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Double dipping must be fixed

A popular sports slang phrase is “Don’t hate the player, hate the game.”

This is used when someone seems to excel at something or find ways to live within the rules but do something that others find objectionable.

But when that “game” is allowing government employees to “double dip” — collect retirement and then get immediately rehired by the same agency — the taxpayers should “hate” their legislators.

Ohio — and of course Lawrence County — sees this happen far too often. And, why wouldn’t we when it is perfectly within the law?

But that doesn’t make it right.

Now is time for the legislature to take a long-hard look at retirement laws that allow this “double dipping.”

Proponents will say that the individuals retiring have earned the money they receive from their pension and that they deserve to be rehired because they are still the most qualified for the job.

Those opposing the concept will say that it creates a system that just feels wrong and prevents new leadership and new employees from having the opportunity to hold a position.

We certainly feel that the latter is the case.

“Double dipping” shouldn’t be allowed within the same organization.

If someone works for the Ohio State Highway Patrol and retires to take a job with the city police, he should be able to receive his retirement.

But if he retires from the patrol just to turn around and take a similar job with that agency, his retirement should be frozen until he resumes retirement.

Understandably, this system is used all the time. We don’t begrudge those who utilize this system because it is part of the law and certainly allowable.

But, this needs to change, and change now, because how our tax dollars are spent is anything but a game.