Monday, October 3, 2011

Federal Employees


Additional statistics HERE, from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Take a look! According to that source:
These salary figures do not include the value of health, pension and other benefits, which averaged $40,785 per federal employee in 2008 vs. $9,882 per private worker, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

I'm glad that I receive the print edition of the Washington Post because a gem such as the following comes along quite often:
Federal Answers: How would you be affected if you had to pay more into your pension plan?
We asked:

What would be the personal financial impact of President Obama’s call for an increase in contributions by federal employees to their pension plan of 1.2 percentage points?

You said:

I am a federal retiree (37 years of service). Here are my thoughts on the proposals being tossed around regarding federal workers (and retirees), including paying more for retirement.

■We grouse that we are not paid enough; we have to pay too much for health insurance, blah, blah, blah. The truth is: We are at the top of the employment food chain. Where else does one get a pension indexed for inflation, and one for which we pay a pittance? The rule of thumb is that we draw within two and a half years everything we pay in. To date, I have drawn very close to half a million dollars; if I live another 20 years (which is reasonable), I will draw another 1.5 million bucks. Did I “earn” that by anything I did while working for the government. Nope. Should my retirement pay be cut? Yep.

■Why do I have to pay Federal Employees Health Benefits premiums and still have to have Medicare (I did not take Part B)? Why cannot federal retirees at least be given the chance to opt out? And should I pay more for my FEHB plan? Yep.

■So many workers in this country are deeply hurting. One in 6 of us lives in poverty, and still federal workers and their unions . . . moan about how awful the government is to them. Ask any federal retiree, and you will be told something to the effect of “you could cut the federal workforce a good 30 percent and not lose much.” Think of what a money saver that would be.

Charles W. Walton
Contrast the above with this one, which also appears on the same page:
I think the federal workforce has been targeted enough. We took a two-year pay freeze without blinking an eye, but asking us to fund more into our retirement is asking for a pay cut on top of the pay freeze. . . .The FERS retirement system is terrible to begin with in terms of money received after retirement. Paying more for less is asking us federal workers too much.

Where were the overpaid contractors and private industry employees when the economy was robust and the federal workforce just chugged along, making lots less money? They said nothing but collected their large paychecks. Now that the wheels have turned, they want us to sacrifice for their benefit. I’ve been a federal employee for 26 years and plan on retiring in a little over three years, and I feel the public has had their hand in my pocket long enough.

Joe Plunkard
In my view, America is already embroiled in the early stages of class warfare. Frankly, I can't imagine that things will get any better for several years. Resentments are piling up, and, of course, Obama is promoting those resentments via his tax-the-rich theme. Were Americans not patient, we'd already have reached the tipping point.

47 comments:

  1. Wow:

    With the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protests starting the catch on in the media after the arrests at the Brooklyn Bridge and protests in Los Angeles and San Francisco, the Occupy Whatever meme is coming to a city near you. Occupy Dallas! is coming to my town October 6th and I’ll head down there to interview people because that’s what I do. While I was looking up info about the event, I came across a Facebook page that really sums up what is really going on here.

    This isn’t a protest against the government.

    Not really. The is the guise that it’s under. It’s using the iconography of protest to actually SUPPORT the government status quo – specifically public employees. See, they can’t get a lot of support if they come out and say “Protest to keep out cushy pensions!” because who is going to show up for THAT, right?...


    More at the above link.

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  2. This is their nasty little agenda, AOW-- to create chaos, strife, and class warfare. They're not even trying to hide it anymore.

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  3. Keep an eye on the "super commission". They're getting set to stiff you folks good and they ARE NOT going to do much about the cost of Federal employees.

    And you're going to take it like good little sheep who think the Tea Party is going to resolve this issue.

    Watch the super commission and, if I were you, I'd do everything I could to get Chris Christie in the race. He would bring straight talk to bear on this issue but if he ran we'd probably watch you blow the chance and complain that he doesn't hate the homos enough and put in with Perry.

    Enjoy what's coming due to your own shortsightedness.

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  4. Duck,
    And you're going to take it like good little sheep who think the Tea Party is going to resolve this issue.

