Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Of Liars and Thieves (from John Dillon)

“…[Yesterday] Bruce Dold and Trib company’s editorial exceeds George Orwell’s doublespeak spinning the latest inability of narrow-minded Governor Rauner to grasp an ego-inflating olive branch from Senate Leader Cullerton to resurrect SB2404, an older version of forced consideration for public employees’ pension benefits.

“Simple version: A deal between Cullerton and Rauner to resurrect his original pension reform bill requiring a choice between a COLA or health care for retirees – now altered to force a choice between increased salaries or COLA’s – was torpedoed by Rauner’s maniacal need for the Governor to add his own anti-union sentiments and inclusions to the agreement.

“But the Tribune hopes ‘Can this marriage be saved?’ What follows is an essayist argument that would have made Orwell (and party member O’Brien) delightedly proud.

“Doublespeak:  ‘Given the Supreme Court decision to toss deeper pension reform – a plan we supported because of its much larger costs savings for taxpayers – Cullerton’s plan right now is the only game in town.  It doesn’t promise dramatic savings.  But it’s a start.’

“Comment: A 38 page unanimous decision by the Illinois Supreme Court is not a ‘toss.’  In fact, when a Justice like Karmeier is given the nod by six other Justices to write the decision, he has his clerks and their clerks at his disposal to generate the information, the precedents, the legalese, and the final product.  He is not told to go ahead and write what ‘you think we all think’; quite the opposite, his opinion is then reviewed and scrutinized by the clerks and the other Justices prior to release.  It is not a toss – IT IS A JUDICIAL DECREE.

“Doublespeak: ‘…a plan we supported because of its much larger costs savings to taxpayers…’

“Meaning: We ignored the moral and legal argument by those who had been employed by the state with no social security and no access to anything but a defined benefit even as the state avoided paying them year after year, decade after decade for what was owed in matching contributions.  We stood behind our politicians like James Thompson who declared openly that services were provided without increased taxation (at the expense of public retirees).   The Pension Protection Clause never meant anything to us, and it still doesn’t.

“Doublespeak: ‘Cullerton’s plan right now is the only game in town.  It doesn’t promise dramatic savings.  But it’s a start.’

“Meaning: Let’s pretend that this symbolic adventure back into litigation is something more than just that – a likely expensive attempt by the state politicians to once again avoid making payment for our debts.  Forget the state budget.  Let’s ignore our constitutional duty to pay those from whom we have stolen and their own judicially guaranteed benefits once they begin service in the public sector.  Let’s continue to suffer under a ridiculously patched together scheme to pay back our debt in Illinois through a balloon payment schedule that will leave us all bereft of funds by 2018…” 

Doublespeak: ‘Madigan’s chronic refusal to compromise – his devotion to politics rather than governance – has led to tragic service cuts for the state’s most vulnerable citizens…’

“Meaning: Let’s ignore the other issues beyond the Governor’s refusal to advance a budget despite the suffering so many marginalized and others feel now.  It’s all Madigan’s fault.  Recall that just yesterday the Governor regarded the fall off of important Lutheran Social Services, as ‘we’ll feel a little pain as we go through this transition…’”  (Pension Doublespeak by John Dillon).


  1. Why aren't we talking more about the fact that 73% of public corporations don't pay any State of Illinois income tax. I'm tired of hearing it's so small it's not worth talking about. I'm tired of hearing they'll leave the state if they're taxed since most leave the country anyways to avoid paying federal taxes and there's no outcry from the media about sending our jobs and factories and taxes overseas. Until we have fair taxes for all, we'll never fill budget holes and until hedge fund managers and pension managers like Rauner (before becoming governor) stop skimming massive fees off the top of the pension funds they control, we'll never have enough money in our coffers to end the budget crisis--and by the way, I just got my real estate tax bill yesterday and people will just begin defaulting on some of these massive real estate bills. Look at Detroit and you see the goals of Rauner: bankrupt, then privatize the city or state for your buddies, milk it for everything its worth, then walk away with all the money at the top. That's all Rauner/Koch/ALEC care about. People like Rauner will never, ever care about a budget that is for the people. When you make your money by taking massive fees at the top, or flipping companies by stripping them of workers and essential costs, avoiding paying taxes at all costs, have more mansions than you can ever live in, then you know that people like Rauner will never care about the betterment of the people he rules. Obstructionist Republicans and corporate Dems don't compromise--just look at the Tea-Party Congress and you see every state with a Koch/ALEC governor and you see what's being done nationwide: bankrupt governments, privatize for profits at the top, and leave the people with nothing.

  2. It is time that hundreds and thousands of public servants should demonstrate with signs in front of Cullerton and Rauner's s offices stating quit bullying us quit harassing us ,,,,,pay your bills on time ,,,be honest ,,,,be righteous......And support the Illinois Constitution as written....

  3. Sharon,
    Every word you said and every corporate/legislative ploy is repeated ad nauseum in Florida and New Jersey. Republicans and Democrats repeat it as it applies to their campaign donors. It is the propaganda that is repeated often enough to be accepted as truth.