Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Federal Government giveth and the State taketh Away

The Social Security Administration has announced that there will be an increase in benefits in 2012 for the first time since 2009.  The increase will be 3.6%.

Other than the pay adjustment I received during the 1990's as an elected official in West Bloomfield, that is more than the regular 3% increases I ever saw (and that adjustment that upset so many people was because we had department heads with less seniority making more than the bosses). 

Unfortunately, the State of Michigan will be taxing pensions of former public employees, so they will not actually have more money to spend, assuming they are even receiving social security.

Add to that the fact that my social security benefit decreased this month by $115.40 to pay for Medicare and I find that I will have a lot less money to spend on goods and services.  Taxing income, wherever it comes from, does not improve the economy.  It only benefits the government.

Now, I have no problem paying for defense of our nation and insuring the safety of local communities.  I do have a problem paying salaries and benefits to legislators who are often doing nothing more than part-time jobs.

Speaking of those legislators, they have graciously agreed to fore go lifetime health and dental benefits for future lawmakers.  Wow.  BFD.  They receive these benefits after only six years of service - not even full-time service.  How many corporations offer that to their employees?

Before West Bloomfield discontinued the benefit for its general office employees, they needed to be 55 with 15 years of service or 60 with ten years.  Leave at 50 with 30 years of service and you are out-of-luck.  And dental is not included.

As a friend of mine stated in a round-robin email discussion yesterday, our state legislators care little for real sacrifice from themselves.  Seems like those who are the most economically advantaged want the greatest sacrifices, just not from themselves.

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