicated to reporting on our education problems until Congress has the courage to bite the union hands that feed them. I do not expect this to happen soon. I pray that the people will keep throwing them out until we find some who will serve our needs rather than get re-elected.

C Brewer

PUBLIC VS PRIVATE RETIREMENTS

 

Rather than try to paraphrase this article I have included the entire thing. I wish to call your attention to the third paragraph that provides a way to let you see what your benefits you would be entitled to if you had worked for the government. I have encouraged every member of my family, and anyone else that will listen, to seek employment by a government agency as fast as they can because the “Royalty” class has now reached every level of our government. Employment by the government is the safest way to survive for the next 100 years. It will take that long to adjust the system.  C Brewer 
 
 
“Defenders of public employee pension systems often make the case that pension benefits are not all that generous. The outrageous cases you see on the news — Long Island police retiring in their 40s with pensions in excess of base pay, administrators “retiring” with six-figure pensions and then going back to work with another government agency, one ex-FDNY firefighter running marathons on his $86,000 “disability” pension — are the exceptions, they say.

The data, however, tells a different story. According to the Census Bureau, the average New York retiree receiving a corporate or union pension — a retiree from the private sector — was receiving an annual benefit of $13,100 in 2009. For state and local government retirees, that figure was more than twice as high: $27,600. And that average figure includes retirees who were part-time workers or only spent part of their careers in government; full-career retirees often do far better.

To understand what sort of public pension you might be eligible for, the Empire Center for New York State Policy has created a Pension Calculator, available at nypensionbomb.org. Simply enter your age at retirement, years worked and final average salary — typically, the average of your wage earnings in your last three years worked — and you can see what benefit you would be entitled to, if you were lucky enough to work for the government.

You can also find out that pension’s present value — how much cash you would need on hand to buy an annuity making payments equal to the pension. But sit down before you read it — in many cases, that’s an amount well into the seven figures.

What the calculator will show you is that New York pension benefits can be extremely rich for typical employees. Consider a teacher in Albany County, retiring at 59 after a 37-year career, with a final average salary of $89,000. That teacher is eligible for a pension benefit starting at $62,745 (70.5% of final average salary) with an annual cost-of-living adjustment.

Is your 401(k) as rich as that? Consider that a private-sector worker seeking an equivalent annuity would need a whopping $1.25 million on hand at retirement to buy it.

The richness of benefits is even more astounding in some downstate communities. A Yonkers teacher with a master’s degree and some additional coursework could expect a final average salary just over $110,000 after 37 years worked. That translates into an annual pension of $78,255 — exempt from state and local income tax — with a present value of more than $1.5 million, assuming retirement at 59. Police and firefighters, famously, get to retire earlier with even more generous benefits.

These calculations don’t include the value of retiree health-care benefits. While health benefits for retirees are nearly unheard of in the private sector, New York public employees may keep their same health insurance in retirement nearly for free — or absolutely for free in many cases, as workers can use accumulated sick time to pay their share of the premiums. This is a benefit worth approximately $14,000 per year for family coverage.

And the benefit doesn’t stop at 65. Once retirees become eligible for Medicare, taxpayers generously pick up their Medicare Part B premiums and pay for high-quality Medigap coverage.

These benefits are almost entirely funded by taxpayers. Public employees in New York state do make pension contributions of 3% of their salary, but only for their first 10 years of work.

Last year’s “Tier V” pension reform will force most new employees to make 3% contributions throughout their careers — maybe. The state enacted a similar reform in the 1980s, and then undid it at the unions’ behest when the stock market performed well.

So, how do private sector retirement benefits look in comparison? Even if you’re one of the lucky few private-sector workers who gets a defined benefit pension (just 16% of workers in private industry do, as of 2009) your benefit is likely about half as generous as a government worker’s. And in New York, you must pay state and local income tax on pensions over $20,000, while public workers are entirely exempt.

The vast majority of private sector workers receive their retirement benefits in the form of a defined contribution plan, such as a 401(k) with employer match. These benefits are, on average, significantly less generous than the pensions provided to government workers.

