Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Dear Mr. President

Dear President Obama,

I've been reading and listening to your comments in interviews and your statements. It's clear to me that what you said in 2008 wasn't what you truly and sincerely felt and thought, and more so believed. Those weren't necessarily lies, or at least in political jargon, but campaign rhetoric. To the many Americans who did believe your words, did vote for you and did believe you'd fulfill on your promises, those were in fact lies.

And now you're showing your willingness to sacrifice good, middle class Americans for your political victories. They, however, will be empty victories for all of us despite what you say afterward because we'll know you lied before not really believing your own words but selling a message. You're showing you're not a true Democrat in the traditional sense we expect one to be, to fight for public interest and public welfare issues, like the public healthcare option, and now like government employees and retirees.

It's been reported in studies since the Jimmy Carter administration federal government employees are unpaid by 20-22% compared with comparable private sector people of the top 100 corporations, near the middle with comparable state employees and near the top 500 corporations. It's only the retirement and health insurance benefits where government employees gain back some of those losses. That's not the hype but honest studies commissioned by Presidents, even George Bush.

All of them wanted to prove a point, that federal government employees are overpaid and overcompensated with benefits, but the studies proved the opposite, we were and are underpaid and undercompensated. Our benefit is our assured decent annuity and good health insurance, the same program enjoyed by those in Congress and their staffs, something they like to forget or not admit when they argued against the public option. Just lies to cover their poltical asses.

All the other studies, if you look at them closely, mismatch the comparison to inflate the values of federal government employees above the private sector people, using small or medium business who traditionally pay less in salary and benefits, with different job catagories, or combining groups of jobs into the same catagories. Those studies were all done to prove what they wanted, and wrongly.

My gross salary when I retired was $75,000, $50,000 net minus the various taxes and deductions and my contribution to my retirement fund, both government and personal, and my health insurance. My annuity was $50,000 gross and $36,000 net. That's not extreme as many Republicans and others have argued. It's middle class. And each year while the cost of living increases, by anuity does't keep pace. I, like many retirees, am slowly falling into a hole and could easily fall over a cliff in the face of a large unexpected expense.

And now you've decided federal government employees and retirees are political fodder for you and your future reelection. It's obvious and you can't hide it with words as deficit reduction. The cost of living of federal employees and retirees will increase 8-10% per year for each of the two years you're freezing their salary and our annuity. Our health insurance went up 12% last year and will go up 7% next year.

Is $5 Billion a year worth it? In a $1.4 Trillion deficit and a $14 Trillion national debt? Is our cents critical to our economic survival worth the political capitol to look good on cutting the size and cost of the federal government? Will those in Congress do the same for their salaries and for the salaries of their staffers? Will you freeze your salary too?

And still you haven't stood behind federal government employees for their hard work and service, but sacrificed them to the Republicans' agenda. Will you next freeze hiring while demanding more work of them? Will you freeze promotions and rewards for outstanding work? Do you expect to balance everything our their, and our (retirees), backs and wallet?

It's clear your word isn't worth the time it takes for your to express it. And we should trust you now and in the future? I've said you've lost my support for you, and now you've lost my confidence of ever gaining it back. I may not vote for your opponent but I certainly won't vote for you. I'll express my no on you and you alone, who has failed the American people and America I believe in.

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