Legislature to Tea Party's Unfunded Liability Concerns: "Whatever"

In a June 5 Wall Street Journal column called "Slouching toward Athens," American Enterprise Institute President Arthur Brooks described how in Greece, "labor unions and state functionaries demand that others pay for the early retirements," while in America, "the tea partiers demonstrate not to get more from others, but rather against government growth."

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In a May, 2009, expose of a double-dipping pension State Police enhancement program called "DROP," Detroit News reporter Mike Martindale described how "dozens of the State Police department's most veteran officers ... are racking up millions of dollars in retirement nest eggs."

On June 15, the Michigan Senate said, "Whatever," and advanced toward final passage of House Bill 5241, which according to the Senate Fiscal Agency, "would require an additional payout of $530 to $760 annually to approximately 50 (Michigan State Police) retired command officers. Over a 25-year period, this could result in additional payments to affected employees totaling $800,000." The bill would do this by including days off due to "furloughs" in the basis on which pensions for these individuals are based. It passed the House last December 107 to 0.

If the bill passes, which is likely, we'll see if voters, taxpayers and tea partiers also say, "Whatever."