The average American private sector worker receives 99 cents per hour worked in retirement benefits, mostly in the form of an employer-paid 401(k) contribution. The average state and local government worker gets $3.26, mostly in the form of pension benefits, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But those figures actually understate the public-private gap.

You may have read that public pension plans use rosy accounting rules that understate the size of their true liabilities. These same rules also understate the value of benefits accrued by workers. One study from the American Enterprise Institute found that, in the case of California workers, official estimates understated the value of pensions by nearly half — that is, California workers receive pension benefits worth 16% of their salaries, not the official 8.2%.

So, the average government worker is receiving retirement benefits several times richer than his or her counterparts in the private sector. This fact — not abusive practices like “pension spiking” and “double-dipping” — is the reason that public pension costs have become unsustainable.

Over the next five years, state and local governments’ payments to New York state pension systems will nearly triple. For school districts, they will more than quadruple, driving an 18% increase in school property taxes just to pay for rising pension costs. New York City has already seen this explosion — pension costs have grown tenfold in the last decade — and pension costs in the city will continue to rise going forward.

State lawmakers will only get a handle on this problem when they admit that public employee pensions have not simply been mismanaged and abused. The root driver of exploding costs is legislators’ willingness to make unsustainable promises to be paid by future taxpayers — a proclivity as fundamental to a legislator’s brain as the will to breathe is to yours or mine.

The only way to protect New York taxpayers is to make it impossible for the legislature to give away the farm. That will require abandoning the defined benefit model and adopting 401(k) — and bringing the value of public sector retirement benefits closer into line with the private sector”.

Josh Barro is the Walter B. Wriston Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, where E.J. McMahon is a Senior Fellow.

SEE IF YOU FEEL STIMULATED WITH THESE FACTS?

Who Got Stimulated? (A review of this weeks activities by our Chief Executive)

Barack Hussein Obama, is intent on increasing the federal  taxes, of everyone who actually pay them, (about 47 percent of the population) in January, by way of letting the Bush-era tax reductions expire. 

His administration has announced several “band-aid’s” to help reduce our growing debt.

First, President Obama ordered a freeze on bonuses for some 3,000 of his high-paid political appointees. Then he announced a freeze on the wages of all federal workers for the next two years.

One Social Security administrator summed up the reaction of her fellow federal union workers: “That’s why Obama’s ratings are below Bush’s, and that’s hard to be unless you’re Osama bin Laden. I can’t wait until I retire.”

Well, given the fact that federal bureaucrats are now endowed with grossly disproportionate wages and benefits, one can understand why retirement remains attractive for them. On the other hand, millions of private sector citizens will be working well beyond retirement age in order to make ends meet, especially given the increased tax burdens they’ll likely incur in the future to pay off Obama’s deficit.

Let’s review the most recent comparison’s of statistical data: 

Compared to more productive private sector employees, whose income is confiscated to pay government wages and benefits, hourly government workers are paid 57 percent more than those in the private sector for comparable jobs ($28.64/hour vs. $18.27/hour).

Salaried bureaucrats enjoy average annual wages of $78,901, while those in the private sector average $50,111, and the number of bureaucrats collecting more than $150,000 a year has doubled since Obama took office.  (That’s you my son.)

When benefits such as taxpayer-funded contributions to pensions are included, government bureaucrats end up with 85 percent more compensation than their private sector comparables.

On top of that disparity, bureaucrat jobs are virtually tenured, both recession proof and unaffected by a dearth of productivity. Benjamin Franklin once famously said, “Nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Today, however, you can add government jobs to the short list of guarantees.

Notably, Obama did not order a freeze on government hiring, and I can assure you that the number of exemptions for government agency wage freezes will eventually equal the number of government agencies. Additionally, Obama didn’t freeze promotions, meaning that any federal worker can receive a de facto pay raise by “promotion” into the next incremental GSA scale.

