Monday, January 24, 2005
Putting Their Money Where Their Mouths Are
Not to state the obvious, but if our nation's politicians really believed in some of their "ownership society" initiatives, they would put their money where their mouths are.
Most employers have either stripped down their pension plans, or have abolished pension plans in favor of investment accounts, such as 401K plans, which I guess gives workers "ownership" over their own retirement. Congress, of course, has given itself an exceptionally generous pension plan. The President enjoys an exceptionally generous pension plan. Ownership, it seems, is for the working masses - our "leaders" don't want that type of risk.
With health care costs increasing, and health insurance unaffordable for many Americans and small employers, "conservatives" like Newt Gingrich like to rail against traditional health insurance plans, suggesting that federal deductions should be reduced and that employers should be pushed to offer bare-bones plans such that workers have to absorb basic health care costs out of their own salaries. Have you heard even a whisper that Congress intends such an effect for itself, as opposed to continuing to benefit from the excellent health care plans afforded to federal employees? At least John Kerry was willing to allow all Americans to buy into that system, with their own dollars. The "ownership society" Republicans (who control Congress and the White House) sneered at that proposal, and have no intention of sharing their coverage with the working masses - even when, as Kerry proposed, working Americans would have to buy in at full price.