Bigger than DROP

Today's Daily News editorial cites the City Paper story we highlighted last week to make the unambiguous case that "DROP should be abolished." But, the paper says, DROP may be to some extent distracting the city from a much bigger problem:

DROP is only a drop in the bucket of the morass of problems with the city's pension system.

Let's start with the fact that the fund is only 45 percent funded. Let's continue with the fact that administration after administration has pushed the problem into the future, in some cases, making the problem worse during their reign (one example: in 2003 Mayor John Street reduced payments to the pension fund to the minimum; it was designed to save some money upfront, while increasing the longer-term costs of the pension by hundreds of millions.) By combining guaranteed rates of return with relatively low rates of employee contributions, the city continues to tell the big lie about pensions: That we can still afford them. That they make sense as currently designed.

We especially like this calling-out of Street; too often, politicians who borrow from future budgets in order to balance their own get let off the hook. This just gives current politicians more incentive to be irresponsible. Why not balance your budget by making the next guy's budget worse if you won't be in office anymore and no one will remember you did it?

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