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Letters to the Editor

Unfair to retirees

February 12, 2011

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To the editor:

A Jan. 16, J-W headline reads “Lack of funding hurts KPERS.” Our annual token notification that for retirees, this will be the eighth year without a pay increase despite $11.8 billion in assets as of September 2010 and contributions of over $700 million annually because “state and local governments haven’t contributed at the required rate for over 15 years.” (KPERS “Vested Interest,” Sept. 2010, Vol. 2). Pete DeGraaf says the pay cut is needed to help bridge an estimated $550 million revenue shortfall. State employees are responsible for that?

Wouldn’t it be more prudent to cut the obscene salaries of the governor, legislators, state, county and city commissioners, (let’s make that ALL politicians) and have Kobach decide to practice law OR serve as secretary of state — not both?

A Jan. 26 J-W headline reads “House committee approves slicing salaries by 7.5 percent.” Even Robin Hood knew to get money from the rich to give to the poor. Let’s increase state and local income taxes for employees who earn $80,000 or more. Forbid state, county and city legislators/commissioners from approving raises for themselves. No more headlines like the one Feb. 9 that reads “City approves $1.2M for library design.” Seriously? $1.2 million for the DESIGN plus $19 million for the expansion and parking garage (aka the new homeless shelter)? Outrageous.

And when/if the state cuts KPERS salaries, the butchers should keep in mind that Social Insecurity, again this year, will not be giving retirees an increase. Way to go, Kansas.

Comments

Liberty_One 3 years, 7 months ago

Unfair to taxpayers--why should anyone have to take money from their families to help support you?

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yourworstnightmare 3 years, 7 months ago

You must admit, Liberty_one, that your argument here is pretty selfish and greedy. My taxes subsidized your education at KU and your use of public facilities in Lawrence.

Your argument ignores any shared cost of living in a complex society. I know your libertarian ideology prevents you from even considering shared social costs, but they are there and they are undeniable. They certainly helped you.

I also agree that Americans do indeed have an attitude of privilege and entitlement. Saving for long-term needs is anathema, as is living within ones means (witness the housing crisis and credit card debt).

I think this attitude comes in part from the greedy and selfish ideology of libertarianism that fools people into thinking that boot-strapped their way to the top and that they can do anything they want. This is of course a mis-read of libertarian ideology, but then most people are vain and greedy and will see the facets in any ideology that best support their greed and vanity.

And libertarian ideology certainly appeals to people's greed and vanity in any reading of it.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 7 months ago

" I could have learned and done so much more if I wasn't stuck at a government education building for 7 hours a day for years and years"

That's utter crap. Certainly it's possible to just float through school, and way too many people do exactly that.

But it's also possible to get plenty out of it if you want. What happened to your vaunted person responsibility? If success is (or should be) determined solely by personal initiative, as you so often contend, then if your time in school was wasted, the responsibility lies with you, not the school.

And, really, how much did you really expect to earn as a kid? Which employment opportunities did you have to turn down in order to go to school? And if you're also referring to your college days at KU, there is no requirement for anyone to go to college.

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SnakeFist 3 years, 7 months ago

"I taught myself."

It shows. So your position is that children shouldn't be educated, they should be put to work - because children younger then 16 would be so much better off working in a sweatshop 40 hours a week? Those pesky child labor laws (LOL)! Seriously, wouldn't you be happier living in, say, Somalia? Think of all the freedom you'd have (if you survive, of course)?

Wow. Sometimes I think you're an anti-libertarian provocateur who takes ridiculous positions in order to turn people off of libertarianism.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 7 months ago

Well, I really don't buy it. If you really had taken all the classes available, you could have very likely graduated early, and left the "useless government school behind." That's what I would have done if my parents had let me. And did you bother asking any of your teachers for extra work, and extra help? Or did you have that libertarian chip on your shoulder back then, too, and chose to "do it your way" rather than to actually seek that out? (After all, we know that you're way smarter than any slacker douche who would choose to work for a government school.)

And it sounds to me that you had no shortage of employment opportunities. Just because you imagine that someone wanted to hire your pimply face for something more than the menial tasks that you got doesn't make it fact.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 7 months ago

"Then I'd miss out on track and field. I finished 12th in the state in 6A my senior year."

So you didn't leave the government school because you wanted to take advantage of what it had to offer.

"It scared the heck out of me because they were some hard jobs--fencing, concrete, construction."

Those were some of the jobs I did as a kid. And I still occasionally do those things.

"Being a kid and having no skills that would mean the only thing I could do was carry around a bunch of heavy crap in the hot sun--no thanks!"

What a condescending attitude. But it's one you've obviously learned well. Here's a newsflash-- if there weren't people around willing to do that, the economy and society would grind to a halt.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 7 months ago

"Wow, you expect a lot out of a teenager."

