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PHILLY COUNCILWOMAN WILL ‘RETIRE’ FOR ONE DAY, COLLECT A $478K PENSION, AND RETURN ON MONDAY
The Blaze ^ | December 29, 2011 at 4:19pm

Posted on 12/30/2011 6:07:08 AM PST by DBCJR

Philadelphia is known as the city of brotherly love and, apparently, paying out massive pensions to public employees who will continue working for the city.

Marion B. Tasco, who has been described as being “politically savvy,” will retire from her sixth term as councilwoman, collect $478,057, and then be sworn in on Monday to serve her seventh term, Catherine Lucy and Chris Brennan of the Philadelphia Daily News.

How does she get away with this?

Tasco, along with many of her fellow Council members, is enrolled in Philadelphia’s Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP). DROP allows city workers to collect salary and build up pension money during the last four years of their employment, writes Aaron Kase of Philadelphia Weekly.

Naturally, when DROP was originally introduced, it was touted as being “revenue neutral.” It’s been anything but that. SInce its introduction, Philadelphia’s DROP program has cost the city $258 million in extra pension costs over a decade, according to a 2010 Boston College study.

Philadelphia’s Mayor Nutter has tried on numerous occasions to eliminate the DROP program.

“In September, Council voted to override Nutter’s veto of a bill, sponsored by Tasco that would preserve the DROP program, while reducing its cost,” writes Jan Ransom of the Daily. Nutter has vowed to work “tirelessly” to abolish the program.

And his attempts didn’t deter Tasco.

“While many of Tasco’s fellow council members dropped out of the re-election race after controversy broke out over their enrollment in DROP, Tasco stayed in the race and won,” writes Robert Johnson of Business Insider.

That means, come Monday, she will be elected as City Councilwoman for Philadelphia’s Ninth District, with all the pay and benefits that come with that position — as well as an additional $478,057.

As Business Insider points out, the city’s web page touts Tasco “as one of Philadelphia’s most influential, politically savvy, and pro-active public officials.”

Over the next few days, Tasco could be proving that claim correct.


TOPICS: Chit/Chat
KEYWORDS: councilwoman; mariontasco; philadelphia; retire

1 posted on 12/30/2011 6:07:27 AM PST by DBCJR
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To: DBCJR

Ok - good news bad news personally with this post.

Bad news: this ruined my day.
Good news: I have my next American Thinker article topic. This kind of government employee compensation, multiplied by millions and millions of local, state and federal workers, is going to swallow our economy whole. It is crazy.


2 posted on 12/30/2011 6:11:29 AM PST by C. Edmund Wright
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To: DBCJR
“The “Honorable” Democrat Marion B. Tasco” **??**

http://img.pr.com/release-file/1005/234778/PressRelease.pdf

3 posted on 12/30/2011 6:17:53 AM PST by Texas Fossil (Government, even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one)
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To: C. Edmund Wright

Evil Conservatives!

Wait, no party in the story. Must be a Democrat.


4 posted on 12/30/2011 6:19:16 AM PST by EQAndyBuzz (Control the media, you control its citizens.)
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To: EQAndyBuzz

And you just know if she were a Republican, that fact would have been in the doggoned headline!!


5 posted on 12/30/2011 6:21:04 AM PST by C. Edmund Wright
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We get the government we let happen.


6 posted on 12/30/2011 6:22:28 AM PST by listenhillary (Look your representatives in the eye and ask if they intend to pay off the debt. They will look away)
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To: DBCJR

In Louisiana we saw voters support corrupt populist politicians BECAUSE of the candidate’s corruption!

A person with a situational ethics or Darwinian based values system may actually admire a politician for ‘working’ the system. If there is no right or wrong, no absolutes, then the ‘smart’ person learns to take all he/she can with both hands, and only a fool would worry about whether they actually DESERVED what they take. Once a significant population believes this way and it becomes socially acceptable within a peer group, the peer group then identifies with the culprit in office, admires his actions, and believes they should support a ‘smart’ candidate (who does what they would do) rather than a ‘dumb’ (moral) candidate.

