Tuesday, May 21, 2013

What do we believe about Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan’s exclusion of Illinois judges from his pension reform bill?

“Leaving the judges out of pension reform: ‘I would call this buying off the judges. It’s a very sad situation…’” (Ann Lousin, a professor at the John Marshall Law School in Chicago who helped draft the Illinois Constitution in 1970, from Judges left out of Illinois pension reform plan).

Are we to believe, as Madigan and other liars and thieves do, that Illinois Supreme Court judges will not respect and uphold the Illinois and U.S. Constitutions? Are we to believe the Illinois Supreme Court judges are incapable of ignoring their own self-regard and, thus, must be excluded from Senate Bill 1?  Are we to believe the Illinois Supreme Court judges are also capable of illegal and immoral thievery like those unthinking politicians who voted for Senate Bill 1?  

Are we to believe, as Madigan and other liars and thieves do, that Illinois Supreme Court judges will break laws that their consciences tell them are unjust? Furthermore, are we to believe Illinois Supreme Court judges will break a constitutional contract with public employees and compel the state’s current and retired public employees to impair their constitutional rights and benefits easily because Senate Bill 1 will not be made binding for the Illinois Supreme Court judges?   Though Representative Tom Cross stated recently to a group of teachers that “judges could be included at a later date,” what Cross should have said to them was all judges must be included in any bill attempting to break a statutory contract.

We already know what the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago, the Civic Federation, the Illinois Policy Institute, and Chicago Tribune and their ilk believe about breaking a constitutional contract with retired and current public employees. We are assured these “elitist” groups would have a different point of view, however, when it comes to their contractual agreements.

“[It can be said pension reform bills] are symptomatic of a much larger war against teachers, public goods and the social contract.  We increasingly live in societies based on the vocabulary of ‘choice’ [as in the case of SB 2404] and a denial of reality - a denial of massive inequality, social disparities, [and] the irresponsible concentration of power in relatively few hands and a growing machinery of social death and culture of cruelty…” (Henry A. Giroux, Marching in Chicago: Resisting…Neoliberal Savagery).

It is expected that Illinois policymakers who have no legal or moral concerns (besides their own) will break contracts. It is expected that political opportunists who have no legal or moral concerns (besides their own) should be aptly called what they are: liars and thieves.

-Glen Brown

Something to Remember about Tyrone Fahner:

Let's recall what Ty Fahner, president  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.”

Moreover, according to Jack Tucker, “At one time Ty Fahner was employed as legal counsel for TRS.  He assured Trustees at that time that their pensions were constitutionally guaranteed, and they should not fret over underfunding.”

Please review the post entitled Liars and Thieves

For legal and moral rebuttals regarding Illinois pension reform, click on the "pension analyses" tab under the blog's masthead.

1 comment:

  1. Nothing like blatant self-interest, is there Ty? You did your share to create the mess, and you certainly enjoy flogging public employees lest you and your multimillionaire buddies find themselves paying more in the future. How would you feel about a tax on retirement income? I know that's not popular with all public retirees, but I know many who would agree. How about taking a vote at the next Civic Committee meeting? I'll put my prediction of the outcome in a sealed envelope to await your announcement.