Headline: Panel Leaders Urge Retirement Age Of 69

President Obama’s bipartisan deficit reduction panel delivered their report a week after the mid-term elections.

According to the Associated Press, “The plan would gradually increase the retirement age for full Social Security benefits — to 69 by 2075 — and current recipients would receive smaller-than-anticipated annual increases. Equally controversial, it would eliminate the current tax deduction that homeowners receive for the interest they pay on their mortgages.”

Admittedly the year 2075 is six-and-one-half decades from now in terms of collecting social security benefits. However, it is perplexing that this panel could recommend something of this sort to be mandated on Main Street USA when elected officials can work, at the public’s expense, until any age they like.

How much would be saved if legislation was enacted immediately to require public servants to retire at age 65? Probably quite a bit, as members of Congress who have served 40 or 50 years most assuredly earn substantially more than a freshman Senator or House member.

And, how about taking a look at benefits of these public servants.

And their expense accounts.

And their retirement packages (including their COLAs).

If a committee was truly bipartisan (and, more importantly, non-political) that issue would be addressed at once.

Someone should dig up all the facts and figures and publish a report concerning each and every expense that comes directly out of the pocket of the taxpayer to keep our elected members of society gainfully employed.

The other point in that AP paragraph had to do with eliminating the tax deduction for interest paid by a homeowner.

Absolutely brilliant. Not!

One has to wonder if the group considered how that one act could potentially destory the housing market.

Aside from hoping to earn equity by owning a home, people are also attracted by the additional benefit of being able to deduct that interest.

This report should simply be sent to the circular file.

The members presenting such an atrocity should be escorted (quickly) away from Capitol Hill.

Over For Now.

Main Street One

Immigration: State or Federal Jurisdiction?

According to the Associated Press in a news item, “The federal lawsuit against Arizona’s tough new immigration law focuses heavily on a question that has been in the spotlight repeatedly the past decade and dates back to the Founding Fathers: The right of the government to keep states from enacting laws that usurp federal authority.”

It is hard to imagine where the federal government thinks it has such authority.

Those on Capitol Hill and in the White House would do well to re-study the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

The States formed the federal government, called the United States of America.

The states gave the federal government certain rights.

Any rights not specifically granted the fed were reserved to the States and to the People.

As the 10th Amendement, Reserved Rights, states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

This is Civics 101, US History 101 and on and on. It is a basic within this free society.

Unfortunately, those in Washington DC seem to feel that the almighty federal government has limitless power to do as it wishes.

That is not the case.

Aside from the fact that the federal government does not have a case in suing the State of Arizona, this is a waste of taxpayer money.

Main Street USA will bear the burden of the costs of such a trial.

This senseless action by our elected officials shows that they are out of touch with reality…the reality of the United States of America and its Founding Fathers and the very documents that made this a free nation.

Over For Now.

Main Street One

Earmarks Are Corrupt

Two-hundred, thirty-four years ago, our Founding Fathers signed a document declaring that a people are free to determine their government and that, in fact, government is only allowed by the will of the people.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

One very key ingredient in the quest for freedom was to break away from an oppressive government in order to establish one which derives its power from the people.

To wit: “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”

The word consent was fittingly and justly utilized by these astute men.

Though not a perfect foundation, as women were not afforded these same rights and all men (people) were not treated as equals as some were still enslaved.

However, their perception of government was remarkable.

These very learned men knew, through study of history, what a government must and must not do and should and should not do in order to survive.

And so, these 13 individual states united together to establish and form a democracy giving only certain powers to the federal government while keeping anything not specifically granted it to the states and to the people.

As the decades progressed, however, the federal government has grown to the point that individual liberty and the rights of states and citizens have been eroded and become limited.

That is exactly what the Founding Fathers did not want and, in fact, warned against.

America is still a truly great nation.

However, it is a nation where the will of the people is not followed. It is one where special interest groups wield unusual power over decisions affecting every person living in Main Street USA. It is one where back room deals in the hallowed halls of Capitol Hill decide the most crucial of actions and where billions upon billions of dollars are added to legislation to capture votes.

If pork and earmarks are needed to garner the necessary number of votes in order to pass then must not the legislation be flawed? Is that not really embezelling from taxpayers? Is that not really corruption?

It must be, because it is not “the art of compromise” to use “other people’s money” to buy votes.

The taxpaying citizens of these United States of America desire a “more perfect union,” not a larger federal government where their voice is no longer heard.

In order to achieve this end our elected public servants (not public rulers as some have tried to become) would be wise to re-study the very documents that were written and are the foundation for this nation and to then act as statesmen, not as politicos whose main objective is to become re-elected.

Over For Now.

Main Street One

State Pension Plan Fallout

As reported by the Associated Press, the Pew Center on the States released a report citing that there is at least a ONE TRILLION DOLLAR deficit in state pension plans.

The article by AP begins by stating, “States may be forced to reduce benefits, raise taxes or slash government services…” due to the billion dollar gap.

More than likely, it will be a combination of all three.

The study, unfortunately, does not include any county, city or municipal pension programs.

The most troublesome news about the study, however, is that AP says the report does not necessarily include pension plan losses from the 2008 economic downfall.

Thus, the trillion dollar gap is, in all reality, much much more.

According to the AP article, “The report said policy makers have exacerbated the problem by expanding benefits, relying on overly optimistic assumptions about investment returns and failing to sufficiently fund the programs.”

That phrase “relying on overly optimistic assumptions about investment returns” is scary.

This sort of financial mis-management, regardless of the 2008 financial market crash (as the Pew study does not take ramifications of that into account), heightens concern for Main Street USA that the public sector (i.e., the federal government) should take over healthcare or any other services they may be considering, for that matter.

The phrase “expanding benefits” is also worrisome. Why is it that public sector executives feel that they have the right to expand benefits if money is not there to cover the obligation?

Does the thought process during public sector budget meetings run along the lines of, “Oh, not to worry, we can always raise taxes, or charge new fees for services to make up for that gap.”

And then to top it off, “failing to sufficiently fund the programs” simply means that, come budget time, those in charge decided that certain budget items would be covered with money that is currently available while leaving the pension plan with less money than called for, thus widening the deficit even more.

That sort of “planning” is simply policy-makers not taking any responsibility for actions taken, but, rather, pushing the problem off to the next generation.

That is corrupt and criminal.

As more and more services are performed by the public sector, which seems to have no rules against operating with massive debt obligations or not meeting financial projections, the burden will ultimately fall on the US taxpayer.

And, while the White House Administration and Congress continue to implement, or strongly suggest the need for, more government oversight in and on the private sector, who is it that is running oversight on their own financial misdeeds?

Food for thought.

Over For Now.

Main Street One