End sequestration

It is imperative that Congress enact solutions on behalf of Americans to move our flagging economy ahead. Stop the finger pointing and propose solutions — get to “Yes.”

Federal employees have suffered an onslaught of substantial financial burdens, from multiyear pay freezes to furloughs and relentless proposals to reduce their earned benefits.

Among the proposals under consideration is an extension of the three-year federal employee pay freeze and a cut in take-home pay for federal employees through an increase in federal retirement contributions.

There are a total of half a million federal employees, retired annuitants and surviving spouse annuitants in California. When the paychecks of this California’middle-class cohort are cut, the ripple effect extends throughout our state’s local economies and businesses

It is essential for California’s congressional members to oppose proposals that would take millions of dollars away from our economy next year and weaken our federal workforce for years to come.


George Ramirez
Chairman, National Legislation Committee California State Federation of Chapters National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association NARFE CHAPTER 190
Port Hueneme


Archaic resolutions

In his Right Persuasion (1/2), Mr. Moomjean makes a conservative New Year’s Resolution which I, basically, a little more of the same right-wing belief system, just done a little smarter. I have a much more radical New Year’s Resolution for conservatives; it requires a leap of literally centuries in thought.

Mr. Moomjean says to remind people that lower taxes create prosperity. He also decries the creating of massive government programs to regain out country and freedoms. He espouses deregulation as a way to create jobs. In these, Mr. Moomjean exhibits 12th century faith-based thinking. These ideas are accepted without evidence; merely, ideology dictates they must be true. Throw away that 12th century faith-based system and advance 500 years to a 17th century empirical evidence-based belief system.

What does empiricism say to Mr. Moomjean’s faith-based belief that low taxes mean prosperity? In the 1950s under Republican President Eisenhower, the marginal tax rate for incomes between $240,000 and $400,000 was 72 percent and for more than $400,000 it was 91 percent. So were the ’50s a decade of want and poverty? Quite the contrary, the ’50s saw more than 3 percent per annum annual growth plus one of the highest rates of increase in worker productivity. In fact, every decade from 1950 to 1980 saw per annum annual growth of greater than 3 percent. The 1980s saw Reagan’s massive tax cuts and Mr. Moomjean’s prosperity. Alas, empiricism shows the 1980s saw annual growth collapse to 2.25 percent. With a tax increase on high earners in the 1990s, the economy grew at a 2.75 percent annual rate, followed by Bush’s  tax cuts in the 2000s and a collapse of growth to below 2 percent per annum for 2000 to 2010.

What does empiricism say about Mr. Moomjean’s freedom from big government programs? I met my great-grandmother in the early 1950s. My great grandfather was a self-employed farmer who never signed on to Social Security, and Medicare did not exist. Thus my great-grandmother lived her life in freedom from these big government programs. And how was that freedom? She was destitute, senile, living with her daughter and son-in-law. And how was their freedom? They could barely cover the expense of her living costs, with no resources for her medical needs. And could never plan a vacation or trip of more than a few hours without making arrangements for her care. Such was freedom for the elderly without these big-government programs.

What of deregulation and jobs? Well, if you think nearly 900 savings and loan institutions collapsing and the taxpayers paying $125 billion to clean up the mess is a job creator, you really need help.

So, conservatives, make the big leap, five centuries in thought, and accept empirical science as your governing principle. Throw away 12th century faith-based thought.

Norm Rodewald