Commenters, 90% of the time I am not allowed to make comment. Should this
comment be allowed to post I will be shocked. Racism and Party are
two of the most disgusting words I can think of. The dismantling of all things
Obama is racist and is Party loyalty. No consideration for the people when the
Obama name is stamped on it. From the Bears Ears to the ACA,
Republicans hate every thing Obama has done. They fight his every move and
destroyed his every attempt to create jobs and better the country. Attacking Obama as a private citizen and wanting to take away is pension is
racist and party loyalty. Nothing more but pure hatred for the man. I am a 6'1" white guy with a very Hispanic name. You cannot tell me
racism does not exist. I have very much seen it and lived it.
Nice, but very biased. I was tempted to write "No wonder the article is
unsigned"Just a brief reply:Harry Truman was a haberdasher with
no colllege education, and part of his public persona was to be folksy and
humble. He was great! He also was from the Depression generation.The
Obamas are top of their class Harvard lawyers. They gave up a lot of high
income for public service (in Michelle's case, she stopped working), so why
can't they catch up with their million-dollar income classmates? Moreover,
they are quite charitable.
Spangs,Obama detested corporate profit levels, but what could he do
about it? With a Republican Congress he would have been hard pressed to get the
tax increases on the wealthy that he dreamed about.Both parties
should be obsessed about leaks and government surveilance, but certainly a big
government liberal would want greater control of the economy and the government
and Americans lives.Regarding drug policy--once again that is a
Congressional domain. Obama and his DOJ would have loved to change (social
justice) drug laws. His DOJ did not prosecute drugs, but allowed states to
legalize marijuana--not challenging these laws in court (but Obama certainly
challenged any state law supporting religious liberties and Obamacare).The ACA was proposed by Republicans in the 90's but by the 21st century
Government run healthcare was largely rejected by Republicans. Romney's
efforts in staunch liberal Massachusetts being the only exception. An ACA is
not a Republican goal and this position has nothing to do with racism or Obama.
Republicans opposed to the ACA is a position based upon budgetary, small
government and individual freedom principles.
David wrote: "You should know that many, if not most Republicans,
opposed Obama not based upon race, but based upon his politics. He was
politically opposite of what conservatives stand for."Really?
In looking at his legacy, he was a right-leaning moderate. His degree of
liberalism was similar to Richard Nixon's, who was described as a liberal
Republican. How can that be?1. He was hawkish on foreign policy (even
getting an endorsement from Ann Coulter).2. Tax cuts made up 35 percent of
the budgetary cost of Obama's stimulus bill—$291 billion
likely similar to what we would have expected from John McCain.3.He cut
the budget deficit by 65%4. He passed the ACA, textbook Republican health
policy 5. He continued harsh anti-drug policies6. Pushed an increase
in government surveillance and was obsessed about leaks7. Established
economic policies that resulted in record corporate profits and record stock
market levels. All of that makes him sound like a great Republican.
As a liberal, I wasn't too disappointed we didn't elect Hilary
Clinton. She would have been a great Republican as well.
@LOU "Sure spells racism to me!"I think it's sort of
funny when someone *originates* the topic of race in order to accuse others of
racism. Lou, the rest of us were talking about policy.
LOU,I am a registered Republican, though I did not vote Republican
in the last presidential election. You should know that many, if not most
Republicans, opposed Obama not based upon race, but based upon his politics. He
was politically opposite of what conservatives stand for. Can you
understand that? It doesn't matter the skin color. It is the political
position.If Condolesa Rice were president, would you oppose her
because she is female and black. Or would it be based upon her politics?I am sure your opposition to a President Rice would be based upon
politics.So too was Republican opposition to President Obama.
@cmsense "Give former Presidents their pensions. They earned it. Same with
congressman."And give the rank-and-file people of this country
pensions! It's the only way retirement works in this system.
Just scrap them altogether Crooks should not get pensions
Give former Presidents their pensions. They earned it. Same with congressman.
So is Chaffetz planning on donating his pension back to the
government once he starts working for Fox News?
"In recent decades, this kind of high-minded moral stance has become
increasingly passÉ."A notable exception to this has been
the Bush family. I know many didn't like their politics, but both father
and son have treated their former position with respect, and have not abused the
access and power of that office after they left office. They have moved aside
and allowed those who follow to lead without the shadow of their presidency over
head. Good opinion piece. We need more based on policy rather
The pension is justified and former presidents should be free to earn further
money by working or practicing a profession. Large sums that they obtain --
only -- because they held the office are a different matter. In my opinion,
speaking fees, BOD seats, and the like should probably be subject to a different
tax structure with a rapidly accelerating marginal rates.
Whose business is it what a former president does to earn money? He earned a
pension by law, didn't he? Do we live in a free market or not?I
wonder if Jason Chaffetz proposes to claw back Reagan's pension.... No, I
don't wonder after all....
A good, well balanced editorial. Thank you.
"We recognize that it is next to impossible to remove partisan politics from
this discussion, or indeed any other discussion in Washington,"Well if we the constituents demand that our elected representatives work
together that would be a good start.Unfortunately, constituencies
are becoming more like their elected officials of late. Party over common sense
and what is good for all.
And in the Oval Office sits Donald J. Trump and his family members who are
twisting the laws, making third world business deals and selling neck ties and
that is just "A-OK" with the GOP. When a person leaves a
job, he is ENTITLED to his retirement! What he does after is his business. Just because they hate Obama (our first Black American President) they
want to strip from him all they can. Sure spells racism to me!Good-grief is there no end to the double standards of the GOP!
Pensions should be taken away for all of them. They are already reaping
benefits just by the connections they make through their service. Most of them
go on to jobs on company boards and/or lobbying firms.
@squirt "Have to wonder why this issue is being raised with President Obama
but silence followed former Presidents doing this exact same thing."What?? The issue of pay and benefits for the President and Congress
have been a hot topic for decades. It's ridiculous that military members
typically (there are rare exceptions) have to serve at least 20 years to get
their retirement while the President and Congress reap huge benefits for far
less time of service to the country.
This op-ed would be believable if it had been issued during the reign of Bush 2
or some other notable re-Publican.
"Former presidents and politicians who have served honorably deserve to live
in dignity,..."One President's "dignity" is another
President's struggle, as in one man's trash is another man's
treasure. Greed is rampant, apparently. Maintaining that lavish life style is
paramount.@Esquire...I understand some years ago the pension for a
member of the House serving only 2 years was a minimum $150,000, plus health
care benefits. How many average citizens could live comfortably off that? Yet
can you imagine what it must be like for these high-rolling types that have
millions to be offered a mere 3 or 4 hundred thousand a year to survive? After
spending billions every session they have lost all concept of the value of money
and how difficult it is to earn it. You'd think they were professional
athletes or something.
Get rid of all of their pensions. It's a service not a career full of cash.
Once they are done with their term they can go back to the private sector and
earn an income.The largess off the public trough needs to be shut
down for all of them.
I don't mind Presidential pensions, nor do I mind what a former President
chooses to do after serving. I do mind the hypocrisy of Members of Congress who
are entitled to a pension after only 5 years of service then attacking President
Obama for doing what they will do and what people in both parties have done for
a very long time.
Means testing.An interesting concept.Should Social Security pension
payments be means tested?Some politicians feel just because you have been
successful your social security pension payments should be reduced?What do
you think ?
Presidents earn a pension. What they do to add to their income should not be a
concern to anyone. Have to wonder why this issue is being raised with President
Obama but silence followed former Presidents doing this exact same thing.