Civic Committee seeking discussion about pensions (Associated Press)
"The nonpartisan organization of executives is calling the outreach effort to lawmakers, schools and social services the ‘What If’ initiative. Committee President Ty Fahner calls it ‘imperative’ to understand what could result if pension reform is overturned..."
What is the Civic Committee? It is a group that attempts to maintain and improve its membership’s privileges while creating conflict in the public at large by controlling and buying media to mold public opinion. The Civic Committee’s tactics include convincing the shrinking middle class that the reason why “Illinois is broke” is the public pension systems in Illinois.
Its tactics incorporate deflecting attention away from their avaricious profiteering and elitism; keeping public employees divided by attacking one group, such as teachers instead of firemen or policemen; diverting class conflict by turning the middle class upon itself through use of such rhetorical devices as faulty rationalizations; selected instances; slogans; causal oversimplifications; non sequitur; and appeals to fear, ignorance, and bias found on its obverse group’s website (Illinois Is Broke). Its schemes include using its own membership to compile reports and analyses disguised as impartial data (Sidley Austin LLP) and intimidating legislators in downstate meetings to make laws in the interests of the wealthy and powerful few.
Government by the rich and powerful or by a duplicitous “not-for-profit organization whose mission is to stimulate and encourage the growth of the area's economy and its ability to provide for its people” is based upon the impoverishment of others; the Civic Committee’s power is purchased. The “current mission” is the wholesale destruction of the entire middle class and the pension systems in Illinois, in particular, the Teachers’ Retirement System.
Who writes the laws by which the Illinois government operates? The Civic Committee. Who will profit from pension reform (to free up the cash flow and increase its profit margin) in Illinois? The Civic Committee. Who will eventually lose their “only” retirement pension (teachers do not pay into social security)? The teachers of Illinois. There are no equal rights when there is inequity of wealth and when promises are made to support and to preserve the fortunes of a few at the expense and victimization of the many.
What is Tyrone Fahner’s and the Civic Committee’s plan for Illinois teachers? They plan to address the state’s budget deficit in the interests of big business by destroying the teachers’ defined-benefit pension plan and maintain control of the economic and political policies of state and municipal governments; they plan to redistribute money away from the public employees’ defined-benefit pension plans and to their private interests and profits by proposing an unsecured, non-guaranteed financial option called a defined-contribution plan and rendering the present defined-benefit plan unaffordable.
Besides cleverly disguising its economic terrorism against public employees, the Civic Committee’s manipulation and exploitation of the citizens of Illinois closely rival the history and spirit of conniving, arrogant capitalism evident in this country. The Illinois Is Broke website claims that state employees are getting a “sweet deal,” one that is better than “95 percent” of workers in the private industry. Apparently, members in this powerful and wealthy club are not in that 95 percent…
The Illinois Is Broke website claims that “Illinois has 13 million residents.” The wealthy Civic Committee has a few hundred members. That means the remaining 99.999% of the state's citizens pay proportionately higher taxes because Illinois is one of the few states that uses a flat-tax rate and Illinois executives of large corporations, such as the membership of the Civic Committee, also pass on the burden of their taxes that they do not pay onto the average citizen through an exploitation of governmental policies that create a “corporate welfare.”
The Civic Committee does not publicize the fact that its members shift the burden of this payment to the public and that some of the state’s lost revenue is based upon promises that they will create more jobs; even though, their outsourcing of American jobs is disguised as “free trade” and has eliminated hundreds of thousands of jobs and has eroded the tax base of the State of Illinois; the Civic Committee members do not publicize the fact that they have hidden vast amounts of their corporate money in offshore bank accounts to avoid taxation and, thus, to increase their excessive profiteering – paid for by the rest of us.
Fahner called Chief Legal Counsel to Illinois Senate President John J. Cullerton and Parliamentarian of the Illinois Senate Eric M. Madiar’s “81-page tome… Nonsense.” For Fahner claims: “All of us is subject to… the police/fire safety… the deeds of anything, of anyone, are trumped when it comes to providing the basic needs of society: health, education, police and fire safety.” Fahner purposely forgets that Illinois politicians were able to “provide [for those] basic needs” in Illinois throughout the decades because they had stolen billions of dollars from the public employees’ pension funds to pay for them.
Excerpts from the Illinois Public Employee Relations Report: Illinois Public Pension Reform... by Eric M. Madiar, Chief Legal Counsel to Illinois Senate President John J. Cullerton and Parliamentarian of the Illinois Senate (September 29,2014)