You expect politicians to game the system and rip off taxpayers for their own benefit. But not our police.
In Montgomery County, Maryland, 41 percent of retiring police officers now receive disability payments, and requests for disability pay have jumped an incredible 300 percent in the last year.
In nearby Fairfax County, Virginia, on the other hand, only 3 percent of retirees receive disability.
Of course, police work is often dangerous, and when officers are disabled on the job they ought to be compensated properly. Still, something is way out of whack in Montgomery County.
Former county officers receiving extra disability retirement pay have been discovered working other very physically demanding jobs — like flying commercial aircraft, or breaking up fights as a high school security guard, or serving in the army reserve.
Thomas Evans, a former county police chief, calls snagging extra disability pay “almost as easy as signing your name on the application.”
Now the feds are investigating. That’s good, but how does a system get so far out of whack?
Two factors are at work: (1) a unionized police force means constant pressure for more outlandish benefits, and (2) politicians negotiate these deals with securing the political support of the union in mind, not fulfilling their fiscal responsibility to taxpayers.
Or maybe it’s just proximity to Washington, D.C.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.