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Sunday, July 11, 2010 1:13 PM

Why New York City (and NYC Taxpayers) are Broke

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Public pensions and public union benefits are increasingly under attack in the media, and justifiably so. Here is a case in point regarding NYC.

Please consider City taxpayers foot 90% of municipal pensions.

Taxpayers kick in an average $8.60 for every dollar that city employees contribute to their pensions, a sweet deal costing the Big Apple a bundle.

Taxpayers' share of city pension costs has skyrocketed more than 900 percent in the last decade -- from $703.1 million in 2000 to $6.5 billion in 2009, according to the city comptroller's annual reports.

The cost is expected to hit $7.6 billion this fiscal year and $8.7 billion next year.

Teachers get the biggest bang for their pension contributions -- the city puts in $15.50 for every $1 they contribute.

Taxpayers pay $10 for every $1 firefighters put in, $9 for every $1 from cops and $5.60 for every $1 from transit, sanitation and other civil servants, the 2009 report shows.

Average pension: $54,268
Taxpayer contribution: $15.50 to $1

Average pension: $53,347
Taxpayer contribution: $10 to $1

Average pension: $41,319
Taxpayer contribution: $9.13 to $1

Average pension: $24,889
Taxpayer contribution: $5.60 to $1

"The cost has risen because employee benefits were dramatically increased in 2000, just as the [stock] market began to collapse," said John Murphy, former executive director of the New York City Employee Retirement System, NYCERS, the largest city pension fund.

"In retrospect, it was one of the most irresponsible things to have done," he said.
Amazingly, unions have the gall to demand still more benefits at a time the private sector and ordinary taxpayers are getting hammered.

The article appears to be about NYC. It's not. It's about every public union in the country.

Also consider Padded Pensions and What to do About Them
It’s what the system promised, said Mr. Tassone, now 47, adding that he did nothing wrong by adding lots of overtime to his base pay shortly before retiring. “I don’t understand how the working guy that held up their end of the bargain became the problem,” he said.
"The working guy that held up their end of the bargain"

Yeah right.
This is what the bargain looks like.

Public union greed and arrogance is off the scale everywhere, as they perpetually bitch and whine and moan about how much they are contributing (and about everything else, too).

The only solution is to privatize everything, totally eliminating public unions along with their greed and arrogance.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
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