It is about time that Charleston came out with clear language about seriousness of school boards and individuals on them being legally liable for overspending.
Nothing like it went to the public during intervention while the GCBOE was stripped of all its power.
No wonder now why all along some GCBOE members have asked probing questions about finances and they were not answered. More power to those conscientious individuals who tried hard to do their jobs and we support them 100%.
There must be a full accounting of every dollar spent during intervention with no local oversight and no accountability at all for State-appointed superintendents.
We need a complete accounting of spending for the Linn school, the loss of public money at the top of the hill on Arbuckle property, spending at Cedar Creek, unplanned spending at the GCES, the BOE office move to the Minnie Hamilton building, the scandal from the new GCES being built too small, and much more. Citizens have tracked the waste and mismanagement for years and we are outraged.
Unless a full accounting is done for public disclosure another excess levy will never pass in the County although we understand that there will be a major reset on July 1.
Thank you GFP for getting Paine’s letter out to Gilmer County.
The fix could be simple. First, everyone pay 10 percent federal, 3 percent state, and 1 percent local taxes on all income. Straight forward, no arguments, taken from pay checks and paid to the proper authorities (that is if we can get good ones elected that will use the money properly for education, infrastructure, defense, aid for the true disabled/welfare, etc). Second, there are no deductions(sorry accountants). Third, no taxes on corporations so they are free to reinvest into their business and hire more people to work(that is if you can find qualified people not on drugs these days). Fourth, get people off government support that don’t belong there(sorry again druggies and lazies). Now if you find someone taking advantage of the current tax laws, don’t blame them for wanting to keep their own money. That’s correct, their money, not yours. We have elected the people and keep doing that who make these laws. The Clinton’s and the Bush’s and the Kennedy’s, life long politicians. If you get rich being a politician, then you need to go. At least Trump got rich first and then became a politician. Sort of did it backwards didn’t he. Each and every person that wants Trump to produce his tax returns, it is time for all of them to produce theirs. The world is full of them. Me, I can care less what he makes. Good for him. Good for me. Get over it, the left lost the election, just like the right did 8 years ago. The reason Trump is president is because the last 8 years the left didn’t get it done and Clinton was a horrible candidate. Too much baggage and ran a horrible campaign also. I think she thought she couldn’t lose but she did. Now the left is acting like babies that they can be at times and it doesn’t look good. Instead of trying to run Trump(who used to be a democrat) down, why not give him a bit of support so our country will come back stronger. It seems the media is completely against Trump, all we see is negative articles. Never positive articles so the media is losing support from the people. Sorry for the long post but it is what it is. Thanks.
What a deal we have to badger our elected representatives to do what is good and right for West Virginia! Isn’t it a no brainer to be doing the right thing for your state? Obvious money means more to our legislators than the voice of the people!
Here is another way the WV School Building Authority is failing Gilmer County by refusing to provide proper oversight.
There could be ways to use available space at the new GCES more efficiently to avoid the necessity of sending students to other locations.
By failing to get involved the SBA is not contributing to solving the crowing problem to eliminate need to use hall ways at the new school for instruction space.
This is a disgrace after spending $14,000,000 of public money, and the complete story of waste, mismanagement, and abuse of authority during intervention and its aftermath would make a great story for the New York Times to print.
Those in Gilmer County who care about the education of ALL children have said this over and over. It comes as no surprise that more and more the research backs how consolidation fails them. There is no democratic governance over education here. It is simply a matter of who matters to garner support for political campaigns. Many Gilmer students have been a poster child for rural education success over the years. (At least until intervention strictly for the purpose of consolidation reared its ugly head.)Will the legislature have enough back bone to get what needs be done? Or will the Senate let all the House of Delegates and the Governor’s hard work die in committee?
Members of the Board of Governors are GSC’s ultimate leaders. They set the agenda for the President to carry out.
What happened at GSC to get it in trouble tracks to the BOG and there is no way around it.
When openings occur on the BOG the top criterion for selecting replacements has been to favor those who will run with the herd to be unwavering participants in the group think trap.
No new ideas tolerated, never seek outside critical review of organizational approaches to continually strive for improved ways of doing business, always claim that all is well while the ship is sinking, and above all else never admit that problems exist and if ones become known to the public always blame outside forces.
