As if there isn't enough reasons to despise both Congress and the little moron and his owners currently occupying our highest offices, how about a little legislation that will affect the pensions of literally tens if not hundreds of millions of Americans?
After the outright fraud, theft, and looting of corporate employee pension plans by Enron and WorldCom (as just two recent examples), one would think that Congress would be ashamed of the laxity that it's shown over the years regarding the crimes and criminals that occupy the suites of Corporate America. Not a chance.
Instead, the Republican controlled House passed a "reform" bill that's as stupid and criminal as every other "reform" measure the Republicans have ever inflicted on America. This legislation would not only justify the theft of employee funds by executives, it would make it far easier to do so. It will also allow Corporate America to screw the vast majority of their employees while heaping love offerings on the suits in the suites.
In a 1986 pension act, the law made corporations meet very strict requirements that were meant to insure that the benefits that the suits enjoyed must also be provided to the people that do all of the actual work on the shop floor. Even though the corporate accountants and the Author Andersons of the nation burned the midnight oil trying to find ways around those requirements, an average of 70% of full-time workers were covered under the law.
The Republican House, rather than trying to pass legislation that would more fully protect the actual human beings in America, have passed an act that nearly completely removes what little protections there were and replaced them with a plan that gives the Treasury Department authority to approve plans that don't currently meet legal requirements. Before 1986, when the Treasury had that same power, it signed off on plans that covered as little as 25% of a corporation's employees while allowing executives to reap simply stunning pension benefits.
The House's version of pension "reform" was pretty much written by corporate lobbyists, a common practice for Republican whores in Congress, and was pushed by Representative Bill Thomas, chair of the House Ways and Means Committee and a corporate whore who never found a lobbyist's boot too dirty to lick.
Anyone with any sense will see two results that can be expected, one in the short term and the other in the long term. In the short term, Republicans and the many right wing Democrats that kneel at the feet of Corporate America will find themselves awash in corporate campaign contributions, making it almost impossible for real human beings to run for or be elected to Congress. This means that these same criminals will continue to infect our government for years to come. In the long term of ten or twenty years, the media will suddenly notice the tens of millions of Americans who reach retirement age without the financial means to quit working. Naturally, the media will puff and pant about how it was all just so unexpected while eventually acknowledging that it is just an "unexpected" side effect of the glorious pension "reform" of 2002.
So, in ten years or so when you or your parents suddenly find themselves sleeping in cardboard boxes in the alleys of downtown America, you can proudly state that you voted for Republicans all of your life. That is assuming, of course, that your belongings aren't confiscated and you aren't picked up by the police and carted out into the hinterlands so that the wealthy won't have to see your sorry asses when they come downtown to attend some function that consists of nothing but another round of Republican ass kissing.
My recommendations for those of you who vote Republican but don't own your very own politician? Get the big refrigerator boxes. They're the most roomy and might be thick enough to keep the rats from chewing through while you and your family are asleep, dreaming of the retirement you might have had.
If you want to learn more about this theft of your future, there is a website run by The Campaign for America's Future where you can read more about this horror and then write your legislators and demand that they immediately stop this criminal legislation and replace it with actual reform, a reform that will protect and provide for real human beings long into the future. ( 1 - 2 )
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