SAVE YOUR TEARS FOR THE UNEMPLOYED
Oregon, like so many other states have had college- educated certifiable nincompoops in the Treasure’s Office managing the unsustainable Public Employment Retirement System (PERS) and so long as the economy was good and revenues aplenty, no one recognized PERS as a Ponzi scheme where the first in get the most and the last in get the shaft. At least 48 of the 50 states are running shortfalls, many of them staggering and cities, counties and states are also on the hook for pension promises. Although many states like Oregon are still trying to keep the balls in the air with federal grants, lottery receipts and lawsuits against corporations, it is beginning to unravel.
A 11/18/2012 newspaper reported the State of Oregon was going to get $4 million in some drug settlement. 12/8/2012 Article: A $20 million Race to the Top grant will help parents better determine the quality of preschool and childcare programs while offering providers a pathway to improve. Oregon has no sales tax or that would be raised like the neighbouring states of California or Washington. Things are so bad in California, they are flying to Oregon all the dogs and cats scheduled to be euthanized because people can no longer take care of them.
The lawsuit that Oregon’s Attorney General helped negotiate in 1998 along with 46 other states against four major tobacco companies was to compensate for the costs of smoking on state health care programs. However, Oregon has used its share of that money since 2003 to pay off $450 million in bonds used to balance the 2001-200 budget that all states must do. Those bonds will finally be paid off in 2014. A recent article in our local paper dated 11/29/2012 said groups were meeting to figure out how to spend the remaining tobacco settlement funds. But the settlement money doesn’t go to the victims. It goes into a giant pot and distributed to whatever agency may be short at any given time. School districts, for instance, take 25% off the top of their budgets for PERS. A 10/24/2012 article indicated a worst-case shortfall for PERS may hit $90 billion.
In the meantime, the federal Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation is running a $34 billion deficit –the largest in its 38-year history – blaming the growing shortfall on its inability to charge private employers adequate premiums for insuring pensions. This federal agency insures pensions for 43 million Americans.
So what has the Obama administration got up its sleeve? A recent hearing sponsored by the Treasury and Labor Department marked the beginning effort to nationalize the nation’s pension system and to eliminate private retirement accounts including IRA’s and 401K plans – an outright theft of all private retirement savings just like they stole from the Social Security “trust” fund.
A brave teacher wrote the following letter to our local newspaper:
PROMISES MUST BE BROKEN TO FIX PERS SYSTEM
As a teacher in the Salem-Keizer School District, I am appalled at the impact of PERS obligations. Though cuts and restraints are often mentioned in our meetings, never are these phrases followed by the words”…because of the PERS shortfall.”
Because so many benefit by the generous PERS allotments and many state workers are married to state workers, there develops an economically incestuous viewpoint that the state has endless dollars to distribute in pension funds. This failure to act could be seen as form of corruption in itself.
I have heard many of the arguments by PERS Tier 1 beneficiaries. Last year I discussed this situation with a brilliant math teacher. This teacher filled up two boards with calculations including estimations of “salary sacrifice” done in the 1990s and rate of returns on investments. All calculations showed that current PERS Payments far outweigh salary compromises from union which were the basis for pension promises far into the future – rates that are insupportable by current rates of return.
We are living in perilous economic times. Promises must be broken and sacrifices must be made to ensure that future generations do not pay the price. /s/ Sigrid Olsen, Salem, Oregon
VOTERS ARE ANNOYING STUPID MASSES
I was amused with her use of the word “incestuous” describing how many state workers are married to state workers because Dick Morris in his 2012 book SCREWED indicated we are increasingly ruled by an “incestuous” and institutionalized worldwide liberal bureaucracy. These so called experts, who have led us off the cliff in the first decade of the 21st century, continue to command our obedience. And our elected officials won’t defy them or even think for themselves… These elites see voters as annoying masses who are simply too stupid to know what is really good for the world.
