STATES STRUGGLE TO COVER RETIREES
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"I sincerely believe... that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity under the name of funding is but swindling futurity on a large scale." --Thomas Jefferson to John Taylor, 1816. ME 15:23
The caption for this column was the headline, front page of USA Today on December 18, 2006. The sub title read: Medical liabilities exceed $1 TRILLION dollars. The opening paragraphs reads: "State and local governments are starting to take aggressive steps to reduce the enormous cost of providing health care benefits to retired teachers, police officers, firefighters and other public workers. As 43 state legislatures prepare to convene next month, governments are cutting benefits, setting aside money to cover future costs and shifting expenses to the federal Medicare program. The efforts are the first to address a liability of more than $1 TRILLION dollars for providing medical care promised to about 25 million current and future retired state and local civil servants."
What does this mean? It means that when state and local governments negotiated contracts with all these unions, they didn't have the money they were promising. The states are going to slither out of their obligations by slapping the debt onto the backs of Americans who don't live in their state and who won't apply for Medicare even though they're forced with a gun to their head to pay that insidious tax. In other words, the state of West Virginia promised X amount of dollars in retirement benefits (medical) for their workers. The state says they don't have the money, so Joe America out in New Hampshire is going to get stuck paying for those Medicare benefits for the retirees in WV because the state is shifting the burden to a federal program. Does anyone agree with me how wrong this is? What your inept city, state and federal politicians are doing is forcing involuntary servitude upon you, your children and grand babies because it's time to pay the piper and the purse is allegedly empty.
From the same news item:
"West Virginia. The state pension board is to vote Wednesday on shifting prescription drug coverage for retirees to Medicare, a federal program. The change, along with making retirees pay more, would slash the state's $8 BILLION dollar UNFUNDED LIABILITY to $5 BILLION."
I have no problem with unions and their contracts with the hiring entity. What I do have a problem with is any level government promising money down the road they know they don't and won't have and then pushing that debt off on the rest of America - especially onto mathematically doomed programs like Medicare. At least USA TODAY balanced out their coverage by pointing out, "Medicare's financial situation already is deteriorating. The government's audited financial statement, released Friday, reported that Medicare's UNFUNDED LIABILITY rose $2.4 TRILLION in 2006 to $32.3 TRILLION."
Can Americans really grasp what those number above mean? Most Americans don't want the facts about programs already dead on arrival (social security, Medicare), but let's look at the hard facts:
There is no money in the U.S. Treasury to fund SS or Medicare. Every penny has to be borrowed because social security is a tax that goes into the general fund of the treasury and is NOT earmarked for any specific spending purpose. This is a legal fact.
As I write this column, the federal government is running a debt of $8,717,872,260,720.52 in the hole. This is the amount borrowed by your Congress and past sitting presidents because there was no money in their legal checking account to fund the limited, legitimate functions of the federal government authorized under Art. 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution. Congress has exceeded (blown apart) all legal limits on legislating from sperm to grave creating this mess. By the end of today when tens of millions of Americans will plop in front of the boob tube to get their ration of inane garbage, the national debt will have grown by $1.69 BILLION dollars.
Let's toss in another $3 BILLION in debt from West Virginia (just one state out of 50) because those political animals out there promised the moon and now they say they can't pay. Can Americans really grasp what these numbers mean?
Medicare and social security cannot be saved. They are mathematically doomed. I have covered these two issues in great depth many times as well as solutions; for those column just check above for Additional Titles. They are numerous, they are detailed and they outline the constitutional solutions that need to be implemented.
When the first wave of baby boomers begin to retire one year from now, this is the blood bath facing an inept, cowardly Congress, and let me quote again the real numbers from one of my past columns:
"Laurence Kotlikoff, Economics Chairman at Boston University, who has written abundantly on this subject, offers up a shocking response on how to close a $51 trillion dollar fiscal gap: "To give you idea how big the problem is, you'd have to have an immediate and permanent 78 percent hike in the federal income tax. More than double the payroll tax, immediately and forever, from 15.3 percent of wages to nearly 32 percent; Raise income taxes by two thirds (roughly 78%), immediately and forever; Cut Social Security and Medicare benefits by 45 percent, immediately and forever;"
Right now the savings rate for Americans is at it's all time lowest since the deliberately engineered "Great Depression." The rate of savings is in the MINUS column. Americans have nothing left to save because they are being taxed to death - and reprehensibly - even after their coffins are put into the ground. This means that more and more Americans are dipping into their meager savings each month just to stay afloat. Corrupt and inept politicians from the states to Congress are robbing the American people blind and dooming them to a retirement steeped in poverty.
The states of the Union all say they're broke, but what about their 'Consolidated Annual Financial Reports'? What is that? All states keep a separate set of books. Walter Burien, a former NJ commodities broker, has spent many years fighting the blackout by the government's media apparatus and that includes the unfair and unbalanced FOX, CNN and MSNBC on this critical issue:
"National Public disclosure first began coming out as of June 8, 1998, exposing how all local governments promote their 'Budget' while holding back, for over 55 years, their true Financial Statement, the CAFR. It took up until 2000-01 before enough people were reached to have significant impact on this game of financial cat and mouse. Many began comprehending what was taking place right under their noses each and every day."
