Sunday, May 06, 2007

If It's Good for the Goose

The Literary Correspondent and I often disagree on matters political. This one is merits a lot of thought as something I could sign on to and feel quite good about it.


(This is worth reading. It is short and to the point.)

Perhaps we are asking the wrong questions during election years. Our Senators and Congresswomen do not pay into Social Security and, of course, they do not collect from it.

You see, Social Security benefits were not suitable for persons of their rare elevation in society. They felt they should have a special plan for themselves. So, many years ago they voted in their own benefit plan. In more recent years, no congressperson has felt the need to change it. After all, it is a great plan.

For all practical purposes their plan works like this:

When they retire, they continue to draw the same pay until they die, except for occasional cost of living adjustments.

For example, Senator Byrd and Congressman White and their wives may expect to draw $7,800,000.00 (that's Seven Million, Eight-Hundred Thousand Dollars), with their wives drawing $275,000.00 during the last years of their lives.

This is calculated on an average life span for each of those two Dignitaries.

Younger Dignitaries who retire at an early age, will receive much more during the rest of their lives. (Editor’s Note: That seems a bit high. Senators currently make $165,200 annually. At that rate it would take 47 years to accumulate the $7.8 million figure notes above. Even allowing for cost-of-living and benefits, I doubt Byrd will be around that long. It’s still a substantial pension plan.)

Their cost for this excellent plan is $0.00. NADA..! ZILCH...

This little perk they voted for themselves is free to them. You and I pick up the tab for this plan. The funds for this fine retirement plan come directly from the General Funds.

From our own Social Security Plan, which you and I pay (or have paid) into, every payday until we retire (which amount is matched by our employer), we can expect to get an average of $1,000 per month after retirement. (Editor’s Note: Figure based on what an average wage earner has paid into the system. Does not include Medicare. Still, no one’s looking forward to retirement just so they can live on what Social Security will pay them, and everyone will take a pay cut. Except for Congress.)

Or, in other words, we would have to collect our average of $1,000 monthly benefits for 68 years and one (1) month to equal Senator! Bill Bradley's benefits!

Social Security could be very good if only one small change were made. That change would be to:

Jerk the Golden Fleece Retirement Plan from under the Senators and Congressmen. Put them into the Social Security plan with the rest of us.

Then sit back and see how fast they would fix it.

Editor’s Note: Given their jobs, and responsibility that comes with them, being generous to Congressmen isn’t a bad idea. However, the lives of elected officials have become so far removed from the daily regularities of their constituents, it’s not surprising many heralded “solutions” don’t work well for the general population. Letting Congress live with some of the same consequences of their actions as do the rest of us – let’s throw day care into the mix, as well – might be a nice way of keeping them attached to life as We know it. Getting rid of motorcades would be a nice, and inexpensive, start. Let them see what it’s like to have to live their lives taking into consideration how long it will take to get everywhere they have to go when they’re deciding what to do about transportation funding.

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