Mood: crushed out
Topic: "The Non-Issue" (3)
Frodo has begun the annual exercise which requires that books, records, receipts, and SWAG be properly assembled. Reference materials go on one edge of the table, and that is what garners his attention at this moment. Something he reads however, causes him to push back from the table and to consider the impact on a grander scale.
The entrepreneurial Mr. Frodo has funded his own plan for retirement (which will henceforth be identified herein as the "R" word). Frodo knew that once he reached age 59.5 he could, note could, begin to draw from his R plan. He had failed to note however, that he must, note must, begin to draw from his R plan at age 70.5. The reason that certain rules exist in the Internal Revenue Code is permanently lost to the miasma of the legislative process. But, Frodo knows, there must be a reason for there to be a requirement that withdrawals commence by this point in the life of the Great American Taxpayer.
Surely, thinks Frodo, the wise and good representatives of the American people, who know and understand the hard work of our people, deemed age 70.5 as the point at which everyone has earned the right to rest and relax. R begins at age 70.5.
John McCain is 71 years of age, and he would be 72 when he takes office, if elected to the Presidency. No President has ever entered office so late in life. Given the actuarial tables that exist relative to lifespan in America today, it is not only unlikely, but against all odds that John McCain would survive two full-terms. Frodo notes that at the same time John McCain would receive $400,000 per year to serve as President (arguably the toughest job in the world), he would also be drawing from his own R Fund. Why? Because it was meant that old men should retire, and not fumble around behind talk show hosts and call everybody "my friends."
Ronald Reagan, until now the oldest to ever serve as President, turned the argument around on his Democratic opponent Walter Mondale. Reagan commented during a debate that he did not believe that "age" was a factor, and therefore he would not raise the relative youth and inexperience of his opponent. Everyone laughed.
Nobody should be laughing now. John McCain did not decide to spend 5.5 years of his life being confined and tortured. It happened however, and that cruel treatment has quite likely further subtracted from the time available to him. All political references to "change" and the "old way" of doing things aside, it is a serious point that should dominate consideration for this gentleman's fitness for such rigorous duty.
Nobody every said that things were ever going to be fair or easy. Senator McCain, it is time to plant some flowers, while you still have the opportunity to smell them. To view the status quo as simply one more challenge in your life is an admirable concept, but it is truly an uncharacteristic disservice to your country to give less than your best.