It saddens me to say it, but too many Americans simply won't be able to understand the importance of CAFRs, but make no mistake: your state legislators (reps and senators) know - or should know - all about the second set of books they keep under wraps. Six years ago I went down to the Comptroller General's office in Sacramento, California and requested the current CAFR. The cow sitting at the receptionists desk didn't want me to have it until I dropped my media credentials on her desk. After some subtle dialogue with another "empowered" female in that office, they finally handed it over. Was I ever shocked when I saw how much money the state actually had while trying to shove more bond measures down the people's throats "for the children" and of course, fleecing those poor taxpayers for BILLIONS of dollars to feed, clothe, house, educate and coddle 3 MILLION criminals (illegal aliens, not immigrants).
Despite the double speak and more bombastic gas coming out of Congress and Bush, the economy isn't rosy, it isn't even pink. LeMetropole Cafe is the best, most reliable and accurate site on the Internet (my humble opinion) regarding the economy and the deliberate manipulation by the gold cartel to keep the price of gold suppressed to paint a different picture of the looming financial disaster in this country. One recent post revealed this:
"Our source checked in this afternoon with some serious good stuff. He met again for lunch with his client, a former Director of a regional Federal Reserve Bank who has purchased more than $1 million of bullion from him, who said the following:
"The decision by the US to do away with the M-3 money supply figures has some people (institutions, countries, very wealthy individuals) spooked. They are concerned about the US printing too much money. They are concerned this is going to lead to a dollar debacle.
"This includes the CHINESE, who are moving out of part of their Treasury holdings and moving them into commodities, and possibly other currencies.
"As brought to your attention in this column, more and more central banks are BUYING gold ... more than we are aware of at the moment. Now that the Chinese have become vocal about buying commodities, including gold, other central banks will be, and are, following.
"Very recently, billionaire types have begun to move their money into gold ... not so much as an investment, but as protection against a dollar collapse.
"This is wonderfully important. As mentioned yesterday, the gold market cannot handle this sort of new buying, not with the supply/demand deficit what it is. This greatly increases the odds the heinous Gold Cartel is going to get blown out of the water. Wait until some of them try and get some of their leased gold back. Gold will go ballistic!"
Again, most Americans really wouldn't have a clue about those statements and that's sad. A recent e-mailer asked me a ton of questions after he read my piece, 'Why an income tax is not necessary to fund the federal government.' Because I average 12,000-15,000 incoming e-mails per month, I simply cannot respond one on one, but I highly recommend folks do visit my Reading Room for source material so they can learn what I have over the past 17 years. The books I recommend on the central bank and income tax are what I consider to be the best, most factual and accurate.
We the people are making progress on some issues, i.e., getting our states to repudiate and reject the insidious National ID. However, unless the state legislatures and Congress take the necessary steps to at least minimize the coming financial tsunami, everything you've ever worked for won't survive. Mark my words: the numbers don't lie and while Comrade Nancy Pelosi is wrangling for free military transportation (This female is worth $55 MILLION bucks. Buy your own plane, Nancy and shut up.) The deficit continues to snowball and when it hits the bottom, you don't want to be there. I recommend people call my friend, Harvey Gordin, at El Dorado Gold (1.623.434.3322). I'm not a gold dealer, but Harvey has educated me and helped me understand what it means when gold goes up as it relates to the stock market. It's dangerous to leave all your eggs in one basket; gold will always be King. He can do the same for you and help you protect your assets because other experts are also sounding "For whom the bell tolls" - Bloomberg Report, January 8, 2007, Assets Markets Face Severe Corrections: "Faber said gold should rally further on expectations that supply of the precious metal will decline and demand for it will increase to hedge against inflation. Gold climbed 23 percent last year, its sixth year of gains."
On October 29, 2006, exactly 77 years to the day of the big crash in '29, Comptroller of these united States of America, David Walker, said: ""This is about the future of our country, our kids and grandkids....We the people have to rise up to make sure things get changed." Start by taking care of what you have left first, because neither Marxist Hillary Clinton, boozer Teddy Kennedy, James Sensenbrenner or John McCain is going to save your bacon. They haven't gotten the job done all these years, so don't expect it now.
Something new: I have a new 'sister' site called Devvy's Place. This is for short posts and quick comments by yours truly on the lunacy going on out there in America. I get dozens of e-mails everyday asking me to cover some issue, a new bill in Congress or a state legislature, meetings, conferences and so on. I simply cannot write that many columns, so what I've done is set up Devvy's Place to get that type of information out to you so that you have time to react or participate. The other day I posted the direct link to the opt out form for the HPV vaccination for the State of Texas. I hope you'll book mark and check it daily for new posts.
about CAFRs on Walt's site
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Devvy Kidd authored the booklets, Why A Bankrupt America and Blind Loyalty; 2,000,000 copies. Devvy appears on radio shows all over the country, ran for Congress and is a highly sought after public speaker. Devvy belongs to no organization.
She left the Republican Party in 1996 and has been an independent voter ever since. Devvy isn't left, right or in the middle; she is a constitutionalist who believes in the supreme law of the land, not some political party. Her web site (www.devvy.com) contains a tremendous amount of information, solutions and a vast Reading Room.
Devvy's website: www.devvy.com
E-mail is: firstname.lastname@example.org
We the people are on some issues, getting our states to repudiate and reject the insidious National ID. However, unless the state legislatures and Congress take the necessary steps to at least minimize the coming financial tsunami, everything you've ever worked for won't survive.