Friday, September 7, 2012

Oh Goodie, New Senators!

The Master something or other Lord Stephen is installing 5 more of his Harper Issue Senators.  You know, the eight year wonder voters.

I’m not sure if he is gunning for a record here.  53 appointments in 5 ½ years.  A far cry from Sir John A. who appointed  91 Senators during his reign, but his reign lasted 19 years.

Mackenzie King holds the record, 103… granted it took him 22 years.

The holder of the highest average of appointments per year is John Turner.  He only inducted 3 Senators, but he was only in power for 2 ½ months.  That makes 15 per year.  I don’t think anyone will touch that… but no one thought Rocket Richard’s 50 goals in 50 games would ever be matched.

The thing is, the other appointers followed the rules.  You know, the Constitutional Rules about Senate appointments.

The original Senators were appointed for life, later amended to 75 years of age.

Steve’s come with a best before date of only 8 years.

Here’s the thing.  Steve’s 8 year wonders will all be eligible for a pension when they get unappointed.  They’ll be suckling at the public teat to the tune of over $30,000 per year.  Not too shabby.  And then they’ll be replaced by another batch of 8 year wonders.

I don’t know what the average age of a Harper Party Senator is at appointment, but it appears that most Senators are appointed in their 50s.

So let’s say they’ll be sent to pasture at age 65.

Minimum wage in the Senate is about $130,000 per year.  Each of these Senators will be eligible for over $30,000 per year in pension.

Old School Senators retire at 75, so they’ll draw likely quite a bit more than $30G since the pension is based on years of service.   But at age 75 they likely won’t be drawing more than 5 to 10 years worth of pension.

Now Harper’s Senators I’m guessing will be retiring around 65 on average so they’ll be looking at 15 to 20 years of pension.

Now, if the average Old School Senator sits for 20 years before retirement, the Senate will turn over every 20 years or so.  If they make it to 85 years of age on average, there will be around 50 retired Senators pulling pension.

Harper Senators on the other hand will cycle through the 105 seats in the Senate in 8 years.  With an average a life span to 85, we will have over 260 retired Senators every 20 years… and when the first to retire are reaching 85, number 261 will be making their farewell speech to the Senate.

Now to the money.  Senators accumulate 3% of their 5 best years salary for each year of service.  I’m going to stick with my original $130,000/year even though they get increases for being on committees and having more important positions.  I’m assuming that these increases would be about the same for both Old School and Harper Senators, so any number would be more or less fair.

An Old School Senator in my model will draw 3% for 20 years  making 60% of $130,000 or $78,000/year.
A Harper Senator will draw 3% for 8 years making 24% of $130,000 or $31,200 per year.

Nice.  See how much cheaper Harper’s plan is, they get less than half what the other guys get!

But… the old way we have around 50 retirees at any time… 50 times $78,000 is
$3.9 Million. 
Harper’s way we have 260 time $31,200 for a yearly total of over
$8.1 Million.

Did I mention we subsidize their pensions?

Fun Fact: Senator Brazeau was appointed to the Senate at age 35 under the old scheme… if he retires at age 75 (like he is allowed)… his pension will be 39 time 3% of his best 5 years wages in the Senate.  Yeppers 117% of his best wages!

He’s 37 now, with the 8 year wonders he will see a new face in an old chair 5 times before he retires.

I’m depressed, how about you?

I’d apply for a Senate seat (we know how fond Fearless Leader is of cats) but velour and cat fur just don’t get along.

Who am I kidding… for $1 Million + in wages for 8 years “work” and a comfy pension to boot… I’ll shave my butt and vote any way you want Stevie!