I have always felt this was one of the reasons that the left idolizes William Jefferson Clinton, renowned traitor and thief though he was.


7 posted on 12/30/2011 6:22:35 AM PST by LucianOfSamasota (No good deed...)
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To: DBCJR

Don’t blame the person, blame the system. It is like an IRS $500,000 tax credit that could be carried forward, would you and I take the tax credit? Of course. It is their system that is set up like a Ponzi scheme and it will be bankrupt long before she gets much of her retirement.


8 posted on 12/30/2011 6:25:03 AM PST by Any Fate But Submission
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To: DBCJR

“The last official act of any government is to loot the treasury.” ~ George Washington


9 posted on 12/30/2011 6:30:18 AM PST by TaxPayer2000
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To: DBCJR

I know Louisiana had a plan of this kind in the 1990s but don’t know if it still does because of his huge budget woes.


10 posted on 12/30/2011 6:31:49 AM PST by Theodore R. (I'll still vote for Santorum if he is on the April 3 ballot.)
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To: C. Edmund Wright

This system is flawed but I do not see this as the issue. We will never be able to construct a system that is fool-proof, for those who lack moral character to exploit it, that will not also punish good people who have done the right thing yet have legitimate needs. We could put a corral around Tasco but we will hurt many who we would not want to hurt. Over-regulation is the result of moral decay, when a people lose the ability and willingness to manage their own behavior in a manner that is not harmful to others.


11 posted on 12/30/2011 6:32:51 AM PST by DBCJR (What would you expect?)
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To: LucianOfSamasota

Some poll recently said that a Clinton-Clinton ticket could probably carry all fifty states! The American people are so easily fooled that putting hopes in elections is highly misplaced.


12 posted on 12/30/2011 6:34:09 AM PST by Theodore R. (I'll still vote for Santorum if he is on the April 3 ballot.)
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To: C. Edmund Wright

It’s practically illegal to be a Republican in Philadelphia; even Arlen Specter felt compelled to return to his ancestral party.


13 posted on 12/30/2011 6:36:08 AM PST by Theodore R. (I'll still vote for Santorum if he is on the April 3 ballot.)
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To: DBCJR

I think this is the original article from a Philly Newspaper.

“DROP participants will retire and return”

http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/cityhall/DROP-participants-will-retire-and-return.html?nlid=4085018

It appears there are 2 councilpersons doing this. The other is (Dem) Wills Ronald Donatucci. He collected $366,797.


14 posted on 12/30/2011 6:39:32 AM PST by Texas Fossil (Government, even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one)
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To: DBCJR

I think you missed my point and the point of the article too. At least you must have seen a different point than I have.

My point is that at all levels of government, these type golden parachutes have been constructed over 30-40 years of lies about how these “public servants” are so damned underpaid while the public has been told that only private sector CEO’s are over paid.

This is not a one person scam, this is systemic and she apparently is playing within the legalities of the system. The problem is the entire golden parachute system of health and pensions for government employees- especially government school teachers. This is just an eye opening example to a nationwide problem.


15 posted on 12/30/2011 6:39:36 AM PST by C. Edmund Wright
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To: Theodore R.

I realize that, i was referring to the nationwide treatment of Republicans by the media and not the Philly specific paucity of them.


16 posted on 12/30/2011 6:42:14 AM PST by C. Edmund Wright
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To: Texas Fossil

Now that really is a joke, “to encourage self-sufficiency”? Really?


17 posted on 12/30/2011 6:44:28 AM PST by DBCJR (What would you expect?)
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To: DBCJR
I may be a bit slow, but it's not clear to me how this works. Does she "retire" for a day, collect her accrued pension in a lump sum, and then go back on the payroll? If so, how are new pension accruals handled?

