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Old 06-29-2007, 05:34 PM   #41
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Old 06-30-2007, 10:09 AM   #42
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Well, heck, if we can't afford to pay all those pensioners with our hard-earned tax dollars because none of them ever did anything that benefit us (please don't drive over any bridges in Alaska or ride the ferries if you believe that, btw--if you do, then you should gladly help fund my pension), then I think inheritances should be the next to go.

After all, the inheritors did nothing to earn the money. And we as tax payers have to make up that lost income that those selfish opportunistic lazy people get. After all, they did LESS than even those lazy pensioners to earn the money.

Obviously, I'm being sarcastic. But I do think the stone-throwing is based on unjustified generalities and is somewhat mean-spirited. How much effort did it take for those stock-market gains? Maybe you shouldn't be able to keep those gains because you didn't do enough to get them. Oh, that's right. You took risk. Well guess what--so did pensioners. If you don't believe that, read the news. If you don't think working decades only to have promised income being taken away seriously discussed isn't risk--then what is it?
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Old 07-08-2007, 11:58 AM   #43
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I posted this link a while ago......Global Rich List
Interesting...

$200,001/year = Top 0.001% (1 out of 100,000. Highest possible rating)
$47,500/year = Top 1% (4.75% of 1 million)
$9,000/year = Top 13% (USA poverty level for one person)
$850/year = Top 50% (Yes, this is the median world wide income!)

$365/year = Top 91% (Poverty level for most 3rd world countries. $1/day/person). Another way to look at this last number is: 9% of the world population (or 585,000,000) is still living on less than $1/day! Somewhat interesting also is that a nest egg of $9,125 (USA poverty) would generate this income for life.
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Old 07-08-2007, 01:06 PM   #44
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Federal employee here. I've been thinking about this for a while. The government is slow to react to a changing society. Things are getting too far out of whack in terms of the benefits of government vs. the private sector. Gone are the days of pensions at most corporations. Yet even under the newer FERs system the pensions are still quite generous.

I don't think the imbalance is healthy. I also don't think it's fair to retro change the promised benefits. I don't know what the short term solution is.

I do see trouble ahead with the national debt, medicare, social security and defined benefit plans payout to the aging population.
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Old 07-08-2007, 03:33 PM   #45
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Federal employee here. I've been thinking about this for a while. The government is slow to react to a changing society. Things are getting too far out of whack in terms of the benefits of government vs. the private sector. Gone are the days of pensions at most corporations. Yet even under the newer FERs system the pensions are still quite generous.
I agree with this. No point blaming the current Federal employee's (and I don't think anyone really is) for what we and the politicians have given them. I say “we” because it's us that elect the people who make the deals at the Federal and State levels.

No question cola pensions and free health care have to go. And it will go once we tell the politicians that it has to go. The issue here is that an increasing number of people depend on the government (Sate & Federal) for their income and as a voting block they are very powerful and getting more so. The danger is that they will unintentionally kill the "goose" (meaning the private sector) to keep their benefits.
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Old 07-08-2007, 04:40 PM   #46
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And it will go once we tell the politicians that it has to go. The issue here is that an increasing number of people depend on the government (Sate & Federal) for their income and as a voting block they are very powerful and getting more so.
Didn't Congres just vote themselves a $4K raise? Did any "voting block" ask them why?
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Old 07-09-2007, 09:35 AM   #47
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No question cola pensions and free health care have to go. And it will go once we tell the politicians that it has to go.
I disagree. I think free (or cheap) health care should be available for everyone, not just government employees. I also think social security (which, after all, is a cola pension) should be maintained. Many government employees (like I was) don't get social security--because they have a pension.

Don't tell me we can't afford it. It's a choice issue. It's obviously more important to give tax breaks to the corporations and the wealthy, and to wage ridiculous foreign wars. It's not that the money isn't there, it's where it's being spent.

Yes, there are demographic issues which will create funding problems. But every other industrialized nation manages to fund health care for it's populace. Is it perfect? No. But it's a damn sight better than what's provided in the US. In the same way that some people can't ER because they lived high on the hog, some nations can't provide for their population because they are too busy being warlike and greasing the palms of the corporations. It's a values thing...
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Old 07-09-2007, 10:03 AM   #48
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Any benefit needs to be moved to a self-funding model. The problem with universal benefits is that they are not properly funded and will inevitably self-destruct. Copayments and deductibles are the only way to manage the escalating costs.

Put the pension plan for Congressmen onto the same basis as SS. They are both public. Why should they be different? This will ensure that SS recipients are treated fairly (or equally unfairly). Same with public servants.
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Old 07-09-2007, 10:18 AM   #49
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Don't tell me we can't afford it. It's a choice issue. It's obviously more important to give tax breaks to the corporations and the wealthy, and to wage ridiculous foreign wars. It's not that the money isn't there, it's where it's being spent.
Bosco,

I couldn't agree more. Bravo!

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Old 07-09-2007, 03:18 PM   #50
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I disagree. I think free (or cheap) health care should be available for everyone, not just government employees. I also think social security (which, after all, is a cola pension) should be maintained. Many government employees (like I was) don't get social security--because they have a pension.

