Eliminate Federal Pensions and Retirement Plans

Now before you get all worked up by the title I want to add a couple of more words. “For all elected employees”. I think this plan will go a long ways to prevent future gridlock that we are seeing today. Here is one of my sources that back up that idea:

Congressional members are eligible for their own unique pension plans under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), though there are other retirement benefits available, ranging from Social Security and the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS). Currently, members of Congress are eligible for a pension dependent on the member’s age at retirement, length of service, and salary.

The pension value can be up to 80 percent of the member’s final salary. Currently, Congressional pay is $174,000 per year, which, at an 80-percent rate, equates to a lifelong pension benefit of $139,200. All benefits are taxpayer-funded.

Source: Investopedia

A three-term congressman (or one-term senator) who has now reached retirement age of sixty-two would be eligible for an annual pension of $17,588 for six years of work. Let’s see, I was an engineer who worked thirty years for the same company and my pension is less than two times this amount. So, I would say that you can make out pretty well on a congressional pension.

Getting down to the roots of this post. Our founders never meant that representing your constituents in Congress to be a full-time job. It was just something that you did to fulfill your obligations to your country. The first president illustrated that by limiting his occupancy to two terms.

Secondly, Congress should mirror the private sector when it comes to these sorts of things. Since private sector pensions are pretty much a thing of the past, federal pensions should also be eliminated. Just give them 401k payments like the rest of us have. In that same area, Congress should not have their own healthcare plan that are so out of touch with what their constituents get.

The problem today is that there are just too many in our congress who are determined to make being a congressman a full time job. If we could just get one of those guys, specifically Mitch McConnel to finally leave maybe at least some level of gridlock would be finally eliminated.

Making term limits happen is the problem. It takes either a constitutional amendment initiated by the State or for Congress to overwhelmingly do it. Neither is likely to happen today. But Congress is not the only institution that needs term limits. Supreme Court Justices should be told to leave after they have served twelve years.

Let’s give power back to the people instead of keeping it entrenched in the powermongers in Washington.

Myths Americans Need to Unlearn #2

2018-11-12_13-01-20.pngWe in America have a pretty inflated belief that we are the best in the world at everything we do. Why else would we stick our noses into so many other countries’ affairs? We have military bases in over 50 countries in the world. How many other countries’ bases are in the US? We think and maybe at one time we actually did have the best technology, the best engineering and the best software talent in the world.  Part of the reason for that is that we recruited talent from the rest of the world. But, as we close our borders that talent will be siphoned off elsewhere.

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Source: Eight Myths Americans Need to Unlearn About America

You must admit that at least for the last couple of years we haven’t done much right as a country. Too many of us proudly proclaim that anything our current leader doesn’t like is fake news. Global warming can’t be true because he doesn’t have a gut feeling about it. How far behind are we getting by that ignorance? He said while he was campaigning that he would be the “infrastructure” president but he seems to have lost interest in that topic also.

One of the most egotistical things about us Americans is that so many believe that we can’t learn anything from the rest of the world.  I have long known that as “Not Invented Here“. If we didn’t invent it then it is not worth having. Simply speaking we need to get over this idea, especially now.

As an example, EU countries have much better public healthcare than we do and they do it for less than half our cost per citizen. Too many of us are still battling against any form of a single-payer system when others in the world long ago found it to be the best and most affordable solution.

We need to get off our high-horse with the idea that we excel at everything…

The Thing About Socialism..

2017-12-10_09-14-12.pngSocialized medicine seems to be dirty words for many of my RedAmerica friends. To them, it and communism are one and the same thing. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Since there seems to be nothing in this world that isn’t a simple black or white to them, I’m not sure they will ever accept any other definition but that doesn’t stop me from trying to show you how the rest of us should see socialized medicine.

The purpose of this post is to tell you a little about other country’s versions of medical care so that you can decide whether they are evil or maybe that is a prejudice that some need to overcome.

To begin with, it’s worth pointing out that the single-payer system is hardly a step towards “socialism,” as Mr. Graham claims. The United Kingdom, Canada and Germany — all countries with different forms of universal health care — are safe bastions of capitalism.

2017-12-10_09-15-32.pngSecondly, the U.S. has the most inefficient medical system in the world, based on health care spending and outcomes. America spends much more on healthcare per capita than any other nation in the world and gets less health for it.

