As a retired teacher, I resent the relentless and often cavalier attacks on my pension and its relationship with state government. The implications of your Sunday editorial re public sector pensions represent a classic example of the age-old definition of insanity: continuing to do/say the same thing and expecting a different result.
Throughout the months-long pension debate in Springfield, corporate media has stubbornly beaten the drum for the false-on-its-face idea that our pension benefits are too generous. If people accept that red herring—that somehow we’ve gamed the system, far beyond our rights or needs—it seems logical, even necessary, to justify ignoring, nullifying, or amending the clear language of our most important public document.
Of course, the flat income tax is also mandated by our Constitution. If we feel “civic-minded" about debating the Constitution’s pension protections, might we also have that discussion? It’s time for ethics, fairness, and justice to take the floor in Springfield. For decades, we Illinois citizens have enjoyed cut-rate public services at least partially subsidized by the willful, cynical stiffing of pension funds. Let’s fix our money problems without demonizing and punishing public sector citizens/retirees who have done their part, through many decades of teaching and protecting their neighbors, to make Illinois strong.