Politicians & Unions—Lying to Ill. Taxpayers About Gov’t Pensions Since ’95

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CHICAGO–Politicians and government-employee unions have been lying to Illinois taxpayers about government pension plans and their problems since 1995, charges levied by pension analyst and Taxpayers United of America (TUA) Director of Research Bill Zettler in his landmark book, “Illinois Pension Scam,” published on April 1, 2012. And, according to TUA President Jim Tobin, the media have helped perpetuate these “big lies.”

“A June 19, 2012, Associated Press article in the Daily Herald uncritically repeated these lies,” said Tobin. “It stated that ‘For years, states failed to pay their full share of pension cost…so the problem won’t be wiped away if the economy improves.’ Quoting Robert Rich of the University of Illinois, the article later states, ‘Much of the pension problem was created by states failing to contribute their share in retirement systems.’ This is an Orwellian use of misleading language.”

“When you say the state is in arrears on its pension payments, you are saying the taxpayer is in arrears. When you say it is the state’s fault you are saying it is the taxpayer’s fault,” states Zettler.

In fact, adds Zettler, over the years, Illinois taxpayers have over-contributed. “Since the taxpayers over-contributed and over accumulated shouldn’t the people who benefit directly from the pension system, i.e., the public employees and public retirees pay any excess amounts due,” asks Zettler. “Why is this a taxpayer liability?”

Concludes Zettler, “So if the taxpayers have done more than their share, why are [public-employee pension programs] $85 billion unfunded? Mainly it is because of new benefits handed out to public employees like Christmas candy….”

For solving the Illinois government-employee pension deficit of $85 billion, Zettler says: “Let’s go back to the rules originally presented to us in 1995 by rolling back all the pension enhancements passed into law since 1995 and watch the unfunded pension liability and taxpayer pension taxes drop like a rock. We never agreed to these increased pension benefits and should not be obligated to pay for them. Let those who received the increased benefits pay for them.”

3 Responses to “Politicians & Unions—Lying to Ill. Taxpayers About Gov’t Pensions Since ’95”

  1. scott says:

    Seems silly to me.
    “Handed out pension benefits like candy” ?? That’s a broad generalization.

    Were they handed out “like candy” to EVERY state employee?
    Or were they given out to certain segments? Was the candy the same flavor for ALL state employees or did some get sweeter deals than others?

    The truth is the Illinois Voter has allowed a 4-tier-caste system in pensions and has placed the state worker at the bottom of that caste.

    TO blame an IDOT bridge engineer will only receive 33% of his annual salary as a pension ($24,000)and other state employees who will earn less has caused this problem, while legislators buy judges with lucrative pensions, and award themselves pensions that remind one of the PIGS in Animal Farm, is a slur and should not be asserted.

    The Illinois voter HAS allowed this to happen. Unions merely ask for things…. The Illinois voter IS to blame, and I understand not wanting to take responsibility for problems, but truth is truth. Until the Illinois voter accepts responsibility for Illinois problems, look to this to continue.

    If you want to get more accurate then you would notice the pensions assume every judge gets a 4% raise every year, every retired judge gets a 3% raise every year, and that inflation runs at 4% every year.

    Inflation has only 4% or higher twice in the last 40 years!!!!

    Reduce those raises to 1%, use actual inflation, and the pension deficit is actually 6% PER YEAR less than stated.

    AND THAT NEEDS TO BE COMPOUNDED. To say they are $80 bill underfunded is only accurate on their assumptions, and their assumptions are clearly wrong.

    Hope this Helps!

  2. scott says:

    40% or higher in the last twenty years….. typo

  3. ThomasOlson says:

    I sent this out to all of my local candidates 3 weeks ago….with NO RESPONSE!! WHO in Illinois is working on this. I’m sorry I can’t contribute. My property taxes are 95% of my retirement!!!….

    What can I do?? I worked with Howard Jarvis in California to get Prop 13 passed. Illinois, in typical Chicago fashion, has no such remedy available. If a similar law was proposed to the electorate it would pass overwhelmingly, and that must scare the bastards to death.

    Property taxes in this state, where I grew up and now live, have destroyed property values. The real estate markets will NEVER RECOVER until these are reversed!! Do you ever talk to REALTORS..ILLIONOIS??

    Thanks for what you do and I look forward to hearing from you before this vital election. My referred communication follows::

    I HAVE SOME QUESTIONS ABOUT OUR CRIMINALLY HIGH PROPERTY TAXES. NOTICE I DIDN’T SAY A’ LITTLE HIGH’ OR ‘OBNOXIOUSLY HIGH .. THESE TAXES ARE CRIMINALLY HIGH’!!!

