So "We Can See What Is In It" Huh?
From The "You Gotta Be Kidding Me" Department
This has been "flickering" about for a few days so I'm just now getting to it. This has to do with "retirement perks." Ah retirement you say! Something we all work toward our whole life - warm sand between our toes, margarita's betwixt our fingers and warm sunshine caressing our faces. After slaving away in the salt mines for decades, what could be better?
It depends on who you are it appears and sometimes appearances are eveything. Being a political beat reporter can demanding, especially covering the bunch of nitwits we keep sending back to Congress to warm those seats.
Ever wonder why the health care reform bill was crafted in secrecy? Ever wonder why we didn't have 5 days to read it on the internet before Obama signed it? That was a campaign promise he made Ever wonder why "they had to pass the bill so we can see what is it?" If you do, then you are utterly and completely politically naive. But one thing is bankable. Once it was signed it would be bisected, dissected and regurgitated. But it would be too late, in their minds anyway, because it would be "the law of the land." In their pea brains they were doing the American tax payer a good deed by passing this monstrosity. You couldn't read something that voluminous in five days if you wanted to. What a lovely opportunity to slide things in under the radar.
Retirement is the subject and "The Perks For Friends" is the category. We all dream of early retirement, not many in reality can afford to do so. Many people I talk to wonder, under the current economic circumstances, if they're ever going to be able to retire. Nest eggs have been wiped out by Wall Street shenanigans, Social Security is on crutches and companies are going belly up, or moving overseas, leaving the workers in a lurch - that sort of thing. The prospects are looking grim for a lot of people who are thinking that just maybe they will have to die in the salt mines of life. To retire early is but a dream to the masses. You have to have your ducks in order to do that.
Well now, lets just add a duck to those fortunate ones via the Obamacare Bill. Lets bail those suckers out too while we're bailing. Another "Whatchu talking about FP" came to mind, did it? The House Energy and Commerce Committee has uncovered another golden nugget. It seems our lawmakers back then (Read - Federal Government) created this nifty little slush fund hidden inside Obamacare to help subsidize health care for early retirees. The "fund" contains $5 billion imaginary dollars, which the fed doesn't have, of which 2 billion actual dollars has already been disbursed at this early date.
That raised a question in my mind. If one is so fortunate as to be able to retire early and can afford to do so, why in the world should the American tax payer be required to help put another duck in their shooting gallery? The answer to that question lies in "who" is getting to put their hands in our cookie jar.
The idea, and who knows who had this great brain storm since no one is raising their paw in Foggy Bottom, is to "assist" unions, states and various corporations who, in their infinite wisdom, had decided to commit to providing health care to early retirees. That would be those folks between the ages of 55 and 64 who don't enter Medicare eligibility until the ripe old age of 65. Just an aside, if you don't think they can make that magic number slide higher then think again.
The Department of Health And Human Services spins it this way, "People in the early retiree age group...often face difficulties obtaining insurance in the individual market because of age or chronic conditions that make coverage unaffordable or inaccessible." I ask anyone with even an iota of common sense to think that spin through.
NOTE: Did you know that "unaffordable" shows up as misspelled and has no alternative? Chuckles to self...
What makes anyone think that we, the American tax payer, can afford to pay for those pampered individuals so that they can retire early? Oh, I forgot who is getting the benefits.
The short list of recipients includes:
1) UAW (Government Motors guys) has of date received $206 million. Wonder why your car costs so much? Don't!
2) AT&T has received $140 million clams so far.
3) Besides the big two above in descending order those with their hands out include: Verizon, General Electric, and General Motors.
4) The states of Ohio and Texas public union retirement systems have received millions upon millions of our hard earned tax dollars.
NOTE: I recently wrote about GE paying no taxes in 2010 and wasn't General Motors just recently bailed out at our expense? Aren't union members making a spectacle of themselves demanding their "rights" as they act like heathens?
Well, isn't this just so special. We, the American tax payers, get to subsidize unions, large corporations and public employees performing a public service. I reckon many of us picked the wrong employer to work for. Pity the small business owner who has no voice on Capitol Hill to get some gravy for their meat and potatoes too.
So back to the early retirees themselves. What in the world is wrong with your "stinkin' thinkin'" as my friend, Zig Zigler, is fond of saying? If you can't, in reality, afford to retire early then - DON'T. I'll be fit and tied if you think we have the responsibility to subsidize your health care because you can't afford it. Stay on the job and work like the rest of us have to.
And now ladies and gentlemen, let us bow our heads in prayer. We pray especially this day for the idiots who make such misguided decisions...