Did you know that if you are a state senator or assemblyman and you are over the age of 65, you can take a day off work and officially “retire,” but then go back to doing your job such that you continue making your salary and your pension? Seventy-five-year-old Long Island assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg, pictured here, earns $101,500 in salary and $72,000 in annual pension, according to the Times. Several other Albany lawmakers do this, which in the private sector is called “double dipping.” Four more started doing it this year. The best part? The paper reports that Weisenberg “was actually a chief sponsor of legislation last year aimed at cracking down on double dipping by local governments.” Obviously, he got asked about this. “Double dipping?” he snapped. “I don’t see this as that. This is something I earned.”
We’ve spent some time thinking about it, and we can’t decide whether it’s this bald double standard, or the loophole that allows greedy Albany lawmakers to engage in this practice, that surprises us less.