Illinois Makes the Case for Public Pension Reform

December/18/2011 20:20PM
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Illinois, racing California to be the first state to file bankruptcy, leads the nation in many negative areas. Democratic leadership has virtually destroyed the state. One distinction, most governors to do time in federal prisons. That explains why Illinois is the nation’s most corrupt state.

The Chicago Tribune has run numerous articles about pubic employees double dipping on pensions. The state pension code was revised in 1998 so employees of statewide teachers unions became eligible for inflated public pensions if they already had service credits in the plan.

Here’s an example printed in the Tribune. Just for a few days’ work proctoring exams in 1999, Raymond Roskos Jr. Earned $364. For that Roskos qualified to draw a public pension based on his salary with Illinois Federation of Teachers. He made $76,232 in 2010. He found out he could qualify by letter. But, to qualify, he had to put in those few days proctoring exams. No problem. Now, when he retires, based on his life expectancy, he will draw over a million dollars from the state pension fund.

Since the Tribune exposed these situations, a reform bill was passed by the State Legislature, but the Governor, Pat Quinn, has not signed the bill yet. No hurry, he probably has some friend who need to get in under the wire. Will yet another Illinois governor be headed for prison?

This problem, like term limits for Congress, can’t be easily fixed. The system perpetuates itself. Politicians give more to public union employees, they get the politicians reelected, and no one worries about the future obligations, except we taxpayers. Congress is not about to pass term limits. Yet, 88% of voters disapprove of the job they are doing.

Who will ever fix these issues? Governor Walker tried and look what happened to him. First, democrats in the Wisconsin legislature skipped to Illinois and refused to cast votes. Then the union goons moved into Wisconsin and held protests that turned violent. Then, there were recalls for republicans who voted to pass the Walker plan. Now, there may be a recall for Walker.

The politicians who favor keeping these practices use the sympathy ploy. Citing police, fireman, and teachers. Never letting facts get into the debate. They don’t explain how any state can afford to pay every public employee in the state a million dollars in pension money when the money isn’t there. The examples like those being exposed in Illinois are never mentioned.

Ohio decided by public vote to keep it going in Ohio. Illinois would probably do the same. Maybe Wisconsin will recall Walker for stopping it.

It’s not a government problem, it’s your problem, and really your grand kids’ problems. Just like the extension of the payroll tax relief is your grand kids’ problems. The money is borrowed from a social security fund that is underfunded.

You want to get this fixed, you need to be informed. You need to get involved. You need to take a stand.

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