Thursday, August 16, 2012

Once, twice, three times at the public trough

Texas members of Congress dip once, twice, three times at the public trough | Texas Watchdog: "Of the state’s 34-member U.S. congressional delegation,12 are taking a pension from a public retirement plan, according to financial disclosures filed by the politicians. Among the best compensated in the pack is Republican Ted Poe, 63, a former prosecutor and judge in Harris County whose district includes Kingwood and Beaumont, who reported dual pension payments in 2011; he was paid $82,153 by Harris County and $57,229 by the Texas County and District Retirement System. U.S. reps, many of them former state elected officials, receive a congressional salary of $174,000. They are not prohibited from taking their taxpayer-subsidized retirement while serving in Washington. Steve Ellis, with the D.C. watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense, says public pensions make elected officials that much more out-of-touch with the retirement realities of private-sector workers, whose plans are usually packaged as defined contributions to a 401(k) or IRA. “The public derides career politicians, but that’s what a pension is generally for, rewarding someone for a career’s worth of work,” Ellis said. “At some point you have to question whether elected officials should be receiving pensions at all.”. . . "

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