Retired Sheriff: $276,000 per Year Pension Is Not Enough
Liberalism often works by starting with an arguably good thing and taking it to such an extreme that it becomes pernicious. Public sector pensions are a prime example. Few would deny retired police officers either a pension or a savings plan. But in liberal states greed has gotten completely out of control. From Ventura County, California:
[F]ormer Sheriff Robert Brooks … retired in 2011 with a salary of $227,000. Today, he collects $50,000 a year more than that [$276,000], with guaranteed cost-of-living increases. But that wasn’t enough. Now he’s suing for $75,000 more, claiming it’s allowed under the law.
Finally the public is putting up some resistance.
Ventura County voters will consider an initiative in November, similar to a possible statewide measure, that would funnel all new employees into a 401k savings plan rather than a pension. It would also, like an initiative passed in San Jose, give current employees a choice — either increase their contributions or cut future benefits. …
Unions, as might be expected, oppose the measures.
Brooks’s case is hardly unique. Left-wing bureaucrats have turned the pension system into a looting spree.
An analysis by the Los Angeles Times found 84 percent of the roughly two-dozen Ventura County retirees with pensions in excess of $100,000 made more money in retirement than working.
When chief county executive Marty Robinson left in 2011 making $228,000, his annual pension totaled $272,000.
Their packages are emblematic of what critics consider a runaway pension problem.
The chief executive of Solano County retired with a $371,000 pension. A police chief in Stockton left with a $204,000 annual pension after just eight months on the job. An Orange County attorney retired with a pension of $226,000 — $14,000 more than his final salary. He also got a check for $352,097 for nearly 2,500 hours of unused sick and vacation time.
In California, 20,000 employees have pensions in excess of $100,000.
No wonder the state has a $500 billion budget shortfall, with wealth producers leaving the state by the hundreds of thousands to escape the excessive taxation.
On a tip from Wiggins. Cross-posted at Moonbattery.
Stanford economist John Taylor: Here are two charts which show why both increased regulation and policy uncertainty are very significant.
The Sam Adams Alliance, a free-market think tank that specializes in encouraging new media, held its third annual Sammies awards