Archive for October, 2012
October 31, 23012
As I have watched the election season, it is like watching a morality play on a national stage. There are so many people and so many thoughts on what people consider important.
There are the single issue voters such as “It is the environment” or “abortion” or “jobs” or “the debt and deficit” or “terrorism”. All of these are important issues. However to me the single most important issue is “character”.
The character of the candidates is important. However the American people have little faith in the (more…)
October 29, 2012
On the local November 6th ballot there are two proposals for raising taxes.
The City is asking voters to approve a one cent tax hike on every gallon of gas for MATA funding.
Instead of paying $3.46 a gallon you would pay $3.47.
What is the financial situation of MATA? Yes MATA is subsidized by user fees, federal and state grants and the City of Memphis. MATA has the authority to supervise the operations of the City’s transit system. This system (more…)
October 25, 2012
There is the old saying that states “We are the Federal government and we are here to help.”
If there ever were good reasons to vote for smaller government, here are prime examples. We need to do away with these two federal departments which are examples of waste caused by big government.
The Department of Energy was formed after the oil crisis on August 4, 1977 in order to end the United States dependence on foreign oil by President Jimmy Carter’s signing of legislation, The Department of Energy Organization Act of 1977 (P.L. 95-91, 91 (more…)
Pensions-Public Versus Private
The upcoming national election will have a profound effect on pensions and the responsibility for financing a person’s retirement.
The private sector, which employs the majority of Americans, has already decided that a pension for their employees is a combination of social security plus a 401K plan with the employee and the employer contributing to the plan plus what the (more…)
October 11, 2012
There was an interesting article in the CA last Monday, October 8, 2012. The title was “TVA shortfall proves costly to ratepayers”.
Our local electric power comes mainly from TVA and here we have a template for what is happening at the MLGW. Salaries, benefits (healthcare, vacations, sick days, etc.) pensions and OPEB (retiree health care) come mainly from the rate payers plus employee contributions. Contrast this with the City of Memphis and Shelby County which is mainly financed by property taxes and sales taxes. The difference is that TVA and MLGW salaries and benefits are hidden in your utility bills and as long as electricity, gas and water rates stay reasonably level, you don’t complain too much. On the other hand, when property taxes are raised, the tax payers get mad and rightly so.
Now suppose two things happen. One is another 2008 financial debacle and the other is rising energy rates. Both of these could happen if the national government decides to go all green as the administration wants to do. (“Under my cap and trade plan, electric rates would naturally rise astronomically”).
Change is coming as the national level of political promises made by politicians in the form of public pensions and health care promises are unsustainable and we are seeing states, cities and counties struggle to pay the bills for the promises and continue the needed level of fire, police, education and public services needed for a civil society. The sooner we face up to these problems and come to a joint agreeable solution, the better our future will be.
October 8, 2012
At the MLGW pension board meeting on October 4th 2012, there finally was a proposed change to the pension system at the MLGW. I have been pushing for changes for some time and here is what they finally proposed as shown on the attached document.
Option 1- They are proposing to change the 25 years and out, regardless of age retirement rule, to 55 years old and 25 years of service (more…)