    I have never claimed nor have I even believed that the Tea Party Movement would solve any problems.

    As for gay rights, well, that's never been a deciding factor with regard to whom I vote for. Others who visit my site may not agree with me on that.

    As for Christie, in my view, he is not electable.

    I agree with you about the super committee. That's all smoke and mirrors pr.

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  5. TO ALL COMMENTERS:

    This post is about federal employees' salaries. However, union-negotiated salaries in other sectors may well follow the same pattern.

    We are fast creating an oligarchy of certain employees.

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  6. Karen,
    Yep, it's out in the open.

    Is America paying attention? I think not! Rather, people are scrambling with their household budgets and/or watching sports events.

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  7. I rarely cite Prison Planet, but THIS, about protesters calling for Obama's re-election, is interesting.

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  8. Obama and the Democrats are hell bent on splitting this country apart with their class warfare and racial hate rhetoric. It is going to get much uglier than most people think. We have never seen a campaign season like we are about to see.

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  9. It's an interesting point that no one particularly gave a shit when I was making $5.97 an hour for a coastal California sheriff's department in 1978 and getting shot at. Now that I've stuck with law enforcement for 35+ years, now I'm the Bad Guy because I actually stuck it out, ate bureaucratic shit, shot and got shot at numerous times, spit on, cut, stabbed, one broken bone. So now, because the economy is terrible I'm squarely in the pension sights.

    Gee, let's see: it only took me actually 39 years to GET to the point where I paid off all my bills, I don't live month-to-month in Fornicalia, I own my cars, my home, I have sterling credit, no carryover, no toys, no boat, no RV, no ATV, no Mercedes, no pool, and I socked away every spare possible penny so that I COULD have a GREAT retirement.

    And so now, because I planned like mad, I saved, I conserved, I scrimped, I had no extravagances, I always lived within my means -- and have a good retirement coming (in two MORE years = 40+ years in law enforcement, I AM the Bad Guy??

    WTF?

    BZ

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  10. There is one place it is different. In the defense industry I could make three times as much doing the same job as a government contractor. Everything is backwards.

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  11. BZ,
    I AM the Bad Guy??

    Not of your own making.

    Your story is probably repeated by many others. From what you've said, you may not "need" your pension. Deserving it is another matter entirely.

    But the opposite is also true, I think. By that, I mean that the sense of entitlement seems to have overcome younger workers.

    Did you notice the difference between the two letters in the post? The older fellow could draw on a wide taxpayer base, but can no longer do so.

    So now, because the economy is terrible I'm squarely in the pension sights.

    Yes, such a thing is now happening.

    The Baby Boomer retirement wave is the coming tsunami. I am convinced that America is unable or unwilling to recognize how powerful that wave is going to be.

    In fact, a few local governments that provide generous pensions have gone belly up. More pension failures are coming, too, IMO. Just like the Social Security fund, many local pension plans have been robbed or borrowed against. I can't imagine that any insurance funds for those pension plans will be able to withstand the future defaults.

    And I have to wonder if the federal employee pension plan is also in trouble. Did not the U.S. Treasury recently borrow from that fund. Robbing Peter to pay Paul, and all that.

    How long before personal IRA's and 401K's are targeted by the ever greedy federal budget?

    There is nothing fair about the tsunami that is coming.

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  12. No BZ, YOU are not the bad guy. My dad is. HE retired in 1970 after 25 years in the Air Force at half pay. He was 41. He has now drawn his pension for 41 years... w/full medical... and G_d willing, will collect for at LEAST another 10.

    As a taxpayer, I am INSULTED. As a taxpayer, so should YOU be.

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  13. "From what you've said, you may not 'need' your pension. Deserving it is another matter entirely."

    I guess you don't read Kiplingers or haven't investigated retirement plans, places, options. It is estimated that in order to be "relatively comfortable" in retirement one needs much more than anyone previously thought: $2 MILLION or MORE. And I am NOT a millionaire!

    I don't "need" my retirement? What? I should give some of it away? You want some of it? I should give it back when I get it? Everything I've done in my life was predicated upon reaching a retirement that I won't get? If that's true, I sure as hell wouldn't have gotten into the LE game; I would have done something else.