Don't tell me we can't afford it. It's a choice issue. It's obviously more important to give tax breaks to the corporations and the wealthy, and to wage ridiculous foreign wars. It's not that the money isn't there, it's where it's being spent.
Maybe thay should have a poll question: Would you rather have SS or a guaranteed government pension? Wow, that's a tough one..........

Put the politicians in the SS pool with the rest of us voters, and you'll see reform faster than you can spit............
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Old 07-09-2007, 04:12 PM   #51
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I posted this link a while ago......Global Rich List
That site is based on income. I my income, which, being retired, is zero.

poorest.jpg

How embarrassing -- I find that I am the very poorest person among the whole population of the world!
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Old 07-09-2007, 04:22 PM   #52
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That site is based on income.
Retirement income is not income?
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Old 07-09-2007, 04:52 PM   #53
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It appears that the data used for the calculator is based on very outdated numbers *. Nonetheless relative to someone who lives in a mud hut we are all wealthy.


* Calculator references:

¹ 2003 world population Data Sheet of the Population Reference Bureau.
² Steven Mosher, president of the population research institute, CNN, October 13, 1999.
³ Milanovic, Branco. "True World Income Distribution, 1988 and 1993: First calculations based on household surveys alone", World Bank Development Research Group, November 2000, page 30.
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Old 07-09-2007, 06:31 PM   #54
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Maybe thay should have a poll question: Would you rather have SS or a guaranteed government pension? Wow, that's a tough one..........

Put the politicians in the SS pool with the rest of us voters, and you'll see reform faster than you can spit............
Federal senators and representatives are in the SS system, along with federal employees hired since ~1984.
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Old 07-09-2007, 10:34 PM   #55
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However those elected officials also receive a generous pension and can contribute to the TSP.
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Old 07-09-2007, 10:43 PM   #56
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Federal senators and representatives are in the SS system, along with federal employees hired since ~1984.
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However those elected officials also receive a generous pension and can contribute to the TSP.
Federal employees can contribute to the TSP too, and those hired since ~1984 get a 5% match.

Our pension, however, could never be described as "generous" in my opinion. It is the average of your highest three years' salary times 0.01 times years service. So, suppose that, like most people, your salary increases as you progress through your career. After 20 years you would get less than 20% of your last year's salary.

I would imagine that elected officials do better than that as far as their pension goes.
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Old 07-10-2007, 10:29 AM   #57
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Federal employees can contribute to the TSP too, and those hired since ~1984 get a 5% match.

Our pension, however, could never be described as "generous" in my opinion. It is the average of your highest three years' salary times 0.01 times years service. So, suppose that, like most people, your salary increases as you progress through your career. After 20 years you would get less than 20% of your last year's salary.

I would imagine that elected officials do better than that as far as their pension goes.
Elected officials are also in FERS with the same rules, though they do have higher salaries.
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Old 07-10-2007, 10:57 AM   #58
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I would imagine that elected officials do better than that as far as their pension goes.
I believe that congresscritters can see a pension roughly equal to their salary if they put in about 20 years. Currently $165,000 and up.

So I dont think they're swayed much by the extra grand or two a month issued by social security.
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Old 07-10-2007, 11:18 AM   #59
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I believe that congresscritters can see a pension roughly equal to their salary if they put in about 20 years. Currently $165,000 and up.

So I dont think they're swayed much by the extra grand or two a month issued by social security.

National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association

When Members of Congress retire, resign or are not reelected, they no longer receive a salary. However, if eligible by age and years of service, they may receive a retirement annuity like other federal employees. Annuities are calculated by a formula using their highest three years of salary, years of service and an accrual rate. As for other federal retirees, the annuities of Members of Congress are less than the salary they received while in office. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS), a Member of Congress who retired at age 50, with 20 years of service would receive 42.5 percent of salary from a Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) annuity. The annual salary of a Member of Congress in 2006 is $165,200. At the end of FY 2005, there were 423 former Members of Congress on the Civil Service Retirement rolls; 305 retired under the CSRS; 118 retired under the FERS (most of those retiring under the FERS had switched from CSRS to FERS during the 1987 open season.). The FY 2005 average annual annuity paid to those retired under the CSRS was $58,944, or $34,896 under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS).
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Old 07-10-2007, 11:34 AM   #60
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Other side of the fence...

Do Members of Congress Pay Social Security Taxes?

"The formula is quite generous, and, with 20-25 years, a Member of Congress could retire with up to 80 percent of his or her salary replaced. Of course, the only cap on how fast their benefits rise is the rate of increase in CPI. For this reason, Congressional pensions can and frequently do exceed a Member’s final salary, but only after a few years in retirement, when COLAS begin to kick in. In the final analysis, Congressional pension benefits are 2-3 times more generous than what a similarly-salaried executive could expect to receive upon retiring from the private sector. That ought to be enough to concern any taxpayer."



Any which way...at 70-80k, 80% of 165k or ~100% of 165k+cola's...I still dont think the presence or lack of $12-20k a year is going to make them act differently in terms of actively trying to make changes to social security for their own monetary benefit.
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