Public employees are tired of incompetent, skewed coverage regarding the Illinois public pensions’ unfunded liability. They are tired of hearing about credit ratings from liars and thieves who blame the public pensions for the state’s next downgrade. They are tired of the media’s omission of the most significant facts about public pension debt and anyone who talks or writes about cuts to services and the siphoning of the state’s money from education, public safety and human services because of “failed pension reform.”
And they are tired of those members of the Illinois General Assembly who lack ethical responsibility and moral courage and who are willing to challenge the State and U.S. Constitutions. These so-called representatives and senators are incompetent cowards.
Every article, every interview, and every legislative session about Illinois public pension reform should begin with these statements: The public pension systems were not and are still not the cause of the state’s budget deficits. The state’s budget deficits were triggered by past policymakers’ corruption, arrogance and irresponsibility, and because of them the State of Illinois has a revenue problem and pension debt to resolve.
If you want to "craft a solution," Senator Biss, get rid of the "flat, low-rate income tax that does not adequately capture income growth... [A flat, low-rate tax causes] income revenues [to] routinely lag behind economic growth" (the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities). Consider that Illinois also "relies heavily on state and local sales taxes that are almost exclusively applied to goods and excludes almost all services… Because Illinois is chronically short of the revenues it needs to cover its expenses, it has engaged in a number of poor fiscal practices over the years. It has postponed payments to vendors, failed to make adequate pension contributions or borrowed money to make the contributions, securitized or sold assets, and taken other dubious actions” (the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities).
If you want to solve the pension debt, Representative Cross, consider what Executive Director Ralph Martire of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability recommends: There needs to be a required annual payment from the state to the pension systems; the debt needs to be amortized for a longer frame of time (a consistent payment) just like a home loan that is amortzed.