I just bought a new car. I signed a contract saying that I’d pay for it but paying for it is holding me back from other things that I want to do. Could we please add my car payments to your debt-forgiveness plan? If that doesn’t work out, could we get somebody else to pay for it for me? Seriously, many/most of the students who made these OBLIGATIONS, did so they could make more money, generally for doing less labor-intensive work and at the behest of the EDUCATION INDUSTRY which sold them a bill of goods that a college education guarantees success. The same colleges that charge exorbitant fees, which constantly rise at a rate greater than the cost of living increase or the rate of inflation. The same institutions that pay their administrators exorbitant salaries and that pay their athletics directors and coaches obscene salaries. The same colleges and universities that have brilliant minds in economics but who can’t manage to keep college costs and tuitions from skyrocketing. The same colleges that churn out students getting degrees that don’t have any or minimal real-world value. Of course it’s easier to blame the situation on the greedy, heartless conservatives than for people to take their individual responsibility because it’s not THEIR fault; it’s somebody else’s fault. IT’s ALWAYS somebody else’s fault.
Deplaning of United Passenger Shows Why We Need Corporate Regulation
In a democracy, We the People are in charge. We are the boss of the corporations. At least that’s how it’s supposed to work.
Apparently, that isn’t so much the way it is anymore. The United States used to regulate corporations to protect people from concentrated power. Now concentrated power has taken over our government, which fights the people for the benefit of corporate profits.
Or, to paraphrase John Kenneth Galbraith: In democracy, We the People regulate corporations. In deregulated America it’s the other way around.
The Face Of Deregulation
This is what can happen to you now in the United States if you get in the way of something a corporation wants:
We’ve all seen the videos. A guy gets beaten and dragged from his paid seat on a United Airlines flight because, in essence, he was interfering with corporate profits just by being in the seat. The airplane was full, the corporation decided it could make more money by moving some employees to another town, and a passenger was in the way.
Airlines used to be regulated in the U.S. as a public utility that served citizens. They competed with each other by offering better service.
Then in 1978, airlines were deregulated and passengers were considered consumers instead of citizens. The airlines argued that more competition would bring benefits. Instead, as time passed, airlines did what corporations tend to do.
They consolidated, reducing competition. They reduced and reduced and reduced service to reduce costs. They cut employee wages and benefits. They changed routes to “hubs” for their convenience, causing passengers to have to wait hours in crowded airports. And they write contracts that said you can’t use their (essential) service without signing away every right you have.
Since deregulation, airlines intentionally overbook many flights. They scrunch as many people into smaller and smaller seats just inches from the next, and sell you more legroom. Instead of serving food, they sell it. They charge you if you travel a suitcase. They charge you to bring a travel bag on the plane.
Soon, they will put a large spike in the seat and charge you to shorten it.
It’s not just airlines. All kinds of corporate deregulation have been harming We the People. There used to be regulations requiring broadcast media to act in the public interest in exchange for use of publicly-owned broadcast frequencies. Now, obviously, there isn’t.
“Arbitration clauses” are now used in all kinds of contracts and agreements to keep you from being able to take corporations to court. “Tort reform” laws also restrict access to courts when people are harmed by corporations.
You get the idea.
Corporations complain that regulations are “burdensome.” They complain that regulations cost them money.
Of course, regulations that stop corporations from polluting streams place a “burden” on them to properly dispose of waste. Of course it costs money to require them to not just dump waste into rivers, streams, and the air we breath.
Carmakers used to complain that rules requiring seat belts in cars were a “burden.” Tobacco companies used to complain that stopping them from selling cigarettes to kids “cost money.” So far, government regulation has protected us from these abuses-for-profit. But for how long?
Who Is Our Country FOR?
Americans have lost our understanding of the meaning of democracy and of the powers democracy brings us and duties it places on us. We have become consumers instead of citizens and we think that markets should make decisions for us instead of our votes.
In a democracy, We the People are supposed to be in charge. In a democracy, our government by definition exists to serve us, protect us, and do things for us that make our lives better.
A democracy regulates corporations to protect people from concentrated power. If we let concentrated power make decisions for us, we end up getting dragged off of airplanes because the corporation decided the seat we paid for would make them a bit more profit.
Corporations should be regulated to serve the public interest. Why else would We the People want to allow these things called corporations to exist at all?
These latest cuts are in addition to next year’s proposed budget, which would see $9 million slashed from the U.S. Department of Education.
