BOHEMIA, NY, Feb 18 – State workers protesting in Wisconsin and elsewhere to save their pension and health care benefits “are waging a futile economic war in which everyone, including they, themselves , will end up the losers,” according to Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens [www.amac.us].
“The pensions of state workers won’t be worth a plug nickel when it comes time to begin collecting them if they don’t help solve the problems caused by runaway debt and deficit,” warns Weber.
“Think ahead,” he says. “The actions you take today will have a huge impact on your lives as you approach senior citizenship.”
Weber issued a statement on behalf of AMAC pointing out that government employees “need to reflect on the fact that older Americans also worked and saved all their lives and now they live on a fixed income, suffering because of the weak economy, the high cost of health care and increasing taxes. If you don’t lend a hand now to alleviate the situation, the economy will get weaker, medical costs will soar and taxes will get higher as you grow older toward the day when you are on a fixed income. Meanwhile, your union bosses will just keep hiking members’ dues to accommodate their own needs .”
Weber uses the example of a couple who bought a home for $35,000 in the seventies and has paid off their mortgage only to be hit with property taxes of $12,000 a year or more because of daunting school taxes needed to pay the escalating costs of labor contracts.
“President Obama has asked all Americans to pay their fair share of the cost of government”, Weber notes, “Isn’t it fair that government employees have to pay a part of their retirement and health insurance, like their neighbors in the private sector?”
“Not only are the elderly, but families with kids in college are finding it almost impossible to get by as increasing taxes, rising food and gasoline costs continue to take more and more of their money each year.”
Great post, Love it. Keep it up. Thanks!
I agree that state workers and local government workers need to be in line with the private sector. It is just what is right. Hoewever, there is also the concern of the unfunded liabilities in the pensions for states and local governments. In the past if it just was too much money the municipaity would underfund or not fund the pension program to meet some other budget need. What is also right is that the pensions be fully funded to assure the retirement for the workers. I hope there is not going to be a move to retroactively cut the committments to the pension fund just to balance the books. Going forward reform of the state and local insurance and pension plans is necessary, but honoring the deal as it is right now is also what is right.
I respect most teachers and would never put them down anyway. However, it it the UNIONS causing a problem where one did not exist and it could have been so much easier in Wisconsin than it has been all this time for the past two or three weeks. The UNION is supposed to help you teachers, not create this PROBLEM and demonstrate and show hatred and show that you all are NOT trying to help “The Cause” of making things better in The State. Not necessarily your State but all States. Unions should be sitting down with both parties, come to a comfortable compromise with The State and bring it to their members rather than bullying their way through this. I agree with Unions in some cases but in some I do not like them since they don’t do a heck of a lot to help their members. Believe me , I know all about UNIONS. I’ve been a member of SAC, AFTRA, AGVA, AFof M , The Directors Guild, The Writer’s Guild of America and a number of others and I love what some of them do for their members and I hate what most of them don’t do for all their members, which is to protect their futures and STOP spending funds to LOBBY, and to elect officials that the members don’t even support, like Obama. Unions spend hundreds of millions of members dollars doing what most members did NOT want. And look where it has got them all. So, we are not showing any dislike for a teacher in any way, rather we are trying to show that there is a right way and wrong way to do things nowadays financially to survive in this group of nations around the globe. As a teacher, certainly you understand this.
Good luck to you and thank you for your dedication and hard work. We all appreciate you.
kansas City, MO
What i don’t understand in all this talk is, where is the mutual sacrifice to save the budget come from, it seems to be on the backs of a certain group of people. While another group has un limited medical care, only after a few years of service full salary pensions for life, and many other benefits. Why is this never brought up?
I am retired from the United States Navy. I was blessed and allowed to serve my country for thirty years. I served in two wars and was engaged in various other hostile actions for which I receive compensable disability for wounds received. My retirement pay/benefits package when compared to the teachers and other state employees in Wisconsin and the majority of other states is disgracefully lower than theirs. However, in contrast, I am very proud, extremely humbled and deeply honored to receive every penny I get at the begining of every month from a grateful nation who allowed me to serve.
I was a member of a teachers’ union. I dropped out five years before I retired to save the dues. The union was NJEA which ALWAYS voted Democratic in state elections. I never had a voice in the vote.
For years, we negotiated with the school board w/o union help. We did well.Then, teachers began using the union for negotiations — bad choice. Our Board was pro-teacher before the union stepped. After the union was called in, our good will with the board vanished.
NJEA had a very negative effect on future negotiations. We were really much better off w/o the help of NJEA. They had a place at the state level, but not at the local level.
What would the non thinking Democrates done for America during WW2?? We were loyal and helped the cause at great cost BUT we did it together!! That’s why we”re called The Greatest Generation!”
I am a public school teacher in Los Angeles. I pay $500 a month into CALSTERS, the California state pension for teacher. I also pay the maximum allowed into 403b & 457b deferred accounts. I am paying PLENTY into my retirement accounts. I started working 10 yrs ago as a teacher, and I must say that it is the most DIFFICULT work I have ever done. Don’t put teachers down unless you’re totally uninformed.
