A writer must “know and have an ever-present consciousness that this world is a world of fools and rogues… tormented with envy, consumed with vanity; selfish, false, cruel, cursed with illusions… He should free himself of all doctrines, theories, etiquettes, politics…” —Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914?). “The nobility of the writer's occupation lies in resisting oppression, thus in accepting isolation” —Albert Camus (1913-1960). “What are you gonna do” —Bertha Brown (1895-1987).
With the enactment of any pension reform bill, legitimate
rights and moral concerns are in jeopardy not only for public employees but for every
citizen in the State of Illinois. Defrauding a person out of his or her originally-guaranteed
rights and benefits violates a most important interest in morality and basic legal principles of both the state and U.S. constitutions that protect
every citizen. Attempting to find ways to break those constitutional guarantees, perhaps through the
likes of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago’s Sidley Austin LLP, will be
a costly and dangerous effrontery and precedent to set in motion, even if done pro bono.
Pension reform is the wrong solution for the state's financial predicament. It is the wrong solution
because the State of Illinois has a revenue and pension debt problem caused by past policymakers; it is also transparent and
unfair that the wealthy among us are not part of the solution for the state's budget deficits. The vast
accumulation and hoarding of wealth by the few among us while most people live modestly
or impecuniously is abjectly wrong.
Where is your humanity? Where is your empathy and integrity? Why would you
pass pension reform that places an unreasonable discrimination
upon teachers for the sake of insignificant benefits for the wealthy and for bond ratings? Is it because of your lack of resolve to do
what is equitably and morally responsible? Is it because it is easier to lie to Illinois citizenry and to blame and shift the financial debt to public employees?
forgotten your avowed oath of office? Voting for pension reform reveals to your
constituency that you are avoiding your "honorable duty" and obligation to uphold
the state and federal constitutions to fund the debts owed to the public pension systems. It is on behalf of your legal and ethical concerns to
increase the state’s revenue and to fairly tax the state's corporations and the wealthy among us equitably so the public
pension systems of Illinois can be properly funded without ill-advised prejudice.