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Pension Double Dipping in New York

August 21, 2009

Some articles make me wonder why I’ve chosen my career path.  Maybe I should have accepted that government job instead of starting my own business.

From the article in the times: Some N.Y. Lawmakers Take Pensions on Top of Pay

Mr. Weisenberg, 75, a Long Island Democrat, “retired” last year but continued to work as a lawmaker and remained on the payroll. As a result, he earns $101,500 in salary and collects a pension of about $72,000

He thinks he is entitled to this pension.  I think he might be entitled to be voted out of office.  As a country we don’t have enough money to properly fund our schools, pave our roads, fund transportation alternatives, etc, but these people think we have enough money to pay them twice – because they’ve “earned” it.

“Double dipping?” said Mr. Weisenberg, asked about the appearance created by his notional retirement. “I don’t see this as that,” he added. “This is something I earned.”

The saving grace for New York is that they seem to have closed this loophole with anyone elected after 1995.  Keep in mind though, that this is just the tip of the iceberg.  Double dipping is a common practice in New York government (and elsewhere.)

Hundreds of state workers have obtained special waivers allowing them to return to their jobs after retiring and to keep their full pensions.

The theme here is the same as everywhere.  I’ve earned my special deal.  I’m entitled to it.  It is all those other people that are hurting the system.  I hope these lawmakers are voted out and embarrassed into changing their behavior.  Hopefully this will tarnish their reputation and legacy.

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