Because of the way that the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund (CSRDF) is set up, when federal employees contribute more (without an increase of the pension benefit), they actually are paying that money to the Treasury. In the case of the recent new law (P. L. 112-96, title V), this money is going to pay for an extension of unemployment benefits (and not an increase in pension benefits). So, basically, federal employee pay was effectively cut back.
The group, Third Way, still has influence. It asked for a 5.2% increase of employee’s contributions; the Congress delivered 3.1% not only for the civil service but all participants of the Federal Employees’ Retirement System.
[The crocodile tears of Minority Whip Steny Hoyer and Representative Chris Van Hollen (member of the so -called supercommittee) did not affect me at all, except to make me marvel at their skills of “gaslighting.”]
Gross Domestic Product
Source: For gross domestic product, Google. For population, Google.
It is said that the state of Israel is preparing itself for war. If that state wants to wage war, it must prepare to accept all of the costs and consequences of that move by itself. Meanwhile, the “elites,” or the 1%, of this country should not assume if they work up themselves into a frenzy enough that they can lead the people of the United States to support a military action.
At root of all of this bellicose behavior seems to be not a direct threat on the people of the United States but rather a closely held policy view that the United States (via Israel) should be the only political power in the Middle East region. Should Iran be able to have the elements of nuclear power, even without actually creating a bomb, the United States will no longer be able to dictate its wishes with the implicit threat or use of military force.
With the civilian-instituted political revolutions (e.g., Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and others) going on in that region, the power of the United States to make such dictates has been severely weakened; attacking Iran will not allow the United States to regain this permanent loss of power. When Mubarak waived the presidency, the U.S. power grip was broken.
This power loss is demonstrated in Iraq and Afghanistan. The United States waged war in both places with nebulous results after costly losses to this country and most definitely to the civilian population and treasury of both Iraq and Afghanistan. The United States surely cannot say its hand has been strengthened with the overwhelming use of force in these poor countries. Iraq is not truly sovereign; it does not have a viable military, air force or military armaments to thwart would be invaders (except the United States).
The people of the United States cannot tolerate any more wars, unless aggression is encountered within the U.S. territory. Other countries are free to do with their money, militaries, and populations as they see fit.