Westchester Guardian Report: Burrows and Murtagh March 2011 By Martin McGloin

eHezi Archives 33 Comments

 

eHeziWestchester Guardian Report: Burrows and Murtagh March 2011 By Martin McGloin

Comments 33

  1. The New York Times cite analysts who calculate that state and local officials have made promises worth $5 trillion in public pensions to their employees. However, they have only committed taxpayers to half this amount. This pension disaster makes states and cities into financial basket cases and is the major reason the long-term financial outlook for cities and states is bleak. But, this can go on for a long time. If states and municipalities can close their budget gaps for this year without precipitating a double dip recession, the pro-cyclical nature of budget balances will make the cash flow constraints disappear.
    The coming collapse of the municipal bond market is all about those cash flows. When the economy is weak, spending for social programs increases even while tax revenue plummets. These deficits set up another cash flow problem that has to be solved by budget cuts, increased tax rates or both. Given how the shortfalls we are already witnessing, we could be at the breaking point in the next recession. An inability to borrow in the public markets or the federal government’s inability to pay municipal bills would spell the end of the line for pensions like Mr. Tassone’s because cutting those pensions would become critical.
    According to pension data collected by The New York Times from the city and state, about 3,700 retired public workers in New York are now getting pensions of more than $100,000 a year, exempt from state and local taxes. The data belie official reports that the average state pension is a modest $18,000, or $38,000 for retired police officers and firefighters. (The average is low, in part, because it includes people who worked in government only part time, or just a few years, as well as surviving spouses getting partial benefits.)
    Roughly one of every 250 retired public workers in New York is collecting a six-figure pension, and that group is expected to grow rapidly in coming years, based on the number of highly paid people in the pipeline.
    The most breathtaking case in the Times article is that of Edward Stolzenberg, who once ran the Westchester Medical Center, a big hospital in the rich Westchester County suburbs of New York City. His hospital was taken over by the state, bumping his salary way up to $400,000 (even though this was less than in the private sector, remember he was then the county health commissioner – a public official). He now gets over $200,000 in pension salary, while his successor makes $900,000 a year and is due for a pension based on this salary.
    Federal tax law does put a cap on pension payouts, currently $195,000 a year. Congress set this cap, which has risen with inflation, more than 30 years ago to keep employers from turning their pension funds into abusive tax shelters.
    But New York State found a way around it. In 1997, lawmakers created a safe-harbor mechanism allowing retirees to collect bigger pensions legally — a second pool of money called the Excess Benefit Fund. Towns all over the state pay the associated costs, even though only a few of them have retirees who qualify. At least 28 recipients in New York get pensions above $195,000 a year. One of the highest is George M. Philip, who gets $261,037 after retiring as chief executive and chief investment officer of the New York State teachers’ pension fund. Since retiring, he has gone back to work as president of the State University of New York at Albany, drawing an additional $280,000 last year.
    Tags: State Governments, Pension Crisis, Edward Harrison | Get Alerts for these topics »
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    Email 26 Comments
    27 4 Flag as Offensive shadow on May 24, 1:01 PM said:
    They are the epitome of the stereotypical lazy public employee who wants something for nothing. I hope their pensions get eliminated completely.
    Reply 4 16 Flag as Offensive che on May 24, 1:15 PM said:
    I say THREE cheers for public employees who got excellent pensions! They out-smarted the Ivy league know-italls and so…whos laughing now? I truly hope they get a court order and lien all your salaries to make sure these peniosn get paid.
    You bargained, they won.
    hahahaha – keep working 12 hour days, cause we gotta be paid!
    Reply 2 3 Flag as Offensive fred on May 24, 1:20 PM said:
    Okay, give us the bottom line.
    $50 billion? That’s an oversized 10 year treasury auction with a 3.1 bid to cover and a 28% direct bid. YTM 3.1%.
    $100 billion? Well we’ll just thow in a 5 yr and a couple of T-bills.
    Don’t sweat the small stuff.
    Reply
    8 0 Flag as Offensive Andrew on May 24, 1:37 PM said:
    @fred: Apparently you didn’t read the article…it’s a $2.5 trillion shortfall.
    Reply 2 0 Flag as Offensive fred on May 24, 1:40 PM said:
    @Andrew: Oops, mea culpa. Oh Ben.
    Reply 8 1 Flag as Offensive Savonarola on May 24, 1:22 PM said:
    Would you look at the double-chin on this guy.
    Boy, standards for cops have sure gone down.
    Why are they paid so much?
    Reply
    0 0 Flag as Offensive Ryan on May 24, 1:53 PM said:
    @Savonarola: Not too many are chasing down crooks with guns like that!
    Reply 1 3 Flag as Offensive Mike M. on May 24, 4:07 PM said:
    @Savonarola: Tons of overtime in life threatening work. I don’t love cops either but show some respect.
    Reply 5 1 Flag as Offensive john78 on May 24, 4:22 PM said:
    @Mike M.: Life threatening my ass. I’m so sick of the cop/military worship in this country.
    The only cops putting their lives on the line are the ones in poor, urban areas. Most of the rest are busy guarding traffic lights, directing traffic, busting people for non-violent alcohol & drug offenses and patrolling the suburbs looking for toilet paper-wielding teenagers.
    Reply 13 1 Flag as Offensive John Dillenger on May 24, 1:25 PM said:
    Complete corruption!
    How many people working in the private sector get such pensions?? Cops do not work that hard!
    Some Congressman is pushing through a $165 billion dollar bailout just for unions!
    Reply 3 8 Flag as Offensive NY Liberal on May 24, 1:26 PM said:
    As a Liberal, I find this article disgusting and racist. The solution is simple, we need to implement a flat tax across the board for the rich (i.e. those private sector employees who earn over 35k + and own more the 1 pair of shoes) at 75%. Only them will we have Social Justice.
    Reply
    2 0 Flag as Offensive Savonarola on May 24, 2:25 PM said:
    @NY Liberal: I gots to know…. why did you pick shoes?
    Reply 4 0 Flag as Offensive Phil on May 24, 2:38 PM said:
    hahaha….the joke is on us! The government has been pointing the figure at the private sector while they fleece America of all their hard work!
    When will America wake up and realize the real criminal is their own government and their public workers!
    Reply 4 0 Flag as Offensive FEDUP on May 24, 2:40 PM said:
    I live in Yonkers NY and you would be shocked at the pensions and salaries these “public servants” get.
    Reply 5 1 Flag as Offensive Tyler on May 24, 2:41 PM said:
    Since it takes no skill and almost no formal education to do 85% of these public sector jobs, why are they paid so well?
    Reply
    6 1 Flag as Offensive Public sector on May 24, 2:49 PM said:
    @Tyler: ..cause your ELECTED officials allowed it
    Now, get to work..hahaha…….and dont block my shade
    Reply 8 0 Flag as Offensive StillWorkingat62 on May 24, 2:55 PM said:
    ““I don’t understand how the working guy that held up their end of the bargain became the problem,”
    How is a guy who “retires” on the public dime at 44 a “working guy”?
    Reply
    5 0 Flag as Offensive Tyler on May 24, 3:36 PM said:
    @StillWorkingat62: Good point.
    Minimum collection age for pensions should be 65, regardless of when they retire.
    Reply 0 0 Flag as Offensive Anal_yst (URL) on May 24, 7:05 PM said:
    @Tyler: True, but that’s still not the pensioners’ fault that the Gov’t made promises it couldn’t keep. THAT is the issue. Defined benefit and other exorbitant pension plans (like ones where you earn 5% of your final base salary/year of duty like some cops/etc get) need to be done away-with.
    Reply 0 1 Flag as Offensive Still Working at 68 on May 25, 5:11 PM said:
    @StillWorkingat62: He WAS a working guy. And whether or not it was on the public dime is irrelevant.
    This past semester I was teaching a class at the local community college here in New York City. A student looked familiar. When I asked him why he said, ” I’m a fireman. On 9/11 I responded to the World Trade Center fire. Some guy took a photo of me rushing into the North Tower, hauling hoses. The photo was in the paper.” YOU THINK FOR ONE SECOND I WOULD ASK HIM HOW BIG HIS PENSION WILL BE? Let’s see how courageous you are and then let’s talk pension.
    Reply 2 0 Flag as Offensive shadow on May 24, 3:59 PM said:
    Private citizens need to start organizing to push through legislative changes to public pensions, salaries, and benefits. And to be sure not let any of these lazy idiots get “grandfathered” in. If enough voters put enough pressure on elected officials it may actually work. Of course, the hurdles are high, as these bloated unions are very good at making sure their members get their disproportionate share of your tax dollars. It is a tragedy that we’ve let this happen. It is not too late to make things right.
    Reply
    0 1 Flag as Offensive Civil Servant on May 25, 5:02 PM said:
    @shadow: Everyone complaining about these super-big pensions is responding like a bull with a red flag. Yes, in any huge, complex system you will see a few egregious examples – Wall Street bonuses are an example. Ask yourself: How many super-big pensions are there per thousand of pensions? What is the median pension? What is the modal pension (in thousands of dollars)? How does that compare to other systems (regulated utilities pensions, for example), or other industrtialized countries (e.g. Germany). How come nobody criticizes the legislators who OK’d those pensions? And what does that photo of the guy with an automatic shotgun have to do with pensions? How do you know it isn’t an ad for a Hollywood blockbuster?
    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/new-yorks-pension-system-is-100-unsustainable-2010-5#ixzz0oyeXAlD2
    Reply 0 2 Flag as Offensive Civil Servant with brain on May 25, 5:01 PM said:
    Everyone complaining about these super-big pensions is responding like a bull with a red flag. Yes, in any huge, complex system you will see a few egregious examples – Wall Street bonuses are an example. Ask yourself: How many super-big pensions are there per thousand of pensions? What is the median pension? What is the modal pension (in thousands of dollars)? How does that compare to other systems (regulated utilities pensions, for example), or other industrtialized countries (e.g. Germany). How come nobody criticizes the legislators who OK’d those pensions? And what does that photo of the guy with an automatic shotgun have to do with pensions? How do you know it isn’t an ad for a Hollywood blockbuster?
    Reply 0 1 Flag as Offensive Gary on May 31, 11:18 AM said:
    I would like to see articles of the abuses of financial executives who receive subsidies from the government– which is billions of dollars more than the pension liability. (Here is a major ongoing subsidy that the media does not talk about: financial institutions (like Golman Sachs) can borrow from the government at almost zero percent interest rate and then use that money to lend it back to the government at a higher interest rate. This is a roundabout, legalized way to give money to financial corporations for free. Why isn’t the media writing articles about this? The media would rather focus on teachers, fireman and policeman? Don’t be so easily led by the media.
    Reply 0 0 Flag as Offensive Gary on May 31, 12:42 PM said:
    … continuing from the last post, in case you did not understand it: last quarter Golman Sachs made money on every single day in their trading activities. Do you know why? Is it because they are financial geniuses? No. It is because they borrowed money from the government (the Fed) at almost zero percent and then lent it back to the government! This provides no service to society. If they would have at least lent out the money to businesses then maybe they would have provided a useful service. The interest the government pays to comapanies like Golman Sachs is taxpayer money which ends uphelping to pay for their ridiculously high salaries.
    If this process is necessary for an economy such as ours, then let’s keep using it. But the bigger absurdity is that the government does not publish how many billions of dollars it gives away to financial companies this way. The media will not be outraged about this; they would rather focus on the supposedly greedy union workers.
    Is anyone else outraged by this?
    Reply 0 0 Flag as Offensive FireRedBlodget on Jun 1, 2:14 PM said:
    To Gary, civil servant, still working at 68, and the other blood sucking pensioners, I say we target BOTH you and the financial elite that are robbing this country dry.
    ALL public pension systems should be abolished. You have social security, what else do you need, you blood sucking vampires?
    Let govt raise salaries to attract workers instead of dangling the carrot of a guaranteed future stream of income that is bankrupting our wonderful country.
    And yes, let us end all forms of hagiography for all those lazy cops and armed service vultures out there. The true praise should go to the small minority of them who truly risk their lives with integrity and strength–the rest should be working at Piggly Wiggly’s bagging my Campbell’s mmmm mmm good canned products.
    USA USA USA!!
    Reply
    Comments on this post are now closed.
    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/new-yorks-pension-system-is-100-unsustainable-2010-5#ixzz1Gc1WFJ00

  2. Martinelli = Spencer, Sheeran, McLaughlin,etc. More of the same hands in the cookie jar. They need to be stopped now!
    No Spanos and No Martinellis

  3. Martin – your videos are the best things on the YT.
    I just don’t understand one thing in this one:
    Why was Samuel Rivers in the video?

  4. Hey Edeldick, where do you get your information? The New York State pension fund has over 140 Billion, that’s Billion, not million you idiot. And it may pay out a little over 8 Billion this year. So please explain, when it has grown over 40 Billion in the last couple of years how it is going to be “in five years hundreds of millions in the red”? I saw this this on the state Comptroller’s site. Is he wrong and you’re right you piece of crap.

  5. What are the chances that Murtaugh brokers a deal to let Burrows remain a silent member on the County Leg in exchange for a no-show job with Bob Meehan’s stable of worthless county attorneys??
    Meehan’s office outsources all litigation anyways. Murtaugh & Castro-Blanco are one in the same. At every GOP function they are always giggling together and holding hands when they think nobody is watching.

  6. actually jupiter is quite nice…who can afford naples
    only those retired on 150,000 plus social security
    a tidy little sum for the next 35 or so years compliments of new york state..of course if you really
    have money palm beach proper is the place to be..
    nice little town homes for only about 5 million…

  7. actually jupiter is quite nice…who can afford naples
    only those retired on 150,000 plus social security
    a tidy little sum for the next 35 or so years compliments of new york state..of course if you really
    have money palm beach proper is the place to be..
    nice little town homes for only about 5 million…

  8. actually jupiter is quite nice…who can afford naples
    only those retired on 150,000 plus social security
    a tidy little sum for the next 35 or so years compliments of new york state..of course if you really
    have money palm beach proper is the place to be..
    nice little town homes for only about 5 million…

  9. Again talk is cheap, you said
    you should be living the life
    but you are not, you are a 70
    year old STILL working, worried
    about MY hard earned pension.
    I am 40 and living the life. again
    YOU SHOULD HAVE STUDIED.
    P.S. Jupiter Fl. Sucks. Come to
    Naples Fl. where the real money
    is!!

