Unless you’re a historian or Jeopardy champ, you probably don’t know the actual dates of the Thirty Years War. Or care much!
But like most wars, it was bad. Lots of innocent people killed or displaced. The victors write the history, etc. Sort of like now.
Closer to home, another long-running fight, this one political, involves major passions over two 30-plus year old laws that many believe cheats many federal and public retirees or their spouses out of benefits they earned and paid for. On the other side is a normally less-vocal group which is passionate that the so-called Windfall and Offset rules are fair, and should not be repealed. They contend they were passed to protect Social Security from paying out what they say were excessive benefits to public retirees. As often happens, each side thinks/knows it is correct and that the opposition is either stupid, mean or greedy.
The WEP/Offset battle is up and running again, with renewed vigor. After years of lukewarm congressional reaction to repeal plans, the House has produced a record number of cosponsors supporting the long-running, long-shot repeal action. There is a good chance the House won’t approve it. Even better that the Senate won’t take it up. Most incumbent and wanna-be lawmakers know that Social Security is the third-rail of American politics: “Touch It And You Die”, at least politically. Since WEP/Offset is so important to so many, and since Congress is looking like it might possibly take some action, I invited a top pro-repeal lobbyist to be on our Your Turn radio show. Accompanying it was a column.
In order to show the other side, we did this column to lay out the arguments the pro-WEP/Offset folks are making among themselves. And to Congress. As happens, some didn’t want to hear the others’ arguments (good or bad, brilliant or dumb). So the war goes on. Many of the letters are great, regardless of the side they take. But some need to be cleaned up a little or edited for length. And in some cases, accuracy. They will be coming up next week. They may not change a single mind. But it does let people know what the opposition is telling Congress.
Nearly Useless Factoid
By David Thornton
Out of the roughly 50,000 known species of spiders, 20 live in colonies. One of those species, Anelosimus eximius, lives in colonies of up to 1,000 and hunts in coordinated packs to bring down larger prey.
Source: Live Science