Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Pension reform for thee, but not for me

Steven Malanga reveals how politicians are gaming the system to fund their own pension benefits.
Legislators in dozens of states have crafted retirement perks that are even more generous than those of their government employees. As states and municipalities confront the crushing cost of pension promises, these elected officials are being asked to rein in a system they benefit from.

Illinois residents recently got a glimpse of the double standard at work when they learned how former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley had gamed the system. In early 2011, as he was ending his 22-year tenure, Mr. Daley complained of the growing cost of government and warned that rich pension benefits for public workers might sink Chicago's budget. But he didn't mention that he had exploited the system he was criticizing to boost his own final retirement package to $183,000 a year.
Quite cute that they can vote themselves such generous benefits. These politicians are literally invested in the status quo of their pension systems.