You Keep Thinking The Next One Might Be Different
You think that Bloomberg might be different. That Spitzer might be different. That Andrew Cuomo might be different. But in the end they do the same things. The Governor proposes to drastically underfund the state pension funds, which also cover local government (and school) employees in the rest of New York State, and make up the money later. Comptroller DiNapoli had pushed through a proposal to do the same a few years ago, but the higher payments from that deal are now due. Now Cuomo wants to pay for yesterday's pensions over up to 45 years, with disaster if optimistic assumptions do not come true. For reality, read the comments from outraged taxpayers and public employees, not just the article.
I guess the kind of tax burden we have, and declining quality of services we have, in New York City (for the second time) is not acceptable in the rest of the state.
So what is the end game? Have the state cover a share of the local government contributions outside the city, with taxes collected in part in the city, even as city services re-collapse under the second big "screw the newbie, flee to Florida, leave the city in ruins" the unions have arranged? Does NYC get to cut its pension contributions in half, for now, instead of increasing them too?
Here is what I don't get. The NYS pension funds are considered among the best funded in the country. Not just by liars like our politicians, unions leaders, and the corrput actuaries they hire, but by disinterested third party observers who used the same rules and assumptions for all the funds. The same disinterested parties who say that the NYC pension plans are little more than half funded, despite drastically higher taxpayer funding over 30 years, So why are they doing this? Is the goal to have the state pension in a death spiral too?
Remember, while NYC taxpayers have paid more than anyone else in the country for public employee pensions to the detriment of services, except for a couple of years under that union/Giuliani deal in 2000, the taxpayer contribution rate in the rest of the state was ZERO for several years in the 1990s. The winners moved out or, if they are public employees retired and now get tax-free income. The losers are not happy about holding the bag. So why not make it even worse in the future? It's the Generation Greed game plan, since they insist on rationalizing and hiding from the consequences of what they have done, instead of facing them and taking those consequences before they pass on.