Sunday, September 17, 2017

There's No Such Thing as a “Free Lunch"

That expression has been regularly used over the years to convey the idea that anything that is offered as “free” really isn't free, but is a hidden cost and a possible burden to others.

Ever since the “New Deal”, during FDR's administrations, politicians have been promising people something for nothing in hopes that those people will respond favorably in the future and vote for those politicians doling out the “free” largesse from the public treasury. Well, today the “chickens are coming home to roost” (a phrase made popular by Obama's former pastor/mentor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright). Many states are facing bankruptcy due to the fact that their “generous” fiscal policies, granted to favored groups and unions over the years, are coming back to bite them in the butt, big time. Many state pension funds are woefully underfunded, government salaries have been grossly inflated, and work rules shamefully relaxed, under intimidating union pressure. These past labor policies have now prevented many states from prospering, and as a result, have brought them to a “financial Armageddon” which is now being played out in the states of Illinois, Ohio, New Jersey, California, New York etc.

Most rational people are not against government workers getting a public funded pension and benefits, but feel that these government workers should have to contribute towards these “Cadillac” pensions and health care programs and not leave the burden to be carried on the backs of the taxpayers by raising their taxes to pay for these fringe benefits alone. Over the years, due to pressure from the union bosses, during collective bargaining negotiations, the politicians have “sweetened” the “pot” to make public pensions and health care impossible to sustain by the taxpaying public.

How can you justify that 80% of the retirees in the NYC Fire Department retire on “disability pensions” collecting almost 100% of their salary, tax-free? How can you justify that a NYC bus driver, sanitation worker, transit authority employee, train conductor etc., can almost double his/her “lawful” pension by using “overtime pay” during their last couple of years of service as a pension enhancer to jack up their annual retirement pay to be used in the determination of their pension? Unused sick days and unused vacation time have also been used to jack up a potential retirees final salary, giving them a much higher pension than they would have earned by using their regular salary only.

Most private employees do not get what the public employees (government workers) get and feel that the salary enhancing ploys are not fair or justifiable in today's dire economic environment. They believe that everyone should be contributing something toward their own retirement fringe benefits.

The governor's, of many of our states, have to balance their budgets and must rein in these overly generous “freebies”. That must be their priority in trying to bring financial sanity back to the public workplace. The demonstrations in both Illinois and Ohio are a pitiful display of self-serving boorish behavior on the part of these well-paid government union workers, who want to keep the status quo by opposing any changes whatsoever, even in the face of a state going off the “financial cliff”.

Yes Virginia, there is no such thing as a “free lunch” and the sooner we realize that the better off we will be.

Conservative commentary by Chuck Lehmann

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1 comment:

Barry Golden said...

Ole Socialist, Bernie Sanders, is trying to bolster his image among brain dead liberals by proposing free, government controlled health care for the entire country regardless of how much it will cost the taxpayers. I guess he thinks the government can run a massive program like "Universal Medicare" and still save money by having the wasteful, incompetent government run it like it runs the V.A., the Post Office, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the other debt-ridden wasteful and inefficient government agencies and programs. Yes Virginia, there is no such thing as a fee lunch.