Saturday, 9:00 AM. 28 degrees F, down from 34 degrees at 8:00 AM. It is very windy, and cloudy, with a high overcast. The barometer stands at 29.60, the same as yesterday morning. The humidity is 78%. It was a blustery walk, with still some slippery spots, but the wind is drying the roads nicely.
Correction: local reader Dennis McCann pointed out that there were some discrepancies (I will use the term urban myths) printed in yesterday’s blog. I checked out on the web site Snopes the news item which reported that the children of members of Congress do not have to pay back student loans, and that information seems to be incorrect, and that there is no legislation or rule that guarantees such forgiveness. The federal government does, however, offer up to $10,000 in student loan forgiveness to new hires in “hard to fill” government jobs…could that perhaps apply to persons hired to work in Congressional offices, jobs that are often given to family members, and that is how the myth arose? Also the following, from the web site About.com: “Members of Congress receive retirement and health benefits under the same plans available to other federal employees. They become vested after five years of full participation.
Members elected since 1984 are covered by the Federal Employees' Retirement System (FERS). Those elected prior to 1984 were covered by the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS). In 1984 all members were given the option of remaining with CSRS or switching to FERS.
As it is for all other federal employees, congressional retirement is funded through taxes and the participants' contributions. Members of Congress under FERS contribute 1.3 percent of their salary into the FERS retirement plan and pay 6.2 percent of their salary in Social Security taxes.
Members of Congress are not eligible for a pension until they reach the age of 50, but only if they've completed 20 years of service. Members are eligible at any age after completing 25 years of service or after they reach the age of 62. Please also note that Members of Congress have to serve at least 5 years to receive a pension.
The amount of a Congressional pension depends on the years of service and the average of the highest 3 years of his or her salary. By law, the starting amount of a Member's retirement annuity may not exceed 80% of his or her final salary.
According to the Congressional Research Service, The average Congressional annual pension was $35,952 in 2006.
Current salary for rank and file members of both houses of Congress is $174,000 per year [and much higher for Congressional officers].”
The outrage over the publishing of registered gun owners names and the locations of their homes in Westchester and Rockland Counties north of New York City by the local newspaper continues. The publishing of this information under the guise of open records laws has put a wide range of citizens, from police officers to battered wives, in danger from criminals and the mentally deranged. New York Governor Cuomo has jumped into the gun controversy in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy and is actually calling for the confiscation of legally registered and owned guns.
The radical left is having a field day, but it all appears to be backfiring on them as more and more citizens react to these assaults on their Second Amendment rights.
This whole scenario is looking more and more like an attempt by not only the federal government but some states as well to disarm the American public, as did Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Castro, Chavez and many other successful dictators of both the right and the left. Let us not forget that individual states have had dictatorial governments as well, Louisiana’s Huey Long being an historical case in point.
Tyranny recognizes no difference between Communism, Socialism, Statism or any other “ism.” The enslavement of the people is the objective, and disarming them is the first step towards their subjugation