    So YOU are going to tell ME that I don't NEED my retirement because I've PLANNED my ass off for it??

    BZ

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  14. BZ,
    So YOU are going to tell ME that I don't NEED my retirement because I've PLANNED my ass off for it??

    It is not I telling you, but the economic mess we're in is telling you exactly that. And our leaders will do nothing to protect us.

    "Need" was in quotation marks in my previous comment-- because that's the meme that the Left is pulling on all of us now. I also said that, in effect, that you do deserve your retirement. Can we realistically say the same about all government employees and about other sectors as well?

    Moreover, law enforcement, your field, is one that provides an essential service -- and, as you pointed out, you put your life on the line.

    Now, before you get all riled up at me, let me tell you that I'm in the same sinking retirement boat in many respects:

    I've done in my life was predicated upon reaching a retirement that I won't get?

    Mr. AOW and I planned my retirement in a different way, but the end result is the same. We invested in real estate. Not speculation, you understand; no house hopping ever or buying up property and becoming "slum lords." Now, just look at the housing market and the housing values!

    Mr. AOW and I have lived a Spartan lifestyle: no car payments (lots of pieces of junk that he babied along), no boats, no new furniture (except for the occasional recliner), no vacations to speak of (certainly not luxurious ones; mostly road trips, and we've never stayed in any luxury hotel), etc., etc. We did manage to put some money in the bank. Look at the interest rates for savers now. We did put money into IRAs (bank and stock market), and look at those retirement funds are now.

    Frankly, those of us who DID plan are watching our plans evaporate before our very eyes.

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  15. Oops! Lots of errors in my above comment. Should have previewed first.

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  16. Speedy G,
    Thanks for your comment.

    Aside from the issue of government pensioners, the taxpayer base has shrunk so far in numbers of the employed that I don't know how the government is going to continue to run. With so many unemployed, the government is getting less in tax revenue -- much less.

    And I'm seeing something similar on a local level with regard to real estate taxes. Today, while running errands, I noticed that an entire office park in the Tysons Corner vicinity is now sitting empty. That particular office building has never sat empty before.

    Another office building, directly across the street from Tysons Corner Mall, has been sitting empty for months. Borders was the tenant for one half of that very large building. The other tenant, Filene's Basement, has been gone sine 2008. This is prime commercial real estate -- or should be.

    With commercial real estate sitting empty, the county is going to jack up residential taxes. Yet another portion of the coming tsunami!

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  17. Conservatives On Fire,
    Obama and the Democrats are hell bent on splitting this country apart with their class warfare and racial hate rhetoric. It is going to get much uglier than most people think.

    I'm not sure that we can back away from the brink that is being forced upon us.

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  18. Bank of America is the biggest U.S. lender. Today:

    Bank of America Corp. (BAC) said online access to accounts was slowed or halted temporarily for a second consecutive weekday because of heavy customer traffic at the biggest U.S. lender.

    An electronic run on the bank?

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  19. More absurdity:

    First lady Michelle Obama says her husband deserves re-election not only for his first term accomplishments and vision for the future, but because of his genuine empathy for families dealing with tough economic times.

    “He understands these issues, not just because he’s smart but because he’s lived them,” Obama told a group of 100 campaign donors at a $2,500-a-plate luncheon in Cape Elizabeth, Maine....


    I'm clenching my teeth too much today. Time to turn off my computer, apply more warm compresses, and watch something mindless on television.

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  20. Statistics are often misleading and can be used to show what ever the one doing the ciphering wants it to show.

    I retired from the US government after 34 years of combined military and civilian and I can assure you that my salary as a government psychologist was no where near that of my civilian counterparts. I was on call for most of my career 24/7, my civilian counterparts were not. They were charging in the neighborhood of $225 per clinic hour, I made no where near that figure. Working only 30 hrs per week they knocked down in the neighborhood of $6k a week, I didn't make 2K a week. Yes I had good medical insurance but I paid for family coverage, not mine. I contributed to my own retirement fund through investments, some good, some not so good.
    I was not a part of a Union nor were my colleagues. The majority of those who belong to unions are rank and file lower GS grades who have been brainwashed to believe that the gubermint will fire them at will. The truth is that most of the unionized employees don't earn a paycheck, they just draw one. Now if one advocated ridding the system of such freeloaders to samve money I am all for it. But when one starts on retirement for Military and for the Professional grade employees you had better find something and someone else to pick on. We are the ones doing the jobs that no one else would do..

