The Opium Den

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

The Ship of State 🙂

“You’ll have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it” -Soon-to-be Ex-Speaker Pelosi.

Sounds a bit like the “Let’s make a Deal” and the Zonk was crammed down your throat because it was the right thing to do! 😦

If you want to know why Washington can’t control entitlement spending, there’s no better example than the regular ritual surrounding Medicare payments to physicians.

It has been going on for more than a decade, and it follows a consistent script. Congress faces a deadline to adjust Medicare reimbursements to a sustainable growth rate (SGR) established in a 1997 law. But Congress has never trimmed payments to anything near the levels demanded by the SGR formula, and it’s too late to play catch-up.

The looming cut is alarmingly large — so large that there’s no way it can stick. The American Medical Association then makes a fuss, raises the specter of doctors fleeing Medicare en masse, scares the seniors and forces Congress to come up with a short-term patch that holds the line on pay for a year or so and maybe even raises it a bit.

So the can gets kicked down the road, and Medicare keeps eating up a larger share of gross domestic product.

More than 60% of yearly spending is devoted to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and Defense apart from war expenditures. Budgetary discipline is impossible without a no-holds-barred discussion of demography, increased longevity and the national-security perils of unsustainable national debt.(IBD)

And then there’s Social Security, which the government’s main dependency weapon. But also they can’t privatize it because they stole the money decades ago but will never admit it.

Then there are the public sector government unions and their out of control, over the top salaries and lavish Rolls Royce pensions and benefits.

Yet, in California alone, nearly 10,000 retirees will get pension checks totaling at least $100,000 this year (that’s a Billion dollars a year folks in just 1 state! and these people typically can retire in their 50’s so could collect 30-40 BILLION dollars over time!)

And California just re-elected,after 30 years out of office, a massive Liberal, Jerry Brown.

Joshua Rauh, associate professor of finance at at Northwestern University, estimates that 20 states will run out of pension money by 2025.

The pension doomsday clocks in Illinois and New Jersey will strike even sooner, in 2018, he said. (MSNBC)

Social Security and Medicare are also headed for doomsday in the next generation.

In New Jersey, for example, the state is obligated to pay pensions out of the general fund when the pension fund runs dry. In 2018, the state will owe $14 billion in pension payouts, or one-third of the state’s annual tax receipts. To put that in perspective, to plug a budget hole like that this year, the state would have to cut all education spending. That bears repeating: It would have to eliminate spending on every elementary school, high school and college from its budget.

Another common pension abuse is “double-dipping” – a practice in which employees retire and start collecting their pension, then are rehired to perform their old job at their old salary. It’s a common practice for government workers around the country, despite many rules forbidding it.  Workers often argue that they have earned their pension and their right to retire, and if they decide to work during retirement, they’re entitled.  But the logic there is deeply flawed, said Dean.

“Pensions were designed to make sure government workers were allowed to grow old with dignity, not to make them rich,” he said.

And the poster child for that is Phoenix’s own Chief of Police (with help from his good buddy Mayor Phil “flash” Gordon) Jack “The Hack” Harris.

He retired as chief in 2007 and began collecting a $90,000 pension. Two weeks later, he was hired for essentially the same job, retitled “public safety manager,” and granted a salary of $193,000.

And Mayor Phil is a Pro-Illegal, “soak the rich” progressive Liberal!

Liberals love to dip into other people’s pockets and manipulate the system for their own advantage and then blame it on greedy “rich” people and conservatives/republicans.

Well, I guess I wouldn’t be poor either if I had a $90,000 pension and a $193,000 job all at taxpayer expense!!

But undoubtedly I’d be a racist! 🙂

A 30-year government worker with a final salary of $80,000 could expect an annual pension of roughly $55,000, or about $4,600 per month for life, under the current scheme. (And could easily be in their 50’s)

To earn that kind of guaranteed monthly income, a 401(k) saver would need $1 million in their retirement account, assuming $100,000 in savings can generate $400 in monthly income.

While it’s not impossible to grow a 401(k) to those lofty levels, it is rare.  In fact, 50 percent of Americans who have 401(k) accounts have less than $35,000 in them. Contrast that with our 30-year government workers who can all expect predictable pension checks.

So expect a furious battle as state governments attempt to reign in pension costs. (MSNBC)

And you get the Unions “outraged” and etc and that’s why they support the liberals in the Democrat party, because they will just keep paying them out and blaming someone else (“The rich”) for it.

We are on pace to soon owe 100% of our annual gross domestic product in national debt, while compiling the largest annual peacetime deficits in our history.

And what will happen when the pain comes?

Lots of crying and nashing of teeth and blaming “the rich”. But mostly, it will be the new NIMBY Principle. Not in my Back pocket You!

“Someone else” has to pay for my sins. Not Me. “Them”.

Sorry, but it’s YOU. Me. and that Grand Piano of neglected debt, avarice, and delusion staring down at you!

That’s the REAL TRUTH.

You aren’t required to like it.

It just is.

Deal with it.

The Free Ride is over. It’s time to roll up your selves, feel the pain, and get it done.

But first you have to De-tox the patient. And these DT’s are going to be a near stoke.

But as anyone who has ever kicked an addiction knows, you have to want to change first. And there in lies the real problem.

The patient knows he’s very sick, possibly morbidly so, but when the doctor prescribes the cure the patient is going to wail like a banshee and kick and scream and throw a tantrum.

Think I overstate, just wait and see.

And the Liberal Media and The Democrats will play the head drug pusher tempting you back into the opium den.

Think I overstate, just wait and see.

I think not.

And look at it this way: In terms of our collective health and national security, a budget surplus is probably worth more than an expanded federal health care entitlement, another Social Security cost-of-living increase or a new aircraft carrier.

But no pain, no gain!

So do you want another hit of Opium??

Political Cartoon by Michael Ramirez