  10. How much of a pension does Pat Joyces wife and 2 daughters get?????? “oh yeah that right maybe $50,000 a year if their lucky……you people should be ashamed at yourself….another FF risks his life to save 2 strangers last friday and you still complain……. Be thankful Mr. Murtagh that you can enjoy your night out with your “friends From YONKERS …and have a few drinks Why not talk about Part Time workers like yourself that get FREE MEDICAL , How come you never gave that up John…Lets talk about phiyical responsibility….Hezi do us a favor and publish evry vote this shit councilman ever vote for…when was the last time you sent Pat Joyce’s family a card to thank them and see how they are doing..How come you people never talk about the 8,000,000 dollar lawsuit that this shit bag mayor lost and we have to pay back because Yonkers is self insured…. …It will take Pat Joyces family 160 years to make that much money… we had a great time without you john, to bad you couldn’t get anyone from yonkers to come to YOUR PARTY>>>>.Hezi you are getting worse not better…..

  11. Anon E Moose. You forgot to take out for taxes.
    Just because YOUR FRIENDS DON’T PAY TAXES doesn’t mean we can all get away with it!!
    get it now?

  12. plus social security ..lets see thats about 180,000
    divided by 12 months…15,000 a month…condo in
    jupiter with private elevator 4000…club membership
    with golf every day 1000..new mercedes cl550 lease
    1200, food 2000 a month that leaves 7000 i don’t know
    how to spend….get it now?

  13. plus social security ..lets see thats about 180,000
    divided by 12 months…15,000 a month…condo in
    jupiter with private elevator 4000…club membership
    with golf every day 1000..new mercedes cl550 lease
    1200, food 2000 a month that leaves 7000 i don’t know
    how to spend….get it now?

  14. plus social security ..lets see thats about 180,000
    divided by 12 months…15,000 a month…condo in
    jupiter with private elevator 4000…club membership
    with golf every day 1000..new mercedes cl550 lease
    1200, food 2000 a month that leaves 7000 i don’t know
    how to spend….get it now?

  15. You are right..should have studied more…big
    mistake ..could have been playing golf on 150,000
    a year for the past 12 years…foolish me..

  16. You are right..should have studied more…big
    mistake ..could have been playing golf on 150,000
    a year for the past 12 years…foolish me..

  17. You are right..should have studied more…big
    mistake ..could have been playing golf on 150,000
    a year for the past 12 years…foolish me..

  18. Michael Recca (The second drunk guy who can’t string together a sensible thought) claims to be a Yonkers resident in his interview
    HOWEVER…..His facebook pages states differently. He went to the same school as Murtaugh… Fordham, he is a paid political hack and HE LIVES IN PELHAM!!!!!!
    More Murtaugh lies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    here’s what his facebook page says now. I’m sure he’ll change it as soon as he sees this
    Michael Recca.Director of Operations at Bob Cohen for Senate
    Studied Business Administration at Fordham University
    Lives in Pelham, New York
    From Pelham, New York

  19. Again moose , I will say it again’
    YOU SHOULD HAVE STUDIED HARDER!
    I laugh , you are probably in your 70’s,
    have a 500,000 education, and is still
    working out of necessity. Me, I am
    in my early 40’s, RETIRED on a fat
    6 figure NY Police pension,that I earned,
    I have a G.E.D., and live debt free mostly
    in Florida! Again you should have
    STUDIED!

  20. Credibility? What credibility? You are talking about Mike Edelman. Credibility went out the window many, many moons ago. Any one new suing you this week Mike?

  21. I could point out at least 2 mistakes in your post but I am no longer going to waste my time when you fail to respond. Your blatantly biased ravings show how much contempt you have for the YT readers.
    Why do you continue to blame everyone except Amicone?
    No credibility Moose. None at all.

  22. to state that new york state pension is presently
    fully funded is a misdirection…in five years
    it will be hundreds of millions in the red because
    of its pension obligations. anyone who tries to justify the practice of counting overtime in the
    final year of work toward pensions is ignoring the
    math…the state and the city will have more people
    retired on the payroll than working and that’s why
    its unsustainable

  23. The problem with Murtagh is that he makes a statement and proposes legislation on pension reform and than says he is willing to talk. How about talk first and than make a proposal. The cops were right! I guess that since OT doesn’t count in CT than they must not have any budget problems. As far as the pension system in NY the comptroller says it is fine and well funded. The last part is that Murtagh’s supporter couldn’t even repeat his lines, maybe too many beers and burgers

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