Wednesday, October 19, 2016


People who worked their entire adult lives and shared their salaries with Uncle Sam's IRS and didn't live so high off the hog as to be thought of as extravagant may be forgiven for expecting to be able to retire in relative comfort.
One of the ways they can do so is by tapping into their retirement accounts and adding a small but nice monthly stipend from the Social Security Administration (SSA.)
The money they receive from the SSA is actually their own money.
This money was automatically deducted from every paycheck from their lifelong salaries and placed in a holding fund to be doled out on a monthly basis once they retire.
And of course this money is taxed because, absurdly why not?
This is not an entitlement in the nasty sense of the word as used by the GOP but rather a withdrawal as from a bank account into which you have been depositing for decades THAT YOU ARE MOST CERTAINLY ENTITLED TO GET BACK!
But the SSA oversees the funds as a pari-mutual ponzi-like account for all retirees.
This means the money that was deducted while you worked goes into the fund to be paid to those who retired before you. And when you retire the money that is deposited into your bank account is that which is being deducted from current workers.
Will the money be enough to live on?
But with a constant rise in the cost of living you will need a like increase in the amount you receive in your SSA check.  This yearly adjustment is known as a "Cost of Living Adjustment or COLA.
It is not a sugary soft drink but can be sweet when you realize how much more things cost while you are no longer working.
Last year Congress in their infinite wisdom, and mainly because the Conservative Republicans have been in control decided that retirees did not need an increase even though most of their costs rose.  In fact even the costs associated with Medicare, a key point of a retiree's healthcare did go up noticeably and will most likely continue to increase every year forever!
In fact just about everything a person needs to purchase in order to live comfortably cost more EXCEPT for the price of a gallon of gas.
You see the SSA uses the price of a gallon of gas AND ONLY THE PRICE OF A GALLON OF GAS to determine a retirees COLA.  This even though as we age we tend to drive a bit less and even stop driving altogether in our later years.
So why use that one component?
Who the hell knows!
I guess one could say, There's no damn reason for it, it's just our policy!
For the coming year retirees can look forward to an embarrassingly low 0.3% increase - A ZERO POINT THREE PERCENT COLA!
Talk about no sugar!
So Congress thinks the cost of living only went up that tiny amount?
I hate to sour you on the issue but Congress gave themselves the slightly higher raise of 1.6%!
So I guess their cost of living went up more than us regular humans.
Want to really get upset?
Here's the real salary and benefits these DC do-nothings get!
Notice that on top of a nice salary they are allowed to keep their outside income. This means they will make sure their outside DC concerns are well taken care of.  And if it takes time for them to do so tough. I mean it's not like they can be fired, right?
They also get healthcare for themselves and their families.  I wonder if people like GOP family values hypocrite Newt Gingrich gets healthcare for all three of his wives and families.
They also have an allowance which kind of fits since most of them act like children!
The allowance is so that they don't have to use any of their ill-gotten salaries, outside money and hidden under the table slush funds on such mundane things as stamps.  And they need many stamps so they can send out mailers to their constituents touting the wonderful job they are doing and explaining why they need you to donate to their reelection campaign and to buy more stamps they don't pay for!
And depending on when they were elected they even get a very nice pension FOR LIFE!  Just like the rest of us, right?
But they are in government and many consider their jobs to be civil service.  And we all know civil servants aren't very well off.
Our leaders can tell you any story they like but they are not your average civil servants ala the postman or sanitary engineer.
Check this chart of our leaders by wealth. Note the numbers on the right ARE IN MILLIONS!
Note the first name on the list is repugnant Republican Darrell Issa who's net worth exceeds that of the total of the next three members of Congress.
Issa's wealth is massive and is supposedly the result of his car alarm business. But there are many questions since his business ethics are lower than those of Donald Trump, and that's saying something!
Issa, who loves to go after any Democrat as corrupt actually belongs in jail for his long list of well known crimes!
But back to humans:
Retirees, and there are more every day, week, year are basically screwed for another year.  But this can change and it's up to you.
We have 3 weeks to go until a very important election.  If everyone who is retired, will eventually retire, knows a family member who is retired or is going to retire or just plain wants to know that a lifetime's worth of work with a portion of one's salary being taken into the SSA should be able to retire comfortably and receive the healthcare he or she deserves MUST VOTE THE DO-NOTHING GOP OUT OF CONGRESS!
If we can turn both chambers of Congress blue (Democratic majority) we can ensure getting a fair Supreme Court Justice with a 5-4 majority and all that goes with that.
When voters go into the polling booth they tend to think the other guy is bad but their rep is good.
All of our futures depend on getting the GOP out of Congress!
Think they are worthy of your support for more terms?  Just look who their pick for President of the United States is this year!
What more do you need to know?
If we can turn Congress blue every one of us can proudly say 'America is saved and we helped!'
And the collateral benefits could very well be the overturning of Citizen's United, possibly the worst ruling ever by a SCOTUS.  It is right up there with the appointment of G W Bush as President even though he finished behind the actual winner Al Gore in 2000. (Thanks Chad!)
There are 14 days left until November and only 20 days till November 8th and the most important election of our lives so you don't have to wait too long to do the right thing!

No comments: