WEP and MAGA: Engage or enrage?

Fashion tip: If invited to an A-list party in Hollywood, Manhattan, San Francisco or Georgetown — DO NOT wear one of those red and white Make America Great Again hats if you want to be invited back.

By the same token, if you are planning to go to a National Rifle Association rally or meeting, best leave that precious Right To Arm Bears shirt at home. Not everyone finds it terribly amusing.

Closer to home, wherever that is, if you live in a community with lots of long-time or retired federal or postal workers, avoid using the initials WEP in any way, shape or form. WEP stands for Windfall Elimination Provision, which, since enacted in the mid-1980s, has been the unwanted foreign object in the punchbowl. Millions of otherwise mild-mannered feds go ballistic at the thought of WEP, which can shave up to $436 from the monthly Social Security check of a long-time federal, state or local government civil servant with relatively little work-time under Social Security.

Backers of WEP say its saves taxpayers money and eliminates the “welfare” tilt in Social Security, which gives people who paid in only for a relatively short period while building a federal or state retirement benefit, or whose lifetime Social Security earnings were low, a bigger Social Security benefit than individuals who spent decades working in Social Security covered employment at a higher salary.

Advertisement

Opponents of WEP say it is a Reagan-era relic that was part of a two-term effort to beat up on government workers — and unionized employees in general. They cite a Congressional Research Service report which says the Social Security benefits of 1.8 million people, all long-time public employees, are reduced each month by the WEP formula.

WEP has been at the top of the legislative hit list for groups representing federal and public retirees for almost 35 years. Because it, and Social Security, are so complex, explaining how WEP works and its impact at different levels of the benefit is hard. And it evokes little passion outside the impacted federal community. But in it, it is an unfair but all to real nightmare. Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) is one of the rare Republicans pushing for repeal of WEP. His bill (H.R. 3934) is called The Equal Treatment of Public Servants Act. It would partially offset the impact of WEP on the Social Security benefits of hundreds of thousands of feds under the old Civil Service Retirement System. Understanding and explaining WEP is a mind-blowing operation.

Take a look at what the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, who has long led the fight against the windfall elimination provision, tells its members about WEP here.

Nearly Useless Factoid

By Alazar Moges

John D. Rockefeller is widely considered the wealthiest American of all time, and one the richest people to ever live. But despite this, he actually served as a janitor for his church. A deeply religious man, he believed his faith to be a driving factor behind his success. Rockefeller also served as trustee and clerk for his church, as well as teaching Sunday school.

Sources: Wikipedia

Copyright © 2019 Federal News Network. All rights reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.