Retiree news... Retiree Ramblings

As an 83 yr old teacher retiree I was surprised when my grandchild asked me, who would win the presidential election? I quickly replied, “The winners are already in. With over one billion spent on radio, television, newspaper and magazine adds, bulk mailings, staff calls and whatever else we can easily see who the winners in this race are.”

If we take as gospel truth the charges that each candidates makes about their opponents we should wonder why most are not already in jail or indicted. My opponent is for raising taxes is a common cry while I’m not. This is a common campaign charge. In my 83 years I’ve always found that no matter who in the past got elected my taxes kept going up and up.

While many elected politicians and some labor leaders are retiring on pensions that you and I can only dream of I find that I’m using part of my teacher and military pension to help put my granddaughter through nursing school. I only hope she will graduate before the teachers pension fund finds itself unable to meet its obligations. While this problem persists the state is unable to formulate a plan to stop the bleeding within the funds. Is it because they do not have a solution or they just do not want one that will cut their pensions?

I find it interesting to read about state legislators giving pensions to individuals that do not even live in their districts. The practice of giving state scholarships to friends, relatives and heavy contributors is well known. Where does this leave us? The answer is nowhere but to our savings to help out our children and grandchildren.

I must agree with much of the current research stating that college is not the only answer. We are currently graduating hundreds of students that have incurred heavy educational debts with a bachelor’s degree in nothing. We have only to go to any of the many local eateries to be waited on by a young server who is trying to pay off his college loan while trying to get a position in his college area. I told my granddaughter that with a nursing degree at least there is a job waiting or an officer’s commission in the armed forces medical services.

I can use the same analogy for winning the presidential election as to who is winning our current wars. The answer is not us! The answer is companies such as Boeing Aircraft and all the other manufactures of war armaments that are receiving billions in tax dollars. While parents and grandparents are struggling with today’s economic issues we still have not learned about getting involved in situations that are so far unsolvable.

Hurricane Sandy brought me back some past memories. I watched the long lines, jammed highways and near riots of people just trying to get gas. I remember the highways marked “Evacuation Routes” during the cold war. We can hardly get home after work let alone evacuate a large city. I remember sitting under my desk during a drill in elementary school and being told a piece of wood would protect me from the hydrogen bomb.

As a retired Lt. Colonel I am definitely pro military but tempered with common political sense. You cannot try to straighten out the world without first getting things right at home. I’m proud at this stage of my life to say that I’ve been a teacher, a military officer and a lifelong union member. God bless this country!


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