According to the Chicago Sun-Times there are 54 Double-Dipping Chicago Cops living the high life since their retirement. I would certainly never begrudge anyone from enjoying their earned pensions after serving a career long enough to get it, but it does bother me when there appears to be a policy in place which allows retirees to cheat taxpayers out of even more "tax contributions to the system" just because they can.
The 54 Double-Dippers are able to extract a City Hall Paycheck (and new pension benefits) on top of their current retirement pensions because they are employed by the City's Department of Aviation's little known police force. A police force that, by the way, falls under yet another different municipal pension fund than the one Chicago Police Department contributes to. But why? Doesn't the Department of Aviation Police Force "augment and act in support of" the Chicago Police Department? And if so - are they not performing a duty that is basically the same as the one CPD is tasked to do? Seems to me they should both be controlled under the same pension authority!
I don't think we need a separate police force at O'Hare or Midway, but if it takes some heat off the the regular duties that CPD already does there, then okay, let these retirees earn straight time pay and with no benefits to augment their retirement income. This whole thing just smells like another scam and as such, a waste of money. It sickens me. Besides, I just don't think we need umpteen different redundant agencies serving the same purpose. It is kind of like the Forest Preserve Police - you know? I mean, what do they do that is any different than the Cook County Sheriff can't do under its jurisdiction?
It is all just patronage!
And you wonder why the pension funds in Chicago, and the State of Illinois, are so out of whack and under-funded, well, if I have said it once I've said it a thousand times already - the costs associated with patronage take a disproportionate amount of money out of the system as a whole.
When will Illinois Taxpayers demand that lawmakers begin pension reform in earnest instead of offering watered-down reforms that aren't worth the value of used toilet paper? Patronage and its pension abuses have long been a dirty secret in our local and state politics, but it has also been one that politicians have manipulated since public pensions began.
I have asked over and over again how it can be that dissatisfied voters can vote out someone and still see them appointed to one of the hundreds of hidden agencies and boards? And remember, they all come with the same slight of hand- separate municipal pension funds! Doesn't it make sense for politicians and/or government employees been given one single retirement account - just like regular people must do in the private sector? Yet, that reform is never offered!
The 54 Chicago Cops are just the tip of the iceberg, but with government budgets being squeezed to the max (and thus adding an even higher burden to taxpayers) - wouldn't it be judicious to stop this practice? Or do wait for another Titanic to sink? People better wise up and demand some real reform.
And 1 Retirement Account Per Person sounds like a good place to start!