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Pensions – Middle Class and political myths

Can you feel the fight going on over the bones, the left overs?

There is a whole lot of theater, misdirection and flat out lying going on. Republican politicians and Democrats are mostly concerned about protecting the status quo — protecting the vast wealth of the very wealthy who fund political campaigns for the offices which make the politicians very wealthy. We don’t see very many middle class or poor holding Federal elected office. Once the election lottery is won it is a full time job to keep the money flowing to fund the re-election campaign.

The middle class is the golden goose and the golden goose is under attack. We are in the third age (sort of like the times of J.R.R. Tolkien) of greed. There was the Gilded age of the late 19th century, when wealth was very lop sided. There were the very very rich and the rest of the citizens. The second age were the roaring 20s — vast wealth for the few and vast poverty. We are in the third age where the top 10% hold more wealth than the bottom 90%. It is the very wealthy who fiance the bloody political campaigns — and the politicians who make sure that their sponsors keep their millions and billions.

The middle class more taxes than the upper class and the poverty class. However remember that even those below the poverty line still may sales tax and any other state and local taxes. By eliminating the jobs held by the middle class — they aren’t paying as much in taxes as when there is full employment. If there were more well paying jobs — more money would be going to the government. This is why we are seeing so much fighting over the bones — the golden goose middle class can’t fuel the government when they are being kicked and abused as the newest members of the poverty class.

The middle class has been shrinking for some time. Wages haven’t kept up with inflation and health care insurance costs more every year with bigger deductibles and higher co-pays. While the middle class are having a hard time — image how those below the poverty line manage to cope? Meanwhile the Religious right is attempting to make poverty a sin — Only people God disapproves of are poor. God loves rich people — according many who call themselves Christians.

This is where cognitive dissonance must be giving middle class and poor near retirement age blinding head aches. Key words nearing retirement age. Many companies and government bodies promised pensions if the employee remained with the company for x number of years. The military got soldiers and sailors to re-enlist with promises of pensions. There was also the deal that the employee paid x amount into the pension plans with the employer adding to the pot. In the 1980s we saw the merging frenzy — companies buying and selling divisions or each other — and what happened to the pensions? That will be the mystery waiting for the baby boomers when they retire — will the promised pension still be there?

In Rhode Island pensions are being told that they are lucky to get $10,000 per year.

In 2009, in the United States of America, the poverty threshold for a single person under 65 was US$11,161; the threshold for a family group of four, including two children, was US$21,756.

Public employees in many places in the US are held in contempt because of pensions promised to them by the local governments. So the “Have Littles” are now fighting the “Have a little more”. This is happening just as the baby boomers begin to retire.

Here is what is already being written about the Baby boomers who began hitting the magic age of 65 this year:

If you add 65 years to January 1st, 1946 you get January 1st, 2011.

The moment when the first Baby Boomers reach retirement age has arrived.

The day of reckoning that so many have talked about for so many years is here.

Today, America’s elderly are living longer and the cost of health care is rising dramatically.  Those two factors are going to make it incredibly expensive to take care of all of these retiring Baby Boomers.

Meanwhile, the sad truth is that the vast majority of Baby Boomers have not adequately saved for retirement.  For many of them, their home equity was destroyed by the recent financial crisis.  For others, their 401ks were devastated when the stock market tanked.

Meanwhile, company pension plans across America are woefully underfunded.  Many state and local government pension programs are absolute disasters.  The federal government has already begun to pay out more in Social Security benefits than they are taking in, and the years ahead look downright apocalyptic for the Social Security program.

If we are not careful all of these Baby Boomers are going to push us into national bankruptcy.  We simply cannot afford all of the promises that we have made to them. (bold letter by me.)

This appears to be from some sort of right wing end of the world type blog.

Could it be that there is an attempt to turn citizen against citizen — young against old? Also somehow the right wing crowd and 0bama sort of forget in their zeal to reduce or eliminate Social Security that the young will also become old and need to retire. Every year as the retirement age is increased by the politicians I can see how the younger generation really wonders if retire & retirement will still be part of the American vocabulary.

Apparently there is money to be had in pension defunding. Remember ENRON — the company that knocked Californians to their knees? Seems like one of the crooks got out with money and now he’s a Texas trader.

John D. Arnold, a former Enron Corp. trader in Texas who became a billionaire by buying and selling natural gas, is bankrolling a group supporting changes to limit California’s pension-fund obligations.

Arnold, who formed hedge fund Centaurus Advisors LLC in Houston after leaving Enron, started a foundation that Meredith Simonton, a spokeswoman, said has given $150,000 to the California group.

The organization set up by Arnold and his wife, Laura, a lawyer, plans to be involved in pension-overhaul efforts around the U.S., Simonton said by telephone from Houston. State and local governments confront “massive financial distress” from the gap between assets and promised benefits, she said.

The message seems to be clear — you old folks cost too much. Go find an ice flow, live volcano or jump off of a boat — but find a cheap way to die. Also governments and employers are not to be believed when they promise pension (if there are any pensions open to new hires any more??)

Meanwhile the upper 10% cannot be taxed — it is the will of God.


Meanwhile back at the White House — the political hacks/advisers are planning to do little or perhaps nothing about JOBS.

0bama is the absolute WRONG person for the job of President at this time in history. He just doesn’t have common sense and empathy.

If you’re pro-Obama you’re an idiot, on the payroll, or evil

Link goes to a short essay by Ian Walsh. That headline says it all.

One Response

  1. Cutting, reducing or eliminating pensions is more of the war on women. Because women tend to live longer and guess who will have to live on cat food and cut her pills in half and freeze to death?

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