You may have noticed a news story today about a Philadelphia councilwoman who's retiring for precisely 24 hours, in order to collect a pension check for almost half a million dollars, then will return to duty for her next term of office. Sound corrupt to you? Maybe . . . but it's nevertheless legal, according to Philadelphia's municipal statutes and regulations.
If this sounds unbelievable to you, too insanely nonsensical to be real, rest assured it's by no means the only example. Remember the protests against Wisconsin governor Scott Walker and his plans to rein in the power of education unions in that state? That's why the unions were unhappy - because such 'sweetheart deals' for their members would become a thing of the past. There are many, many other examples in US politics. To name just a few:
- Chicago labor leaders double-dip on pensions - and are now under Federal investigation as a result;
- Under a scheme similar to the one used in Philadelphia, Los Angeles police and firefighters are allowed to earn both full salary and their pensions for five years, receiving the latter benefits in a lump sum when they finally retire;
- In San Diego, a mere ten city workers will split more than $61 million in retirement benefits, according to a report last year.
There are any number of similar stories out there. Do an Internet search on the terms "union", "pension" and "scandal" and see for yourself. Sounds like a rather corrupt version of the so-called "American Dream", doesn't it? And we, the taxpayers of America, end up on the hook for it all . . .