The cuts are intended to increase military spending and finance the construction of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Congress must pass a plan to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year to avoid a partial government shut-down. As Bloomberg News reports, Congress is likely to reject the White House’s additional proposed budget cuts, which total nearly $18 million in all, making the prospect of a shutdown all the more real.
The proposed additional cuts would cut $1.3 billion from this year’s Pell grant surplus–this is on top of the cuts proposed for next year.
Title II, Part A funding, which helps ensure teacher and principal quality and preparedness through PD programs, would be cut in half this year. As previously reported, Trump’s FY 2018 budget would eliminate the program entirely.
“This program provides formula grants to States to improve instruction and reduce class sizes,” the document states. “Funding is poorly targeted and supports practices that are not evidence-based. Other funding at ED can be used to support improved instruction.”
The Striving Readers program, which helps fund literacy instruction in low-income schools, also faces elimination. “A recent study found that more than half of the reading interventions used by grantees had no effects on student achievement. Also, other funding at ED (e.g. Title I grants) can be used to support literacy instruction,” according to the document.
Under President Trump’s proposed FY 2018 education budget, school choice would receive a massive $1.4 billion while the Education Department undergoes a $9 billion, or 13 percent, cut.
Overall, the proposed education budget cuts the Education Department’s budget from $68 million to $59 billion.
Title I funds would receive a $1 billion increase, but the funds would follow individual students should they decide to change schools.
IDEA funding for programs that support students with special needs and disabilities would remain stable at $13 billion.
In a statement, AFT President Randi Weingarten said the proposed education budget “takes a meat cleaver to public education.”
State Extends Application Deadline for Higher Education Grant Program Until May 01, 2017
West Virginia’s Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC) and Community and Technical College System (CTCS) today announced that this year’s application deadline for the need-based Higher Education Grant Program has been extended until 11:59 p.m. on Monday, May 01, 2017. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is the only application required for the grant, can be completed at https://fafsa.ed.gov.
The state extended the deadline because of a technology issue at the federal level. Last month, the U.S. Department of Education and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced an outage of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, which allows students and parents to electronically access, review and transfer tax information required for the FAFSA. Federal officials are working to correct the issue, but estimate the tool will be unavailable until at least next fall.
“The Higher Education Grant is a lifeline to college for thousands of low-income students in our state, and we want to ensure that they and their families have ample time to complete the necessary steps to apply,” said Paul Hill, HEPC Chancellor.
“We still encourage completion of the FAFSA as soon as possible, but we hope this extension allows as many students as possible to be considered for the grant, which paves the way for so many of our community and technical college students,” said Sarah Tucker, CTCS Chancellor.
Like in previous years when the IRS Data Retrieval Tool was not an option, students and parents can estimate their income information on the FAFSA and correct the information later, if necessary, in order to meet financial aid deadlines.
If students or their parents do not have a paper or electronic copy of the necessary tax form available – which for this year is the 2015 tax return – they can access it online at www.irs.gov/transcript . A hard copy can be requested by calling 1.800.908.9946 and a transcript will be delivered to the address on record within 5-10 days.
For help completing the FAFSA or applying for financial aid, West Virginia students and families can call the HEPC and CTCS financial aid office at 888-825-5707 or visit the state’s free college-planning website at www.cfwv.com.
All this is in “Budget Authority,“ which is not the same as actual spending, or “Outlays.“ And it represents $1,065 billion out of a $4,000 billion budget. The remaining $3 trillion in “mandatory” spending is yet to come.
And with the rest of the budget will come the all-important Historical Tables on which the data in usgovernmentspending.com is based.
What about the mandatory spending? Right now, FY18 spending for Social Security is budgeted at $1,031 billion and Medicare at $608 billion. President Trump says he is not going to touch them, so that’s all right. Then there is Medicaid at $568 billion and I don’t know what will happen there, what with Trumpcare and all.
I suppose all liberals all over the nation are going to be screaming their heads off at this budget. Why is this?
The answer is that the programs that liberals really love are the regulatory programs that employ liberals to order the rest of us around. Most of the federal budget consists of handouts of free stuff to middle-class people that cannot be touched. But where liberals really live is where the power lies. And for the last 100 years, power issues from the arbitrary rules and regulations of the administrative state. To make us safe. To save the planet.