Oregon, for instance, adopted its first version of PERS in 1963 under the premise that salaries of public employees were much less than the private sector so their retirement plan would make the difference. And if our elected legislators would have known their Constitution which they took an oath to uphold, they would have read that Article I, Section 20: “No law shall be passed granting to any citizen or class of citizens privileges or immunities, which, upon the same terms shall not equally belong to all citizens.” Now a group of pre-school children can understand that statement. Put them in a row, give half ice cream cones and we all know what the other half would say, “Where’s mine? The ultimate outcome is “class warfare.” This old story about the poor public employees began like the Roe vs Wade Supreme Court abortion decision with deception. Norma McCorvey was the Jane Roe –vs- Wade and it’s been alleged she has since become “born again” and repented of her lie. The Bible mentions three reasons God punishes and destroys nations. The first is the shedding of innocent blood, second is the toleration of sodomy and third is idolatry.
ETERNAL VIGILANCE WAS THE PRICE OF LIBERTY
In 1945, the Senate approved the U.N. Charter that paved the way for Congress to enact the Administrative Procedure Act in 1946 (Public Law 79-404) that put the lawmaking bureaucracy into business. When a state receives federal assistance, it yields that portion of federally-funded state activity to Federal rules and regulations, the very Federal control we distrust initially. As Administrative State grows, so grows injustice. So we traded our birthright of state sovereignty for a mess of Potomac pottage and now we are facing the music, our economy and our money system collapsing.
The communists didn’t need some psychobabbler to tell them about the weaknesses in human nature so they made their move to cause class warfare: the rich –vs- poor, government workers –vs- private sector, relatives, family, divorces, neighbors infighting and disagreements. “The love of money is the root of all evil.” These distractions keep us from watching the foxes in charge of the chicken house. A July 14, 1934 article in our OREGONIAN had a headline “Police Head Off Invasion by Reds.” This was during the FDR era when he was stacking our federal government with communists. Today it is the radical Islamists in bed with the communists. Eternal vigilance was the price of liberty and as my generation became more affluent and participated in pleasure more than righteousness, we forgot to remain vigilant. Rev. 18:2 – Babylon the great is falling and a spirit of darkness has come to America and we are being tested.
STRESSED TEACHER CONSIDERS DISABILITY
While there are a variety of percentages used that “employers” (state agencies) must pay into the PERS system, these amounts take from those for which the unconstitutional agency was created initially. For the last few budget cycles in Oregon furloughs were used to cut the budget a little but in the case of prisons, furloughs required others to work overtime to cover for the ones on a furlough – a typical government lack of common sense and inability to consider long range consequences.
The schools have really taken a hit also so now I want you to contrast Sigrid Olsen to a special education school teacher who recently said she was being overwhelmed and stressed by all the extra work and a larger class size, so she is thinking about filing for disability and admitted she votes the way her union tells her to vote. She’s met the enemy, it is the unions!
I responded to Sigrid’s letter and thanked her for her courage and I pray she won’t be persecuted for her honest opinion. The usual response I received from retired Oregon state public workers is, “Don’t you touch my check.” What is failed to be calculated is that these folks are also eligible health care and for social security checks. So while a school bus driver who drives for 15 years may receive a $250 a month check, an Oregon college athletic coach may receive upwards of $500,000 a year from PERS. A recent newspaper article said the average Oregon monthly retirement check from PERS was $2,500 which means a couple could conceivably be earning $5,000 a month plus social security. And, in addition, Oregon retired government workers DO NOT PAY Oregon state income tax on their retirement and the system is guaranteed 8% gain each year. Those who have no private sector retirement accounts pick up any difference and also are asked to pay the Oregon income tax for the government employees so state workers should save their tears for the unemployed.
REGULAR SCHMUCKS WANT TO WORK
I received a very lengthy but generally kind letter from a woman who took some issue with my article To Russia With Love. She said she and her husband were US Marines for 8 years. They left the military and went to work for the FAA as Air Traffic controllers. She said she quit after 12 years but her husband is still working 35 years later.
She admitted our elected officials have grown the public sector to a monstrous degree, caved in to union demands, and just generally have created a bloated and unconstitutional work force to promote regulating the lives of average citizens and she said they were just “regular schmucks” out there trying to make a living. How right she is. Our elected officials were feathering their own nests and judges in Oregon who are also eligible for PERS are quick to overturn anyone who might want to change the system through the initiative process.
