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September 30, 2013

Bring Back "Let It Burn"

Allah asked me a couple of week's ago why I was so invested in the ObamaCare fight when I was in the "Let It Burn" camp. After all, letting ObamaCare happen would be like pouring gas on the fire.

It was a fair question and I had to consider it for a bit.

For me it comes down to if you're going to do commentary on stuff simply saying the same slogan over and over again is useless and worse, boring. It's an easy issue to get worked up over and there are plenty of bad guys to go after.

Also the reality is "Let it burn" is happening whether or not you want it to and whether or not anything comes of the CR/Debt Ceiling fights. Our financial and political DOOM is on auto-pilot at this point. Taking sides on an issue here or there doesn't change that.

And then something comes along that makes you want to pour as much gasoline on the fire as possible. Something like this for example...

3) Finally, DeSantis/Vitter [forcing staffers onto the exchanges] could result in an up to $80,000 retirement windfall for some staff. Some offices have said publicly (and I suspect more would do it quietly) that if the bill goes through they're going to increase their staffs' salaries to "make them whole." Under DeSantis/Vitter, this money would have to come as wages, as opposed to tax-free employer provided premium assistance. (see above) For staff with either a spouse or kids the Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO right now costs the gov't $920 a month. A Legislative Assistant who was making $75,000 per year with wife and kids now has to be paid $86,040 per year (actually probably more because now that this money is wages he's going to get hit by FICA, Fed & State taxes) but let say $87,000 to keep the math simple.

These staffers are all enrolled in the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS). As I mention above, his salary – which is what's used to calculate his "high 3" – is up by $12,000. (His “high 3” is the average that is used to calculate his annual annuity in retirement.) Assuming that he puts in 20 years before he retires at 60, that means that FERS calculates his annuity at $12,000 higher than it would have otherwise. Retiring with 20 years of service he gets 34% of his salary for the rest of his life. That's an additional roughly $4000 per year - and assuming he's of average health and dies in 20 years, Uncle Sam has just kicked in an additional $80,000 to his retirement. That doesn't include COLAs. It also doesn't take into account the benefits that will accrue to his TSP, including mandatory agency match that all federal employees receive.

That's via Brian Faughnan.

So even if the Vitter amendment passes and congressional staffers are forced onto the ObamaCare exchanges, the self-dealing bastards in DC will find away to protect themselves while costing taxpayers more money. Swell.

Now that might not happen. The political risks might be too high for some, if not most, members but I don't think I'd bet on that.

The deck is simply stacked against the American people (and too many of them are willing accomplices so long as they get their 30 pieces of silver from their representatives).

It's a potent reminder that while the fight we we're watching is between Democrats and Republicans and Republicans against Republicans, the real battle is between the permanent political class and the people who create the wealth these leaches confiscate it from.


digg this
posted by DrewM. at 11:12 AM

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