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Pension Tension Relieved

by on April 29, 2011

Frugality and Albany go together as wretchedly as Ramones fans and American Idol. Gabba gabba huh? As shown by the eternal fascination with dull pop songs rendered by shriekers during a televised competition, there’s no accounting for taste. Similarly, there’s no accounting of the money sent to our woeful capital.

That’s at least historically true. But a continually surprising economic ally is out to protect money that goes to keep state workers living large after they’re done pretending to work:

The Cuomo administration plans new restrictions on the state pension fund that would ban elected officials for the first time from doing business with the $141 billion fund in an effort to prevent any political favoritism.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says Tuesday he’s directing the state Insurance Department to issue permanent regulations to also permanently ban placement agents, lobbyists and so-called “pay-to-play” activity from fund operations.

Those who choose to work in Albany are sighing deeply and looking forlornly as they realize they might not be able to cheat anymore. Loot the Lockbox has been the state’s official carnival game for as long as anyone can remember.

Most notably, Hall of Fame Democrat Alan Hevesi is learning how to do the time instead of letting the time do him for treating your tax dollars like his petty cash stash. But any culture Albany has traditionally exhibited has been rotten.

The utter disregard for pecuniary restraint is the rule, not the exception. Democrats and a high percentage of Republicans both become part of the Albany Party once they leave their home districts. Representatives actually from Albany became corrupt by traveling briefly within a TARDIS.

That makes the latest stab at keeping cash from vanishing much more happily stunning. We’re only a little more than a decade into it. But the biggest surprise of this century could remain how Cuomo has done more than one useful thing in the name of fiscal sanity and good behavior.

Anyone frustrated by the thought of the governor and two legislature bosses running the state should remain shockingly impressed by the present administration. Cuomo has so far out-Patakied George Pataki, as he’s acting in a manner completely contrary to that of a New York liberal.

Limiting the amount hemorrhaged to pensions is another positive development in the nationwide quest to spend less on government workers. The individual movements against collective bargaining will keep the respective states from going bust for the privilege of paying workers. As with New York’s new stabs at reform, the hope is to keep chefs and waiters from eating too much of your entrée.

Considering his record of advocacy upon behalf of disturbingly large government, Cuomo still can’t be trusted. But he’s worked up enough trust to maybe let him take a 50-dollar bill alone on a beer run. Maybe you should count the change and make sure he brings back at least 576 ounces of lager. But Little Andy is taking medium steps.

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