I am always amazed at how we manage to scream and yell about the tiniest things in politics. Wow! A cut of $2.7 billion at the Environmental Protection Agency! It’s the End of the World!
But I tell you what intrigues me. It’s the $4.0 billion cut at the Department of Justice. There is nothing about this in the one-page summary for the Department of Justice in the Blueprint. There is a cryptic note about “mandatory spending changes involving the Crime Victims Fund and the Assets Forfeiture Fund.“ So what is going on?
Could it be that the Trumpists are taking the “negative spending” from fines and asset forfeitures away from the Justice Department and putting them into the general revenue—you know, taxes—that goes direct to the Department of Treasury.
If I were president, I would eliminate all “negative spending” where individual agencies get to keep monies like fees and fines and Medicare premiums instead of the money going to the Treasury.
In my administration all money collected by the Feds would be general revenue, and all money would go through the Treasury.
Free assistance is being offered again through a partnership between the Internal Revenue Service and the Glenville State College accounting program to help students, faculty, staff, and local residents file their basic federal and West Virginia income tax returns. Two options are available to qualifying taxpayers – ‘MyFreeTaxes’ and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Free File.
GSC students, Moriah CreelFox, Robert (Simeon) Kees, and Tyler Wood, who are IRS-certified and enrolled in GSC’s Accounting 399 course, are available to assist qualifying taxpayers who need help preparing their basic Federal and West Virginia income tax returns. The students are under the supervision of Site Coordinator and GSC Associate Professor of Business and Accounting Cheryl McKinney, CPA, MPA, CGMA. McKinney also serves as the chair for the Department of Business. Creelfox is from Orma, Kees is from Oak Hill, and Wood is from Weston; all three are accounting majors.
GSC student income tax volunteers
(standing L-R) Tyler Wood, Simeon Kees, and Moriah Creelfox
with VITA Site Coordinator Cheryl McKinney
Available again this year is ‘MyFreeTaxes,’ which is an easy, fast, and secure federal and state tax filing site provided through the United Way and powered by H&R Block software. The online tool allows eligible taxpayers with household adjusted gross incomes up to $64,000 annually to self-prepare and electronically file both federal and state returns free of charge by visiting http://www.myfreetaxes.com and following the easy steps.
Taxpayers who prefer to have a trained volunteer assist in the tax filing process or have questions about using MyFreeTaxes can go to Room 309B of the Administration Building (the Ernie Smith Computer Lab). The volunteers will be available now through April 18 on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 3:00-6:30 p.m. with no appointment necessary. Note that no one will be available March 21 or 23 because of GSC’s Spring Break.
Participants seeking assistance at the GSC VITA site may choose the TurboTax Freedom Edition (Intuit), Second Story Tax Act, On-Line Taxes (OLT), or H&R Block Free File programs based upon eligibility criteria. Once an account is created at the GSC location, it may be accessed from anywhere.
Those who wish to receive this free tax assistance should bring: a copy of their 2015 tax return, Wage and Earnings Statements (Form W-2) from all employers, Interest and Dividend Statements (Form 1099), any additional relevant information or forms relating to income and expenses, as well as bank routing and account numbers for direct deposit/direct payment, if desired.
Students who received financial aid and/or paid tuition and fees should also bring a copy of their Tuition Statement (Form 1098-T) provided by the school that lists tuition and fees paid and scholarships received.
For more information, contact McKinney at
It would be unfair, as well as overly simplistic, to suggest that Governor Justice’s proposed budget for next fiscal year is dead on arrival at the Legislature. After all, Justice’s plan, which raises $450 million in general revenue taxes, while only cutting $27 million in spending, is the only proposed budget that exists currently.
The Governor submits a budget to lawmakers with this implied instruction: “If you have a better idea, let’s see it.” In this case, that puts the ball in the court of the Republican majorities in the Senate and the House of Delegates.
The reaction of Republican leaders to Justice’s massive tax increase and miniscule cuts ranged from disappointment to flabbergast and even anger. They were operating under the assumption, based on comments by Justice Chief of Staff Nick Casey on Talkline just a few days ago, that the administration was contemplating cuts of between $390 and $600 million.
House and Senate Republicans held a rare joint caucus Thursday to review the Governor’s budget and plan a strategy. House Speaker Tim Armstead and Senate President Mitch Carmichael, appearing together on Talkline, agreed that they would now assume responsibility for developing a counter proposal that includes significant cuts.
