In The News: Pensions

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MBTA rehired retired officials

Apr 10 2009

By Andrea Estes, The Boston Globe

Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, who has been a vocal critic of the MBTA pension system, was unaware the MBTA allowed its retirees to come back as consultants. "Is there no end to the indignity?" he said. "I'm speechless. It's amazing. It's the entitlement and the creativity. And it's all done out of public view. They have done these things for years with a wink and a nod of the Legislature."
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Legislature aiming to crack down on pension provisions

Mar 31 2009

By Matt Viser, The Boston Globe

"Overall I think it's a good first step from the Senate, but I'd like to see the package strengthened," said Michael Widmer, who is president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation and has been pushing for changes to the laws for years. "The governor has gone a bit further, and in a constructive way."
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Patrick targets pension loopholes

Mar 22 2009

By Andrea Estes, The Boston Globe

"This is a terrific package of reforms that will end many of the abuses that have justifiably upset taxpayers for so long," Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said in a phone interview yesterday.
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Retired public workers smiling all the way to the bank

Mar 5 2009

By Laurel J. Sweet, The Boston Herald

Even so, an astonished Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said of Cousins' hirings, "It may be perfectly legal, but it's the kind of double dipping that's offensive to taxpayers."
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Politicians tackle reforms for state pensions

Feb 12 2009

By Hillary Chabot, The Boston Herals

"The last year has been a real bloodbath for everybody and it puts into further question whether the state can afford these pensions," said Widmer, executive director of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. "The state's fiscal problems make (these reforms) urgent and make it more politically possible."
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Arciero bill takes aim at pension perks

Feb 5 2009

Arciero bill takes aim at pension perks

By Matt Murphy, The Lowell Sun

"There is no public purpose," said Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. "These people have earned a good pension that they will be able to collect at age 55. I don't think there's any rationale that they should be able to collect a pension in their 40s." Widmer said most of the people who take advantage of the law do not actually retire, but go on to other well-paying jobs.
 

Injured ex-deputy's pension: $83G a year

Feb 4 2009

Injured ex-deputy's pension: $83G a year

By Christopher Scott, The Lowell Sun

"Two more examples of why the public is so outraged," said Michael Widmer, Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation president. "We keep hearing about more cases, and it's gotten to the point where it's like, 'Can you top this?' It's so egregious, but it's all lawful." "But if the pension system can't be reformed in the midst of this global economic meltdown," Widmer added, "I'm not sure it ever will be."
 

Ex-senator wants double pension

Dec 24 2008

By Michael Levenson, The Boston Globe

Michael J. Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, echoed the sentiment. "This is another pension excess that is causing increasing outrage to taxpayers," he said. "You have these thousands of employees who earn legitimate pensions and then these kinds of abuses undercut support for the entire system. It is past time for the Legislature and the governor to close these kinds of loopholes."
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