So were you a precocious kid vastly superior to his teachers' abilities, or not?

You can't have it both ways.

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yourworstnightmare 3 years, 7 months ago

I do not doubt your personal generosity, Liberty_one, but not everyone who needs help can be a close acquaintance of you.

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notanota 3 years, 7 months ago

I used my IEP to take college classes, double enroll, telescope, independent study, etc, and then I met all my diploma requirements and graduated early. I had friends who either got early GEDs or simply left without a diploma and enrolled in selective admissions colleges. I would imagine such opportunities also existed at LHS for those who asked. If not, the problem was not the education system but the individual school... or the individual at the school. Just sayin'.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 7 months ago

Yep. But acknowledging that would spoil a good whine.

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Abdu Omar 3 years, 7 months ago

Because, Lib 1, it was promised and most retierees used that promise to plan their retirement. Social Security has been stagnant for three years and hasn't given an increase in benefits even though the Cost of Living has risen. It is hard to plan when a state renegs on their promises.

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Flap Doodle 3 years, 7 months ago

Your copy/paste drivel is getting shorter. That's a good thing.

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weeslicket 3 years, 7 months ago

public employees pay into kpers every month-- it is taken directly out of their checks. they have abided by their contracts with the state. the state legislature of kansas has not lived up to their contractual obligations, and for quite some time now.

liberty one, why don't you respect contracts? if you did work for someone, according to a contract, don't you think you should be paid according to the agreed upon terms of that contract? you perform the work, and then the other party says: you know what, i really don't have the money right now. i think i'll just pay you half.

how is this fair?

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jafs 3 years, 7 months ago

Good point.

If one makes a long-term employment decision to work somewhere, based on wages and benefits, including retirement benefits, it is a breach of contract to then not provide the promised benefits.

And, the worst part of that is that people don't have the option to go back in time and make a different decision to work elsewhere.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 7 months ago

But there is a big difference between the state and a private company.

If the company fails, that's a bad thing, but for only a limited number of people, and the public at large has little to no investment at stake (with the exception of certain large companies that have become "too big to fail.")

If the state can default on its obligations, where should that process end? Should it not also be defaulting on bonds it owes? Why not just stop maintaining roads, bridges, dams, and buildings and airports instead of or in addition to cutting pay and benefits to employees? Why not lay off all police, and disband the National Guard rather than just lay off teachers? Should hospitals be closed and old folks and disabled folks just be stuck out the back door on a really cold day?

The simple fact is that government is essential to our survival. The services it provides are ones that we have collectively decided we want or need. Once the unraveling begins, determining the place to stop it probably won't be done on anything like a rational basis.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 7 months ago

What is essential? Certainly what's considered essential today is different from how things were viewed even ten years ago, and even more so 25 or 100 years ago. And much of the growth of government has been an ever increasing list of what we all consider to be essential. Many of the items on that list that conservatives don't like are the ones that benefit the bottom end of society, primarily the old, the disabled and children, and somewhat secondarily the poor, although there is a good deal of overlap. And these are groups that the private sector never did much for in the past, and probably won't in the future, even if government funding is cut for those folks.

While you may be right to a certain extent about the responsibility for running hospitals being transferred from churches to government, would transferring control back to churches make them any less expensive to operate? Would they operate any more efficiently? Would medical care become more or less essential to a functioning society?

If you are suggesting that government completely get out of the hospital business, what would that really gain us? Unless there is a considerable reduction in the amount of medical care available, it wouldn't reduce our overall expenditures. It would merely change the funding mechanism.

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guavablues 3 years, 7 months ago

I agree. The state has not lived up to there end of the agreement.

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Tony Kisner 3 years, 7 months ago

Bankruptcy is one option to void contracts.

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somebodynew 3 years, 7 months ago

Yes, but it also has a lot of other consequenses. A Class Action lawsuti for breach of contract (by the workers) might be another. Of course they could probably hire Mike O'neal, the Speaker, to take the suit since he doesn't mind sueing his own employer. (Of course, if I am involved I think I want a better lawyer.)

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yourworstnightmare 3 years, 7 months ago

In the ownership society, if you don't own things, you are on your own.

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sr80 3 years, 7 months ago

when i retire in about 19 yrs at the age of 70, i bet there is no such thing as social security!!!! i already have a giant cardboard box picked out to live in.i hope it doesn't deteriorate before then!!!!!

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sr80 3 years, 7 months ago

i can hardly wait to fulfill my duty to my country.see you in line.N2

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yourworstnightmare 3 years, 7 months ago

Then why haven't you been saving extra money for retirement? Maybe you would have to have forgone the boat, the cabin, the new pick-up, the trips to Branson.

