Monday, January 14, 2008

Sorry Elders There Is No Money For Your Protection!

Assemblywoman Patty Berg From the state capitol Legislators aware of problem, but lack funds Contra Costa Times Article Launched: 01/12/2008

I want to commend Tammerlin Drummond and the Contra Costa Times/Bay Area Newspaper Group for its editorial series "Theft of Elder Nation," which movingly illustrates heartbreak and devastation caused by the growing problem of elder financial abuse.

Yet, while we have taken steps to increase awareness about such abuse, and have increased reporting requirements, we are fighting a growing problem with a system that has never been fully funded.

A wide range of experts concluded that we aren't doing enough to combat this crime. Not only are we unable to handle the current case load, we are woefully unprepared for the wave of aging baby boomers that will soon enter retirement.

Sadly, the governor vetoed the funding, with encouragement from Republican legislators. Again, the governor cut an additional $6 million for this year's budget. The result is a continued and chronic under funding of this vital safety net program.

I thank you for your call-to-action. I hope your efforts will yield an outpouring of letters, calls and media attention to federal and state lawmakers, including our governor, calling for investment for vital safety net programs like APS and legislative reforms so that our elders can live their golden years in peace.

Berg is chair of the Assembly Committee on Aging and Long-Term Care and the Budget


The federal government spends $23 billion annually on special interest pork projects such as grants to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, or funds to combat teenage “goth” culture in Blue Springs, Missouri.

Over one recent 18-month period, Air Force and Navy personnel used government-funded credit cards to charge at least $102,400 for admission to entertainment events, $48,250 for gambling, $69,300 for cruises, and $73,950 for exotic dance clubs and prostitutes.

The Advanced Technology Program spends $150 million annually subsidizing private businesses, and 40% of this goes to Fortune 500 companies.

The Defense Department wasted $100 million on unused flight tickets, and never bothered to collect refunds even though the tickets were reimbursable.

The Conservation Reserve program pays farmers $2 billion annually to not farm their land.

Massive farm subsidies also go to several members of Congress, and celebrity “hobby farmers” such as David Rockefeller, Ted Turner, Scottie Pippen, and former Enron CEO Ken Lay.

Opposition Sen. Panfilo Lacson on Friday belied Budget Sec. Rolando Andaya Jr's claim that the 30-billion pork in the budget is "imaginary," saying there may be far more than P30 billion in pork barrel funds hidden in the P1.227-trillion proposed national budget for 2008.

Sources: see Brian M. Riedl, “How to Get Federal Spending Under Control,” Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 1733, March 10, 2004, at

Brian Riedl is Grover M. Hermann Fellow in Federal Budgetary Affairs in the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation.


How do we tells elders who have sacrifices their lives for us today?

"Sorry Elders There Is No Money to Guarantee Your Security, Dignity or Well Being into your Old Age."

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