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August 30, 2012
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Will your children support you?

I hope that I die before the IPERS fund, which pays me a meager pension, doesn’t run out of money or is raided by greedy Wall Street types and their political allies who want to keep the money for themselves. The Paul Ryan faithful, such as those in Wisconsin, would like to discontinue all government benefits to working people. (Most private retirement funds have already been discontinued in favor of paying higher executive salaries and bonuses.) That includes Social Security and Medicare as well as pensions that are a “Defined Benefit Plan” such as IPERS. The new Republican Tea Party view is that everybody should “pull themselves up by their bootstraps.” Government should not provide for the welfare of its citizens. That was the attitude of both Democrats and Republicans pre-FDR. Roosevelt changed all of that. Was it for the better?

Public retirees, look at your checking account deposits each month. In Iowa, we have both a pension AND Social Security. The Iowa Legislature decided that public employees should pay into both plans. Such is not the case in Illinois, Ohio, Texas and California. Now these Paul Ryan types want to change all of that. And of course they want to “reform” social benefits so that you will eventually have to be supported by your younger children and relatives in your old age. That’s the way it was before the New Deal. Do we want to return to those “good ole days?” Will your children support you?

Everybody deserves the government they vote into office. I miss Bill!

Gary Thelen

West Des Moines

Big corporate vacuum

I realize it’s all a theatre production, but I can’t help but laugh whenever I hear a presidential candidate spout off about ending “big government.” They’re never going to admit it, but the dirty, little secret is that those same champions of smaller government have no problem with a large, intrusive, tax dollar-sucking federal government — so long as their guy is in charge of it. They have no problem with a big government spending trillions on nation building, permanent war and imperialism; they have no problem with a big government spying on, arresting and imprisoning citizens; they have no problem with a big government telling us what we can and can’t do with our bodies; and they certainly have no problem with a big government telling us who we can marry.

Fundamentally, the federal government is simply a means to transfer the citizenry’s tax dollars, through an intentionally convoluted system, into corporate accounts. A large federal government is the best way to continue to pull off this scam, and these candidates — all corporate lackeys — know this. Sure, they’ll get their wide-eyed followers all fired up by stumping about the evils of big government, but when the election is over, they’ll be back to using the government as a big corporate vacuum.

Steve Hosch


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