I’m going to start with a pet peeve!

I’m going to start with a pet peeve! Have you noticed that the government is now referring to our Social Security checks as a federal benefit payment? This isn’t a benefit, it is an earned income! Not only did we all contribute to our Social Security, but our employers did also.

The total was 15 percent of our income before taxes. If you averaged $30,000 a year over your working career, that’s close to $180,000 invested. If you calculate the future value of your monthly investment, ($375 per month including your employer’s) at a meager 1 percent interest rate compounded monthly, after 40 years of work you would have more than $1.3 million! At retirement if you took out $39,000 per year (we should be so lucky) your retirement would last more than 33 years. Instead, the Washington folks pulled off a bigger Ponzi scheme than Bernie Madoff and used our money elsewhere.

No referendum, no interest, no payback! Now they tell us the Social Security fund is about to go broke and they have the unmitigated gall to call it a federal benefit. It was intended to be our Earned Income Retirement Fund but now the history revisionists are saying that it was never intended to be a retirement fund, just supplement our personal retirement. Makes you wonder what they’re dreaming up next, maybe something really crazy like free healthcare for everybody.

We all need to write or e-mail the governor’s office and plead with him to reject the new “war on coal.” The Obama Administration has released new guidelines for the elimination of coal as a fuel for power plants. Missouri is very dependent on coal for our cheap electric rates. The current estimates are that our energy costs could double in as little as seven years if we have to convert all our plants to natural gas. I don’t have any problem with renewable energy sources, but they just cannot provide the amount of energy needed and do it as cheaply and efficiently as coal. If the idea behind this is to make the atmosphere cleaner, then why the heck are we selling all our high sulfur coal to China and India. We have the cleanest coal burning plants in the world, they have the dirtiest. Makes a lot of sense doesn’t it?

Gov. Nixon is stealing material from the administration’s playbook. After sending us the wording he wanted in the tax bill that would have given us all a tax break for the first time in 90 years, he vetoed the bill! Because there is a slim chance that we would overturn his veto, he withheld $401 million from the budget. Much of this was from K12 and higher education and they are already telling school administrators to pressure legislators to refuse the override. The state has a surplus for the first time in years and our governor is still trying to hold schools hostage to his ambitions. I have to wonder what we might accomplish as a state and as a nation if men and women ran for office and acted in the best interest of the constituents instead of trying to further their own careers.

We were in Powell for the groundbreaking for the new bridge. The historical society made history by being only the second private group in the United States to be given a bridge. The old span was erected in 1915 and was first used by horse drawn wagons and Model Ts. It will become a tourist attraction and walking bridge and will delight visitors for years to come. The historical society will be at the Brumley’s in Powell on the Fourth for their annual fundraiser. Kenny Underwood had his annual bash at the community building in Pineville to raise money for the Republican Club scholarship fund. It was very well attended and this years three recipients were awarded their scholarships. There are celebrations everywhere for Independence Day. Southwest City has their celebration set for the evening of the 3rd and Noel and Seneca are having theirs on the 6th. Seneca promises to be bigger and better this year, and from the flyers I’ve seen, they are really going all out.

For a parting thought: Only in America could politicians rant and rave about “greedy rich people” at a $35,000 a plate campaign fund raising event. 

Until next time, I am and remain in your service.

Bill Lant represents the people of Southwest Missouri in the Mo. House of Representatives. Contact him locally at 437-8223 or at his Jefferson City office at (573) 751-9801 or email him at bill.lant@house.mo.gov.