Friday, November 29, 2013

Someone Awakens! Maybe More? Pension Reform Coming...

Someone Awakens!  Maybe More???  Pension Reform Action Day Is Coming!

Dear John
I’ve decided it’s about time to join in and I’m going to my Representative’s district office this Monday before the vote on Tuesday.  If there’s anyone there, what should I say?

Your bro’-in-law,

Dear Ray

Glad you’re about to say something, Ray.  Silence is acceptance, and this is no time to be silent.

If you get a chance to talk to her, remind her that

1.     Each and every one of them is being asked on Tuesday to break their oath of office.  They all swore to uphold the Constitution of Illinois when they took office, Ray…not a law.  The Constitution, Ray.   What might be expedient next?  How about changing articles to allow the use of public tax money for private uses, or no more terms of office? 

2.     They have and will achieve nothing, Ray, in terms of finding a way to eliminate the debt of nearly $100 billion in unfunded liabilities from decades of theft from the pensions.  Watch out, Ray, they love to use the colloquialism “divert” but it’s theft, Ray, pure and simple – and it is still there, Ray.  A $100 billion pound gorilla.  Ask her about that.

3.     Remember this, Ray:  As Ralph Matire said so clearly: “ Right now, if you were to look at all the factors that contributed to the unfunded liability as a significant (catastrophic) explosion…and isolate out factors that are inherent to the pensions systems themselves (interest rates, salary increases, benefit increases [like the COLA] and even the public living longer than we used to)… if those were the only problem, our system would be funded at 80%. 

4.     The reason, Ray, that we are not at 70-90% even after the Great Recession is because the State of Illinois did not pay into the pension funds and then actually borrowed against what it owed to the pensions to subsidize services.  Why punish us?

5.     Make sure to ask her, Ray, if she’ll do it again.  Because, Ray, they’ll need to return for more.  Sorry about the brutal misuse of the term “carving” in this holiday season, but – from one turkey to another - this carving of the pensions under the guise of reform will NEVER be enough to satisfy the fiscal hole they created, despite the public workers' dutiful contributions for their constitutionally promised benefits.  How many times will she wait for a bill of a thousand pages to land on her desk from the Sneaker Madigan an hour before the vote and repentantly agree to break an oath?  Ask her, Ray.  I’d really like to know.

6.     Ask her also, Ray, if she’ll pull the old “first-this-and-then-that” routine like most of the other legislators do when asked about a wiser and more fiscally sound course like a progressive tax structure in Illinois.  They use that old “priority” line as if we were children, Ray.  Don’t let them give you the old, “But it’s in the Constitution” line, Ray.  So is the protection of our earned benefits after working for the State of Illinois.  That didn’t seem to stop them, did it?

7.     Remind her, Ray, that by 2015, the state will have some $3.5 to $4 billion less than now in revenue because of the ridiculous ramp they hold to.  It’s the evil they now, Ray…not the kind of problem they want to solve by amortizing the debt like you and your wife did with your home.  Jut one more reason why they’ll be back, Ray.  Ask her about that.

8.     Ask her finally, Ray, if we in Illinois have nearly the highest rate of required contributions historically and nearly 80% of us get no social security, how could we be the only state in the union with such a miserable funded ratio?  Was it us?  I don’t think so, Ray, and yet the bond companies warn Illinois to fix the problem --- not screw the workers, break their oaths, and create an educational wasteland into the next century. 

Glad you’re throwing in. Bro’.  Been sitting here waiting for you and others to get involved. Make some noise.



  1. Is there going to be a demonstration at Jenne Ives office in Wheaton, or would it be a waste of time? Where should we go to demonstrate in the DuPage county area?

    1. In the bizarro galaxy of Illinois politics, Jeanne Ives is somewhere beyond the next universe. Don't waste your time there. Her plan is to have us all eating stewed chickweed and acorns for retirement. Look at the lists and make a decision. There are many opportunities in DuPage as well as others, and check the timing out.