Dick Ingram (Stockholm Syndrome)
In some cases of the psychological abnormality, the need to identify with the assailant is so overwhelming that the victim actually seeks solutions for and provides assistance to the aggressor.
In fact, it was Fahner who echoed Ingram’s earlier annoucements in April at a forum at Loyola University provided by the Better Government Association that “even the head of the TRS recognizes its insolvency,” after Ingram had projected the TRS fund’s inability to pay out benefits for very much longer in his new darker vision of retirement for teachers.
Let’s also not forget that corporate leaders and anti-pension legislators were also delighted to use Ingram’s statements a month before the Loyola program regarding the “new reality” and the possibility that a “funded retirement was in itself a benefit.”
In defense, earlier as now, Ingram had made it clear that he was just spinning intellectual considerations, not really offering or promoting affirmations of the proposed cuts in actives’ and retirees’ benefits, cuts vehemently opposed by all five public sector unions (and, hopefully, their leadership). Likewise, he once again issued a memo to the TRS Board in which he rationalized his comments as never having advocated or having proposed a change in the COLA for TRS members. NOTE: In fact, Ingram goes on to note that he could not “propose” such an item because it was already part of a bill being considered (SB1673) and, therefore, had already been proposed. Say what?
Patti Hearst: I appeared after the robbery began.
Bank Teller: But you had a gun. And you yelled, “This is a stick up.”
Patti Hearst: But I was just making an observation. It appeared that it was a stick up.
Bank Teller: Say what?
It’s not like this hasn’t happened before with Ingram. In fact, Ingram’s loose-cannon comments happen over and over again.
Here’s an excerpt from Pension Vocabulary of April 15 (entitled Appeasement), in which we looked at one more of Ingram’s rebuttals to questions regarding inappropriate and injurious comments as a head of TRS. Mr. Ingram printed an editorial in the Chicago Tribune on Tuesday, April 10, 2012, that stated clearly:
“Neither I nor Teachers Retirement System is proposing any changes in member benefits, especially a reduction in the current annual cost-of-living adjustment…It is not our role at TRS to suggest a solution to this problem.”
Four paragraphs later, Mr. Ingram once again warns that he has told his board significant changes must occur in order to avoid insolvency, and these changes need come from newly generated revenue sources.
“For the media, he has “outlined possible areas where lawmakers may look for a solution. There are only a few options available and none is very pleasant to discuss – changes in the cost of living adjustment; in member contributions; in retirement age; and in the benefit formula; as well as increased revenues through taxes” (Teacher Benefits. Voice of the People: Chicago Tribune. 10 April 2012.).
Here we are again.
A recently drafted letter (October 11, 2012) by President Dan Montgomery of the Illinois Federation of Teachers declares Ingram unfit as Director of TRS. Perhaps Dan Montgomery remembers Ingram’s earlier blunders and fumbling attempts to recover, but it is clear that IFT leadership has had quite enough.
"Mr. Ingram may think he can mislead the members of the TRS Board of Trustees into believing that his remarks do not violate their fiduciary responsibility or their own resolutions regarding TRS advocacy. We have more faith in the board members than that. Mr. Ingram would like the public and other unions to believe his comments are merely an intellectual exercise and not meant to promote his own preferred solutions to the pension crisis (Fred Klonsky).
“Dick Ingram should resign from his position as TRS director.”