The key for the GOP will be to ready that proposal quickly. The longer they wait, the more it will appear that the Republicans cannot unify on the deep and potentially painful cuts they have been lobbying for.
Justice pleaded with lawmakers, and for that matter the entire state, during his State of the State address to support his tax increases. His appeal was emotion; he hates tax increases, but it’s the only way out. That pitch will no doubt work with those who have put their trust in Justice to lead the state out of the economic doldrums. To them, digging into their pockets for a few more bucks is a necessary, perhaps temporary, part of the plan.
But for others, it’s simple math. State Chamber of Commerce President Steve Roberts says the proposed .20 percent tax on the gross revenues of businesses, along with eliminating sales tax exemptions for professional services and advertising, add up to about $300 million in new taxes on business, and that’s not the business-friendly message that Justice sold during the campaign.
We understand that campaigns are given to hyperbole and vague promises that are difficult to fulfill once in office, and the fact that Justice has made a 180 degree turn from what he said during the campaign about taxes is a fair criticism. However, perhaps Justice’s greatest mistake prior to the election was to say repeatedly that turning around West Virginia would not be that hard.
As the new Governor is finding out, which many already knew or suspected, reversing the fortunes of West Virginia will be incredibly difficult.
West Virginia Governor Jim Justice has proposed a responsible budget that will generate new revenues, create jobs and invest in the Mountain State’s future. If no revenue measures are passed, West Virginia will be faced with drastic cuts that will put thousands of hardworking men and women out of work and eliminate critical agencies and programs from state government.
HERE is a link to download the alternative budget.
Economists and seniors’ groups say a plan in Congress to make Medicare into a voucher system will shift substantial costs onto older Americans.
A plan in Congress to change the structure of Medicare is being called a threat to seniors’ health and finances by economists and advocates, including the seniors’ advocacy group AARP.
Led by House Speaker Paul Ryan, Republicans have voted to change Medicare from paying doctors directly to giving seniors vouchers they can use to buy private insurance – much like the subsidies in the insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act.
Elise Gould, a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute, says that type of “premium support” would mean deep cuts in the program over time.
She warns to make up the difference, seniors would either have to pay thousands of dollars more out of pocket, or reduce the amount of medical care they get.
“Who’s going to pay for that?” she asks. “Patients and consumers – American citizens, the elderly people in this country – are then going to be saddled with those burdens. And that’s not actually going to lower costs overall.“
Ryan calls the cuts necessary because growing costs threaten to bankrupt the system.
But Gould argues the real problem is the overall cost of health care. She says Medicare’s costs are growing more slowly than private insurance, especially since the passage of health care reform.
Gould says it’s strange to hear people who call the ACA, or Obamacare, a disaster, argue in favor of making Medicare more like it.
She agrees that forcing people to pay more of the cost of their own care would do little to slow health care inflation, and could actually reduce the use of cheaper, preventive care, which the current Medicare system encourages.
“Medicare has been the leader in being able to restrain cost growth, and so that should be the model that we follow,” she states. “I don’t believe that that private competition is actually going to get you any cash savings in the long run.“
The current Medicare system is extremely popular among the 57 million Americans enrolled in it. West Virginia has a larger portion of its population enrolled in the program than almost any other state.
With a budget shortfall of as much as $500 million looming next fiscal year, much of the talk among state leaders has been where and how to cut between 10 to 15 percent of the General Revenue budget. However, there are also discussions about finding new revenue through tax increases.
Senate Minority Leader Roman Prezioso (D-Marion) is a former chair of the finance committee and he knows how difficult it will be to make cuts that deep. “I don’t think it’s realistic,” he told me on Talkline Thursday. “You’re going to have to get into situations you just don’t want to get into.”
And that leads Prezioso to believe new taxes have to be part of the solution. “I don’t think you have any other choices,” he said.
If there is a tax increase proposal, one of the likely targets is the six percent consumer sales tax. It’s a broad tax that brings in a lot of money — between $1.2 and $1.3 billion this year — and it’s easy to collect. Raising it to seven percent would bring another $180-$190 million annually.
However, the seven percent rate would be higher than any of the five surrounding states. Additionally, a number of municipalities have added their own sales tax, meaning their rate would be pushed even higher.
