Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Taxpayers vs. Bureaucrats, Part XXXI

The competition to be the Greece of America has a lot of contestants. California and Illinois certainly are strong candidates. New Jersey was an early favorite, though Gov. Christie is actually doing some good things and pulling the state back from the precipice. But let's not forget New York. Here's an excerpt from a Wall Street Journal column about how bureaucrats are gaming this system to get absurd salaries:

Will there be a run on New York's debt, much like we saw in Greece this spring, causing interest rates to soar in Athens? With a $135 billion budget, New York State faces a shortfall of around $9 billion, which might be manageable if politicians had the courage to go "where the money is," says E.J. McMahon, a state budget expert at the Manhattan Institute. "The big problem," he adds, "is that no one will take on the unions and especially their gigantic pensions." A new Manhattan Institute report shows that it's been business-as-usual in the state's dealings with Big Labor, despite the fiscal crisis. Last year, 74,000 workers at the Metropolitan Transit Authority got a 2.4% raise even as their agency was teetering on bankruptcy. Some 8,000 MTA employees now earn $100,000 or more in annual salary, and 44 earn more than $200,000 a year, putting them in the top 3% of income in America. The latest plan, Mr. McMahon says, is for Gov. Paterson and the Democrats in the legislature to "cap rising pension bills by 'amortizing' them, which essentially means borrowing $2.5 billion from the pension fund in the next four years alone. Of course, this won't reduce costs -- it will merely push them into the future."

No comments:

Post a Comment