US lawmakers clamp down on double-dipping

| 31/03/2011

(Bloomberg): With US unemployment averaging 8.9 percent, so-called double-dipping by tens of thousands of government workers nationwide is drawing increasing scrutiny. Lawmakers from coast to coast are taking steps to curb the practice as states face combined deficits projected at $112 billion and unfunded pension liabilities of as much as $3 trillion. Arkansas banned double-dipping by state workers last month, while bills to curb it are pending before lawmakers in Olympia, Washington, and Trenton, New Jersey. “It just drives people absolutely crazy that some public employees can draw a six-figure salary and still collect a very generous pension,” said Adam Braun, a spokesman for New Jersey Senator Jennifer Beck, a Red Bank Republican.

Beck has backed a bill to limit double dipping in the state, which has almost $54 billion in projected unfunded pension liabilities.

“If we had sensible rules that government employees couldn’t collect a pension until age 65 or receive pension payments of more than $100,000 per year, we’d go a long way toward solving our state fiscal crises,” said economist Dianna Furchtgott-Roth, a Hudson Institute senior fellow in Washington. The nonprofit research group focuses on promoting “global security, prosperity and freedom,” according to its website.


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