A headline caught my attention the other day, “Family angry over woman's $250,000 donation to doomsday preacher”.
The family of a New York City woman is angry after she left nearly a quarter of a million dollars in her will to the preacher who predicted the end of the world May 21. Doris Schmitt left about $250,000 of her $300,000 in savings to the Family Radio ministry. A family member said the family went public because it is angry about ads that the ministry runs urging people to donate their entire estates to his ministry.
Bullshit. The real story is that they were pissed that they didn’t get more of the $300k. Greed. Short and sweet.
Similar situation with Leona Helmsley who was a billionaire New York City hotel operator and real estate investor. She left $12million to her dog who was her constant companion. She cut half of her family out of her will completely, obviously because she didn’t want them to get the money. It was her money and she had every right to do whatever she wanted with it, including burning it if that was her choice. But as soon as she was dead, they challenged her will in court and a judge who didn’t know her or her situation decided that she had made a mistake and cut the award to the dog and gave a couple of her grandkids several million dollars. Greed.
An old friend of mine died not long ago. Everyone knew she had some cash in the bank because she had been a successful businesswoman and had invested wisely. She often told me that she rarely, if ever, saw most members of her family. And yet, when she was on her deathbed, the attention some of them pretended to pay to her would have sickened you. Greed.
Same deal with the pension plan for Canadian members of parliament. A new report says the MPs’ pension plan on hook for $804-million which means that taxpayers (thee and me) are now paying $5.50 for every $1 that MPs and Senators contribute to the gold-plated pension plan for Parliamentarians. The plan will pay an estimated $111.5-million in benefits, on top of $4.3-million in severance cheques to the 113 MPs who either retired prior to the May 2 election or who were defeated. For the 12 months the report covered, 503 former MPs and Senators were collecting the pension benefits, with 117 of them receiving more than $70,000 a year.
In an article in the Hill Times, Tim Naumetz points out that, as an example, former Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe left with a pension that the Canadian Taxpayers Federation estimated at $140,765 a year, before taxes. This is the guy who wanted to break up Canada and sneered at us. He’s getting in pension almost as much as recycled senator Fabian Manning will take home in base pay. Of course, Fabian will get all those bonuses like free air fare so his actual compensation package will be considerably more.
So, is it time to have a look at the gold-plated pensions these people have voted for themselves time after time? MPs quickly rejected any suggestion Parliament should again review the pay and pension plans for MPs AND senators; instead, they offered platitudes about how hard they work, how they have no protection should they be rejected at the polls (well except for Fabian’s senate parachute courtesy of Stephen Harper) and how they need to work to ensure all Canadians have access to pensions. Uh-huh. And Santa Claus is real too.
Bottom line: when you can vote your own compensation, there’s one primary factor that kicks in: GREED. About the only ones who can do that in our system are elected officials which means that we pay for what they say. And now they want to expand the number of seats in the House of Commons. More gravy train.