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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Outrageous Liberal

Mark the date of this historic moment: Barbara Anderson and I agree on something.

"Something" is former State Sen. Jim Marzilli's request to double his pension because he "lost" his reelection bid. Yeah, lost because his name was on the ballot after he was charged with harassing or attempting to grope women.
"They get an additional pension if their constituents get sick of them and throw them out? Am I hearing that right? Only in Massachusetts," said Barbara Anderson, executive director of Citizens for Limited Taxation. "Enough with the pension nonsense."
Truth be told, the real outrage is the law -- although Marzilli's efforts to exercise it based on the nature of his decision to voluntarily leave office to seek treatment is fairly close behind. Right up there with his trip to Germany.

I am not a public service employee basher. Committed and dedicated people work hard, usually at salaries far below what they would receive in the private sector.

But I do have a real problem with a law aimed at elected officials only. The guy in the Highway Department can't apply for this provision because he's not subject to the decision of voters, only his supervisors. Of course he gets paid through the capital budget, but that's another disaster entirely.

The real outrage is the Legislature creates laws that apply only to them. Or, like the public meeting laws, don't apply only to them.

As the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation's Mike Widmer notes, the revelation of Marzilli's request is the wrong message at the wrong time.
"This is another pension excess that is causing increasing outrage to taxpayers," he said. "You have these thousands of employees who earn legitimate pensions and then these kinds of abuses undercut support for the entire system. It is past time for the Legislature and the governor to close these kinds of loopholes."
Gov. Deval Patrick and the Legislature have some serious work ahead of them to overhaul a creaky system that is bleeding money through many places. Special interest laws -- ones that apply only to those people who get their jobs through the ballot box -- is a great place to start reforming.

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Blogger Life On Planet Patricia said...

As the kids say today, OMG. I think I agree with her too.

December 24, 2008 8:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Committed and dedicated people work hard, usually at salaries far below what they would receive in the private sector.

This is a polemic in need of a re-tooling what with the private sector loss of 401K value, loss of health insurance and widespread layoffs. Notice the turnover rate of the public servant might well be incredibly low because they can't get a better job outside of government.

BTW, Matt Amarillo is unemployed.

December 24, 2008 10:50 AM  

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