She said, “The problem is the idiots who run the country and have grown government for the purpose of oppressing us all and stealing our liberty… Not only will we probably lose our retirement because others want what we have but because the One World Gov folks want us all at a third world pay rate. She says her husband will retire with slightly less than half of his salary.” The Drudge Report website put up a cracked Liberty Bell the day after the November election indicating we are a divided nation.
IS AMERICA EXCEPTIONAL?
Norman Podhoretz writes in the 2012 October Hillsdale College IMPRIMIS that America, unlike all other nations past or present, accepted as a self-evident truth that all men are created equal. What this means was that its Founders aimed to create a society in which, for the first time in the history of the world, the individual’s fate would be determined not by who his father was, but by his own freely chosen pursuit of his own ambition. (Of course, this excludes the Rockefellers, Kennedys, Bushes, etc.) While history tells us the Civil War resolved the problem of slavery, the real reason was to begin the process of centralizing our government in Washington, D.C. Someone wrote a letter to the editor a short time ago asking why we need to elect the sheriff. While the sheriff is the last line of defense they can become corrupt as any branch of government. Greg Evensen asks is our sheriff trustworthy, pursuing justice and stating clearly that the federal agent/criminals may not come to your county and have their way just because they carry badges? If not, then for the sake of your future and that of your family you had better know for whom you are voting.
THE MISERABLE SIXTIES
Big divisions began in the 60s when we no longer required immigrants to assimilate and learn English as they’d done previously. I was in Woodburn, Oregon when that community was inundated with Mexicans and Russians and we began to hear the word “multiculturalism.” With a first-year $100,000 government bribe, the public school accommodated and was responsible for the first bilingual curriculum. The second year they received $80,000, then $60,000 and so on for five years and then the money had to be raised by the district thereafter but by then the program was ensconced. Now some school districts like in California have to offer hundreds of different languages.
Then tolerance began to run amok when the Civil Rights movement was hijacked by the homosexuals and radical women’s movement that came right out of the Communist play book. Ironically, that tolerance article was posted on December 6, 2008 and what happened on December 6, 2012? The State of Washington began issuing marriage licenses for the sodomites. Comparable Worth, Special Rights, Affirmative Action, Social Justice followed and some
I’ve forgotten to list. I was driving a big wheat truck to the grain elevator at age 15!! (that’s not a typo) Then came discrimination laws that enriches attorneys and hate laws to shut down the opposition. The public school began dumbing down the students. In my day in school, we learned reading, writing and arithmetic without the help of some high tech hand gadget and in health, we didn’t learn about condoms. If we could learn to read, we could educate ourselves.
A LESSON FOR THE AGES
Someone sent me the following parody:
Once upon a time I was invited to the White House for a private dinner with the President. I am a respected businessman, with a factory that produces memory chips for computers and portable electronics. There was some talk that my industry was being scrutinized by the administration, but I paid it no mind. I live in a FREE country. There’s nothing that the government can do to me if I’ve broken no laws. My wealth was EARNED honestly, and an invitation to dinner with an American President is an honor.
I checked my coat, was greeted by the chief of Staff, and joined the President in a yellow dining room. We sat across from each other at a table draped in white linen. The Great Seal was embossed on the china. Uniformed staff served our dinner. The meal was served, and I was startled when my waiter suddenly reached out, plucked a dinner roll off my plate and began nibbling it as he walked back to the kitchen.
“Sorry ‘bout that,” said the President. “Andrew is very hungry.” “I don’t appreciate…” I began, but as I looked into the calm brown eyes cross from me, I felt immediately guilty and petty. It was just a dinner roll. “Of course,” I concluded, and reached for my glass. Before I could, however, another waiter reached forward, took the glass away and swallowed the wine in a single gulp. “And his brother, Eric, is very thirsty,” said the President.
I didn’t say anything. The President is testing my compassion, I thought. I withheld my comments and decided to play along. I don’t want to seem unkind. My plate was whisked away before I had tasted a bite. “Eric’s children are also quite hungry.” With a lurch, I crashed to the floor. My chair had been pulled out from under me. I stood, brushing myself off angrily, and watched as it was carried from the room. “And their grandmother can’t stand for long.”
I excused myself, smiling outwardly, but inside feeling like a fool. Obviously I had been invited to the White House to be sport for some game. I reached for my coat, to find that it had been taken. I turned back to the President. “Their grandfather doesn’t like the cold.” I wanted to shout, “that was my coat!” But again, I looked at the placid smiling face of my host and decided I was being a poor sport. I spread my hands helplessly and chuckled.