Seems like this is your fault if you know social security won't be there when you retire.

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yourworstnightmare 3 years, 7 months ago

I meant saving more of that you earn.

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yourworstnightmare 3 years, 7 months ago

I paste my reply to None2:

Children, a house, an internet connection, a computer? All of these things cost money that you should have been saving for your retirement. It's your fault you didn't do this, knowing that social security would be insolvent when you retire.

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SinoHawk 3 years, 7 months ago

Unfortunately, orangechubb, it has never been "your money" in the government's eyes. They pretended for years that there was some sort of savings account set up for you, but in reality your fica was going to pay for current retirees. Now that more people are retiring than entering the workforce, there is not enough money to go around.

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yourworstnightmare 3 years, 7 months ago

Children, a house, an internet connection, a computer? All of these things cost money that you should have been saving for your retirement. It's your fault you didn't do this, knowing that social security would be insolvent when you retire.

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sr80 3 years, 7 months ago

i bet YWN works for the social security admin. you have no concept of the real world,just living in your lala land.

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yourworstnightmare 3 years, 7 months ago

Nope, just concerned that you haven't taken the responsibility for your own retirement and instead have spent your money on these things instead of saving for your retirement.

This is doubly irresponsible given that you think social security won't be around when you retire.

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sr80 3 years, 7 months ago

go check out the heritage foundation on the web.you think i'm joking with you.it's not going to have anything to do with what you have saved.the government will get it one way or the other!!! topic social security

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jafs 3 years, 7 months ago

This line of thinking is provocative.

I guess you think it's ok for the government to tax us quite a bit for Social Security and Medicare, and then not provide those benefits?

If we have to save and invest our own money for retirement and health benefits when retired, then I'd like all of the money I and my wife have paid into those programs back.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 7 months ago

"If we have to save and invest our own money for retirement and health benefits when retired, then I'd like all of the money I and my wife have paid into those programs back."'

Sorry, those will be required to fund the permanent extension of the Bush Tax Cuts for millionaires.

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sr80 3 years, 7 months ago

Excuses,Excuses!!!! N2 what about that log raft,that is considered a yacht by YWN and that internet connection you surely are spending all your extra money on that,get rid of it ,i don't care if your in IT.do as YWN says!!!!!

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Brent Garner 3 years, 7 months ago

First of all, states are not allowed, under current law, to declare bankruptcy. So, for that to happen would require a change in Federal law. Hopefully all of you have taken note that this very topic is currently under discussion in various policy circles across the US.

Second, althought the retirement plan is a contract, the rising argument is that the contract promised entirely too much. This appears to be especially true in Illinois and California where public employees can often retire after 20 years and have retirement income equal to 100% of their final salary. Such plans work well when the economy is gong gang busters, but during an economic downturn it doesn't work and the longer the economy is in the doldrums the worse the public pension plans will become.

Third, nationwide the gap in funding of public employee pension plans is so large as to be almost impossible to close regardless of tax increases proposed or considered. This leaves the only option available to be either abrogating the plans completely--bankruptcy--or significant reductions in benefits. The later is currently being undertaken in many states where new employees are being "promised" significantly reduced benefits even though the contribution will not be reduce--new employees helping fund previous employees??.

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jafs 3 years, 7 months ago

Yes - I have noticed that discussion.

Whether the contract promised too much or not is not the main point - the main point is that many employees made long term decisions about employment based on them, and have lived up to their end of the bargain. They can't go back in time and make a different decision now, which they might have done if the benefits had been different, or go back in time and try to save more of their own money for retirement.

Changing the benefits for new employees is a different matter - then they can choose whether to work for the state with those terms or not - that seems like a fair situation.

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Jimo 3 years, 7 months ago

Yes, because the only thing that will guarantee even worse governmental performance is to lower the pay even more! I mean Joe-Joe at the Quickie Mart seems competent enough at selling me lottery tickets. Surely, he's capable of administering the state purchasing program!!!

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jafs 3 years, 7 months ago

Not sure what your point is here.

I think if they change the benefit structure for potential new employees, that gives people a fair opportunity to decide whether to take those jobs or not.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 7 months ago

True enough. But if the wages and benefits aren't competitive, then the state will get the bottom of the barrel in terms of talent and training.

But that will certainly further the longstanding policy goal of Republicans-- make government as incompetent as possible so they can justify drowning it in the bathtub.

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Jimo 3 years, 7 months ago

Translation: it will attract those who can't get a job anywhere else.

(Hint: next step -- complaining about how "government" can do anything right.)

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Jimo 3 years, 7 months ago

The topic is Kansas - not other states. Illionois is just generally corrupt from one end to the other. California is infamous for a gerrymandered electoral system that keeps any partisan from every compromising about anything.

