From Duane Tron, May 31, 2008
Subject: Do you think it has finally started to sink in?
This article [below] is a keeper. It really sums up the reality of things as my wife and I have been experiencing serious financial issues since 2002 when the Ohio State Teachers Retirement System (STRS) eliminated the spousal subsidy on health insurance four years after I retired. I am currently paying over $10,200.00 of my retirement check each year to maintain health insurance for my wife and myself. During the past four years I have paid nearly half of my annual retirement check for health insurance premiums, co-pays, deductibles, and prescription costs. Now we're paying nearly four dollars a gallon for gas and I have seen the price increases in everything we have to purchase to live. My wife works in Cincinnati as this is the only place she could find a job at her age after being unceremoniously pink slipped when her company closed its Columbus office in 2000 after she served over 36 years of exemplary service with them. They told her she no longer had any health insurance and tried to beat her out of her pension. We obtained an attorney and fought them. For all of our efforts she obtained a paltry retirement benefit of $10,000.00 a year. She gave 36+ years to a company, trained her replacement when they were bought out, and they told her to have a nice life.
I have been aware of the economic decline across Ohio for the past six years as we have been living it. Some have asked why we don't move to Cincinnati or closer? Because our house in St. Paris isn't paid off and it's almost impossible to sell houses in St. Paris. We have seen houses up for sale for years and they haven't sold. Secondly we would never get enough out of it to buy another house or condo because at our age we can't obtain any long term financing. The most we can get is a 15 year mortgage at higher interest rates. And you want to know why I'm angry and bitter? You want to know why I want to boot your fanny out of office along with the rest of the career politicians? Ask a silly question! I've worked for the past 50+ years only to arrive at a point in life where we're trying to figure out how we're going to pay the bills down the road!
Last month we saw our stock portfolio take another big hit with heavy losses. Since 2002 we have watched our stock investments lose over $80,000.00. And you want to know why middle class Americans are ticked off and the approval rating for Congress remains lower than the President? Granted there are several parts of the country where their economies are booming, Ohio just doesn't happen to be one of them and hasn't been for the past eight years.
I was wondering how long it would be before the people in many parts of this country started speaking up and fighting back. I'm now seeing this happen after six years of struggling in our household to maintain what I describe as a frugal lifestyle. The car I'm driving is eight years old and we can't afford to replace it. I keep it in very good shape and most people don't have any idea it's that old. I have strong mechanical skills so I am able to do a lot of my own maintenance. Not everybody is equally blessed. I doubt that you are!
The backlash I have been predicting has finally started. You tout all of this "free market" economy stuff when citing oil prices. Jim, I am an educated man who majored in social studies with a strong background in economics so I understand the basics of economics quite well. There isn't any "free market" at play in the world of oil. I remind you that oil prices are controlled by a cartel of foreigners who are NOT friends of the United States or the American people. They set oil prices, they create bogus shortages when they want to drive prices up, they conspired by announcing over three years ago that they were going to raise gas prices in the USA to $7.00/gal, and they continue to play games with our economy and national security. Then I have to listen to your remarks in the Urbana Daily Citizen spewing a bunch of economic garbage that just ain't so! The oil companies have been, and are, conspiring to drive up gas prices by every means at their disposal and to harm the American economy! In doing so they are undermining the national security of the United States and undermining and destroying the American way of life. Please don't insult us by telling us a bunch of hogwash about how this is just the result of a "free market" economy at play coupled with the "laws of supply and demand," in a world where a small group of people hold a virtual monopoly over oil and can blackmail and hold the American people hostage to get what they want. Some might be stupid enough to buy your arguments. We're not among them! We know better!!
I listened to a so-called economic guru on Fox News recently touting the ideals of the "Laws of Economics & Supply and Demand" I don't want to burst his bubble, or yours. but there is no such thing as "Laws of Economics or Supply and Demand." There are 'economic principles' but they are not "laws!" There are 'laws of gravity' but there is no such thing as "laws of economics!" This is a bunch of crap and I used to teach students that there aren't any laws governing economics apart from what men make them. Quit defending big oil and the lies they are spewing! The only thing driving gas prices higher is excessive greed and the desire by the oil cartel to destroy the United States! Read the following article from Mr. Marshall of the Plain Dealer.
Duane & Mary Tron
St. Paris, OH 43072
Reality undergoes a revival at Statehouse -- Aaron Marshall's Round the Rotunda
Reality rears its ugly head rarely enough at the Statehouse that it often seems as if the entire building were sheathed in heavy-duty bubble wrap that keeps bad news at bay.
Spend enough time being wined and dined over $30 steaks by the just-got-the-new-Beemer crowd and it becomes hard for even the most grounded state lawmakers to see that everything isn't so hunky-dory in the streets.
Not this year, though. The economic hard times that have sent this state reeling are puncturing even the insular, backslapping world of state government.
Just ask Lyndhurst Rep. Josh Mandel, freshly back stateside after a second stint with the Marines in Iraq. Mandel spent most of a recent Sunday knocking on doors in Mayfield Heights, a solidly middle-class area.
The Republican said he heard hard luck story after hard luck story from his constituents about jobs lost and budgets torn to tatters thanks to rising fuel and grocery prices.
"It was a lot of 'My brother lost his job' or 'My wife lost her job,' " said Mandel, who rang 20,000 doorbells during his first run for state representative in 2006. "Now knocking on doors, this is by far the worst that I've ever heard it."
And it's not just Northeast Ohio. Reporting back on rumbling in suburban Cincinnati, Sen. Bill Seitz told his colleagues that it was the absolute worst he has seen in all his years as they debated an economic stimulus package last week.
So even suburban voters are broke and (presumably) angry from one corner of the state to another? That's going to make for an especially long and hot summer as politicians of all stripes make their case for why they deserve to stay in office.
Labels: Duane Tron