State Pensions – A Loophole for Lobbyists

In many places you can get a state government pension without even working for the state government. The Associated Press reports that lobbyists in at least 20 states are entitled to public pensions because they represent associations of counties, cities and school boards. In many cases, they also get state health care benefits. Take Stephen Acquario, the executive director of the New York State Association of Counties. He makes $204,000 a year ($25,000 more than the governor) and has perks, …

A New Voice for Homeowners?

Washington hears from interest groups that represent everything from medical specialties to cattlemen to professional wrestlers. Now there’s an organization for one of the largest constituencies in the country: homeowners. The current homeownership rate in the United States is 65 percent (down from a high of more than 69 percent in 2004), according to the U.S. Census Bureau. America’s Homeowner Alliance (AHA) is the brainchild of Phil Bracken, a former executive of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage and now the chief …

One Job Where It Pays to Be in Your 60s

Nearly every week brings new stories and statistics about how tough the job market is for older Americans. (A headline earlier this year in the New York Times: “In Hard Economy for All Ages, Older Isn’t Better … It’s Brutal.” But there’s at least one profession that seems to turn the conventional wisdom on its head: Washington lobbyist. “In Washington,” Politico reports, “it actually pays to be in your 60s when you’re starting a new business – at least on …

In St. Louis, Older Voters See Two Big Problems: The Economy, and Politicians

Susan Milligan has been visiting six Election 2012 battleground states to talk with 50-plus voters for a report that will be published in the September issue of the AARP Bulletin. She posted this from Missouri. There’s a lot of dissension around the table at the OASIS center in St. Louis, a place where people 50 and older volunteer to tutor children and help them learn the importance of healthy living. Some of the OASIS volunteers like President Obama; others like …