Franklin County Democrats

The official site of the Democratic Party of Franklin County, Missouri

The Business section of the Sunday Post-Dispatch featured You may be your retirement fund’s worst enemy Did you know?Poor retiree

The typical working household close to retirement age had only $111,000 at the end of 2013 in their 401(k) savings plan at work and individual retirement accounts outside of work, according to Alicia Munnell, the center’s director. That $111,000 would provide only $500 a month for living expenses if converted to an annuity. Despite a stock market that’s soared the past five years, households have less stashed away for retirement now than they had in 2010. Then, the typical household had $120,000. Her report raises questions about whether the 401(k) system of preparing for retirement is failing Americans. In the early 1980s, most employers offered workers pensions known as defined-benefit plans. With those plans, employees who stayed on the job long enough to qualify for a pension didn’t have to think about saving or investing. Employers promised to invest and then provided guaranteed monthly payments to former employees throughout their retirement. Munnell says only about 17 percent of private employers still provide pensions.

What are the main problems with 401(k)’s

The mistakes of not saving, saving too little, borrowing from a 401(K) and paying expensive fees have a huge effect. Munnell calculates that a 60-year-old in 2013 who had saved since the age of 29 would end up with only $100,000 versus $373,000 if they hadn’t been sidetracked by the common mistakes. It breaks down like this: Fees reduce the balance to $314,000; withdrawals during job changes or loans cut it to $236,000; inconsistent contributions further reduce it to $165,000; and a failure to contribute at times can lower the balance to $100,000.

So if folks can’t save enough with a 401(k) what will they depend on in retirement?

With too little in savings, the typical household is going to be highly dependent on Social Security. But Munnell notes that Social Security is going to provide less to future retirees. The retirement age is moving from 65 to 67, so people who retire at 62 to 65 will see their monthly benefits cut more than now. In addition, people will need to pay more for Medicare. Medicare payments are taken out of Social Security before the government sends checks to retirees. In addition, higher taxes will reduce their Social Security because benefits are not indexed to account for inflation.

The average monthly Social Security benefit in 2013 was $1,294.

If we combine the Social Security benefit of $1,294 with the average $500 annuity that the average savings would provide the typical American will have a monthly retirement income of $1,794.  Will you be able to live on that?

If you can live on that or less vote Republican and support the party that has opposed Social Security and Medicare since their inception and are still aggressively trying to reduce your entitlements.  If you can’t live on that vote Democratic as they are the party fighting to maintain and expand  Social Security and Medicare.

To be sure, some Democrats have already signed onto the idea, including Senators Tom Harkin, Sherrod Brown, Mark Begich, and Elizabeth Warren


Nobel Economist Paul Krugman gets to the credibility of certain economists that are pretentious to the point of speaking for the entirety of the market place in What Markets Will. 

To get more specific: We have been told repeatedly that governments must cease and desist from their efforts to mitigate economic pain, lest their excessive compassion be punished by the financial gods, but the markets themselves have never seemed to agree that these human sacrifices are actually necessary. Investors were supposed to be terrified by budget deficits, fearing that we were about to turn into Greece — Greece I tell you — but year after year, interest rates stayed low. The Fed’s efforts to boost the economy were supposed to backfire as markets reacted to the prospect of runaway inflation, but market measures of expected inflation similarly stayed low.

How have policy crusaders responded to the failure of their dire predictions? Mainly with denial, occasionally with exasperation. For example, Alan Greenspan once declared the failure of interest rates and inflation to spike “regrettable, because it is fostering a false sense of complacency.” But that was more than four years ago; maybe the sense of complacency wasn’t all that false?

All in all, it’s hard to escape the conclusion that people like Mr. Greenspan knew as much about what the market wanted as medieval crusaders knew about God’s plan — that is, nothing.

In fact, if you look closely, the real message from the market seems to be that we should be running bigger deficits and printing more money. And that message has gotten a lot stronger in the past few days.


That’s right, the GOP has written a new page in their cookbook for electoral success.  Sure it’s basically the same recipe used to enact policies that cut wages then convince working people that the elephant party is for them.  The same recipe that allows them to vote against equal pay for equal work, keeping salary information secret by law, and support restrictions on contraceptive coverage and deny there is a war on women.

This recipe is an ad that dresses some dude as a millennial to talk about why he is a Republican… Priceless.  Be sure to dig the tasty duds on this guy.  Then check out John Oliver’s parody – may I have another please?

Progress Missouri has combed through the Missouri Ethics Commission reports and found The 158 Missouri Candidates Who Have Received Rex Sinquefield Campaign Contributions This Election Cycle.  It seems some of Franklin County’s own, particularly some that like to talk about the KingcrownConstitution and government of, by, and for the people may like some people named Rex more than actual constituents.

  • Dave Hinson – $1,000 – Grow Missouri  - 12/20/2013
  • Dave Hinson – $5,000 – Missourians for Excellence in Government  - 9/5/2014
  • Dave Schatz – $4,500 – Grow Missouri  - 6/30/2014
  • Dave Schatz – $1,000 – Missourians for Excellence in Government  - 9/5/2014
  • Paul Curtman – $2,500 – Grow Missouri  - 9/9/2014
  • Paul Curtman – $10,000 – Missouri Club for Growth PAC  - 9/30/2014
  • Paul Curtman – $10,000 – Missouri Club for Growth PAC  - 9/30/2014
  • Tim Jones – $10,000 – Grow Missouri  - 8/29/2014

How are these State Representatives going to pay King Rex back?

If you’re scared to find out support candidates that finance their campaigns through small donations from people and organizations not named Rex and Grow Missouri, such as…

Susan Cunningham in the Pacific, Robertsville, St. Clair area

Bobbi Bollman in the Villa Ridge, Union area

Tom Smith in the Washington, Hermann area

Lloyd Klinedinst for Senate District 26 covering Franklin County

Preserve Middle Class Missouri has released this short, animated look at RTW for less and compares Missouri with some of our neighbors – Fun!Missourineighbors


Yesterday, NPR’s On Point with Tom Ashbrook devoted an hour to The Blue Collar  Jobs Of Tomorrow – listen here.

The new blue collar jobs.  We’ll look at where they are and what it will take to get one.

This Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014 photo shows Jonah Devorak testing the dimensions on a high-pressure valve at Swagelok Co. in Strongsville, Ohio. (AP)

This Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014 photo shows Jonah Devorak testing the dimensions on a high-pressure valve at Swagelok Co. in Strongsville, Ohio. (AP)

The stock market’s wobbly, Europe’s economy looks weak, China looks a little peaked.  You could worry plenty about the economy with a capital “E.”  But for most people, the economy boils down first to a job.  Everybody’s been spooked on that front at some point, but especially American blue collar workers.  Now, we’ve got big new headlines saying there’s a new wave of blue collar jobs coming open.  “Middle skill” boomers retiring.  New arenas opening up.  Really?  This hour On Point:  the new blue collar jobs.  What they are.  What they will be.  What they’ll pay. And are they for real?

Mike Konczal and Bryce Covert at The Nation ask the question “Does the Minimum Wage Kill Jobs?”    Well the employment numbers are in from states that recently raised their minimum wage, look what they found.

Get ready for Fox to load the whitewasher and set it to the creative spin cycle.


This week’s audio netcast:  Ebola fear is gripping the nation, and veteran diplomat Robert Hormats says the disease is just one of a number of new foreign policy challenges for the United States. Demographer and political analyst Ruy Teixeira says there’s a chance Democrats can retain the Senate, and that 2016 looks even better. And Bill Pressinterviews Danny Kanner of the the Democratic Governors Association about the election outlook in the statehouses.

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