Economics

Why Cities Are Broke (They Spend Too Much!), Chapter XXVIII (in an Infinite Series)

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Why is this man smiling? Because he retired in 2007 from Cincinnati's city government on a $128,000 pension with bells and whistles, and then immediately signed a consulting contract with the Queen City worth $142,000 a year, for an annual income of well, you do the math.

Meet Water Works honcho Dave Rager, who at 55 years old, has a lot of life left to enjoy as a pensioner. Like a lot of other (broke) cities across this sweet land of liberty, Cincinnati supposedly put in iron-clad rules against double-dipping. But in Rager's case (and how many others, one wonders), they just had to make an exception because he was so freaking great that they needed to pay him more than twice as much as he was making.

At the end of 2007, Rager retired after a 34½-year city career, leaving under an early retirement incentive program that made him eligible for a pension that this year will total $128,326.

The city, however, wanted to keep Rager, whose expertise would be valuable as City Hall explored the idea of transforming the Water Works from a city-owned agency into a regional operation.

Under the provisions of the Cincinnati Retirement System's early retirement plan, Rager and more than 200 others who took advantage of it were to be prohibited from working for the city for five years.

To circumvent that, on Dec. 31, 2007—Rager's last day on the city payroll as a normal employee—Dohoney and Rager signed a waiver exempting him from the five-year ban….

Cincinnati City Councilwoman Leslie Ghiz calls that "absolutely wrong, impossible to defend," but blames top city administrators, not Rager. "This is not the employee's fault—it's the administration's fault, and it's a very costly fault," she said.

So how many other recent retirees are double-dipping like Rager? Out of 200 city employees who retired under the same 2007 program, "at least 41" are under contract with the city, says the Cincinnati Enquirer. Read the whole thing here.

And then ask your local goverment how many folks in your burgh are getting a double ride on your dime.

More on why cities and states are broke (they spend too much!).

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  1. A question to our resident statists: how does something like this square with your oft-made contention that governments are better than corporations because the citizens can control the government? Plainly the government doesn’t give a fuck what the taxpayers think; what sort of “control” is that?

    1. You would rather have private corporations controlling the nation’s water supply? Look what just happened in the Gulf. You can’t drink oil.

      1. And raise: Look what the U.S. government did in Iraq!

        1. Military officers are allowed to double dip after retirement. Why not city workers?

        2. Yeah, look what Bush made us do. We actually drove out one of the worst dictators in modern history. A man that murdered thousands of his own people and financed terrorism. Now we have a middle east country that has a fledgling democracy.

          On the other hand, we have Obama who has apologized to the world for “evil” America and bows before foriegn rulers. He has sold out Isreal to curry favor from the arabs and muslims

          Not to mention forcing policy that no one wants and bankrupting the frigging country.

      2. BP is responsible for the cleanup costs, and the amount of wealth transferred to the people of the gulf states from that single platform far outweighs the revenue generated by the entirety of Billy Bob shrimpers and fisherman lifetime earnings. We in the gulf states can also do math, and we accepted the risk of this long ago. The well will be capped, the oil will dissolve, we’ll have a couple bad fishing years that will be that.

      3. ^^^^

        1. Oil is the penultimate example of biodegradable in both process and classification, so, try not to be an ignorant cunt okay LOL @ this comment?

      4. Ming, you are a freaking idiot.

        There are numerous cases of government screwing up almost everything they touch.

        Example: a few years ago the Corp of (non) Engineers accidentally released over a billion gallons of water from Lake Lanier, lowering the level by 20 feet. This is the lake that supplies Atlanta’s drinking water and provides thousands of receational jobs such as marinas, boat dealers, resturants, resort hotels, etc. People lost jobs, businesses went bankrupt and people saw lake front homes and lots drop in value by 40 percent.

        It took 3 years and the highest rainfall in 40 years (last yesr) to restore the lake to previous levels.

        Oh BTW, did you miss the part about SS, Medicare and numerous financal institutions being bankrupt due to federal mismanagement (Feddie Mac and Fannie May)?

        Oh yeah, lets let the governement control everything. Moron.

        1. I wonder if any politicians even floated the idea of criminal charges, civil damages, or restitution from involved in the draining of that lake.
          Did the government allow itself to be persuaded into allowing the Corps to be sued?

          I ask because you can bet there are government prosecutors sitting around figuring out how many tens or hundreds of millions they’re going to be demanding from BP for criminal and civil damages and recouping cleanup costs. They’re also recing each other to figure out how many different laws they can charge as many employees as possible with.

          There will also be no sovereign immunity for BP, so anyone with a connection to this spill will be able to sue.

          In the end, who will be more accountable? BP or the Corps of Engineers?

    2. I’m more interested in how it squares with someone like Tony’s belief that nobody deserves to be any wealthier than anybody else.

  2. This is not the employee’s fault – it’s the administration’s fault

    No, of course not. Why would a person not feed at the public trough when the opportunity presented itself?

    Oh, sure, the money is borrowed and it will throw us into economic havoc and screw future generations, but not getting yours is for the other guy. It isn’t like anyone has a personal hand in what happens. It is always the “administration/governments” fault. At least bank robbers personally hold the gun.

  3. Military officers are allowed to double dip after retirement. Why not city workers?

    I seriously doubt there are any military officers double-dipping in uniform as part of the chain of command. What they do as a DOD contractor or even employee is materially different than what they do as active duty.

    So there’s that.

    1. Don’t confuse Ming. He isn’t capable of critical tinking.

      1. Jeez, I’m the worst fake-troll ever.

        1. I think that it is your handle.

          MUNG would be most appropriate

        2. It’s hard to tell; some of them really do argue that way.

          1. That was my intent. Too subtle?

    2. I have worked with several people who were active duty, retired, then showed up the next week in civ clothes as a GS-x in the same exact job they had been doing.

  4. Imagine how much Rager would make if he were put in charge of the Electric Company also.

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