Ramblings from Reggie: Time for health care, pension changes

It looks as if the presidential primaries will be over Feb. 5 next year.

States are lining up so their races are not insignificant. That means more polarization and even less of a chance for a long shot to get his/her message out.

States do this to get people to the polls and get higher turnouts for the referendums they need passed.

We have got to realize governments are manipulating us more and more into permanent incumbency. We need to get a hold of the primary season and get the maps redistricted with straight lines, or we will never allow fresh faces and new ideas into Washington or state capitals.

Have some partisan body redraw district maps and reset a primary schedule that allows citizens to be part of the election process. Then, Congress can approve the map. Have you ever heard a politician talk about that?

Do we really want property tax relief? Everyone says we do. I have a thought, if you can imagine that. When and where was it decided that taxpayers pay all the health care and pensions for government employees? This was done way before I was an adult, but we have allowed this to happen as a result of our complacency.

Do you ever read your tax bill? Line items show pension expenses for some of the pensions we pay. Who pays your pension? Who pays your 401K?

We pay pensions for just about every government employee through property taxes. Teachers, police/firemen, librarians, city/county workers—all get pensions on us.

Bob and Elizabeth Dole probably receive eight to nine pensions because of their past “jobs” in government. Did you know if you serve two years as a U.S. congressman, you get a pension for the rest of your life equal to what congressmen currently make?

Imagine being a congressman in the 1950s and making, well, about $120,000 today for two years of service. Good gig, huh?

Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey (I) tried to increase some health care premiums, and took a beating for it.

How about an immediate policy change for every government body, including the teachers? If you are hired today, you will pay a third of your health insurance premiums, and you will be given the option to contribute to a 401K plan with your employer contributing 3 percent per year. This protects the people who were hired in the current system and protects the taxpayers from future obligations.

Makes sense, doesn’t it? Ever heard a politician mention a concept such as this?

Anybody who voted for Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) last fall ought to be ashamed. This is a perfect example of the masses voting for anybody as long as a candidate has a D or an R behind his or her name. Why is he running campaign-type ads to sell his agenda? His big plans for his future are ruining our future. He may wind up in the same governor retirement cell many of our past governors have occupied. He’s tried to sell the Thompson Center, the Lottery, and the toll system. He’s already sold our future, and his soul. I have an idea, Rod, sell your house and move to Washington, D.C., and take your best shot at the grand prize. I’m sure we can collect a little money to pay your expenses. Folks, don’t be fooled by this man anymore. There is no free lunch.

Speaking of unhitching your wagon, now is the time to jump off the “Al Gore is a hero” bandwagon. The only inconvenient truth is that he was almost our president. Go back to doing what you do best, inventing the Internet…oops—what is it you do best?

Spring is here, I’m sure we’re all looking to see who the Yanks will be playing in October. As I write this, the sun is shining and I’m listening to Radio Margaritaville on Sirius, and I see flowers blooming. Life is good. Thanks to Bryan Karstens from Mauh-Nah-Tee-See Country Club for all he did for me for St. Patrick’s Day. Downtown was buzzing, the parade was great, and people had a blast. It was nice to see so many people, including Chris Wachowiak from Krypto and Mike Leifheit from the Irish Rose Saloon. Thank God, he made it another week—we were worried about him!!!

Reggie Roberson is owner of Swilligan’s “The Pub,” 200 N. Church St.

from the March 21-27, 2007, issue

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!