Tuesday, February 24, 2004
Generation Gap

Willard Mitt actually said it with a straight face.

"I believe that we owe the Greatest Generation everything we possibly can to provide them the option to live in the way that provides the greatest dignity and the greatest opportunity for fine quality care." (source: Boston Globe, 2/19/2004)

Groovy. You owe them everything you possibly can ... provided it doesn't cost anything.

Case in point: the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) that the Commonwealth pays its retirees.

Because the Fraud Governor is proposing that the state implement a requirement that any new benefits added to a pension system, including changes to the COLA base, be fully funded within three years of taking effect. (source: Mass.gov)

Which means the Commonwealth would stop granting cost-of-living adjustments to all retirees, including those "we owe everything."

For example, at present, if the state decided to increase the COLA base from the current $12,000 a year to $15,000 a year (and give retirees $90 whooping dollars more a year in retirement monies), the pension funding schedule would increase by $50 million a year for the next 19 years. (source: RSCME, The Voice, March 2004) Which would be expensive, but manageable.

Romney, however, wants the state to have to eat the increased cost within three years. Which would be beyond expensive, and unmanageable.

Which raises an interesting issue: Romney proposed a three percent raise, then priced it out of existence by mandating his recapture language.

Since the Fraud Governor had no intention of granting his three-percent COLA raise, why not show the Greatest Generation some respect and offer an extravagent fake COLA raise - like 50, 75 percent, or more?

Hey, if they're not going to get a three-percent COLA, why not let them not get a 500-percent annual COLA raise?

The cost to the Commonwealth will be the same.

And think of the electoral support that the Greatest Generation could pretend to promise Willard Mitt in return!


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