There is an old saying that goes something like this: everyone has a right to their opinion, but no one has a right to their own set of facts. That certainly applies to teachers who are in the business of teaching our children. One teacher, in particular, has decided that facts are not necessary when ginning up emotion in the advocacy of her cause is more effective.
In last Monday’s Portland Press Herald Maine Voices column, Emily Gerry MacKinnon of Alfred, a teacher in RSU 60 (Berwick, North Berwick and Lebanon) decided to add her two cents to the ongoing debate over Governor Paul LePage’s pension reform proposal. She states that the end of a tax break, rising healthcare costs and frozen wages have severely harmed her ability to make ends meet.
She states that she cannot imagine how she can endure the Governor asking her to pay another two per cent of her income to fund her retirement. That’s right folks, she cannot afford to invest more of her income to fund “HER” retirement plan. Somehow, I guess she believes that we the working people of Maine should do it for her .. but that is another story.
Her factual error, however, is in the excerpt below. She apparently does not realize that employers’ match the employee contribution for social security and medicare, a mandatory match simply for the privilege of having employees.
Per the Portland Press Herald’s Maine Voices section by Emily Gerry MacKinnon:
As the Maine Education Association‘s newsletter put it this month, “Currently, teachers pay a 7.65 percent contribution to MePERS (the Maine Public Employee Retirement System) and 1.45 percent for Medicare for a total of 9.1 percent. This tax hike increases the total employee contribution to 11.1 percent. By way of comparison, private employees pay only 7.65 percent for both Social Security and Medicare.”
You can read her entire commentary here:
Since she is unaware, or simply ignored the real truth about private sector employees’ social security and medicare contributions, let me do the math. 7.65% from the employee and a matching 7.65% from the employer equals a total contribution of 15.3%. If employers did not have to make that matching, mandatory contribution, they could use it to fund raises, hire new employees and so on.
Further, Emily Gerry MacKinnon appears to believe that private sector employees rely solely on social security for their retirement. When you consider their 401K’s and other retirement funds, private sector employees contribute a far greater amount for their “OWN” retirement than public sector employees have ever considered.
I have a great deal of respect for Teachers. They have a greater influence on the development of our children than any other single influence, other than Mom and Dad. Frankly, I think in Maine, our Teachers are underpaid.
That said, the whining that is going on about funding their “OWN” retirement plan is a good example of why America is struggling. It is time that some Americans quit looking to other Americans to foot the bill for what they want in life. If your job is not working for you financially, you have several choices. 1) find a new job that does work for you financially, 2) get a second job that will help you make ends meet, or 3) suck it up and be thankful that you have a job in this very difficult economy.
The entitlement mentality of some in this country is killing our nation. It must end or it will eventually end America.