In the federal service, one can retire, collect a pension, and then come back as a re-employed annuitant. I have known a couple of people who have done this; in my experience, it's usually because an agency is having trouble filling a key post and wants their star performer back, at least for a couple of years. There is an adjustment, either of the salary or the pension, to make sure there's no double dipping, so it really is a case of the employee doing a favor for the agency. Somehow, however, I doubt that is what is going on in Philly.

18 posted on 12/30/2011 6:46:47 AM PST by sphinx
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To: Any Fate But Submission

This system is flawed but I do not see this as the issue. We will never be able to construct a system that is fool-proof, for those who lack moral character to exploit it, that will not also punish good people who have done the right thing yet have legitimate needs. We could put a corral around Tasco but we will hurt many who we would not want to hurt. Over-regulation is the result of moral decay, when a people lose the ability and willingness to manage their own behavior in a manner that is not harmful to others.

But you are correct. As a couple have noted, Louisiana had this sort of system and had to change it for the reasons you identify. However, Louisiana has been a corrupt political system since the Reconstruction Era.


19 posted on 12/30/2011 6:48:21 AM PST by DBCJR (What would you expect?)
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To: Texas Fossil
“Honorable” Democrat

Saudi allies

Jumbo shrimp

Peaceful muslims

Mideast peace

Government efficiency

20 posted on 12/30/2011 6:48:37 AM PST by ScottinVA (I miss America.)
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To: sphinx

I really don’t know more than what is in the article. But I suspect that it is a “double-dip” situation. I just left the Philly area after a two year stint there. My impression is that the people there sort of expect corruption in government. The culture is a “who you know” network and “pay to play” ethic. I suspect the reaction of people there is one of two: 1) Wish I could do that! or 2) We need to regulate. As a matter of fact, I posted this on Facebook and my first reaction from an area resident was a #2.


21 posted on 12/30/2011 6:56:36 AM PST by DBCJR (What would you expect?)
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To: DBCJR

Yep, she is practicing it. Taking care of herself. Only problem is the residents are “paying” for it. All Commies are alike. Thieves, liars, criminals etc.


22 posted on 12/30/2011 7:01:14 AM PST by Texas Fossil (Government, even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one)
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To: C. Edmund Wright

This goes on everywhere. It is outrageous. I am running for County Supervisor, and although I know I will be a pariah, I am going to talk about it and try to reform it.


23 posted on 12/30/2011 7:05:52 AM PST by Hildy ("When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser." - SocratesH)
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To: DBCJR
I have the same suspicion, but it would be nice to know the details. In a defined contribution pension system, a lump sum cashout is straightforward enough. If it's a defined benefit system, a cashout would be trickier as it would have to be based on an actuarial calculation. I suppose it could be done fairly if there was a reasonably solid methodology, but it's not the way defined benefit systems are designed to work.

In either case, if a lump sum cashout terminates all future pension rights from prior employment, I don't see what the problem is. If she's coming back as a re-employed annuitant, either the pension clock starts ticking again at day one, based on the "new" term of employment, or there needs to be a salary or pension offset to avoid double dipping, as in the federal system.

This gets complicated enough that cheaters have room to operate. Given that this case involves a high-ranking Philly democrat pol, the default assumption is naturally that she's gaming the system, but I'd want more information before passing judgment.

24 posted on 12/30/2011 7:15:45 AM PST by sphinx
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To: C. Edmund Wright

I agree the system is flawed and needs to be corrected. That point is given, in my opinion. I just don’t think we can develop a system that closes off all loopholes for abuse without penalizing legitimate needs.

I think our root problem is not so much the need to change the system which, as one poster described, is a Ponzi Scheme in structure when abused, or a lack of regulation, as it is a lack of character in those who would abuse it. Having said that, by all means, change the system. Philly is nearly bankrupt. That $458,000 drain on cash flow, that would have been deferred until “real retirement”, makes an impact on lives.

I just left the Philly area after a two year stint there. My impression is that the people there sort of expect corruption in government. The culture is a “who you know” network and “pay to play” ethic. I suspect the reaction of people there is one of two: 1) Wish I could do that! or 2) We need to regulate. As a matter of fact, I posted this on Facebook and my first reaction from an area resident was a #2.

