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This Edition #20
RETIREMENT PLAN THAT WORKS.
AN ARSENIC STINK
BOMB – GREAT LINE! THAT’S
JUST WHAT IT WAS!
LEARN A VALUABLE LESSON
YOU A DEMOCRAT?
ARE THOSE YOUR FRIENDS AROUND YOU?
A Private Retirement Plan That Works.
The initial Social Security Act permitted municipal governments to opt out of the system - a loophole that Congress closed in 1983. In 1981, employees of Galveston County, Texas, chose by a vote of 78 percent to 22 percent to leave Social Security for a private alternative. Brazoria and Matagorda counties soon followed, swelling the private plan to more than 5,000 participants today. In the private plan, contributions are similar to those for Social Security but returns are quite different.
Initially, employees and their employer were each required to contribute 6.13 percent of income; recently, the counties increased their contribution to 7.65 percent - for a total contribution of 13.78 percent.
Of that 13.78 percent, 9.737 percent goes to the employee's individual retirement account, which pays a 6.5 percent average interest rate, compounded daily.
The remainder pays for disability and life insurance premiums to cover the employee in case of an accident or death.
Workers continue to pay their Medicare payroll taxes and to receive Medicare benefits upon retirement.
But while the cost of the private program, known as the Alternate Plan, is virtually the same to the employee and employer as Social Security, the benefits are far greater. According to First Financial Benefits, Inc., which created and administers the plans:
A person retiring today at age 65 with 40 years of deposits and an annual salary of $20,000 would retire with $383,032 in a personal account.
Someone with a $30,000 salary for 40 years would retire with $573,782.
And a person with a $50,000 salary for 40 years would retire with $956,303.
A personal retirement account this size provides a much larger postretirement income than does Social Security. Moreover, retirees under the Alternate Plan have a number of options not available to retirees under Social Security. For example, those with the Alternate Plan can choose among several annuities or take their money in a lump sum. As the figure shows, under one option:
A retired $20,000-per-year worker with the personal retirement account would receive $2,740 each month at current interest rates, while Social Security benefits would be about $775 per month.
A $50,000 per year worker would receive $6,843 from the private plan, compared to $1,302 from Social Security.
In addition, the employer's contribution pays for much more generous benefits than those provided by Social Security.
The life insurance benefit is three times the worker's salary (with a minimum benefit of $50,000 and a maximum of $150,000); Social Security, by contrast, pays a one-time death benefit of $255 to a surviving spouse.
Disability insurance under the Alternate Plan pays 60 percent of an individual's salary until age 65 or until the individual returns to work and is relatively easy to qualify for, while Social Security disability benefits can be very difficult to qualify for and are unavailable to young workers who have not yet worked the required amount of time.
Is the Program Safe? One of the biggest challenges to privatizing Social Security is to ensure the safety of the contributors' investments. Workers under the Alternate Plan are required to make their payroll contributions, and the money is invested in annuities with a highly rated insurance company. Though the interest rate can fluctuate from year to year, the financial institution that invests the money must pay a guaranteed interest rate for that year.
AN ARSENIC STINK BOMB – GREAT LINE! THAT’S JUST WHAT IT WAS!
It was brilliant! Absolutely brilliant! This is the type of political underhandedness that Bill Clinton built such a deserved reputation for. He’s the master. No doubt about it.
Now that some (but not all) of the hysteria has settled over the “arsenic in the water” issue, you do realize what happened, don’t you?
see if we can lay this out for you in a step-by-step, easily
It’s late 2000. Clinton realizes that the Democrats are going to lose the White House. One of his worst fears is coming true. His designated successor, Al Gore, is not going to move into the Oval Office in January. Instead, it will be a Republican, George W. Bush.
Clinton fully intends to remain in full control of the Democratic Party. He is going to install his buddy McAuliffe as Chairman and he intends to control the process whereby the Democratic Party will chose it’s next candidate in 2004. Hey, maybe it will be his so-called “wife!”
Clinton sees the last months of his presidency as an opportunity to set much of the agenda for the next presidential election. One of the issues dear to most Americans is the environment. Everybody likes clean air and clean water.
Clinton looks for a little environmental booby trap to set for Bush. The easiest way would be to force Bush to take some sort of an action regarding our environment during the first few months of his presidency that, though scientifically sound, would look terrible to the uninformed.
