Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Really Mr President

Mr. President,

Do you really think a 0.5% pay increase means anything to federal employees and retirees, like myself? Really, you're playing politics again with us employees and retirees for what purpose and gain? And you expect us to still think you're worthy to be president now?

You froze our salaries and annuities two of the last three years, which to me amounts to about $300 in lost net monthly income today. That's money I didn't get and don't have, all the while everything has gone up to where I'm now losing and my annuity isn't keeping up anymore. What don't you understand?

That's my truth. I retired in 2005 with expectations and plans of annual increases to at least cover inflation, which it did until you froze my annuity three years ago and then again the following year. I got an increase this year but only what I should have gotten three years ago, so I've lost the accumulated increases over those three years.

My health insurance premium has gone up 50% in the same period, no thanks to the "Affordable Care Act" which was supposed to minimize increases in my health insurance premiums and costs. It's done neither as both have increased. All the while my rent and living expenses have increased far more over the three years than the annuity increase this year.

And now you want to screw us again for political gamemanship with Congress? Do we look and work like political fodder to you? Obviously you think so. And the good news you have for us, at 0.5% increase? Really? Think about it. That's $5 per $1,000 of income. That's one fast food lunch.

That's just over a gallon of gas. It's a gallon of milk and a few groceries. It's a breakfast and coffee anywhere. In short, it's nothing of significance beyond being spent very quickly. And it's about $18 for the month for me, and only if taxes and my health insurance premium doesn't eat it before I get it.

I can't expect to be sitting pretty in my retirement, but you're driving retirees in to the lower income levels, and even some into poverty levels. And you still expect our vote. Really Mr. President. Would you vote for yourself if you were us after these last four years?

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