Monday, March 28, 2011

Another state worker taking your hard earned money has the nerve to complain.

According to a new Field poll, a plurality of Californians now feel that state worker pensions are too generous. With scandals like the Bell city employees' pay packages and a town like Vallejo filing for bankruptcy instead of paying the pensions of cops and firefighters, I understand how public resentment has grown. Closer to my situation, the pay packages for people at the district level of the Peralta Community Colleges, where a boatload of people are making between $100,000 to $300,000 a year each, are more than a little grating when workers who actually makes students' lives better are getting canned left and right, like teachers, librarians, facilities workers and janitors.

But here's a guy sucking at the public teat who would actually like to tell you that he is getting screwed at the pension level and there should be something done about it.

That guy is Matty Boy.

Hi, how are ya? Nice to see ya.

Now that I work for the state of California and I'm part of the state pension plan, this means I will get docked Social Security benefits. I understand the idea is "double dipping" and I will note that I don't get any Social Security deduction from my check at Laney.

The thing is, I worked for more than twenty years out in the private sector before becoming a sponge off the taxpayers, having the gall to think that the time I spend 'splainin' order of operations or the quadratic formula or the Central Limit Theorem to community college students is actual gainful employment. More than that, I'm a part-timer, so I have to work several jobs to keep a roof above my head, and some of those gigs are still in the private sector. That means Social Security is taken out of those checks and I will get less of it than the average Joe, even though the system is still expected to be solvent when I get to retirement age, whatever age that scummy old coot Alan Simpson thinks that is.

And much more than this, I am NOT a unique case.

The current system has a sliding scale, but it depends on how may years you were paid "substantial earnings", a number which has increased over time because of inflation. If somebody has had a state gig his or her entire life, then it makes sense that since that person paid nothing into Social Security, he or she should just get by on a state pension and whatever savings were accumulated. But folks like me who have become state workers late in life and still have to work part time at companies that are taking Social Security out of each paycheck will never see any benefit from that removed money if we do not work enough hours outside the public employee system.

To me, it's just another example of a tax system designed to make the rich richer and the non-rich poorer. They use "small business owners" as human shields, but the very rich are robbing us blind when there has been enough growth in this country's economy in the past forty years that the tide should have lifted all the boats, not just the yachts.

8 comments:

ken said...

Um, I think you're wrong there. I think you just don't get Social Security credit for the time you're a public employee. My mom was a teacher for decades, and she gets SS from my dad's account.

Karlacita! said...

Ken, we'd have to do the research, but a married woman is in a different category to Matthew. My Mom didn't qualify for SS because she hadn't worked enough in her life, so she was given SS based on my Dad's earning. Is it possible that your mom had a teacher's pension in her own name, and SS through her connection to your dad?

If so, then Matt doesn't have that fallback.

Karlacita! said...

Whoops, sorry, I changed that second sentence but forgot to uncapitalize the words mom and dad.

ken said...

Karla, you're right about the pensions, but I think Matt is still entitled to at least most of his SS.
Matt, look at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/gpo-wep/ , particularly the "If you're eligible for Social Security benefits on your own record" section.

Matty Boy said...

Ken, you are right, I will only get my SSI docked and how much depends on how many years I made "substantial income" that had SSI taxes taken away.

If I have less than 20 years of substantial income, I'll get nailed pretty seriously.

Matty Boy said...

The post has been edited to reflect the updated information.

namastenancy said...

I'm relieved to know that your future situation is not as grimly dire as I feared. It's sure is a shitty world for the working class. I wonder if the middle class who voted for Regan and his successors realized what it would all mean. It still amazes me that more people don't realize that we have class war --- and that the mega-rich are winning (so far).

dguzman said...

I think the biggest problem is that too many people believe that when they "vote their pocketbooks" for republicans, they're actually helping people at their economic level -- which, unless they are in the richest 1% of this country's population, is completely untrue. Only the millionaires and billionaires are reaping the benefits of republican government; the rest of us, whether we're making minimum wage or 100K a year, are getting fucked. But those 100Kers don't want to think they're in the same boat as minimum wagers; it would completely sap their little self-concepts.