    It would appear that the author of this piece has used the mid range employee pay scale as per the GS Pay scale of 2011. rather than the starting scale. It makes for a nice argument but is blantly false. Here is the link for the GS payscale. Now you can see that figures lie and figureheads are liars in this case.

    http://www.fedjobs.com/pay/pay.html

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  21. they are taking over Lower Manhattan too!

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  22. A lot of material in this thread...

    To sum up Democrats are Communists and in a Communist system you promise the sheeple equality while delivering wealth to a select group of friends while the rest live in poverty or near poverty.

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  23. Lol! Good summation. Except of course it's the right giving it all to the wealthy and taking away from the middle class.

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  24. Well hell, that begs another issue. I failed to mention the $100,000+ dollars that I've LOST out of my Vanguard/Fidelity plan since 2008.

    Ticker makes a good point. People make a purposeful choice:

    1. The freewheeling freedom of a private sector job
    2. The security of a consistent government job

    It's high risk/high gain in the private sector.

    I don't acquire any "incentive" pay. I don't get any "bonus" for Christmas. I don't get a "per piece" motivational pay. I don't get stock options in my department. I don't receive any "fiscal incentive" to excel.

    If I excel it's because I had to take a TEST and COMPETE in a written, oral and occasionally a physical examination.

    I choose to excel because I am motivated by every reason except fiscal. There is a $7 per hour difference between me and a Captain in my department -- a HUGE jump in responsibility with a pool of Captains an eighth the size of my current rank of Lieutenant. Competition at this level is unprecedented. I'm not even in the political running.

    So I chose the path of the tortoise instead of the hare. I chose long and consistent over fast and furious.

    So, when things tank in a bad economy, I'm somehow responsible?

    I'm not a Hollywood grip. I'm not a clapper loader. I'm not a Teamster. I'm not aligned with Jimmy Hoffa Jr. I don't make New York Dock. I am not unskilled. I require, to comply with POST and my department, 48 hours per year of continuous professional training. I don't make "overtime." I make a wage. Period.

    I didn't just make my minimum 10 years and take a safety retirement. I have three long stitched old lacerations on my body; one on my face and two on my arms. I have my old Second Chance vest where it caught a .38 Super round in the back.

    And I'm not carping about not making incentive wages or bonuses or stock options. I knew what I was getting into when I was getting into it. I chose the tortoise over the hare.

    But when you change the rules and come for my retirement, when I gave unfailing, consistent and professional service to my community with NO Internal Affairs complaints in 30 years --

    Well then, expect that I may take some umbrage to that.

    And expect that I'll fight every bit for what I've earned.

    BZ

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  25. No wonder the lines are so long for those federal and state jobs. I have a good friend who lives in Vegas and he is a triple dipper. Military retirement after 20 years, state retirement after that and then of course social security. Did he earn them, of course he did! But something is wrong with the system that allows such an out-of-balance situation to occur. Things will change now. I don't think those in the federal system or state systems who are nearing retirement should be punished, but for those new-comers, things must change--heck we can't afford this anymore and thats a fact.

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  26. I don't have a federal retirement. I don't have a state retirement. I don't have a city retirement. I only have a county retirement.

    ONE.

    Retirement plan.

    Because I stuck it out. And gave it my all. And dedicated my life to it.

    BZ

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  27. Joe Plunkard is retiring after 26 years and he's bitching?

    I am retired military, but as I tell people, it ain't really a retirement if you gotta go out and get another job... It gets some laughs, and I laugh as well. I didn't expect to retire in luxury, and I am grateful for my pension, and thank God, I have a job that I love.

    Too many Americans have been living too soft for too long, and many more have been living the hard realities and are fed up with the whiners.

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  28. AOW: I'm your age and I remember when I was young, 14 years old, I would play piano for a local church when they had funerals ($5.00 per funeral). During the summers starting at age 14 I worked all summer cleaning schools getting them ready for the next school year.

