The State of Illinois is in a mess. One of the causes is the enormous pension responsibilities placed on the state. I know that many public employees rely on those pensions for retirement because they don't qualify for social security. IT was a trade off. But I don't think anyone ever expected those pensions to rise to astronomical rates.
Here's a great analysis of the state's pension problems from the Chicago Civic Federation, which opposes much of the proposed budget cuts by Gov. Pat Quinn, but supports the proposal to pay for pensions from the state's operating budget.
About 300 protesters lined the street on 151st and 90th Avenue in Orland Park outside of the offices of Illinois Legislator Rep. Kevin McCarthy. They brought out a huge crowd, although some believe it's just a partisan political effort to embarrass the Democrats while ignoring that Republicans have been equally responsible for causing our statewide pension mess.
Should a teacher, for example, who retires make more than $100,000 a year in pension benefits? That's a little excessive, but typical of the problem the state pension faces.
Illinois’ overall liability is $85.6 billion to five pension programs which serve approximately 174,600 retirees:
We need to do something besides imposing more taxes on the taxpayers and filling the pension hole that way.
-- Ray Hanania