Thursday, November 15, 2012

Civic Committee: Illinois Pension Systems Are "Unfixable," Pt. 2

The public pension systems were not and are still not the blame for the State of Illinois’ budget deficits. As a matter of fact, the lack of revenue across the country today was caused by the theft of billions of dollars by speculators and bankers in the private sector; in Illinois, budget deficits were also caused by state policymakers’ only consistency: their corruption, irresponsibility and incompetence.

Recall what President Tyrone Fahner of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago and a former Attorney General of Illinois said about reneging on contracts in his interview with Phil Ponce on WTTW (April 25): “This [public pension financial mess] was not created by the people entitled to the benefits... Well, if this happened in the private sector… if someone didn't pay in the money… there would be prosecutions going.”

Fahner did not say yesterday that, throughout the years, public services in Illinois have been paid primarily by money that was diverted from the state’s public pension funds; that Illinois legislators have diverted $30 billion intended for the five public pension systems over the past decades; that past Illinois legislators have created most of the pension systems' unfunded liabilities.

Fahner’s and the Civic Committee’s plan to address the state’s budget deficit is based upon interests in big business and maintaining control of the economic and political policies of state and municipal governments. Their manipulation is “pension reform” that will force public employees to abdicate their constitutional guarantees, while the State of Illinois provides extortive tax breaks for the wealthiest corporations, such as Sears Holdings Corporation and CME Group Inc., parent company of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Chicago Board of Trade and possibly GE Transportation Worldwide, Google Motorola Mobility, Sara Lee, Federal Savings Bank, McGladrey, Sagence, and Sterling Partners who are moving their headquarters to Chicago (Chicago Sun-Times).

The State of Illinois has a Revenue and Pension Debt Problem! “If states fail to reduce their structural deficits and improve their budget processes, it will be more difficult for them both to maintain needed services and to prepare for the next cyclical downturn by accumulating adequate reserves. Nor will they have the funds to fix the problems that have been identified in the funding of public pensions and other areas” (the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities).

1 comment:

  1. I beg to differ: "that past Illinois legislators have created most of the pension systems' unfunded liabilities."
    Madigan has been Speaker of the house for 28 years. Other present legislators have been around and legally stealing from our pensions for years and years.
    The pawns of plutocrats are often longer lived than they are willing to admit to.
    Ken Previti