Then I felt my hip pocket and realized my wallet was gone. I excused myself and walked to a phone on an elegant side table. I learned shortly that my credit cards had been maxed out, my bank accounts emptied, my retirement and equity portfolios had vanished, and my wife had been thrown out of our house. Apparently, the waiters and their families were moving in. The President hadn’t moved or spoken as I learned all this, but finally I lowered the phone into its cradle and turned to face him. “Andrew’s whole family has made bad financial decisions. They haven’t planned for retirement and they need a house. They recently faulted on a subprime mortgage. I told them they could have your home. They need it more than you do.” My hands were shaking. I felt faint. I stumbled back to the table and knelt on the floor. The President cheerfully cut his meat, ate his steak and drank his wine. I lowered my eyes and stared at the small grey circles on the tablecloth that were water drops.
“By the way,” he added. “I have just signed an Executive Order nationalizing your factories. I’m firing you as head of your business. I’ll be operating the firm now for the benefit of all mankind. There’s a whole bunch of Erics and Andrews out there and they can’t come to you for jobs graveling like beggars…we need to spread YOUR wealth around…”
I looked up. The President dropped his spoon into the empty ramekin which had been his crème Brule. He drained the last drops of his wine. As the table was cleared, he lit a cigarette and leaned back in his chair. He stared at me. I clung to the edge of the table as if it were a ledge and I were a man hanging over an abyss. I thought of the years behind me, of the life I had lived. The life I had earned with a lifetime of work, risk and struggle. Why was I punished? How had I allowed it to be taken? What game had I played and lost? I looked across the table and noticed with some surprise that there was no game board between us. What had I done wrong? As if answering the unspoken thought, President Obama suddenly cocked his head, locked his empty eyes on mine, and bared a million teeth, chuckling wryly as he folded his hands. “You should have stopped me at the dinner roll,” he said.
Yes, dear readers, we should have stopped immigrants at the borders and the Statue of Liberty and say, “Assimilate” or vacate! Read Lamentations 5 in the Bible. A guest on a T.V. show was on the “mourning” after the election. He’d had a nightmare that the Statue of Liberty was holding her head in her hand (decapitated) and dressed in a Burka. Mitt Romney didn’t lose the 2012 election... Bozo the clown could have defeated Hussein in an honest election which is why he had to cheat. I started Part 1 with a letter to the editor by a very courageous school teacher so let me end with another letter to the editor dated 10/4/1981 by Oregon Public Employee of the year in 1973 entitled:
Wow! Did I stir up a hornet’s nest when I said that “state workers produce nothing.” I can assure you that many of them can read, write and telephone, but no one as yet has been able to use a dictionary. They should look up the word “politics” before they blow a fuse. I did not say that state workers don’t work; I did not say that state workers weren’t dedicated; I said they were not producers.
I was not demeaning the state workers; I was castigating Gov. Atiyeh for bemoaning the fact that he couldn’t raise state employees pay because “too many people were out of work in Oregon.”
I was a state employee. I received a check every month whether I was successful or not. This is not the case if one is privately employed. Try working in a care, or a cannery, farming, getting out logs, picking strawberries. If you don’t produce, you receive no pay. Suppose you break down a Cat, tractor, truck or power saw. Who pays for it?
If you work for the state, they – or we – pay for your mistakes. If you are privately employed, you ,must pay for your own. In other words, you must produce or there is no pay.
As for service, a state worker is just as eligible for unemployment insurance as is a logger, except who ever heard of one being laid off? A state worker is also eligible for compensation, the same as any worker. I still maintain that most of the “services” only service the people who work in that department.
I feel pretty qualified to make these statements since I was the Oregon State employee os the Year in 1973. I was chosen Employee of the Year in District 8 and also for the entire state, and I have the plaques to prove it.
If government employees think they are underpaid, why don’t they seek jobs in private employment? Only then would they realize how lucky they are to have a job. Only then would they be producers. /S/ Jean Roberts, Mehama, Oregon
I understand the new dictionaries have recently coined a new word: INEPTOCRACY – a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.