Another potential revenue target is the goods and services that are exempt from the state consumer sales tax, and there are dozens of them. A few are so small — like the sales tax exemption for U.S. and West Virginia flags — that they are inconsequential, but others represent substantial amounts of money.
Food for home consumption is exempt. Reinstituting the six percent sales tax on groceries would generate about $170 million annually. Taxing lawyers, accountants and other professional services would bring in about $150 million. Removing the exemption on certain media advertising would raise an estimated $27 million. Taxing prescription drugs could, theoretically, raises tens of millions of dollars.
The list goes on and on, but you get the idea. Every exemption was added to the tax code because it had a constituency group that fought to get it there, so removing it would generate a political battle. And can you imagine the outcry if the state tried to tax grandma’s medicine?
There is another option that’s being talked about — removing most of the sales tax exemptions, but lowering the rate. Members of the state Senate are considering that idea, but that’s a heavy lift to try to accomplish in the upcoming session and it likely would not generate additional revenue in the short term to help plug the massive budget hole.
As we’ve said before, given the magnitude of the state’s budget shortfall, there are no good options. Neither the new Governor nor most lawmakers want to raise taxes. However, as Prezioso said, “When legislators look at the magnitude of what needs to be cut and how it affects certain areas, they may change their mind.”
Glenville State College Financial Aid employees will host a workshop on Tuesday, January 31 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. in the Robert F. Kidd Library. The event allows students and families to receive free, confidential support in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Anyone interested in college enrollment for the 2017-2018 school year should consider attending the workshop. Graduating high school seniors, adults looking to start or return to college, and current college students should complete FAFSAs to determine the level of financial aid they may qualify for. Parents who wish to learn more or to complete the form on behalf of their student also may attend. On average, it takes about 30 minutes to complete a FAFSA.
“Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, commonly called the FAFSA, is a critically important first step in applying for federal and state financial aid. This one document holds the key to determining eligibility for most programs,” said GSC Financial Aid Counselor Mary Jones.
To complete the FAFSA, students will need social security numbers for themselves and their parents and family income for 2015. If income information is not available, a FAFSA can be submitted using estimated information that can be corrected when the actual income information becomes available. FAFSAs must be submitted by March 01, 2017 to receive the Promise Scholarship and April 15, 2017 for the West Virginia Higher Education Grant.
Participants will be eligible for door prizes.
For additional information, visit the GSC Financial Aid office on the first floor of Louis Bennett Hall or contact 304.462.4103.
Social Security retirement benefits have just changed.
These retirement benefits have been an important and welcome part of the retirement plan for most everyone. Just get to the magic age and the government pays you a monthly pension. Now that magic age has changed.
The retirement part of Social Security has moved slowly so that the age necessary for full benefits has increased, but not much until this year. The original rules granted “full retirement age” of 65 to become eligible for a retirement benefit, with a slight increase in benefits if the worker delayed to as late as age 70.
Later, the law changed to grant retirees the option to start benefits as early as age 62. Thus, those eligible for benefits could choose any starting age between 62 and 70, with an adjustment to benefits for starting earlier or later than full retirement age.
Problems arose with adequate funding for the entire program so the law changed some 30 years ago to increase full retirement age itself. The age became a moving target, increasing over decades from the original age 65, up to age 67.
For the past decade, upon reaching age 62, prospective retirees had a full retirement age of 66, but beginning in 2017, those turning age 62 this year are not actually eligible for full benefits at age 66. Instead, the full retirement age has shifted to age 66 and 2 months, and by 2022 will rise all the way to a full retirement age of 67 (for those born in 1960 or later).
Simply put, you must wait an additional two months before you can receive the same amount of Social Security retirement. The reality is that nothing can be done about the changes to the full retirement age. The law was passed more than 30 years ago, and has slowly phased in, based on the retiree’s birth year. Obviously, you cannot change your birth year.
Furthermore, it is important to recognize that the increase in full retirement age makes the adverse consequences of starting at age 62 a little more severe and reduces the advantage of waiting until age 70. The significance of the increase in full retirement age from 66, to 66 and 2 months, is that now trying to take benefits at 66 is actually an “early” benefits election, resulting in a 1.1 percent reduction for starting payments two months before full retirement age.