In Kansas, I see no evidence of what's implied here - a grossly generous system. No one is going to sign up to work as a Topeka clerk or a Dodge City teacher or a Paola highway patrolman because they are seeking wealthy retirement.

Curiously, those who have cut taxes consistently and engineered the bankruptcy of the system seem to have a soft-spot for the concept of sovereign states walking away from their obligations. Note: bankruptcy courts aren't going to accept a bankruptcy plan that doesn't include "revenue enhancement" - a/k/a, clawing back all those tax cuts.

If your masters, the Koch Bros., think they're going to pay for their tax welfare on the back of the poor and middle class, they've got another thing coming.

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Kasha 3 years, 7 months ago

In another 20 years, I'll be dead.

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yourworstnightmare 3 years, 7 months ago

There is a simple solution. Means testing for social security and medicare.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 7 months ago

All monetized economic systems are about income distribution-- calling it "redistribution" is redundant, since the cycling of money is ever constant.

Given that the capitalist system distributes money unfairly, by design, a progressive tax system merely moderates its tendency to create extreme disparities of wealth that are politically and socially very damaging.

It doesn't eliminate poverty, but it can make it considerably less grinding, while allowing wealthy people to remain quite wealthy.

But that doesn't feed your Schadenfreude, does it, Mooch?

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notajayhawk 3 years, 7 months ago

"All monetized economic systems are about income distribution"

At the choice of the person with the income, not that of the persons it's getting distributed to, Herr Klowne. Or some self-styled (or elected) "Robin Hood".

"Given that the capitalist system distributes money unfairly"

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. Someone else has more than I do and that's not faaaaiiiirr!

Maybe the problem is that you believe income is something you think is supposed to be "distributed" instead of "earned".

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notajayhawk 3 years, 7 months ago

"There is a simple solution. Means testing for social security and medicare."

How about we do the same with the state employees' retirement?

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Steve Jacob 3 years, 7 months ago

Let's face it, retirement plans like social security and KPERS are pyramid schemes. The people at the bottom pay into the top.

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cowboy 3 years, 7 months ago

Todays installment of Ask Sam.....

Governor B , I'm just getting started , what would you recommend I do for financial security ?

Heck , ,marry into a farm family so you can get those crop subsidies for yourself and all your inlaws , then run for federal office in some obscure district , hang around for 15-20 years doing nothing then retire with federal health care for life and a pension. Then double dip the government by running in a state office. Crap , this is the life Bro.

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sr80 3 years, 7 months ago

Cowboy has done ben to schoolin,you are down right smarter than dem critters!!! very good comment stranger!!

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Alceste 3 years, 7 months ago

http://farm.ewg.org/addrsearch.php?s=yup&stab=KS&city=&zip=&last=Brownback&first=&stab=KS&i=Search+Recipients&fullname=&stab2=AL

Will give you a gander at what the Brownback Klan have received in the past ten years in Corporate Welfare: Farm price supports and subsidies. It appears Sammy hides behind the apron strings of his brothers?

http://farm.ewg.org/persondetail.php?custnumber=A07986985 goes right to Sammy.

http://farm.ewg.org/persondetail.php?custnumber=A08081676 goes to Glenn who has pulled in over $374,864 between 1995 and 2009 http://farm.ewg.org/persondetail.php?custnumber=A07986984 goes to Jimmy who has pulled in over $332,395 in the same time frame.

Etc.

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sr80 3 years, 7 months ago

i had my retirement plan all figured out,but due to bears& stearns,real estate investments,etc..... i don't see any chance of regaining what i lost,also its not me saying SS won't be there.that's what i've heard from the government.since i'm in my mind reading phase i bet your a US government worker only they could have your attitude!!! yourworsenightmare is mistaken!!!!

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notajayhawk 3 years, 7 months ago

"Our annual token notification that for retirees, this will be the eighth year without a pay increase"

I'm curious, Ms. LTE writer (and all you 'but-the-state-made-a-promise-and-they-have-to-live-up-to-it' folks feel free to chime in): Did the state promise you annual pay increases, or just a percentage of your salary at the time you retired?

"Wouldn’t it be more prudent to cut the obscene salaries of the governor, legislators, state, county and city commissioners, (let’s make that ALL politicians)"

Okay, go ahead and take all that money and spread it around to the retirees. Then write back and tell us all what you did with that extra couple of dollars every year.

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George Lippencott 3 years, 7 months ago

I might point out that government retirement in general, government health care for their workers, Social security and more are contracts. Services or fees were delivered/paid in consideration of compensation/payment - some of them deferred - like KPERS.

