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Qtec
03-16-2011, 09:01 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
MIKE TIPPING: <span style='font-size: 14pt'>LePage exempts own pension from budget cutbacks</span>

Mike Tipping

Under Gov. Paul LePage's proposed budget, teachers and other state employees will be required to increase their contributions to the pension system, from 7.65 percent of their salary to 9.65 percent.

<u>One public employee currently paying 7.65 percent, however, won't see an increase.

The governor has exempted himself.</u>

While public employees and teachers face this increase, as well as a raise in the retirement age, a freeze on cost-of-living adjustments for current retirees and a 2 percent cap on future cost of living increases, LePage's personal contribution rate to the retirement system will remain the same, which means he'll be paying $21,420 over four years.

If LePage faced the same increase as state employees, it would cost him $5,880 over his term.

Unlike teachers and state employees, however, the size of the governor's pension doesn't depend on how long he pays into the system. <span style='font-size: 11pt'>As soon as he leaves office, he'll begin receiving a three-eighths of his salary, which works out to $26,600 annually.

For comparison, a Maine teacher would have to work for more than 25 years to receive this level of benefits.</span>

Confidential employees, those that are not represented under union collective bargaining, also are not seeing their salary contributions increased to the same rate. They'll continue to pay just 3.65 percent of their salary to the pension fund.

<span style='font-size: 14pt'>At the same time that most employees <u>are to be forced to increase their contributions,</u> the state will <u>reduce the amount it pays into the retirement fund.</u></span>

Maine currently contributes 5.5 percent of an employee's salary, less than the 6.2 percent it would have to pay if these workers were enrolled in Social Security rather than the more efficient state pension system.

It is difficult, then, to take LePage seriously when he says, "I know some teachers and retirees are struggling, but we need honest and shared solutions to solve our pension problem," as he did last week, or when his spokesperson talked about <span style='font-size: 14pt'>"shared sacrifices" </span>as they announced the budget.

<span style="color: #3333FF">LePage's budget shows <u>the same lack of fairness </u>on a larger scale as well. Last week, LePage's commissioner of the Department of Administrative and Financial Services, Sawin Millett, explained that <u>the money raised from these payment increases on teachers and public employees isn't targeted to shore up the state's pension system, but will instead pay for other budget priorities, <span style='font-size: 14pt'>including $203 million in tax cuts.</span></u></span>

Maine's wealthiest residents will benefit the most from these cuts. One percent of households, those earning more than $360,000, will see their income taxes go down by $2,700. The budget also would double the size of estates that are exempt from the estate tax from $1 million to $2 million, a provision that would benefit only about 550 Maine families and cost the rest of us $30 million.

Overall, <span style='font-size: 17pt'>about half of the benefits of LePage's proposed tax cuts would go to Maine's richest 10 percent </span></div></div>

link (http://www.kjonline.com/opinion/columnists/lepage-exempts-own-pension-from-budget-cutbacks_2011-03-12.html)

Q

Q

Gayle in MD
03-16-2011, 11:10 PM
Seems that every day, our take on Republicans being only for the wealthy, becomes more clearly demonstrated in these news stories.

Do you think the Tea Party types, are going to wake up? How much more obvious does it get?

G.

Qtec
03-18-2011, 05:06 AM
G, its the fact that <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><span style='font-size: 14pt'>LePage exempts own pension from budget cutbacks</span> </div></div> that got me. He is so arrogant he doesn't even consider how it looks. He doesn't care.

When they say 'we all have to sacrifice', <u>its a lie</u>.

Q

Gayle in MD
03-18-2011, 05:53 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Qtec</div><div class="ubbcode-body">G, its the fact that <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><span style='font-size: 14pt'>LePage exempts own pension from budget cutbacks</span> </div></div> that got me. He is so arrogant he doesn't even consider how it looks. He doesn't care.

When they say 'we all have to sacrifice', <u>its a lie</u>.

Q </div></div>

Yes, they are not only above the law, in their own minds, but above any presonal sacrifice, as well. I am heartened to see the continuing protests, growing.

We've watched them Republicans put themselves on pedestals, in many forms, none of which actually fit the reality of who they really are, nor how they legislate, their presentations, have never fit their actions, "Christian, Family Values?" LMAO!