Arsenic! That’s it! Arsenic! To 98% of Americans arsenic is a deadly poison, period. These Americans don’t know that arsenic appears naturally in ground and spring water. They don’t know that the human body needs some trace amounts of arsenic. They just know that arsenic kills people.
Clinton is aware that some environmental extremists have recommended a reduction in the amount of allowable arsenic in our water supply from 50 parts per billion to 10 parts per billion. Clinton is also aware of the tremendous costs associated with such an effort and the strong likelihood that the new standards could possibly cost lives, rather than save them. This is why he has been sitting on this issue for some time.
Shortly before leaving office, Clinton sets his stink bomb. He orders the EPA to establish a new regulatory limit for arsenic in the drinking water. That limit? Ten parts per billion. Clinton has seen the reports that this new regulation would, at best, save about 10 lives per year at a cost of $65 million per life and, at worst, it would actually cost lives. This is about politics, not about clean water and savings lives.
When Bush takes office his staff starts to review the last-minute regulations issued by Clinton. They realize that these are regulations that Clinton will never have to worry about paying to enforce. Knowing Clinton, they suspect there might be a few grenades in the basket.
Sure enough, the Bush team comes across the new arsenic standards. There is no scientific justification whatsoever for the new limits. What’s more, the cost of compliance will be impossible for many smaller governments. Some smaller cities with water systems would be forced to quadruple property taxes to even begin to meet the new standards.
The ONLY responsible thing to do is to set aside the new standards for further study. This is the equivalent of setting off the booby trap set by Clinton.
At this point Clinton’s cronies on the environmental left swing into action. They accuse Bush of “rolling back” regulations on poisons in our water supply. The Sierra Club calls Bush’s actions “March Madness.” Newsweek magazine charges Bush with “declaring war on the environment.”
my friends, is brilliant politics. This
is vintage Bill Clinton. Clinton
never had any intention to see these new arsenic standards implemented.
He knew that the cost to local governments would create huge
funding problems. He had
eight years to put these regulations into effect.
He didn’t. Clinton
knew that the tiny bits of arsenic in the water supply presented no hazard
whatsoever to the American public. That
arsenic, though, could be used to poison the minds of the American people
toward the incoming president.
took the responsible road on this issue.
It’s a move the eco-radicals and their assorted leftist friends
will exploit through the next election.
The sociopath is still with us.
THE POINT ENTIRELY
GORE'S STUDENTS LEARN A VALUABLE LESSON
Al Gore has taught his final
journalism class at Columbia University. His tenure as a visiting
professor ended yesterday. And his students are less than impressed.
ARE YOU A DEMOCRAT? ARE THOSE YOUR FRIENDS AROUND YOU?
So, you vote Democrat? Well, if you’re poorly educated with no discernable job skills and not likely to ever make more than about $30,000 a year – and that’s with overtime – then, I must say, I’m not surprised. I can see why you would vote Democratic. Hell, you can’t make it for yourself, you might as well hire some politicians who will plunder the pockets of those who DO have marketable job skills – and pass the plunder off to you.
OK .. but what if you’re actually an achiever? What if you did pay attention to your education? What if you do have marketable job skills that have propelled you into the middle-income brackets? What are you doing voting Democratic? Do you really want more government? Do you really long for a day when the same institution that brought us Social Security actually takes over all medical care in this country?
Forget it. This isn’t working. I learned long ago that you can’t embarrass a Democratic voter by questioning their appreciation of freedom and limited government. So, how about trying to wake them up just to show them who they’ve been sleeping with.
You already know that your bedmates include just about every welfare queen, illegal immigrant and anti-capitalist weirdo out there. Are you interested in just who your Democratic leaders are rounding up to add to the pile?
Felons. Criminals. We’re talking rapists, murderers, thugs, robbers and assorted other criminals.
Yesterday’s Washington Times reported "Democrats since the November election have been actively recruiting felons as a voting bloc.” So, there you go. The Democrats already have your vote, now they want to bring in their criminal friends to join you. A research study cites a reason for the Democrat’s interest in getting those felons to the polls. Shear Smith Research says, "As crucial elections become increasingly more competitive, highly mobilized felons can swing election results."Wow! Aren’t you impressed! You’re in great company now! Sort of gives you an idea of what your Democratic masters think of you, doesn’t it?
Neil Boortz is a syndicated talk show host based in Atlanta Georgia. You can visit his website at http://www.boortz.com.
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