The hackneyed argument that you personally were not party to that contract reflects a level of ignorance beyond understanding. Your government has the absolute right to commit you to all kinds of things. All it has to do is argue that somewhere in the constitution whatever they are doing is listed as something they can do.

Daily there are arguments on here about strict/liberal interpretations of the constitution. If you argue for a liberal interpretation there can be no question that the government has the authority to commit you to paying the bill for services/fees paid.

I might point out that with respect to military entitlements the right is an enumerated power of the federal government.

Sorry guys/gals you are stuck with the bill. You can change the contract for future workers but not retrospectively for those who have already earned them.

Of course Congress is constantly arguing it can do whatever it wants. So breaching contract/redefining contracts may well be within their grasp

Will they breach the implied contract on Obama cares once we all start paying for it (many already are)?

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notajayhawk 3 years, 7 months ago

Pretty sure the United States Congress had nothing to do with any contract with Kansas state employees.

And once again: Did that contract specify a percentage of their income at the time of retirement or did it also promise annual pay raises?

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notajayhawk 3 years, 7 months ago

Oh, BTW, George, Social Security is not a contract. The Supreme Court ruled several decades ago that the money you pay in is a tax and you have no ownership rights to that money.

"Your government has the absolute right to commit you to all kinds of things."

Since you went kinda' off base with the Congress thing, I have to ask: Are you referring to the federal or state government, George?

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George Lippencott 3 years, 7 months ago

Federal.

I am aware of that ruling. I do not have ownership rights. I do have a claim (moral and perhaps legal) for what the government promised in the form of payments. There is a difference. I have a large number of statements from the government that show "my ss account" and what I am to receive". There IS ALSO A TRUST FUND full of bonds on the full faith and credit of the US. Could they HAVE GOTTON TOO SMART BY HALF? Alsways interesting to revisit.

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Jan Rolls 3 years, 7 months ago

For all that do not know, KPERS like social security was mandatory for employees. In the case of KPERS they took mandatory deductions after one year of employment. The state seems to cry they are broke when it suits them. For one where have all the lottery proceeds gone each year? If you check you will see that they gave millions to businesses to create as few as 10 jobs.They can cut funding for kids, the arts, etc. but like yesterday they found millions so they could get 250 million from the feds for road work. Guess how many of their rich buddies will get the contracts. I worked for the state for over 34 years and like all the other retirees we were promised that they would manage the KPERS funds in a manner that would ensure that we would not only got our benefits monthly but annual increases as well.

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notajayhawk 3 years, 7 months ago

Where did they promise you annual increases? What increases were specified?

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Kasha 3 years, 7 months ago

Increases to keep up with inflation. Employees DID have mandatory contributions to both KPERS AND Social Insecurity You don't seem to comprehend the Public Forum Letter. You must be one of the wealthy that should be taxed at a higher rate.

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notajayhawk 3 years, 7 months ago

Nice A$$umption there, Kasha. Anyone who doesn't think the rich should be stolen from to support the freeloaders must be one of those rich folks. It's just completely incomprehensible to you - and to all liberals, if these forums are any indication - that not everyone that is struggling thinks having the government steal something from someone else is the solution to the problem.

By the way, you didn't answer the question - who, exactly (and where, how, and when) promised them COLA's?

Oh, and for that matter, when did I say anything about whether or not contributions were mandatory? Guess what - I have to make mandatory contributions to Social Security, I do NOT have any ownership rights to that money. The federal government most likely will pay it back out, but if they decide not to, there's absolutely nothing I (or you) can do about it. What does the matter of mandatory contributions have to do with anything?

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George Lippencott 3 years, 7 months ago

Definition of a contract : contract 1) n. an agreement with specific terms between two or more persons or entities in which there is a promise to do something in return for a valuable benefit known as consideration. Since the law of contracts is at the heart of most business dealings, it is one of the three or four most significant areas of legal concern and can involve variations on circumstances and complexities. The existence of a contract requires finding the following factual elements: a) an offer; b) an acceptance of that offer which results in a meeting of the minds; c) a promise to perform; d) a valuable consideration (which can be a promise or payment in some form); e) a time or event when performance must be made (meet commitments); f) terms and conditions for performance, including fulfilling promises; g) performance.

Do I have a legally enforceable contract for my benefits or my SS.? No one every does in dealing with the Congress. Do I have a contract – yes in all the conditions of the definition. .

The Supreme Court ruled in a case involving an individual who violated one of the conditions already applied to the receipt of social security and denied his argument that he had a claim to the money. It specifically ruled that Congress retains the right to modify the program to address realities. It was silent as to the ability of the Congress to walk away from the program denying all pre existing contributors any benefits. It could be interpreted as such and then again the ensuing 50 years may lead to a different interpretation.