Republicans will keep you safe? Tough on Terrorism? Ater Bush sat on vacation and did nothing to prevent 9/11, after unprecedented warnings, on no uncertain terms!

Now, they are going to see the fed up, Middle Class, topple them. This isn't chile!

The Republican Party, as we write, is fracturing, on The Hill, ajd arouund the country.

It seems the old line, hard liners, haven't been able to knock these new Tea Party kiddies into line. They don't seem to cotton to the traditional, "Vote in a Block" and play our inside game, those familiar Republican methods, of removing individuality and continuing to forge a Party of automatons.

I thought all along, the Tea Party BS, would come back to bite them in their *****, and now, we're seeing it.

Even their "Keep America Safe" BS, is showing up for what it is, and who they really are...as we approach predictions of greater climate threats, Earthquakes, Tsumani's, floods and Tornados, as they work to dismantle every agency which does keep us safe, annd give us warning...

Did you see this?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/15/climate-change-denial-com_n_836219.html

Committee Republicans Unanimously Reject Measures Reaffirming Science Behind Global Warming
WASHINGTON -- In a vote split cleanly along party lines, the Republican-led House Energy and Commerce Committee on Tuesday rejected measures reaffirming climate change as a scientific reality, with every Republican on the panel voting "nay," Roll Call's Jennifer Bendery first reported.

Committee Republicans rejected three amendments acknowledging the science of climate change, with every Republican on the committee voting against an amendment introduced by California Democrat Henry Waxman calling on Congress to affirm “warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level.’’

The committee also voted 31-20 along party lines to turn down an amendment introduced by Washington Democrat Jay Inslee asking Congress to accept that ‘‘the public health of current generations is endangered and that the threat to public health for both current and future generations will likely mount over time as greenhouse gases continue to accumulate in the atmosphere and result in ever greater rates of climate change.’’ A similar proposal introduced by Colorado Democrat Diana DeGette was also soundly defeated.

The three amendments were introduced in the course of debate over a Republican bill to bar the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas emissions.

Committee Chairman Fred Upton in his opening remarks claimed the bill would help spur job growth and accused the EPA of destroying jobs in an already faltering economy. "There are a host of reasons to support H.R. 910, but let me put it simply," he said. "This bill says 'stop' to an EPA attempting to impose policies we cannot afford that will destroy jobs we cannot afford to lose. By passing this bill, we can put Congress back in charge of setting the energy and environmental policies that will allow our nation to create jobs, bring down prices at the pump, and make America more secure and energy independent."

Waxman, the ranking Democrat on the committee, called the bill "dangerous" in his opening remarks and implored lawmakers not to "put our head in the sand like an ostrich."
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They want to cut funds from our Tsunami Warning system, overrsite of our Nuclear Power Plants, OCHA, the Natinal Weather SErvice, Food and Drug, virtually everything that keeps us safe, including the EPA! But don't raise taxes on the filthy rich, who hae been taking meat our of our sides, for three decades! don't end those subsidies, for oil, that bring us absolutely nothing, and clearly, not lower oil prices!

Some stewards they are, huh?

G.

eg8r
03-21-2011, 01:12 PM
Seems pretty shady. I am sure future Dem governors will make sure to change this snafu as a first order of business.

eg8r

pooltchr
03-21-2011, 01:42 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: eg8r</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Seems pretty shady. I am sure future Dem governors will make sure to change this snafu as a first order of business.

eg8r </div></div>

Yeah, those Dem governors are always quick to make sure everything they do is on the up and up.
In fact, our last one (Easley) is facing charges for campaign finance irregularities.
They are such honest people, always looking out for everyone else!



Steve

Qtec
03-22-2011, 07:46 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: eg8r</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Seems pretty shady. I am sure future Dem governors will make sure to change this snafu as a first order of business.

eg8r </div></div>

What you won't acknowlegde is that this is not a one off situation. Its syptematic of present GOP policy. When the say we all have to sacrifice, they don't mean everybody.

Q

eg8r
03-22-2011, 01:09 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">What you won't acknowlegde is that this is not a one off situation.</div></div>What you won't acknowledge is that one Governor doing his thing is perfectly independant of another. You just want to lump all of them in the same bucket because it happens to be something you disagree with.

eg8r