The differences are not trivial at all. The median per capita spending on health care in wealthy countries is $4,700 per year, according to research by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. (That means that half of the countries spent more than that and half spent less). For instance, Canada‘s spending was just at the level of the median. In contrast, the U.S. spent more than twice as much, at $9,900 for every man, woman and child.If we had Canada’s system we could save no less than $13,600 per average household. That adds up to a walloping $1.7 trillion dollars for the U.S., about as much as last year‘s after-tax profits of all U.S. corporations combined.

Source: PBS Newshour 9/23

It is a well-known truth that our medical system is the most expensive in the world and only mediocre when it comes to results. So, why don’t we look at what the rest of the world does to make their’s less expensive and more effective? There is a myriad of examples of how it can be done better. But to my RedAmerica friends, they are all socialism in sheep’s clothing and to be avoided at all costs.  But, what my RedAmerica friends don’t seem to understand is that almost half of us are already in socialized medicine plans.

Medicare, Medicaid, and veteran’s benefits are all systems that are run by our government and in most cases more efficiently than the private sector alternatives. And if our RedAmerica congress would just allow it, they could see even lower costs more by using their size to bargain down the cost of our prescription drugs.  It really wouldn’t take that much to move the rest of the country to this system and finally get a hold of our ever spiraling medical expenses.

I truly believe that someday we will go this route, but right now I just don’t know what it will take for RedAmerica to swallow this very effective pill??

 

Not Good Enough For Me..

Snippet BannerI gotta send you this snippet about the Republican Healthcare plan that no one seems to like, except that 25% of us who ignorantly cling to this president. But the key that hopefully locks this plan away is that the Senate bill has hidden text that exempts them and their staff from having to use the plan they are trying to push down our throats.

See this link for a video about that.

Not Good Enough For Me

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I just pray that there are at least a handful of GOP senators who have the welfare of their constituents in their hearts. Yes, we need to be looking for ways to reduce our healthcare costs so that they are similar to the rest of the world, but taking away healthcare to 20 million of our citizens is NOT the answer.

 

Week 12 Inside The Loony Bin – Healthcare & The Supreme Court

Banner- Looney Bin

 This will be my first “official” report looking at the Washington DC loony bin from a drone level view. Here goes:

Healthcare – The GOP continues to try to formulate a health care plan that will abolish Obamacare. They have had 7 years to put this together but like usual in the loony bin, they wait until the last minute. It seems they can’t agree within their own party what it should look like. The RadCons don’t want anything, while others don’t want to cause anyone to lose coverage. I guess they are having a vote sometime today and I’m willing to bet that something will come out of the House sooner or later but it stands zero chance of getting through the Senate. It will be interesting to see what that body eventually has to say on this issue.

One major problem with all of this is that the conservatives don’t seem to know the difference between health insurance and healthcare. They think as long as they can convince the insurance carriers to offer a plan to everyone, it doesn’t really matter at what cost, then everything is solved. Of course, those of us outside the loony bin who happen to get sick once in a while know that the insurance stuff is just the tip of the iceberg. Getting costs under control is the major issue that they are totally ignoring. Another problem with the GOP is that they just don’t seem to like poor people. So, their first primary attack on Obamacare is to drastically reduce Medicaid funding. They just don’t seem to have any idea of what “Brother’s Keeper” means to the rest of us.

The only viable option to solve these issues is a single-payer system as the rest of the world already have. Over half of us are already there via Medicare and Medicaid so it is not as if that solution is foreign to us. In Canada, which has had a single-payer system for decades, healthcare costs per citizen is less than half ours. Maybe it is time to talk to them about how they accomplished that. But the loony bin would never admit they don’t know everything so that simply won’t happen.

Another interesting side point that is happening this week is that California is putting a single-payer system in place. I have to keep and eye on that in the coming months.

Supreme Court –  I see the loony bin folks are finally getting around to filling that year long vacancy on the Supreme Court.  Of course, the Democrats are playing the “sour grapes” card and that, of course, is about posturing which is the main business of all those folks. It seems inevitable that the current nominee will get the job but the opposition party has to strut around thumping their chests before that happens.

Oval Office Progress Report – Here we are eight weeks into this new administration and I can’t really see anything that they have accomplished? They try to ban people from coming into our country but the federal courts keep declaring their attempts unconstitutional. But the main problem is they just seem to run off on so many nonsense issues as to stifle any possibility of real progress. But then again, maybe that is a good thing. As my hero, Will Rogers said the best thing congress can do for the country is to take a three-week vacation and that is especially true for this current executive branch. Let’s give all those yahoos 50 weeks of paid vacation a year. That would solve a lot of problems….