The Supreme Court agreed with an appeals court that the health care promise to military members, while a fact, was unenforceable as those who made the promise were not authorized to make it. It upheld the rights of some members who had been in the military before Congress lumped all employee benefits under the title of entitlements. The court was also critical of the deception. Once again, no legal right just a moral right to what was agreed upon.

I stand by my argument that I have a contract. I recognize that enforcing that contract may be problematic. And remind you that I provided for that circumstance in my last sentence in my post.

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George Lippencott 3 years, 7 months ago

Definition of a contract : contract 1) n. an agreement with specific terms between two or more persons or entities in which there is a promise to do something in return for a valuable benefit known as consideration. Since the law of contracts is at the heart of most business dealings, it is one of the three or four most significant areas of legal concern and can involve variations on circumstances and complexities. The existence of a contract requires finding the following factual elements: a) an offer; b) an acceptance of that offer which results in a meeting of the minds; c) a promise to perform; d) a valuable consideration (which can be a promise or payment in some form); e) a time or event when performance must be made (meet commitments); f) terms and conditions for performance, including fulfilling promises; g) performance.

Do I have a legally enforceable contract for my benefits or my SS.? No one every does in dealing with the Congress. Do I have a contract – yes in all the conditions of the definition. .

The Supreme Court ruled in a case involving an individual who violated one of the conditions already applied to the receipt of social security and denied his argument that he had a claim to the money. It specifically ruled that Congress retains the right to modify the program to address realities. It was silent as to the ability of the Congress to walk away from the program denying all pre existing contributors any benefits. It could be interpreted as such and then again the ensuing 50 years may lead to a different interpretation.

The Supreme Court agreed with an appeals court that the health care promise to military members, while a fact, was unenforceable as those who made the promise were not authorized to make it. It upheld the rights of some members who had been in the military before Congress lumped all employee benefits under the title of entitlements. The court was also critical of the deception. Once again, no legal right just a moral right to what was agreed upon.

I stand by my argument that I have a contract. I recognize that enforcing that contract may be problematic. And remind you that I provided for that circumstance in my last sentence in my post.

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notajayhawk 3 years, 7 months ago

"Do I have a contract – yes in all the conditions of the definition."

Except for that little "a) an offer; b) an acceptance of that offer which results in a meeting of the minds" part. No offer was made or accepted. You were taxed. The government said they were going to use that tax money for something, but you have no more control over that than if they divert your fuel taxes to the general fund and use it for education. And you, neither personally nor as a member of a class, had any such "meeting of the minds" with any representative of the government promising you those benefits. If you're not happy with the amount they're going to give you (if any) or any of the other terms, guess what - you still have to pay the tax.

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George Lippencott 3 years, 7 months ago

You know, many other states are in similar straights. The ones I am aware of do not provide COIs every year. In down years they provide no incraese. In good years they may provide one higher than inflation. The governemnt is under no legal obligation to provide anybody working for it a raise. Now I believe it is the position of our government that inflation has been near zero so no COI would even be appropriate.

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SnakeFist 3 years, 7 months ago

You're a little light on the law. There are at least three theories by which a government can obligate its people: (1) the government is the people (as in any democracy), (2) the government is the people's agent, and (3) the people accept the benefits of the contract.

There are several problems with your arguments. One is that you want to act as though the government is some alien entity forcing us to do things, when, in reality, we (the people) are the government - we vote, we lobby, we support (through taxes if nothing else), etc. Please stop with the simplistic "people versus government" populism.

More importantly, you gladly benefited from the services those government employees provided. To now break your obligation to them would be immoral. But then, given that you think unregulated greed for profit should be the driving force of the country, I doubt you care about morality.

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notajayhawk 3 years, 7 months ago

"There are at least three theories by which a government can obligate its people"

Which says nothing about the people obligating its government. A contract has to work in both directions.

The only recourse the people have against the government is to replace them at the next election. You can't force them to give you something just because you believe you paid for it.

"More importantly, you gladly benefited from the services those government employees provided. To now break your obligation to them would be immoral. "

And one MORE time: The contract was to provide an annual sum equal to a certain percentage of the employees salary at retirement. I'm still waiting for someone - anyone - to explain the details of how the state promised to continually grant annual increases beyond that.

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SnakeFist 3 years, 7 months ago

"Which says nothing about the people obligating its government. A contract has to work in both directions."

I have no idea what that means, but, again, we the people ARE the government.

You're a typical conservative: "I have mine, now screw everyone else, including those who made my success possible."

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 7 months ago

Actually, from what little nota has posted about what he has, his position is that he wants to reserve his right to say "screw you," once he really does have is own.

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notajayhawk 3 years, 7 months ago

Actually, Herr Klowne, I'm surprised at your stance - isn't your Utopian dream world one in which nobody is allowed to have anything beyond what they absolutely need?

