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Sunday, April 24, 2011
“Blowin’ in the Wind”
(Bob Dylan’s protest song asked each of us nine questions. Here's nine questions about Illinois pension systems):
Can the pressures of a State’s budget deficit morally justify the destruction of a retiree’s promised pension after he or she contributed to it for 32+ years?
Why are the public employees’ pensions the blame for the State’s financial difficulties when the State has consistently failed to pay its portion for decades by choosing to divert its “constitutional and obligatory” contributions to other “operating expenses” and “special” interest groups?
Why are some legislators (and wealthy businessmen) willing to sacrifice public employees and retirees through fallacious reasoning and indifferent greed?
How is it a “Shared Sacrifice” when some governors can roll back the billionaire’s and millionaire’s taxes and then lacerate a State’s school budget and then (attempt to) diminish a public employee’s pension and benefits?
Is it true that the State-funded pensions are less expensive for Illinois taxpayers than Social Security?
Is it true that Illinois taxpayers have saved hundreds of millions of dollars per year by not paying Social Security payroll taxes for active employees in the five-State-managed plans?
Is it true that disbursements from retirees of the State and local government have a significant and enormous impact on jobs, incomes, tax revenues, and industries across the State of Illinois?
Is it true that Defined Pension Plans represent a moderately small share of overall State spending in Illinois, except perhaps when the State attempts to pay back what it owes to its public pension systems?
Could it be that besides the oligarchic relationship among some legislators, corporations and their investment firms are also behind the “push” for Defined Contribution Savings Plans because they will net billions of dollars as a result?