I write regarding an issue of great concern to me - upcoming pension reform legislation.
A recent study by the Congressional Research Service (a non-partisan branch of the Library of Congress) on new pension legislation up for congressional deliberation shows that the proposed pension conversions using cash-balance formulas would have devastating effects on the pensions of American workers.
To illustrate the effects of the proposed legislation, the pensions of prominent congressmen were converted using the proposed cash-balance formulas. Rep. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and a major sponsor of the House Republican pension legislation, would find his pension of $334,857 reduced to $239,185 under the proposed cash-balance adjustment. Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, and chairman of the Finance Committee, would see his existing pension worth $508,266 adjusted to $161,623.
Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, and the House majority leader, would find his present benefit worth $608,143 at a 59 percent reduction to a mere $251,086. Illinois Republican Rep. Dennis Hastert, the House speaker, would find himself in similar straits at a current pension of $540,572 cash-balance adjusted to $164,455.
But, these gentlemen need not worry; the legislation will not apply to their "government-funded by your tax dollar" pension plans.
The study's findings show the hypocrisy of congressional men and women who consistently exempts themselves from the sacrifices that they tout to be necessary for "all" to make.
I have no faith in elected officials who create laws to govern American citizens' lives, then exempt themselves from the very responsibilities they have created for us to live by. They also have the best health insurance our tax dollar can provide. Do you?
Amanda R. Lang, Augusta
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