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notajayhawk 3 years, 7 months ago

And you being such a devout follower of comrade Marx and all - I'm disappointed in your lack of ideological purity, Herr Klowne.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 7 months ago

Sorry to disappoint, but it's so entertaining watching you argue with yourself.

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notajayhawk 3 years, 7 months ago

Well, since you never address a question or a post, I suppose it does sound that way. But you're one of those people fist was referring to. You're a typical liberal pseudo-communist. You think the bourgeoise should have the luxuries, and we should take everything away from the proletariat to pay for it. It's so much easier than having to earn anything for yourself, nicht wahr, Herr Klowne?

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SnakeFist 3 years, 7 months ago

Actually, you have the bourgeoisie (owners of the means of production, i.e., the rich) and the proletariat (the workers) turned around. And while liberals may want to take form the rich and give to the poor, its conservatives who want to take from the poor and give to the rich.

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notajayhawk 3 years, 7 months ago

Yeah, caught that after I posted it. It wasn't worth retracting, It's his BS belief system, not mine.

"its conservatives who want to take from the poor and give to the rich"

Ah, the same old tired - and groundless - belief system.

Tell me, fist - tell all of us - tell us just one thing that was 'taken' from you to give to the rich.

We'll wait.

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notajayhawk 3 years, 7 months ago

"I have no idea what that means"

Apparently a common problem for you. The LTE writer clearly said we should take away the salary of our elected officials to pay her annual raises. Now, which one of us, again, was saying "I have mine, now screw everyone else"?

BTW, nice A$$umption there, fist. I'd be willing to bet that the majority of those state employees who retired with 100% pay are pulling in more than I make in a year.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 7 months ago

"The government is a separate entity--a group of people with their own agenda that is distinct from and opposed to that of the general public."

That's pure BS. They are very much part of the greater society. The vast majority of them live in the same neighborhoods, their kids go to the same schools, they attend the same churches, buy their food at the same grocery stores, and sit next to us at restaurants, movie theaters and basketball games.

Does that mean that government isn't subverted by special interests? No. But the fact that thing are less than perfect doesn't mean that the demonization of the people who provide the services that are there because we, the people, have asked for them, is in any way rational.

"OK, how about I force some services on you and send you a bill? "

You already got them, repeatedly over your entire life. And the bill has already been sent and paid.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 7 months ago

So are you saying we should eliminate both Wal-Mart and the government?

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 7 months ago

And anyway, the more proper comparison would be between the board of Wal-Mart and the top echelons of government.

The vast majority of Wal-Mart employees are merely doing their jobs delivering the consumer items we've collectively indicated that we want (or that Wal-Mart's marketing division has convinced us that we want.)

Likewise, the vast majority of those who work for the government are supplying the services that our very flawed political system has determined that we want.

But both Wal-Mart and the government are doing things that they probably shouldn't be doing. Does that mean they should be abolished? No. But I like our chances of reforming government better than those of reforming Wal-Mart.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 7 months ago

You talk about government as if it were some Borg-like monolith. Are there agendas among those who work in government? Sure. But that's pretty much true of every human. Even you. But it's hardly true that everyone involved has exactly the same agenda. Quite the opposite.

OTH, Wal-Mart's BOD likely has a very unified agenda-- namely, maximize profits in whatever way necessary and possible. As a matter of fact, it's their top fiduciary responsibility.

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llama726 3 years, 7 months ago

"No, that's a myth. We are not the government. The government is a separate entity--a group of people with their own agenda that is distinct from and opposed to that of the general public."

Replace "government" with "corporation." Dress it up how you like, it's two perspectives on how to organize a society. A balance might be nice, right?

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wtchdr46 3 years, 7 months ago

sounds like the normal collapse of all ponzi scams to me

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notajayhawk 3 years, 7 months ago

You know, the most hilarious part of this LTE is that the writer whines that the state broke their contract by not giving her a raise (not for cutting her pension, but for not giving an increase), and her solution is? To take away the pay of other state employees (the elected ones). Typical liberal: 'I want mine, take it from someone else to pay for it.'

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 7 months ago

The only ones who can take away from these elected officials is those officials themselves. So she isn't taking from anyone-- she's just asking her elected officials not to be hypocrites.

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notajayhawk 3 years, 7 months ago

Name a single elected official currently serving in Kansas who promised a single state employee annual pay raises.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 7 months ago

They operate under the same notion that you do-- namely that all government employees (except themselves) are lazy slacker leeches, and should therefore work for free.

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notajayhawk 3 years, 7 months ago

Since you apparently missed the question, let me ask again: Name a single elected official currently serving in Kansas who promised a single state employee annual pay raises on retirement.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 7 months ago

You changed the question. But my previous answer still holds.