    IN 2002.MY TAXES HAD INCREASED.TO ABOUT 1900.. WAY TOO HIGH FOR AN 1100 SQ FT HOME BUILT IN 1944. I TOLERATED IT BECAUSE VALUES WERE SUPPOSEDLY INCREASING AND I HAD FAIRLY GOOD EARNINGS AT THE TIME.

    THEN FROM 2002 to 2005 THEY INCREASED 350% TO 7000!!! THEY HAVE STAYED THERE SINCE!!! EVEN INCREASING!!!

    THE ANNUAL TAX BILL IS NOW MORE THAN HALF OF WHAT MY FATHER PAID FOR THE HOUSE. THE MONTHLY TAX BURDEN IS MORE THAN THREE TIMES HIS MORTGAGE PAYMENT (FOR A TEN YEAR MORTGAGE) MY DAD WAS A 12 YR ARMY VET AT THE END OF WWII AND ONE OF THE FOUNDERS OF THE YORK CENTER FIRE DEPT (ALL VOLUNTEER)

    THE PROPERTY VALUES HAVE TOTALLY CAVED AND MY PROPERTY IS NOW WORTH 20% LESS THAN IT WAS IN 2002.

    THE TAXES HAVE INCREASED!!!

    I AM CONSTANTLY TOLD MOST OF THE MONEY GOES TO THE SCHOOLS. WELL THE SCHOOLS GOT ALONG RICHLY ON WHAT THEY GOT IN 2002. WHY DID THEY NEED 350% MORE BY 2005 WHEN THE COLA FOR THAT PERIOD WAS AROUND 8%???

    WHY DOES THE PRES. OF C.O.DuPAGE MAKE 360,000/YR WITH MORE ON THE WAY???

    WHY DO TEACHERS RETIRE WITH HIGH SIX FIGURE PENSIONS AND HAVE SIX FIGURE SALARIES WHILE PEOPLE WHO BUILT THIS COUNTY ARE LOSING THEIR HOMES DUE TO TAXES??? SOMETHING IS WRONG HERE!! IT’S CALLED A CORRUPT, SOCIALIST UNION IN LEAGUE WITH THE SOCIALIST DEMOCRATIC PARTY!!! ENGINEERS AND PHYSICIST WITH TWICE THEIR IQ DON’T MAKE AS MUCH….BUT THEY PAY!!! AFTER ALL…THEY PRODUCE AND EARN!!!

    THERE ARE EXEMPTIONS IN PLACE FOR HOMEOWNERS, RETIRED, AND DISABLED PERSONS WHO WORKED ALL THEIR LIVES TO PAY FOR THEIR HOMES. THESE EXCEMPTIONS ARE PATHETICALLY SMALL TO BEGIN WITH.

    WHY WEREN’T THEY INCREASED BY AT LEAST 350% WITH THE TAXES, OR INCREASED AT ALL SINCE THEIR BEGINNING?? YOU SURE KNOW HOW TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELVES AND THE PUBLIC UNIONS. I GUESS THE TAXPAYING PEOPLE LOSING THEIR HOMES FROM PROPERTY TAXES DON’T MATTER MUCH, HUH?

    WHY DOES SOMEONE WITH A SMALL OLDER HOME PAY ANY PROPERTY TAXES AT ALL?? ESPECIALLY VETERANS??? DON’T YOU THINK THEY’VE DONE ENOUGH AND GIVEN YOU ENOUGH BLOOD???

    WHY SHOULD ANYONE WITH A VACANT LOT PAY SCHOOL TAXES??

    DO YOU KNOW THESE TAXES ABSOLUTELY DESTROY PROPERTTY VALUES???

    THE REAL ESTATE MARKET WILL NEVER RECOVER AS LONG AS THIS SITUATION EXISTS AND PERSISTS!!

    WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD MAKE AN INVESTMENT IN WHICH THEY WOULD BE REQUIRED TO PAY AN OBNOXIOUS FEE EVERY YEAR, RATHER THAN EXPECT A RETURN ON THEIR INVESTMENT? AND WITH ABSOLUTELY NO LIMITS ON FUTURE TAX INCREASES!!

    WHO’S TO SAY MY TAXES WON’T DOUBLE IN THE NEXT 3 YEARS TO 14,000???

    NEXT, WHAT DO ANY OF YOU PLAN TO DO TO FIX THIS QUAGMIRE YOU’VE GOTTEN US INTO??? CAN YOU FIX IT??? WILL YOU FIX IT?? WHY HAVEN’T YOU TRIED TO FIX IT??? WHEN WILL YOU FIX IT?? … THIS IS CRITICAL!!!

    DuPAGE WAS A TRULY CONSERVATIVE COUNTY FOR MANY YEARS AND WHEN I WAS GROWING UP AND AFTER. WE BELIEVED IN, DEFENDED, SOMETIMES DIED FOR THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION. PUBLIC ELECTEES SWORE AN OATH TO DEFEND OUR UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION, THE MOST UNIQUE DOCUMENT IN THE WORLD. SOMETIME AFTER I FOLLOWED MY CAREER A CERTAIN ELEMENT MOVED IN, RELABELED THEMSELVES TO GET ELECTED, AND THIS CANCER WAS ALLOWED TO GROW OVER A PERIOD OF YEARS. THEIR OATH TO THE CONSTITUTION IS MEANINGLESS… THEIR CREDO IS’THE END JUSTIFIES THE MEANS’, WHICH MEANS THEY ARE FREE TO LIE,CHEAT, STEAL, EXTORT, OR WHATEVER TO OBTAIN THEIR GOAL. THIS IS TRUE TO THIS DAY!! JUST ASK ONE OF THEM!!!

    IN 1965, NIKITA KRUSCHEV WAS AT A U.N. MEETING WHEN HE RANTED TO THE U.S. ‘WE WILL BURY YOU!! WE WILL BURY YOU!!

    IT WASN’T A MILITARY THREAT. HE KNEW THAT WASN’T POSSIBLE. WHAT HE KNEW WAS POSSIBLE WAS TO INFILTRATE SOME OF OUR HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTES, RIFE WITH SOCIALIST TENURES FROM EARLIER INFILTRATIONS, THE NEWS MEDIA ( A REPORTER’S’ AVE IQ IS BETWEEN 80-110) WAS HIS LAPDOG, AS THEY STILL ARE

    WE NOW HAVE COUNTY “ LAWS” CLAIMING THAT THIS BOARD HAS THE IMAGINED AUTHORITY TO TELL THE COUNTY’S RESIDENTS HOW THEY CAN LIVE THEIR OWN LIVES DOWN TO THE LEGAL USE OF THEIR OWN PRIVATE PROPERTY, A CONSTITUTIONALLY GUARANTEED GOD-GIVEN RIGHT.

    ARE YOU GOING TO TRY TO CORRECT THIS CALAMITY???

    YOU HAVE A PRETTY LARGE CONTINGENT OF BABY BOOMER RETIREES WHO GREW UP AND ARE RETIRING HERE. YOU ARE DRIVING THEM AWAY. YOUR UNCONSTITUTIONAL ‘REGULATIONS’ YOUR INTERFERENCE WITH OUR PROPERTY RIGHTS, AND CRIMINAL PROPERTY TAXES MUST BE REVERSED !!

    IF NOT, DuPAGE COUNTY WILL INCREASINGLY BE CONTROLLED BY THOSE UNPRODUCTIVE AND THOSE DEPENDENT ON PUBLIC ASSISTANCE.

    IS YOUR GOAL TO TAX YOUR CITIZENS OUT OF OWNERSHIP OF THEIR HARD-EARNED PROPERTY TO PROVIDE BENEFITS TO THAT OTHER GROUP??? IS YOUR IDEAL THAT ALL PRIVATE RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY BE OWNED BY THE COUNTY WHICH BENEVENTLY PROVIDES HOUSING TO DERELICTS, WELFARE QUEENS, AND TRANSIENTS?? INCLUDING THE FORMER LEGITIMATE OWNERS???

    IS THAT IS WHERE YOU ARE HEADING!!! IF SO…TELL US!!!!

    OR DON’T YOU THINK WE SHOULD VOTE ON IT….BECAUSE, AFTER ALL YOU KNOW BETTER THAN WE DO…RIGHT???

    YOU PEOPLE HAVE BEEN SCREWING UP BIG TIME OVER THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS AND IT’S TIME TO FIX IT!!!

    WE NEED TO FLUSH THE CHICAGO/LIBERAL RINOS (REPUBLICAN IN NAME ONLY) OUT OF OUR COUNTY GOVT. THEY ARE A CANCER THAT HAS BEEN HERE TOO LONG THAT NEVER SHOULD HAVE BEEN HERE AT ALL.

    WE NEED PEOPLE WHO WILL OBEY AND DEFEND OUR CONSTITUTION. PROTECT AND DEFEND THE CITIZENS AND NOT THE ‘IMAGINED RIGHTS’ OF GOVERNMENT, WHICH DON’T EXIST WITHOUT OUR CONSENT!!

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