The majority of teachers (not all) are products of their education. Since kindergarten, or pre-school, most have never been out of school. They seem to have intelligence and are highly educated, but don’t possess enough common sense.
They seem to insist upon abandoning “truth” whenever it conflicts with their feelings or agenda. The Democrats in WI are, apparently, doing what Democrats and Liberals usually do. When things don’t work to their liking, they run, ignore the law, change the rules, and demonize their opponents. It saddens me to see so many of my fellow citizens locked up in this world of greed and selfishness.
Watch the movie WAITING FOR SUPERMAN.. It will show you a lot of what is going on with the union influence in our schools. It is shameful.
My father said he would never join a union. He didn’t want to be off 1/3 of the year and help pay the union bosses.
As things stand right now, with Gov Walker of WI and his bogus, and what he thought to be a “‘private teleph conversation with wealthy supporter, David Koch”… I wouldn’t go near, let alone vote another Republican into office to run anything ! And the GOP’s nonsense to get people to join AMAC now is something everyone better take a long, clear look at before signing up for it also !
Unions, once necessary for the blue collar worker have now grown cancerous to our society, They have diminished our productivity and efficiency as a nation. Somehow, they must be reigned in. I grew up listening to my father (a UAW member) who worked for General Motors complain about fellow workers being lazy on the job. He was often tapped by management to complete jobs others wouldn’t do in a timely fashion.
I totally agree with the WI governor. Government employees have been taking advantage of the system for way too long. I know of at least 5 public employees and union workers, including 2 firefighters, who are receiving disability due to an injury which had nothing to do with their jobs. They retired with full benefits and disability. Why should we as taxpayers have to pay this for the rest of their lives when both firefighters are working at other careers now and making a great living! I truly believe firefighters and police officers are important and yes, sometimes their lives are on the line, but there is way too much fraud and abuse of the system which has to be controlled. Also, I think teachers and for that matter, all government workers, have lost touch with reality. They need to pay their fair share like the rest of us!
I have to laugh at all of this. When I was 20 yrs. old (1968) I got a union job in a factory, after 3 days I was called in the shop forman’s office thinking he was going to praise me on a fine job, but to my amazement he told me to slow down that I was making the other workers look bad. As I thought about his comment awhile, I went to his office and quit. I told him they don’t need my help, they make themselfs look bad. Long story short the company is out of business today. So much for unions.
Since the union has already said it can accept the cuts, what should be addressed is the bargaining issue.
I think the union should be bargaining with the people paying their bills (WI citizens) and accept what they were told in the NOV elections.
I am a RN who will not see a pension. I am so sick of hearing about teachers especially and how underpaid etc. they are treated. As an RN, few jobs offer a pension, the majority of hospitals if they do offer a pension it is a small amount. Healthcare costs for hospital employees is expensive and rarely good insurance. State and federal employees were underpaid etc many many years ago but that is not the case anymore. They can retire and still work and double dip. Health care is cheap and they don’t have to contribute to retirement. Yet as it has been said we the taxpayer support all of this. It is a pitiful shame what most people expect from entititlements. My husband forced to retire from the airlines without healthcare and a partial pension. We will be working until Medicare because we need insurance. And we pay thru the nose for that right now. Someone has got to give and be realistic. I support the WI governor and hope that people will start looking at what each person needs to be personally responsible for. The private sector anymore scratches to keep a job. The government continues to grow bigger and bigger. This country was founded on hard working people not people who just want a handout from the government. Unions were valuable to improve work situations etc, but they have grown greedy and only for lining their own pockets anymore. Sounds like our elected officials also.
I live in Omaha and we are grabbing our oars to get in the same boat that San Diego and many other cities are in. We’ve even gone so far as having to tax people for using our streets that don’t even live here. How pathetic! We are over 500 MILLION dollars in debt toward firefighter and police union “negotiated” pensions and other benefits. Somethings got to give and I hope it’s not the backs of the taxpaying citizens of our fine city.
I live in the city of San Diego, which was in the forefront of the financial meltdown caused mainly by unrealistic promises made by politicians to get support from our public employee unions. Our streets are falling apart, our sewers and water mains leak, our branch libraries are closed from Saturday noon until Tuesday noon, our glorious Balboa Park is starting to deteriorate, we have “brown outs” at many of our fire stations that are undermanned, both fire an police response times are rising, and there’s no end in sight. We keep getting further in debt as our pensions take up a higher percentage of our general fund each year. This is what most Americans can look forward to if the power of these public unions is not reigned in soon. Here in California, many cities and counties are in the same shape, and the state is facing a huge deficit a well. Something has to give. We’re one of the highest tax states in the union already, and our “new” governor, Jerry Brown, is hinting a tax increases to help cover the shortfall. Wish us luck.
The greatest tragedy is when the big picture is lost to polarization. It is Americas Interest that should be the foundation of all legislation and not just what benefits a few.
What corporately enhance the individuals life liberty and pursuit of happiness.