On Suggestions to the Super Committee

Several weeks ago, I sent a letter to Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), who not only is one of my senators, but he also was my former representative and is a member of the Super Committee. I focused on retirement, including Social Security by aiming at four points: 1) Establishing individualized, privatized Social Security accounts, 2) increasing money flow into the Social Security system, 3) maximizing avenues for individuals saving for retirement so they are less likely to seek government assistance, and 4) decreasing the tax rate for all businesses (employers).

With this focus on retirement, examining the current system of retirement accounts is part of the solution. For instance, the IRS currently limits IRA contributions based on income. To be honest, there is no good reason to limit retirement contributions in this manner. After all, Bill Gates has as much of a right to deposit into his retirement account and any middle class citizen.

With this in mind, I suggested these 11 points.

1)   Everyone 30 years or younger shall establish an individual, privatized account into which a 5% payroll deduction is automatically deposited. These accounts should be employee-directed, but with limited investment options to minimize risk.

2)  Everyone 30 years or younger shall have 1% withheld to be sent to the current Social Security fund.

3)  Employers deposit 4% payroll deduction into the employee’s individualized account.

4)  Employers also send 2% to the current Social Security fund.

5)  Raise the Social Security salary cap to $150,000.

6)  For all salaries above the salary cap, employees pay 1% to the Social Security fund.

7)  The employer’s obligation ceases at the salary cap.

8)  If they so choose, all employees can deposit into their approved IRA regardless of salaries: limited to $2000 into a traditional IRA and $5000 into a Roth IRA.

9)  If they so choose, an employee can submit participate in a 401K up to a maximum percentage established by the law. Whether or not an employer wishes to contribute to an employee’s 401K is a business decision.

10) Contributions to 401K, IRAs, and individualized Social Security accounts should have no cumulative bearing on the others, thus allowing n employee to build retirement wealth; therefore, no need for government assistance.

11) Employees currently over 30 years old continue to pay in accordance to the current system with the salary cap raised to $150,000 plus the additional 1% for income over $150,000 to the general fund.

I realize that each committee member is probably swamped with correspondence, so I do not have much hope that Senator Portman even saw my letter, let alone the committee doing something with the suggestions – but at least I tried.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 114

On Politics
Cheers to Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) for resigning the #3 leadership post in order to “liberate me to spend more time on issues that I care most about.” Of course, this also means that party leadership will become more ideological.

I find it interesting that companies and banks are sitting on cash reserves and citizens are saving more than they have in a long time.

Conservative advocate and writer David Frum wrote this response regarding the letter Republican leaders on Capitol Hill sent Fed Chair Ben Bernacke.

With all the talk Republicans do about decreasing regulations, they continue to be lax with examples. Surely, there cannot be a shortage!

Earlier this week I actually sent a letter with ideas to my senator, Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), who is on the Supercommittee. I would imagine my points could turn into a future post.

Some in the GOP are calling for Warren Buffet to release his tax returns. Mr. Buffett: Only release them if they agree to submit their past 3 years to the IRS for an audit.

As Speaker Boehner states the important of coming to the table without set ideas and conditions, he continues to insist, “Tax increases are a nonstarter” and “Tax increases are not a viable option for the joint committee.” The latter meaning the party is calling the shots for the SuperCommittee. Wow – there is a surprise!

Much of the tax talk is convincing the uninformed. One side says something about the tax rate, the other responds with the amount of taxes paid – and vice versa. The Republicans can say what they want about reducing taxes and the tax rate, but there is no way they will do it without raising the amount of taxes paid. After all, that is a page directly from President Ronald Reagan.

I remind Speaker Boehner that it is Week 37 of the Boehner-led House without a jobs bill. To quote Speaker Boehner, “Where are the jobs?”

Interesting Reads

On Headlines from The Onion
New NetPix Service Sends Unlimited Photographs for Monthly Fee
Bugs Infesting Area Apartment Have No Clear Goal
Obama Visits South-Carolina Ravaged South Carolina
US Funding Video Games to Compete Globally with Madden Cricket League ‘12
Narcissist Mentally Undresses Himself
TV Listing: Rick Perry’s Alaska

On Potpourri
The work project ends September 30th!

For the second consecutive year, my first round of golf for the season may be the last.

The new season of Dancing with the Stars is off and running. I hope this cast is likeable – but eliminating NBA star Ron Artest is a good start.

The realignment craze in college football has nothing to do with fans, tradition, young athletes, or education – but everything to do with football revenue. Is there any difference between university presidents, conference commissioners, and politicians?

Vermillion Cliffs National Monument is a haven of geologic formations. Located in Northern Arizona near its border with Utah, one of its features (The Wave) is an amazing sandstone formation created by wind erosion with iron deposits providing the color. Enjoy these pics from Google Images.

In the words of Garrison Keillor: Be well, do good works, and stay in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 108

On Politics
I don’t care about tomorrow’s GOP Ames Straw Poll. Simply put, the presidential campaign season is too long.

Sarah Palin said her arrival in New Hampshire on the same day Gov. Romney announced his candidacy was coincidental. Tomorrow, signs point to The Nincompoop’s coincidental arrival in Ames. Oops – it appears to be the same day Gov. Perry upstages all of them.

Is Jon Huntsman getting the cold shoulder because he refuses to play crazy?

News came out this week that President Obama’s re-election campaign plans to paint Gov. Romney as weird. Wow – I would have though his Massachusetts health care model, his worker-layoff record, and his waffling and flip-flopping would have been a better suggestion. Now that’s weird.

Not to my surprise, I’m unhappy with the Super Committee selections. Besides, Sen. Jon Kyl’s (R-AZ) selection goes against my pledge of no jackwagons.

Regarding the Super Committee, would it have been more interesting if the party leaders selected members from the other party? By the way, sequester them for a long weekend away from the press and any communication with the outside world.

Meanwhile, on the House side of Capitol Hill, I remind Speaker Boehner that it is Week 31 of the Boehner-led House without a jobs bill. To quote Speaker Boehner, “Where are the jobs?”

Interesting Reads

Interesting Headlines I Saw this Week on The Onion

  • Obama Turns 50 Despite Republican Opposition
  • Dept of Labor Reports it could be nothing, but They may have Spotted a Job in an Iowa Strip Mall
  • New GOP Strategy Involves Re-electing Obama. Making his Life More Miserable
  • Silicon Valley Town Pinning Tourism Hopes on World’s Largest Website
  • Scientists Trace Heat Wave to Massive Star at Center of Solar System

On Potpourri
What has Oklahoma done to be the top-ranked college football team this season?

My shoulder passed the first golf test of hitting about 30-40 wedges at a driving range.

This week was the anniversary of President Nixon’s resignation, which came 6 years to the day of his 1968 nomination.

This weekend we our hosting our dinner group with a theme based around Food Network’s Chopped. Each couple received a basket of key ingredients to use for their course, and with the aid of their pantry, they will feed the rest of us. Here are the baskets. Should a future post report the results?

  • Appetizer: Shrimp, pretzels, dried cranberries, and kiwi
  • Soup/Salad: Dairy case crescent rolls, green grapes, tomatillos, and pork rinds
  • Entrée: Orange juice concentrate, beer, red wine, and ham hocks
  • Dessert: Egg whites, walnuts, hominy, and frozen waffles

In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good works, and stay in touch.