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Orwellian 'Voter Empowerment Act' would impoverish state workers

To the editor: When politicians are eager to deny healthcare to women, children, the poor and the disabled, deny access to voting to whole segments of the population and deny living wages and time off to be ill, it comes as no surprise that a proposal designed to impoverish state employees and penalize them for doing their jobs by cutting back on pensions would be called a Voter Empowerment Act. ("Count the bad ideas in California pension overhaul proposal," Aug. 15)

The cost of this act is unknown, so it can't be billed as saving any money. By shifting public employees to 401(k) plans, only Wall Street and its wholly owned politicians benefit from this plan.

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As a retired state employee, I am not covered by Social Security. When I was working, a full 25% of my paycheck — my largest single expense — went to the retirement plan this act seeks to take away. State employees, of whom there are fewer now than before the financial crash, earn their pensions.

The real question is not why should state employees earn a comfortable retirement but rather why can't every worker in the U.S. earn a secure standard of living when they cannot work anymore?

David Middleton, Rancho Mirage 

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