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The Entitlement State: New York Pols Game Pension System


New York state isn’t exactly rolling in money, but some of its politicians are. Several county lawmakers have been fudging their time cards in order to collect pensions, according to an investigation. Ordinarily, officials are required to work a full thirty hours every week in order to receive benefits such as pensions and health care, but many have found creative ways around this restriction. For some, logging into email or attending political fundraisers constitute “work.” For others, getting a haircut qualifies. The Times Union reports:

“Many of the lawmakers claimed that more than half the government-related work in a one-month period involved monitoring news or responding to emails.

Daniel Lewza, a supervisor in Milton, included entries that a state comptroller’s official acknowledged were too vague, including private meetings with bank officials that listed no details of what business was discussed.

The difficulty in reforming the system, said McMahon, who is a close observer of state government, is that legislators tasked with negotiating health and pension benefits with are themselves the beneficiaries of the system.”

New York can’t afford this kind of behavior. Pension funds in many New York cities are already on the verge of insolvency. At a time when taxpayers are on the hook for these funds and pensioners are looking at the possibility of being forced to forego some or all of their promised pensions, it’s beyond ugly to see state pols gaming the system for benefits.

New York’s entitlement culture evidently starts at the top.

[New York Capitol Building photo courtesy of Shutterstock]

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  • Nick Bidler

    Hum. Whenever a family-values repub has a scandal, it’s for things that would be unremarkable for democrats to do; when a social-equality dem has a scandal, it’s for things that have a definite monetary impact on the general citizenry.

    In short, I prefer republican scandals to democratic ones.

    • Corlyss

      The Republican scandals wouldn’t be scandals if the MSM didn’t have a double standard as regards hypocrisy. Republicans are flagged on it at the merest whisper; Blue Tammanys could roll out by the gross and the MSM wouldn’t even blink, never mind report ’em.

  • Pete

    A sign of the decay in America is that the political class considers positions of power as an opportunity to loot society.

    And they do it under the cover of ‘doing good,’ ‘serving the community,’ ‘helping the so called underprivileged.’

  • Marty Keller

    Just the latest element for the already-being-written “Rise and Fall of the American Republic.”

  • avery12

    Imo the behavior NY, and everywhere else, can no longer afford is the consistent way blue voters never, ever hold their elected officials accountable for anything. Any behavior from an elected official is acceptable to the blue electorate so long as it is labeled with a D.

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