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Geist Increased his Pension at Huge Cost to Taxpayers

Pa Independent published an article Friday under the headline “PA’s pension debacle raises fears of higher taxes, Unfunded mandate of $40 billion has to be dealt with regardless.”[1]  This same article was reprinted in the Saturday Altoona Mirror. At issue is the enormous financial obligation that has saddled taxpayers with the cost of extremely generous pensions.  “State contributions to a pair of public pension funds will increase by 600 percent in the next five years. The costs will continue to grow for the next decade, as the state makes up for a decade of underfunding the pension systems and the investment losses of 2008.”[2] 
The article describes the severity of the problem but it does not explain how we got here. January 2001 the Pennsylvania General Assembly voted to pass House Bill 26.[3] The bill was introduced by twenty nine legislators including local 79th District Representative Rick Geist. The bill increases his and other legislator's pensions by 50 percent and that of state workers by 25 percent. "This generosity and an unwillingness to pay for it, has left the state pension underfunded by between $13.7 billion and $114 billion depending on who you ask."[4]  
Should we worry? Yes! Taxes are going up. Geist isn’t worried. He stands to receive a hundred thousand dollars a year in his pension when he his no longer in office, which many of us hope is soon. You see the political lifers don’t worry about the problems they create they just leave them behind for others to solve.

[1] February 24, 2012 | By PA “PA’s pension debacle raises fears of higher taxes Unfunded mandate of $40B has to be dealt with regardless” By Eric Boehm Click here
[2] ibid
[3] Pennsylvnia General Assembly House Bill 26, Click here
[4] Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania January 30, 2012 Click here

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Topics : LaborSocial Issues
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People : Eric BoehmRick Geist

02/26/2012 8:26PM
Geist Increased his Pension at Huge Cost to Taxpayers
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