Ill.Gov. Patrick Quinn, one of the most crafty and slippery politicians the state has produced, has created a smokescreen to hide the real reason for pushing an increase in the state income tax of up to 67%, according to Jim Tobin, President of National Taxpayers United of Illinois (NTUI).
“In a masterful sleight-of-hand, Quinn has shifted the debate from the real reason to spreading fear about massive layoffs of state employees, especially in areas that would hurt those dependent on state aid. He encourages the notion that those who are sick will lose their caregivers, and that the state will be flooded with criminals being released from prison.”
“The fact that the number of state employees has fallen slightly is a side issue, and the claim that layoffs would cause a depression in Illinois is just fear mongering,” said Tobin. “Of the so-called $12 billion ‘shortfall,’ $9.3 billion is taxpayer dollars that have to be funneled into the state pension fund that has made retired state employees and retired suburban and downstate teachers and administrators rich.”
“Of the top 100 state pensions, 94 are received by retired teachers and administrators. Lavish, gold-plated pensions for retired teachers, administrators and state employees have created most of the current $12 billion state revenue gap projected through June 30, 2011. By retiring after 34 years of employment at age 55 with a salary of $100,000 a year, the average Chicago suburban government high school teacher will receive a total retirement income of $3,100,000 over a normal lifetime.”
“A former Illinois government schoolteacher is receiving $238,884 each year in retirement benefits. That’s a retirement pension of $19,907 a month. And it’s hard to beat the State Universities Retirement System. The largest of the top 100 pensions goes to Tapas K. Das Gupta, who is receiving a pension of $379,356 a year… $31,613 a month. Another government retiree, Edward Abraham, in the same retirement program, receives an annual retirement pension of $368,460…$30,705 a month.”
“The proposal that new state hires must wait until their early 60s before retiring will save a small amount of money, but the real remedy is to require all new state hires to save for their retirement with their own contributions to 401(k) programs, just like workers in the private sector. These new hires will not become part of the unfunded pension problem because they will not be in the state pension system.”
“Also, government employees should be required to pay at least 3% of their payroll for retirement health benefits and at least $250/mo after retirement. Under current law they pay nothing for either and receive health, dental, vision and life insurance for themselves and their dependents after retirement. This would save another $30 billion in unfunded health care liability.”
“Illinois’ financial problems can be solved by reforming the state pension system, not by placing another financial burden on the backs of the state’s middle class.”
If you would like to download a printable copy of this news release click here.

  1. Time to institute a state employee excess pension tax. This tax should be set to phase in for state employees receiving pension benefits over a certain level. It should apply to ALL current state employees receiving pensions as well as all future employees.

  2. Sir in many ways I do agree with you in as far as the high / excessive pension plans. But hear is my story. My wife has worked for
    DuPage county for 30 years paying into the IMRF which the state has continued not to contribute to for many years. She bairley makes $50,000 a year has gone several years without a raise, and with the cost of insurance going up she now makes less this year than she did last year. PlEASE EXPLAIN THAT IN YOUR ARTICLES. When she dose finaly get to retire she will only get the max of +/-75%. Which is nothing, So please in your articles do not generalise all goverment employees. Because that is just wrong and spreading misinformation that all goverment employees get these large retirement packages and great health plans we were paying over $500.00 a month which is no great deal but we needed a health plan for our children. So please explain to me the great gifts the state and other govermental bodies are giving out because I have yet to see them in my pocket.