Thursday, December 01, 2005

"Duke" Gets the Royal Treatment

Duke Cunningham cried and blubbered after pleading guilty to charges of fraud and conspiracy, but that frown will soon be replaced by a smile. Cunningham will keep his government pension and could retain the privileges enjoyed by other former members of Congress according to The Hill. Unbelievable. The man serves in the House for 17 years, but after admitting to tax evasion, conspiracy and accepting $2.4 million in bribes, he will be allowed to keep his taxpayer funded pension.

What a double standard. Average Americans should have it so good. [Hat tip: The Carpetbagger Report]

Here's the pitch voters should hear: A corrupt congressman has more retirement security than you do.

About a month ago, PBS's NOW with David Brancaccio did a very disturbing piece on the crumbling pension system for millions of American workers.

Currently, 44 million Americans are enrolled in traditional defined benefit pension plans. Here's how they're supposed to work: during your working years, your employer is supposed to set aside money on your behalf, with the promise that they'll pay you a monthly benefit when you retire. But there's a problem: looking to save money today, many companies aren't setting aside enough money for the retirees of tomorrow.

Bradley Belt calls that "underfunding." Add it all up, he says, and the shortfall for America's pension plans is staggering.

How staggering? It's a $450 billion problem.

When Duke Cunningham can count on his congressional pension, but workers at United Airlines can't, it's time for Congress to take a look at this issue.

Maybe its time to do something about those "legacy costs" in Washington.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Maybe its time to get rid of the clowns in Washington period.