Chicago Sun-Times

Illinois. Out of Cash. Worst state for pensions. What to do?

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Join us tonight at 7PM on Chicago Tonight (Channel 11) as Civic Federation boss Lawrence Msall describes what his organization views as the terrible truth. Major cuts, tax increases, taxes on pensions.

What's so interesting about all this is that Msall is no big liberal, nor is his organization.
He has worked for two Republican governors in his career. And yet Republicans in the General Assembly are so far saying "no dice."

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Government reform must come before tax increases. Illinois has a 19th century government infrastructure that continues to spend tax dollars inefficiently. We have mutiple school districts that only contain a single school, numerous road and highway districts and "townships" that long ago should have been disbanded or incorporated into city or county governments and numerous other "taxing districts" that most people have never heard of. Our state and local government employees need to be offered a 401K/Thrift Savings Plan just like new Federal employees get. After all these actions are taken then a small tax increase should be passed dedicated solely (with a hard "lock box")to paying off the debt. When the debt is paid then the new tax will sunset and the current tax level restored.

I,m with you Harold 100%. They are making to much money for what they do.(VERY LITTLE). Like you said they do not worry about the people only themselves. I really think we should have EVERYBODY on one pension.(Social Secuity) and a 401 then you see how fast things would get fixed. Its to bad we the people cannot make laws. I would write a law where our leaders would get a raise only if they come up and spent within the budget. I just hope to GOD that the people VOTE this year and begin to clean out the junk that we had in office. I would really like to cut their pay by 50%. I don,t think it would hurt them because they all have other jobs.Plus take way some of the fringe benfits.

Harold, you make some great points. The last one is dead wrong however. Get rid of those in office? Didn't you catch the last round of 'real change you can believe in?" What, did you think there was going to be change? Its a done deal. Going to a two class system, and look for ww3 to get sunken economies out of the drudges. Youre better off to prepare for very difficult economic times ahead, especially for those with values, morals and common sense, because there are none, zero notta, left in politics. After the shock and awe, you can see this zero sum game for what the black hole it really has morphed into.

No surprise usual, gutless politicians, partisan thinking, worrying about their next election campaigns, worrying about everything but doing what's right by the state...telling the people what they want to hear, not what they need to hear--no wonder Evan Bayh got out...broken government at all levels...federal and state...useless politicians..

A few long overdue comments on the State of Illinois and our political shenanigans.
Budget wise, the first thing that should be cut is all elected officials salaries-they expect others to take cuts, well lead by example. NOT unpaid furlough days, a pay cut of at least 50%. Then they might relate to real working class people. Follow that with no pensions, stop all elected officials pensions-after all they are the ones that got us in this mess, why should they profit on their misdeeds. All elected officials (this should all apply actually throughout the country) will be required to contribute to Social Security, fund their own 401k, and be covered by health insurance that they pay for-not the taxpayer funded gold level plans they now enjoy.
You say you want unions to take cuts in pay and benefits, ok let's start with the BIG money unions. Major League Baseball, NFL, NBA, Screen Actors-(try cutting the blockbuster salaries of big name stars and athletes) TV and Radio personalities, etc. After all John Q Public supports all of them and if he & she take a cut how will they afford to continue supporting these enterprises.
When the people that are getting the big bucks take real pay cuts then maybe the littler guys & girls won't feel targeted to being forced into poverty, and they may give back a portion of their meager earnings.
I realize most people will dismiss these ideas as bunk because they haven't heard them spoken before, don't believe enough people feel the same way and or believe they can't happen.
Well I believe these are the real beginnings in repairing our country, there should be no entitlement programs for elected officials, especially since they created the programs for themselves at the taxpayers expense.
There are many more ideas that need to be discussed and acted upon-why should some taxpayers pay for college education for their children and the children of people they don't know-that's a good place to start also.
Real change and reform is desperately needed and won't happen until we get rid of the people in office currently-most all of them, and have some common sense values and morals in our everyday lives.

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This page contains a single entry by Carol Marin published on February 22, 2010 5:57 PM.

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