    My senior year I worked as Secretary for Shiloh National Military Park. When I graduated high school I went to work as a secretary. I always looked for the salary and for the benefits, because then it seemed most places I ran into did pay for health insurance.

    Years later after maturing and after further education, when I worked for a law firm it became very clear to me that:

    Employers are not there to provide benefits for their employees.

    Employees are there to provide a service to the employer for an agreed amount, like a contract.

    It was about that time that many employees across the nation were demanding employers PROVIDE day care, split shifts, shared positions, long maternity leaves (with pay) .... demands, demands, demands, as if it was the DUTY of the employer to do this.

    Later as an employER, I truly realized the insanity of that type thinking.

    Skulls of much must mature and see the situation as it truly is.

    Debbie
    Right Truth
    http://www.righttruth.typepad.com

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  29. Oh, I think the long term plan is for the federal government to take 100% of everything everyone makes and has and then distribute it equally to all. Fairness.

    Wait a minute. Hasn't this been tried several times in history with disastrous results?

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  30. BZ,
    But when you change the rules and come for my retirement, when I gave unfailing, consistent and professional service to my community with NO Internal Affairs complaints in 30 years --

    Well then, expect that I may take some umbrage to that.


    I'm not suggesting that you not take umbrage.

    I'm furious about what has happened to my planned retirement too.

    But the fact remains that huge numbers of us are likely to be in trouble.

    As Medicare cuts back payments to providers, Medigap insurance will become so expensive that it will be out of the price range of many retirees.

    I've been looking into Medigap for Mr. AOW, who automatically goes onto Medicare in March or April 2012 at age 62 because he will have been totally disabled for 30 months after his devastating stroke of September 2009. Medigap insurance is outrageously expensive before age 65 -- to the tune of some $800/month (according to the one quote I've gotten so far).

    At the moment, Mr. AOW and I have also been broadsided because his Social Security Disability is taxable. SSA told me that it wouldn't be taxable, but it is! Why? Because I make over $24,000/year. And barely at that! I made the choice to work in Christian service (Christian education), and it doesn't pay for beans. However, the spiritual benefits are "out of this world."

    BTW, Medigap is essential because Medicare doesn't have a maximum out of pocket per year.

    Now, by way of contrast, my father was a member of the transit union. His health insurance premium from age 62 until his death at age 86 in 1998? $2 a month! While Dad was working, his health insurance premium was $1 per month. The power of unions at work.

    So, when people complain about how union employees are becoming a class of elites. When it comes to certain benefits, they certainly are.

    BZ, I hope that you're county retirement plan is secure. But you do need to be aware of the very real possibility that it is not. Look at the economic condition of the state of California!

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  31. Debbie,
    It was about that time that many employees across the nation were demanding employers PROVIDE day care, split shifts, shared positions, long maternity leaves (with pay) .... demands, demands, demands, as if it was the DUTY of the employer to do this.

    Thanks for making that point!

    "Hidden" benefits run wild in certain venues. If it is a public venue, ultimately the taxpayer foots the bill.

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  32. Alligator,
    I think the long term plan is for the federal government to take 100% of everything everyone makes and has and then distribute it equally to all.

    That's the direction that America is going. **sigh**

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  33. Ticker,
    It would appear that the author of this piece has used the mid range employee pay scale as per the GS Pay scale of 2011. rather than the starting scale.

    That may well be so. But we shouldn't forget that benefits are not always included in the figures. Sometimes, but not always. I'll check the link that you left.

    But the fact remains that all the salaries and benefits are paid for by the taxpayer.

    The federal employees whom I personally know say, "My employer pays for most of my health insurance premium." When I point out to them that I the taxpayer am ultimately their employer, they get irate.

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  34. Silverfiddle,
    Joe Plunkard is retiring after 26 years and he's bitching?

    Apparently.

    And notice the end of his letter:

    I feel the public has had their hand in my pocket long enough.

    Talk about strange logic and an entitlement mentality!

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  35. So, when things tank in a bad economy, I'm somehow responsible?