Since the beginning of the current recession, private sector employment is down 6.8 percent. On the other hand, Obama has used taxpayer funds and debt on future generations, his so-called “recovery program,” to grow the ranks of central government bureaucrats by more than 10 percent in the same time period.

Of course, Obama’s wage-freeze fails to put any noticeable dent into his accumulating $1,000,000,000,000-plus deficits. Taxes, he says, must be increased to do that.

Once again, let’s review.

Like any devoted Socialist, Obama’s objective is to break the back of free enterprise, in this case, with unbearable deficits. When challenged about his motives, Obama invariably claims that he “inherited this mess” from the Bush administration.

However, the Executive Branch does not set the budget. Congress does. And from the ’09 budget forward, budget deficits have increased greatly. 

I realize this is not new information but it bears repeating.  

 Democrats have controlled Congress since January 2007, about the time the housing market collapse began. Thus, Democrats controlled the budgets for FY2008 and FY2009 as they did with FY2010 and FY2011.

Obama Deficits Chart

For FY2008 Democrats compromised with President Bush on spending. However, for FY2009, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid bypassed the Bush administration by way of continuing resolutions until Barack Obama took office.

Again, for the record, Obama was a member of the Senate majority in 2007 and 2008, and he voted for those spending bills.

The last budget deficit that Democrats “inherited” was FY 2007, the last of the Republican congressional budgets. That deficit was the lowest in five years, and it was the fourth straight decline in deficit spending. Thus, the only deficit Obama has inherited is that which he and his Democrat majorities generated.

Those pesky facts notwithstanding, a Republican majority is about to take over the House, and Republicans in the Senate seem to have found a spine,as indicated by Sen McConnel’s letter to Harry Reid regarding action on any legislation that doesn’t deal with the budget and the expiring taxation rates. 

If Republicans are serious about budget and deficit control, they should start by cutting their own bloated salaries and budgets. There is no greater sweetheart deal than being elected to our national legislature, where members of Congress are paid exorbitantly, and are eligible for lifetime benefits after “serving” for just five years — one term for Senators. If they are perpetually elected, as is the case with many members, they are eligible for almost 80 percent of their salary as a guaranteed annual pension.

Membership certainly has its privileges and term limit’s are sorely needed to remove those Un-professional politicians. 

If members of Congress don’t like the pay cuts, perhaps we can cut their time accordingly. Send them home more often, and see if a little of the reality outside the Beltway sinks in.

As Cal Thomas opined this week, “The Founders were keenly aware of the danger of a Congress divorced from the realities of the rest of the country. During the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Roger Sherman of Connecticut wrote, ‘Representatives ought to return home and mix with the people. By remaining at the seat of government, they would acquire the habits of the place, which might differ from those of their constituents.'”

If Republicans are really serious about the constitutional role of government, they should identify any and all taxes and expenditures not expressly authorized by our Constitution, and schedule them for termination. While they are at it, they should revoke congressional exemptions, and make themselves subject to the same laws and regulations they impose upon the rest of us. (Oh, and Mr. Speaker-to-be, sell Pelosi’s opulent Boeing 757, and refund the treasury.)

For his part, President  Obama lamented this week that he might have to delay his “holiday vacation” to Hawaii in order to get his tax-and-spend agenda through Congress. (How many golf outings and exotic vacations must this man take?)

Perhaps the President should take a tax lesson from John Kennedy, the father of the modern Democrat party: “A tax cut means higher family income and higher business profits and a balanced federal budget…. As the national income grows, the federal government will ultimately end up with more revenues. Prosperity is the real way to balance our budget. By lowering tax rates, by increasing jobs and income, we can expand tax revenues and finally bring our budget into balance.”

Indeed, tax reductions in each of the last five administrations have resulted in tax revenue increases to the fed’s coffers.

It’s past time to put Keynesain economic’s out to pasture and clean thr Donkey do off our boots.

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This was forwarded by a friend, Ron, this morning and I felt obligated to put it on the blog ASAP. I do not know who wrote this but hopefully it wakes up more people to demand that Washington be cleaned out before we have to borrow from Chavez.  CWB

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