For those who want to start as early as possible, age 62, the early start is now four years and two months not just four years. The benefits reduction is now 25.83 percent instead of just 25 percent. Similarly, delaying to the maximum age 70 would not earn four years’ worth of Delayed Retirement Credits, but instead only three years and 10 months of credits, for a total increase of 30.67 percent instead of the “full” 32 percent.
The result is simply that benefits are no longer quite as high. At any given age, Social Security benefits are reduced and the entire scale has shifted to older ages.
A cynical response might be that each retiree has given up as much as $5,000 (two months) of income over their life, essentially writing a check for that amount to Social Security. A more practical response is that you must simply adjust your schedule and plans. Keep in mind that Social Security was intended originally to be a social safety net, not a regular pension plan. It has evolved in the public’s mind to be the latter, which arguably is a mistake.
The lesson is to be realistic and take charge of your personal finances. This includes a healthy skepticism of government programs and products offered by the financial industry which claim to solve all your concerns. They don’t. Risk will continue to exist and you must have a plan that respects the risks and gives you room to adjust.
Negative Population Growth (NPG), a national membership organization devoted to population issues, invites students to compete in our annual Essay Scholarship Contest. The contest is open to high school senior or a college freshman, sophomore, or junior enrolled in an official undergraduate program of study for the fall 2017 semester. The purpose of organization educates the American public and elected officials regarding the damaging effects of overpopulation on our environment, resources, and quality of life. Winners will receive multiple awards ranges from $1,000 to $2,000.
Negative Population Growth, Inc. (NPG) is a national nonprofit membership organization. It was founded in 1972 to educate the American public and political leaders about the devastating effects of overpopulation on our environment, resources and standard of living.
Applicant must be a U.S. Citizen or legal permanent resident.
Applicant must be a senior in high school or a college freshman, sophomore, or junior enrolled in an official undergraduate program of study for the fall 2017 semester.
Applicant must be 14 years old or older.
Applicant must be currently enrolled in or attending an accredited school within the United States or operated overseas by the U.S. government, for the fall 2017 semester.
Applicant must sign and date the Application Form. (A parent or guardian signature is also required for all applicants under 18.)
Relatives of employees or directors of NPG are not eligible.
Applicants must write an essay on the following topic, between 500 and 750 words, in 12-14 pt. the font in an MSWord document or an MS Word compatible file.
“President Donald Trump and the more than 50 new Members of the 115th Congress should learn about the critical issue of U.S. population size and growth. Students are requested to provide NPG with a three- to five-point plan to educate these freshmen legislators about the sources of U.S. population growth, as well as policy suggestions to slow, halt, and eventually reverse our growth in order to preserve America’s environment, economy, natural resources, and quality of life.”
The complete application should be emailed at NPGEssayScholarship-at-gmail.com.
Financial Aid and Award Money:
The NPG offers multiple awards for deserving candidates, ranging in value from $3,000 to $7,500.
Entries must be received by April 21, 2017. Winners will be announced online at NPG.org by June 30, 2017.
The 10 Best Jobs That Don’t Require A Bachelor’s Degree
If you think you need a bachelor’s degree to have a respectable career, think again.
There are plenty of well-paying jobs with good prospects you can get that merely require some formal post-secondary training, or even just a high-school diploma.
According to US News & World Report’s 2017 Best Jobs rankings — which determines the best occupations in the US based on median salary, employment rate, growth, job prospects, stress level, and work-life balance — you could earn upwards of $70,000 with some of these jobs.
Read on to see the 10 best jobs that don’t require a bachelor’s degree in the US according to US News, with salary data and projected job growth included from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Average annual salary: $36,820
Projected growth (2014 to 2024): 24%
Typical education needed: High school diploma or equivalent
Overall 2017 Best Jobs rank (out of 100): No. 54
9. Cardiovascular Technologist
Average annual salary: $56,100
Projected growth (2014 to 2024): 22%
Typical education needed: Associate’s degree
Overall 2017 Best Jobs rank (out of 100): No. 50
8. Occupational Therapy Aide
Average annual salary: $31,090
Projected growth (2014 to 2024): 31%
Typical education needed: High school diploma or equivalent
Overall 2017 Best Jobs rank (out of 100): No. 43
7. Massage Therapist
Average annual salary: $43,170
Projected growth (2014 to 2024): 22%
Typical education needed: Post-secondary non-degree award