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State employees get kid glove treatment

This wouldn't be surprising if we had a Democratic-dominated legislature here in Florida. We know how they love to throw public money around, right?

But Republicans? The party of "starve the beast," "root out waste, fraud and abuse," and "government health care is creeping socialism?" They're willing to cut education and social services to balance the state budget, yet they also know how to take care of their own.

Those of us who are lucky enough to be employed by state government get inexpensive or even free health care, access to professional financial planners, and Cadillac retirement benefits, all on the public dime. Karl Marx would be grinning from ear to ear to know that the workers were so well taken care of.

Apologists say we need to give them these benefits in order to attract the best and the brightest talent, considering they have such low salaries. A check of those salaries shows they are comparable to or better than those in the private sector. And the poor dears have to do extra work now, what with all the layoffs.

Sound familiar? If you still have your private sector job, you've probably had to shoulder an extra workload thanks to all those empty desks around you.

Maybe if our coddled public servants had to live the way the rest of us do, there might be a little money left over so that elementary school teachers wouldn't have to buy classroom supplies out of their own pockets.

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Thanks. I was feeling a little down about being a low paid state employee for the past 26 years. But now I feel much better about my situation. In 5 years I will retire with a nice state pension thanks to the great people of Florida. I also get Social Security and a nice DROP account lump-sum which I can roll over. Add it all up and I will make more in retirement than I make now. What a country!!!!

Obviously you don't know any of the grunts that do the real work for the State.

I guess florida will be soon handing out voucher for your retirment like California is starting to do with its vendors. Because they are broke! So I don't feel sorry when it happens. Either work like the rest of us and stop sucking the fat or be prepared yourself for Welcome to Walmart as a retiree greeter.

As a retired state pensioned employee somehow I don't feel coddled. You see I pay over 10K a year for my wife and my health insurance, that's after 31 years of working as a deputy sheriff and includes a stipend, I'm told by the local doctors where I live that the insurance I picked pays them very little so maybe that's why I get to choose between the two who will take my insurance. By the way I picked the PPO type, where you can go anywhere and have coverage,NOT.

Certainly the Republican members of Congress who are railing about "Cadillac" health care programs squeezing poor ordinary schmoes out had better be careful what they rail against before the poor ordinary schmoes get a look at the socialist government run health care system Congress provides for itself.

A small percentage of state workers get 'free' insurance. That means they don't pay any portion of the premium. We still have to deal with increasing out of pocket costs for copays, deductibles and coinsurance. My family's out of pocket for June was over $1800. It's a stretch to call that affordable health care. To call it free is laughable.

Everyone should pay the same and have access to the same

Mr. Lowe,

I work for The Drivers License Divsion and if you think that we have it made well you sure have the wrong information. I have worked for the Department for over 17 years and for your information I started at $1295.00 per MONTH and now 17 years later I make $2045.00 per MONTH. I pay $180 per month for Health Ins. for my wife and myself. It's not free I have $250 deductable for each person and my Wife is on Medicare. I have not had a raise in 4 Years. The state took our Uniforms away and our 10hr days and keeps taking. I am retiring this year. I am 64 and my wife is 66 - I will be paying $793.00 per month for health Ins for myself and my wife who is on Medicare. ( CHEAP HUH?) This will go down to $535.00 per month when I get on Medicare - )(REALLY CHEAP HUH?) My retirement with the State will be $493.00 PER MONTH - Thats BIG MONEY RIGHT????? I would like for you to check this out so you can print it and show what a GREAT JOB we have with the State and all the benefits we get. Also the article by Senate Minority Leader AL Lawson in the Orlando Sentinel on July 13, 2009 is Bogus - Ask him what he pays and WHAT HIS RETIREMENT IS? THEN YOU MIGHT HAVE A STORY AND MAKE CARTOONS ABOUT HIM. But don't make cartoons in general about STATE EMPLOYEE FREE HEALTH CARE - ORLANDO SENTINEL jULY 20, 2009. WE DO NOT GET ANYTHING FREE FROM THE STATE.

Thank you,


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About the author
Chan LoweCHAN LOWE has been the Sun Sentinel’s first and only editorial cartoonist for the past twenty-six years. Before that, he worked as cartoonist and writer for the Oklahoma City Times and the Shawnee (OK) News-Star.

Chan went to school in New York City, Los Angeles, and the U.K., and graduated from Williams College in 1975 with a degree in Art History. He also spent a year at Stanford University as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow.

His work has won numerous awards, including the Green Eyeshade Award and the National Press Foundation Berryman Award. He has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His cartoons have won multiple first-place awards in all of the Florida state journalism contests, and The Lowe-Down blog, which he began in 2008, has won writing awards from the Florida Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists.
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