Twisting Thoughts & Words for Life Insurance

It may not bother others, but this blogger gets a bit irritated at the commercials aired by Senior Life Insurance Company, whose tagline is “The Future of Final Expense.”

The ad begins by asking if people are financially set for burial and related expenses because the most the government will pay is $255 in death benefits.

The issues with the ad are (at least) twofold.

First, the way it is presented the ad insinuates that government is somehow responsible for a portion of the costs involved in a person’s final resting – and that the payment should be larger.

And second . . . the government?

Since when, one might ask, did it become the financial responsibility of all Americans, i.e., Main Street USA (read – each taxpaying citizen), to pay for the final resting costs of every individual?

Based upon mortuary and cemetery costs that $255 is, indeed, quite insignificant. However, it is most likely not even something that should be paid by “the government.”

Perhaps one day this blogger will take the time to find the piece of legislation to which this item was tagged. In other words, it seems this may have been an earmark to a larger bill added, as is the way in Washington DC, to capture someone’s vote on Capitol Hill.

Over For Now.

Main Street One

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

FAA Five Million Dollar Bash

Seems the Federal Aviation Administration can throw a manager meeting that dwarfs the commotion created by the Social Security Administration earlier this year (that one was reportedly only $700,000).

In this age of video conferencing it is unimaginable that the FAA needed this gathering of 3600 people to explain a contract with a union that has already been in place for more than two months.

Main Street USA gets tapped once again for government excess.

However, this type of activity makes one wonder if these meetings are in already-approved budgets. And, if so, one can only imagine the meeting budgets contained in our pork-ridden, earmarked healthcare reform bill with the House and Senate. Food for thought.

Over For Now.

Main Street One

Regulation, Who Needs Regulation?

Those citizens of Main Street USA who would like to approve national healthcare reform as it has been presented in the House and Senate, with its One Trillion Dollar (minimum) price tag (to be paid by we taxpayers) and a government-run plan, may want to look at a couple of other sectors of government before casting their final ballot.

It was just over four weeks ago that the Social Security Administration threw a weekend bash (excuse me, their motivational management conference) at a plush Arizona resort costing we, the taxpayer, a cool $700,000.

This in the midst of the, as has been described by the media, worst economic recession since the Great Depression.

And, yes, the Social Security Commissioner did know of and approve this lavish meeting even though the SSA is, itself, reportedly bankrupt.

Back when that story broke I made mention of the fact that it would be nice to hear about other areas of government and what they are doing with OUR hard-earned dollars.

Next up, the Veteran’s Administration.

According to the Associated Press, over the past two years (2007 and 2008) more than $24 Million has been paid in bonuses to people who work in the VA.

I do not have anything against people working anywhere earning bonuses, as long as they are based upon actual production of that individual. And, as long as everything else has been taken care of first.

Yet, it seems bonuses were being paid even though there were U.S. Veterans who had been waiting for their first disability check during that same time. Some have tried to blame this problem on the transition of records between the VA and the Pentagon.

That does not add up.

However, there has been more than just bonuses being paid when business at hand was not under control.

The VA Inspector General evidently uncovered some very damaging internal dirt.

There have been improprieties such as relatives paying additional money (bonuses) to relatives (i.e., nepotism) within the VA and managers inappropriately paying for college tuition for many family members.

As well, one lower level VA employee was having an affair with a higher level VA official and we, Main Street USA, paid $37,000 for 22 flights to and from, for their lover’s tryst.

The list goes on.

And the main response to this outrage thus far has been the top Republican on the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Steve Buyer (IN), who had this to say, The “VA must appoint honorable individuals to these critical positions.”

Profound, truly profound.

So, I ask you, Main Street USA…how is it that you want the government to set up and administer broad national health care, those who are chastising and tearing apart financial, commercial and industrial America, when they cannot, under any circumstances, it seems, keep their own house in order?

Over For Now,

Main Street One