Thursday, February 24, 2011

Public Employee PENSION, SALARY and BENEFIT REFORM MUST HAPPEN! Lets Start with the U.S. Congress!

Our Governments are in financial trouble. Big  trouble! 

In the midst of the greatest recession since 'The Great Depression', Federal and State Governments have lost substantial revenues and ALL U.S. Citizens have felt and experienced the results of it in one way or another.

The Federal Government  is running an obscene  deficit in the trillions of dollars with no end in sight.

At the same time politicians have been clever in setting up a kind  of 'class warfare' between public employee and private  employee workers and groups. 

Politicians, with strings pulled by their corporate puppeteers and billionaire backers, have on-goingly and repeatedly presented anecdotal information about those 'bad guy, lazy, goldbricking' public employees living off the 'good, hardworking' taxpayers who do the 'real work' that makes America great. And this vilification has stuck to some degree. It's also a pile of crap!   

Senator Tillis
This manipulation and slide of hand have kept the focus on public employees in the trenches doing their jobs, thereby keeping the focus away from themselves. At the same time, the overwhelming majority of these public employees have doing their jobs well and with professionalism.

Teachers, fire fighters, law enforcement, public works people,  garbage workers, nurses, doctors, community hospital employees, social services, roads, parks employees and on and on do 'their' jobs well, effectively and with productivity. 

Still, pension, salary and benefit reform MUST happen in these difficult times. In fact, they already have started in many jurisdictions.      

In all this rhetoric against public employees, little, if anything, has been said or reported about politicians salary, benefit and retirement 'packages'.

Lets do that now. Lets take a look and recast the focus on 'An OBSCENITY'! Lets begin with the U.S. Congress (many State elected politicians also have similar benefit packages).

Pure, simple and slick. Our elected congress people are assured (upon retirement OR leaving office) FULL PAY for the rest of their lives and FULL MEDICAL INSURANCE for themselves and their dependents is included! 

This does not happen at some future date or when a certain age is reached. It happens the moment one of these people leaves office.

Congressman Chris Lee-Retired
An anecdotal example would be disgraced congressman Chris Lee of recent 'shirtless craigslist' fame who resigned his House seat after just one 2-year term and a few days in office. His departure brings him all the pure, simple and slick (retirement) salary and benefits mentioned above.  

Lee's example is not the norm, however. Most congress people are in office for longer periods. But the FACT remains that there are thousands 'out-of-office' politicians receiving these benefits right now at an OBSCENE cost to taxpayers. 

Given that many politicians on the State and local levels have similar pure, simple and slick retirement 'plans' we can multiply these costs into the stratosphere.

YES! This country needs 'pension, salary and benefit' REFORM! 

Lets start with the U.S. Congress!


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