"The power of changing the relative situation of debtor and creditor, of interfering with contracts, a power which comes home to every man, touches the interest of all, and controls the conduct of every individual in those things which he supposes to be proper for his own exclusive management, had been used to such an excess by the state legislatures, as to break in upon the ordinary intercourse of society, and destroy all confidence between man and man. This mischief had become so great, so alarming, as not only to impair commercial intercourse and threaten the existence of credit, but to sap the morals of the people and destroy the sanctity of private faith. To guard against the continuance of the evil was an object of deep interest with all the truly wise, as well as the virtuous, of this great community, and was one of the important benefits expected from a reform of the government" (Chief Justice Marshall).
"It is competent for the States to change the form of the remedy, or to modify it otherwise, as they may see fit, provided no substantial right secured by the contract is thereby impaired. No attempt has been made to fix definitely the line between alterations of the remedy, which are to be deemed legitimate, and those which, under the form of modifying the remedy, impair substantial rights. Every case must be determined upon its own circumstances" (Von Hoffman v. City of Quincy, supra, pp. 71 U. S. 553).
Of course, every case “must be determined upon its own circumstances” and here are some significant “circumstances” to consider” in Illinois:
How can it be deemed fair that so-called “pension reform” is a legitimate remediation of the state’s incurred pension debt and its revenue problems, especially when pension reform will inevitably create a severe economic disadvantage for most public employees and their families in retirement while creating an economic advantage for the wealthy among us and corporations that subsidize unethical policymakers? This is not protection of the vital interests of the citizens of the State of Illinois. It is, however, a violation of public employees’ guaranteed constitutional rights and benefits.
Now consider the absurd conflict and irony of Governor Quinn v. the Illinois General Assembly recently: Quinn wants to steal money from public employees’ pensions just like some members of the General Assembly, via breaking a constitutional contract, and then give the money to Archer Daniels Midland Co. and other kindred, extortionate corporations (like he did with Motorola Mobility, Chrysler, Navistar International, U.S. Cellular, Mitsubishi Motors, Sears and Roebuck...).
“…Gov. Pat Quinn said today that a request by Decatur-based Archer Daniels Midland for millions of dollars in tax incentives to stay in Illinois should not be considered until lawmakers first reform the state's highly indebted public employee pension system. The company has asked lawmakers for as much as $24 million in incentives over the next two decades to continue to operate in Illinois. The company, which has been based in Decatur for more than four decades, wants to move its headquarters to Chicago. Quinn said the agricultural giant should ‘hold back’ from seeking special tax breaks and instead put pressure on lawmakers to implement pension reforms” (Quinn: No ADM tax breaks until pension deal).
Just when you forgot Quinn "was put on earth" to solve the pension mess that legislators and their cohorts had created, now he wants corporate extortionists to coerce the unethical members of the Illinois General Assembly! Isn't that Ty Fahner's modus operandi?
Something to look forward to in January, now that Illinois legislators have stolen more money from their favorite scapegoats: retirees and public employees.