My concern, however, is the #1 response. People condone this behavior because they admire it. They wish it were them and would do it if they could. This lack of moral ethic demands systemic change as a solution. Outside another Great Awakening, which George Whitfield launched in Philly in 1739, I do not see a great moral awakening to remedy the the lack of ethic.

So, I support your column thesis. I just see another root cause. Unfortunately, it was not a “system” that made our country great. Anyone who has studied the fate of the signers of the Declaration of Independence there at Independence Hall in Philly understands the fortitude of character and values prompting their sacrifice. Tasco is a greedy, self-interested “public servant”.

In a sense, she is an “inside trader” finding a way to bail out of a system that is about to implode before the street workers realize she got out with their retirement money.


25 posted on 12/30/2011 7:16:56 AM PST by DBCJR (What would you expect?)
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To: DBCJR

Hmmm, so far as I know Monday January 2nd is a Federal & State Holiday although I don’t know that it is a City of Philadelphia Holiday. Now if it is, is it possible that everyone involved in this “Swearing In Ceremony” will get Holiday pay premium compensation, yet another cost on top of everything else. Gee isn’t it nice to be a member of the master class?


26 posted on 12/30/2011 7:30:54 AM PST by SES1066 (Government is NOT the reason for my existance!)
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To: SES1066

Not sure about that. Great quotes on your profile.


27 posted on 12/30/2011 7:37:50 AM PST by DBCJR (What would you expect?)
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To: DBCJR

Somehow, I just knew.

28 posted on 12/30/2011 7:45:44 AM PST by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: DBCJR

Got it, then all we disagree on is the solution. I think human nature is beyond repair and certainly for the personality type who work for government: that is by definition a nanny state entitlement game the system mentality IN GENERAL.

You will have far more success in putting together a system that does not allow gaming (most done by powerful union demands anyway) than you will by somehow recruiting angels into civil service.

And it’s not that hard. Disallow public sector unions. Those should simply not exist period. Even FDR and George Meany agree on that.


29 posted on 12/30/2011 7:45:51 AM PST by C. Edmund Wright
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To: C. Edmund Wright

No, we do not disagree on a solution. Let me specify a portion of what I wrote:

“My concern, however, is the #1 response. People condone this behavior because they admire it. They wish it were them and would do it if they could. This lack of moral ethic demands systemic change as a solution. Outside another Great Awakening, which George Whitfield launched in Philly in 1739, I do not see a great moral awakening to remedy the the lack of ethic.

So, I support systemic change. I just see another root cause.”

As I stated, outside of another Great Awakening, systemic change is our only answer. We simply cannot sustain freedom without a repair of our moral character. Systems and regulation will not do it.


30 posted on 12/30/2011 7:53:01 AM PST by DBCJR (What would you expect?)
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To: Hildy
This goes on everywhere. It is outrageous. I am running for County Supervisor, and although I know I will be a pariah, I am going to talk about it and try to reform it.

BRAVO

31 posted on 12/30/2011 8:03:09 AM PST by truthkeeper (Vote Against Barack Obama in 2012! (That's my story and I'm sticking to it.))
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To: DBCJR

You might want to give consideration to my “insider trading” metaphor describing Tasco. This angle accentuates the unfair advantage she has and how it affects the common worker. Her prematurely pulling out her retirement in a questionable manner, during an extreme cash crunch time for the city, municipal layoffs, Philly’s inability to fund annual contributions to pensions, etc., could actually deprive those forced into early retirement of initial payments. Compare that to an “insider” cashing out, then going back to work.


32 posted on 12/30/2011 8:05:10 AM PST by DBCJR (What would you expect?)
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To: DBCJR

Can’t for the life of me figure out why all our cities and towns are going down the tubes!


33 posted on 12/30/2011 8:37:41 AM PST by golf lover (going)
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