    No, but you're not "immune" either. Bethlehem Steel went belly up. Pension and medical benefits went belly up with them. That was the Steel Worker's Union's fault? The retiree's are getting minimal pensions w/NO medical from the feds from the pension benefit guarantee corporation that the government runs... but it isn't NEARLY what they were "promised".

    No pension is immune to "hard times" and/or financial malfeasance. Not even a government pension (especially since the feds and states fail to comply with their OWN minimum funding laws". If you don't get your pension, blame THEM.

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  36. Ron,
    No wonder the lines are so long for those federal and state jobs.

    Yes, the lines are long.

    Here in Virginia, from 1986-2010, state employees didn't pay one red cent into their pension plan. When Mr. AOW worked for the state of Virginia for one year back in the 1970s, he did pay into the fund.

    I may have said this before....Around the greater Washington, D.C., area, when someone knows that he is ill, he deliberately delays treatment and diagnosis (if possible) and seeks a government job. I've known several with diabetes who did exactly that -- then proceeded to cost the system a fortune. One individual worked for less than 7 years for the county, then retired on disability. I'm sorry for her as she is truly disabled, but the fact remains that she gamed the system AND that the taxpayers are ending up footing the bill for her these past 11 years.

    I don't think those in the federal system or state systems who are nearing retirement should be punished, but for those new-comers, things must change--heck we can't afford this anymore and thats a fact.

    And that's my point, really.

    Mr. AOW, as one who is totally disabled (hospital bed in the living room, with a bedside potty), and I'm too old to work two jobs now. I can barely manage to work the one I've got!

    Many of those nearing retirement are not healthy enough to go out and get another job. Well, if one can find another job in this ailing economy.

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  37. As if the insanity isn't wild enough, now we have THIS:

    Oregon received $5 million in “bonus” money for getting residents there on the food stamp program.

    As it turns out, Idaho got some cash, too, though not as much as the Beaver State.

    According to Idaho Department of Health and Welfare spokesman Tom Shanahan, the Gem State took in more than $1.2 million in federal bonus money in 2010. Oregon’s $5 million came in 2011.

    The money, Shanahan explained, came to his department for efficient work and increasing the number of already-eligible residents who actually take part in the program....


    The Nanny State has taken over!

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  38. Debbie,
    I remember when I was young, 14 years old, I would play piano for a local church when they had funerals ($5.00 per funeral).

    I did the same thing! I was a local church's organist from 1972-1975 and played for both weddings and funerals, the fees for which were not included in my organist salary of $40/month).

    I also worked my way through college by giving piano lessons on Saturdays. I started doing that before college, too. My mother was disabled, so my parents couldn't afford to pay in full for my college education (I got a full scholarship in cash when I graduated from high school, and that $1000 paid for my first two years of college).

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  39. Obama's recent admission although he hedged and promoted his jobs act and more profligate spending of the taxpayers monies:

    George Stephanopoulos, ABC News: "And a lot of anger out there. There's so many people who simply don't think they're better off than they were four years ago. How do you convince them that they are?"

    President Obama: "Well, I don't think they're better off than they were four years ago....

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  40. Speedy,
    No pension is immune to "hard times" and/or financial malfeasance. Not even a government pension...

    That the hard, cold reality.

    Many who provide essential services will never be able to retire.

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  41. Although we today take pension funds for granted, they haven't been around all that long. From this source:

    1875 -- The American Express Company established the first private pension plan in the United States.

    Prior to the 1870s private-sector plans did not exist, primarily because most companies were small family-run enterprises.


    See the above link for more on the history of pension plans.

    My great uncle and great aunt, like my maternal grandparents, were farmers and had no pension plan whatsoever. Their children and grandchildren moved in and took care of their parents and grandparents. In the case of my paternal grandfather, he was demented and had to be confined in a state-run mental hospital for his last year on this earth.

    In most cases, those who could no longer work didn't live much longer. Today, of course, we generally retire in a state of physical fitness (or relatively so) and expect to live "golden years."

    Now, once women entered the work force, voluntarily or involuntarily, and once our society became mobile to the point that children and grandchildren were scattered all over the country, nursing homes and other elder care facilities started popping up all over the place.

