Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I stayed up till 4.00am local time to watch the live telecast of the inauguration of the 44th President of the United States of America. Well, the celebration's over. For President Obama, the real task of governing has begun.

How many of his campaign promises will he honour now that he is president? What compromises will he be forced to make, being the pragmatist that he is.

Social Security

~Protect Social Security benefits for current and future beneficiaries alike.
~No to raising the retirement age.
~No to privatizing Social Security.
~Those making over $250,000 will contribute 2%-4% more to Social Security to keep it sound.

Retirement Savings

~Ensure that bankruptcy courts do not demand more sacrifice from workers than executives.
~Tell companies that they cannot issue executive bonuses while cutting worker pensions. ~Increase the amount of unpaid wages and benefits workers can claim in court.
~Limit the circumstances under which retiree benefits can be reduced.
~Require Full Disclosure of Company Pension Investments.
~Eliminate Income Taxes for Seniors Making Less Than $50,000.
~Create Automatic Workplace Pensions.
~Expand Retirement Savings Incentives for Working Families.
~Prevent Age Discrimination

Affordable Health Care

~Provide Cheaper Prescription Drugs.
~Allow seniors to import safe prescription drugs from overseas. This will prevent pharmaceutical companies from blocking cheap and safe generic drugs from the market.
~Protect and Strengthen Medicare.
~Provide Transparency to Medicare Prescription Drug Plans.
~Strengthen Long-Term Care Options.
~Train more nurses and health care workers.

Protect and Honor Seniors

~Ensure Heating Assistance: increase funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) which helps low-income citizens — many of them seniors — pay their winter heating and summer cooling bills.
~Support Senior Volunteer Efforts: engage more interested seniors into public service opportunities by expanding and improving programs like Senior Corps to connect seniors with quality volunteer opportunities.

Click here to view the retirement benefits American citizens currently enjoy. Can retirees and pensioners in Malaysia hope for similar benefits? Or are we much better off than our American counterparts? For a look at pension funds and retirement funds in Malaysia, click here.

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