Worried about your retirement and how to finance the so-called Golden Years? Afraid the proposed "integration" of the social security-civil service retirement programs will chop down your annunity? Want to send a message to Congress, and the White House? If so, consider the following:
Judging from mail, telephone calls and the $3 million raised by unions and retiree groups to fight it, most federal and postal employes are not anxious to link up with social security.
Most people like their present system. Most seem to fear any link with social security will reduce future benefits, or force them to work longer to get the same benefits.
In a recent column I suggested that federal and postal workers are political lightweights when it comes to bloc voting. Despite the fact that federal workers are better paid, educated and trained than their industry counterparts, I said there has never been an issue that welded the Commerce Department economist here and the San Francisco postal clerk -- and their 2.7 million colleagues -- into an effective political force. That is one reason politicians outside the Washington area kiss off the fears and fancies of bureaucrats, or run on kick-the-bureaucrats platforms.
A reader from Upper Marlboro disagrees. She dared me -- and you -- to test it. Her plan is simple -- It will cost you a couple of minutes, and a stamp. Vote on it, she says. Right now. She asks people to fill out the following questionnaire. Send it to me.I'll publish the results -- unless nobody responds, in which case we'll forget if for all our sakes. It goes like this:
(1) I have been a federal worker for -- years.
(2) I am for/against (circle one) the retirement/social security merger.
(3) I am for/against eliminating one of the two cost-of-living raises retirees get.
(4) I will vote for/against President Carter and my member of Congress (or senator) based on their stand on the two important retiree issues.
(5) I am a registered voter in --
Send to: Mike Causey, The Washington Post, Washington, D.C. 20071.
It might be interesting to see the results, and it might be educational to congressional and presidential candidates to see how interested federal workers and retirees are in this issue.