    (continued below)

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  42. (continued)

    Nursing homes did exist before the 20th Century, but not until the 19th Century. From this source:

    The concept of a residence set aside solely for the elderly and infirm was unknown until the nineteenth century. Before that, it was understood that elderly people would be taken in by family once they were unable to care for themselves. Those who had no family could rely on servants if they had the financial resources, but for those who were alone and poor the only choice was the local almshouse.

    As the Industrial Revolution brought more people to cities, families spread out and often people had no local extended family to fall back upon when they were in need. The result was a growing number of single and widowed people who had no one to take care of them in their old age. The first homes for the elderly were established by churches and women’s groups, catering to widows and single women who had limited resources. Homes such as the Indigent Widows’ and Single Women’s Society in Philadelphia and the Home for Aged Women in Boston were a far better option than an almshouse. These early homes were not open to all. Many of them required entrance fees, and some asked for certificates of good character. Requirements like these shut out the neediest, who were still relegated to the almshouse.

    By the beginning of the twentieth century, sensibilities about caring for the poor and incapacitated had begun to change. Specialized facilities were built for children, the mentally ill, and younger infirm individuals. But little was done for the elderly, and they merely became a larger percentage of the almshouse population. In 1880, one third of the residents of almshouses in the United States were elderly; by 1923, two thirds were elderly.


    I bring up such facilities because many of us will end up in such a facility -- if we live long enough AND even if we life healthy lifestyles.

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  43. "But the fact remains that all the salaries and benefits are paid for by the taxpayer"
    And Federal employees and military are not taxpayers? While we don't cover the entire bill we still pay our share and then some.
    For many years the Federal employee was usually a returning Vet as they received a bit of preference for jobs. I remember applying for my first job as a GS-3(that was before college ) and the pay was so low that I couldn't afford to take the job since it was located in DC. The cost of living , and there were no allowances for such then, was too much for the small paycheck to bear. I passed, stayed focused on school and then went to work after graduation at CDC as an investigator covering 21 counties and dealing with the less desirable type of folks, such as hookers. It paid less than what my friend made working at Eastman without a degree, plus he worked 40 hours and I, well just worked and drove and drove , arriving home many nights after 8PM if I managed to get home. Motel bills were not covered at that time since they considered the area covered to be one day in and out drive. They had never been to Newport Tn and one little town that required one to drive 100 mile into Kentucky just to get to the town. The roads were not the best.
    Other employees were assigned overseas in areas less than desirable and not always safe. I had such and they required me to be away from my family for months at a time. What civilian job does that? Dang few.
    So the pitiful song and dance that we somehow don't pay our share or earn our keep is getting old.
    I said earlier in this post that there are some who do not earn the paycheck nor the benefits. Who depend on the Unions and the Federal laws to protected their sorry butts from being fired. If you want to hound on those, I'll gladly join in. But for the majority of Federal employees, they earn their keep along with their benefits. And we are not well to do by any means. We suffer just as those in the private sector unless we planned ahead.

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  44. The point you're missing Ticker, is that your pension and retirement benefits depend upon the federal government adequately funding it. They have NOT. They never HAVE. Like with Social Security and many STATE governments, they NEVER set any money aside (other than very RECENTLY printing a stack of T-Bill IOU's sitting down at Treasury).

    And in imposing minimum pension standards (ERISA 1974) upon private industry, many companies STOPPED providing private pensions and benefits because they were cost prohibitive. The State and Federal government did NOT (they SHOULD HAVE). All YOU have is a stack of "promises" w/o any backing investments. If you don't get what was promised you, don't blame the taxpayers. Blame the politicians who failed to adequately fund your pension fund. And if you end up with the PBGA minimum, it's YOUR OWN fault for believing them.

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  45. In my view, we can all make the case that we deserve our retirement.

    Maybe we do.

    But if that retirement is not funded, well, we won't have it.

    And the very concept of meriting a pension is a relatively new concept.

    For me, it's not so much a matter of blaming the retirees themselves. Rather, it's a matter of realities.

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  46. Ah government work, pays well if you can get it. Pays really well if you're a leftist connected to the democratic party.

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