Big-government progressives rejoice: New York City is now paying more to maintain its retiree pensions than to keep the city’s streets safe. Huzzah!
Via the NYPost:
In December 2001, a month before Bloomberg took office, New York had 39,297 cops. Today, the city has 34,510 to protect us — and by the time the mayor leaves office in eight months, we’ll have 34,483 — a cut of nearly 5,000 pairs of eyes.
Yet spending has increased. During Bloomberg’s final year, city will spend $8.7 billion on the police department, nearly double the 2002 figure and more than three times the rate of inflation.
How’s that possible? It’s mostly because pension and health benefits cost ever more. The $4.3 billion taxpayers will spend on salaries and wages for police officers (and a contingent of administrative staff) this year has only just kept up with inflation over the Bloomberg years. By contrast, the pension budget has quadrupled — from $1.1 to $4.4 billion.