All the state legislature has to do is agree to repeal section 524 of New York's Education Law*, which reads as follows:
The right of a teacher to a pension, an annuity, or a retirement allowance, to the return of contributions, any benefit or right accrued or accruing to any person under the provisions of this article, and the moneys in the various funds created hereunder, are hereby exempt from any state or municipal tax, and shall not be subject to execution, garnishment, attachment or any other process whatsoever, and shall be unassignable except as in this article specifically provided.Then, the nearly $24 billion in pension benefits paid out in 2010** (rising each year) become taxable at New York's 6.85% unprogressive income tax rate (assuming no revivification of the Millionaire's Tax, kicking in at $200,000 (legislators are bad at math, products of the New York education system)). Assuming for sake of argument that 75% of the pensions paid out would be taxable, that would result in $1.25 billion in new revenue, just waiting to be earmarked for education! 'Puter's certain there's another $250 million or so that could be easily found. Perhaps by reducing New York's Medicaid benefits to the federally mandated minimum. Heck, even reducing the benefits to merely twice the national average per recipient expenditure (based on 1999 figures) would save $2.7 billion, and New York's Medicaid hemorrhaging has gone up -- way up -- since 1999.
But this post isn't about Medicaid, it's about education. Of our children. Our most precious natural resource. Arms are for hugging. Wouldn't it be great if schools had all the money they wanted and the Pentagon had to hold a bakesale to buy its bombs? Visualize world peace. BUSHITLERWALKERBURTON UNION BUSTING SCUM!! Sorry. Nevermind.
The genius of 'Puter's plan is that no union retiree could legitimately complain about having his pension taxed for any number of reasons. Among them: (1) everyone else's pension/retirement benefit is taxed, what makes your pension so frikkin' special?; (2) we need to spread the wealth around; and (3) ZOMG!!1! IT'S 4 TEH CHILDRUNZ!!1!!eleven!!
*'Puter is too lazy to go find the statutory bases for tax exemption of other New York state worker pensions. However, 'Puter is certain they exist. No state union gets benefits that the others don't quickly find matched or exceeded in generosity by the legislature.
** Read this entire link to get a flavor of the crapstravaganza that is New York's fiscal situation.