Thursday, May 22, 2014

Rauner: No Information :: Tribune: Misinformation

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Rauner: No Information :: Chicago Tribune: Misinformation

Illinois politics evokes some of the best absurdities ever, but the Tribune also offers a steady diet of the outlandish – and today in the “Campaign 2014” article “Rauner Light on Pension Details,” a reader gets both in ample amounts. 

Accusations by the Tribune about Rauner’s shortcomings include his “prescriptions for how to accomplish that (pensions among other things) have been vague and at times contradictory” (,0,6397335.story).

No surprise there.  Why should or would he?  For Bruce Rauner, winning as a dark horse against Dillard and Brady, remaining below visibility works best.  In fact, we all feel at this point that we know more about how Bruce’s darling democratic wife Diane will treat or work with us than we do of Bruce.  Oh, well, perhaps he is still hunkered down with his supreme faction of 30 business leaders preparing a mission statement and action plan. 

On the other hand, why say anything at all?

The last time he did, with Rick Pearson of the Tribune, he called for an immediate movement of all current retirees to 401 K programs – regardless of no social security, no possible plan to enable it, a lifetime of contributions, or no real chance constitutionally that such irrationality could take place.  Later on, Rauner said he had misspoken. 

Better to use the camera, the 30-second sound bite, the ethnic faces to make one appear to be exactly what he isn’t.  If money and airtime worked against Dillard and Brady, even just barely, why not now?  After all, Quinn is likely to lose at least 150,000 votes in the election after his supernatural quest to fix Illinois’ pension problem.  That’s an edge.   

Then again, the same complaints made against Rauner could be made for the constant misinformation served to the readership by the Tribune and its staff in this article and many, many others.  Earlier this week, Jack Tucker pointed out the Eric Zorn’s “pretend” concern over the unconstitutionality of the pension reform bill included a bizarre and totally inaccurate statement putting blame on the pension shortfalls on poor TRS investment returns.

The point #1 is COMPLETE BULLSHIT! TRS returns have consistently been upper quartile compared to all large US public funds. Over 30 years the returns have averaged 9.3% net of fees.
This crap comes from Civic Committee BS that desperately “hopes” there is someone or something to blame other than the Legislature.
If something over which they have better control (Illinois State Board of Investments) CONSISTENTLY has poorer results than the other public pension funds, this cannot be the “answer”.
I was hoping that the integrity of the office and the occasion would require some regard for reality. I am bitterly disappointed.”

Remember like good little cogs who follow corporate orders, cannot stand the evisceration of their own defined benefits if others still have them, and promote in ink “I’m no fan of government pension systems,” Zorn and his fellows work day and night reconstructing what happened and who is to blame…and what they hope will result.

After criticizing Rauner’s latest back stepping and tremulous tiptoe around the subject of COLA’s for current retirees, Pearson and Secter both write in today’s article, “The automatic, compounded three percent annual raises are a key reason debt has skyrocketed, according to critics of the current system”

What critics?  The Illinois Policy Institute.  C’mon guys.  Be reporters!

Even Representative Elaine Nekritz would admit that the real issue is the $100 billion shortfall due to what she suggested a diversion of funding from what was owed pensioners, not theft. 

Fred Klonsky was quick to call that “a distinction without a difference.”

The COLA has been an actuarially calculated part of the pension program for nearly four decades.  It was not the COLA that opened the bottom of the debt bag…it was the refusal and avoidance to pay to begin with, followed by the avoidance of making payments afterwards.

As usual, the Tribune, a post-modern and bankrupt newspaper supposed to promote truth, avoids desperately identifying any real issue, especially those that hit close to home.

In fact, while Rauner hides behind what worked in the past – an abundance of shallow, millimeter thick attacks and unctuous flatteries of Bruce as a “good man,”  the Tribune relies on avoidance, or is it lying. 

A distinction without much difference.

1 comment:

  1. The Tribune is to journalism as the gubernatorial candidates are to statesmanship.
    - Ken