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notajayhawk 3 years, 7 months ago

I added the words "on retirement". I forgot who I was talking to, sorry - I made the apparently incorrect assumption that you could have figured that out for yourself in the previous post, if you had bothered to read the LTE that spawned this thread. Not that it mattered, since your "answer" didn't answer anything, no matter which question you were referring to. But then, that's nothing new.

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Kasha 3 years, 7 months ago

Once again, you don't comprehend the letter. The author would increase taxes on the wealthy of the U.S. Don't you understand the "Robin Hood" reference? Why tax other State employees who ( except for teachers who expect twelve months pay for eight or nine months of "work") are underpaid as well. Google the salaries of the Chancellor, AD, pro atheletes, CEOs, ad nauseum. And THEY are the ones who get the tax breaks.

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notajayhawk 3 years, 7 months ago

You mean this Robin Hood reference: "Even Robin Hood knew to get money from the rich to give to the poor"?

Um, Kasha? Robin Hood was a thief.Is that what you are defending the LTE writer for advocating?

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jafs 3 years, 7 months ago

For those who keep asking about the specifics of KPERS, you could just go to their website and get more details.

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notajayhawk 3 years, 7 months ago

Did you elect the board members, directors, and administrators of KPERS?

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 7 months ago

As a matter of fact, voters exert considerable influence over government. And none over Exxon.

Just because you personally can't unilaterally dictate what either of them does doesn't make them identical.

BTW, since it seems to have slipped your notice, there are multiple layers of government. On the local level, you can have a good deal of influence, if you choose to. (even though that might mean that you'll have to work with other people seeking to do the same as you.)

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SnakeFist 3 years, 7 months ago

In your sad world, the only reason anyone does anything is to "maintain their power and budget (i.e., income)," so I'm not surprised by your view of government. Fortunately, no one wants to live in your world - not even you (as evidenced by your use of public infrastructure and services) - so your views are irrelevant.

Now, of course, you'll arrogantly insist that everyone else is brainwashed and you, having read several books on the subject, are the only enlightened one. It must be lonely being so misunderstood and not being able to trust anyone because they're all so self-interested.

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yourworstnightmare 3 years, 7 months ago

Liberty_one,

In snakefist's defense, it grows tiresome making cogent, factual, logical, and reality-based arguments about why you are wrong. It is done again and again, and yet you hold fast to your ideology. That's just like religion, which libertarianism in fact is.

Like the religious, libertarians hold an ideology that is refractory to facts, logic, and reality.

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notajayhawk 3 years, 7 months ago

"In snakefist's defense, it grows tiresome making cogent, factual, logical, and reality-based arguments about why you are wrong. It is done again and again, and yet you hold fast to your ideology."

Funny. Thanks for the laugh. Unfortunately, the religion of liberalism is one that thinks their beliefs are facts. Neither fist nor your esteemed self have come close to a "cogent, factual, logical, and reality-based argument" disputing anything Liberty has said.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 7 months ago

"Everyone does share one agenda: maintain their power and budget."

But that isn't a government thing. That's a human thing-- and one you celebrate as long as government isn't involved.

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notajayhawk 3 years, 7 months ago

At the risk of making you reconsider your position, I have to say I agree with you 110%.

I like the comments coming out of the White House lately - the whole 'We're making budget choices that every family makes around their kitchen table' thing. It's refreshing to hear any politician, let alone a Democrat, say openly that the money simply isn't there to pay for everything we want, and, as you put it, "something has to give."

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llama726 3 years, 7 months ago

I'm a liberal. I'm also in my mid 20s and I realize that, though I am paying into social security, it is very likely that it will be mostly, if not completely unavailable for me in 40+ years when I need it. Sucks, but it's the reality. I'd like for it to be there, but anymore, I doubt it will be. I don't really mind paying into the system, because the people ahead of me might not have other options. But I don't understand the people in my generation who don't see the writing on the wall. I started a 401k when I was 23 years old and wish I had started it a long time ago. I only give 7% of my income to it. But why not? I'm not exactly bathing in money here.

Our whole country's attitude has been to spend, spend, spend (not just our government). A lot of the programs we're spending on are well-justified. And I know conservatives and liberals alike don't like the idea of raising taxes a little bit, cutting programs a fair amount, and saving up money, but the reality is that we need to invest the next decade in repairing the deficit and so if some entitlement programs have to be cut, so be it, but I hope people realize that defense spending will also need to take a hit if we're going to truly get out of this deficit.

That means all of us have to suffer - the people who receive the benefits and the people who pay for them. It sucks. It is going to suck for everyone. But 8 to 10 years of things being kind of crappy and we can get back to even.

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