A hallmark of government today is effective secrecy. Meetings at which decisions are purportedly made are publicized in small print among hundreds of legal ads. The media, if they even bother to report real issues, print official happy-face press releases. Consequences of actions, if even disclosed, get buried in reports that run on for hundreds of pages.
What all this leads to is surprise when an absurd concept like providing an extra monthly payment to current retirees comes to light as it did in Detroit recently as part of an orchestrated campaign to now cut all benefits. Where in the private sector do pension trustees get told they have extra money and decide to dole out a little to people who have no vested right to it except what is created after the fact?
But when it is oblivious taxpayers footing the bill for the benefits of those making the rules we get concepts like the 13th check and a few others: