Friday, December 14, 2012

TRS Executive Director Dick Ingram’s Version of Jonathan Swift's “A Modest Proposal”: Sacrifice Our Teachers Instead

A brief history or who do you work for, Dick Ingram?

December 2012
…When you asked, “Why wouldn’t we do that?” It’s the “We” that slams into dramatic irony. “We” means that only teachers bear the burden. It’s obvious that you, many members of the Illinois General Assembly, and members of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago do not know the meaning of the word, “sacrifice.” Sacrificing teachers (and other public employees) doesn’t address the revenue and pension debt problems in Illinois. “We” offer you and the Illinois General Assembly 10 legal and moral solutions instead of "pension reform" or breaking a constitutional contract… for more read: A Response to TRS Executive Director
October 2012

…For Ingram to suggest unconstitutional alternatives for solving the state’s budget problems is to focus not on the essential causes of the state’s budget deficits: its structural revenue and pension “debt” problems... for more read: “Once again we have a problem”with TRS Executive Director Dick Ingram

April 2012

…Yes, according to Ingram, let the suggestions and solutions for the TRS board be “new, bold and honest.” So here are two “new” suggestions for TRS: let’s put an end to scapegoating teachers and other public employees once and for all. Public employees are not responsible for the state’s deficits. Moreover, let’s put an end to distracting the general populace from the real problems that the State of Illinois confronts… for more read: Poisoning the Well: TRS Executive Director Dick Ingram’s Shift in Position

April 2012
…It is not one of the executive director’s duties to make self-contradictory statements that jeopardize the TRS members’ benefits and rights guaranteed by the Illinois Constitution. It is not “prescribed by the Illinois Pension Code” that the executive director’s role is to also validate a fallacious and illegal argument “where lawmakers [the Civic Committee and the Chicago Tribune also perpetuate] a [certain] solution…” for more read: The Blunder that Just Keeps on Giving
April 2012
…Ty Fahner of the Civic Committee was quick to remind everyone in the audience that “out of a sense of responsibility to his membership, Mr. Dick Ingram, head of the TRS, has admitted to the pension system’s insolvency”; that the “real numbers were hidden.” Rank-and-file members from the public unions in the room were silent, not out of surprise but because once again they were hearing Ingram’s words being used to make a case that “cuts” to the current teachers guaranteed benefits and, quite possibly retirees' guaranteed benefits, were necessary, despite the constitutional provision that protects such changes… for more read: Fixing Illinois’ PublicPensions (at the Better Government Association Symposium)
March 2012

“We cannot invest our way out of the funding circumstances that have been created over the last three, four, five decades… We can no longer rely on the old assumptions… We need to address the new funding realities… The constitutional protections that we focus on, very appropriately here, create a different kind of challenge for us” –Dick Ingramfor more read: TRS Executive Director Dick Ingram’s Address to Delegates at the IEA Representative Assembly

January 2012

“...The ‘unfunded’ portion of that liability creates tremendous pressure on state government because it essentially triples the annual cost of public pensions to taxpayers, money that could be spent on other services” (Ingram). Thus far, “shared sacrifice” has been meant only for the middle class, of whom public employees are members, and the poor that must abdicate their hard-earned money and pay more taxes because of an inefficient state government. Few people consider the fact that throughout the years state “services” were provided primarily because of the reallocation of public pension monies to those demands. Perhaps an important question to ask is whether the “party of the privilege” (the Civic Committee, for example) have anything to do with the state’s unreliable contributions to the public pension systems all these years? In other words, whether past legislative irresponsibility enabled certain self-serving legislators (who were funded quite generously through legalized and normalized bribery) to displace public pension money to those very “special interests” (or business groups) without raising taxes for corporations and special electorates… for more read: “Something Wicked This Way Comes” (or “What, Me Worry?”)

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