-By Warner Todd Huston
There really is no excuse for any public servant to retire with a pension worth $1.3 million dollars of the people's tax money. None. But that is precisely what happens in the City of Chicago according to Chicago's Civic Committee.
Crain's Greg Hinz reports that the Civic Commission sent an email blast out to its members late last week reporting that the typical Chicago Fireman who retires after 20 years of service will make $1.3 million in pension benefits. Cops make a bit less at $1.2 million. These public servants can also retire at age 50, almost two decades earlier than the rest of us. This means that these retired city officers can potentially live one third of their lives or more on the public dime. After 20 measly years' service.
Now, I certainly realize that cops have a high stress job. I also realize that both policemen and firemen can be called upon to put their personal safety, even their lives, on the line (though by no means do all of them do so). But these pensions are an impossible corruption of our system. No one deserves such luxury on the backs of the poor taxpayer.
Public employees unions have played their part in the suicide pact that our elected officials have initiated. This corrupt bargain was joined by our politicians in order to get handsome campaign contributions from the unions that dug deep into their pockets in order to get more favorable laws and regulations, ever richer benefits and pay scales, and permanent favored status from the pols. But the butcher's bill is coming due, after all.
The public employee pension crisis is here. Will our elected officials have the guts to tackle it before there is utter collapse?