Saturday, May 28, 2005

State GOP pulls a Nancy Reagan: they just say no

And it is hard to blame them. Illinois Republicans are the mirror image of federal Democrats: they are the absolute minority party and have no tactical gain from supporting difficult governing decisions. Pension reform, defined as trimming very expensive future benefits, doesn't earn many votes but does alienate public sector employees who understand the power of walking a precinct. So the Republicans are making a play for public sector union support, really trying to woo the teachers, by simply opposing any pension cuts. So that leaves responsible government fewer options (defining responsible as trimming those benefits again). It's a smart tactic by the GOP - just as smart as the federal Dems refusing to support any reform of Social Security.

Unfortunately, it means we can't bond the pension gap at 5 percent and instead pay 8.5 percent in interest foregone.


Cal Skinner said...

So, out of that $10 billion pension bond, how much will end up having been spent on current operations and expanding state government?

FightforJustice said...

The Champaign News-Gazette for May 29th says the following:
"IL Democrats are sacrificing the financial well-being of future taxpayers by raiding the state's pension funds...What the Gov and lawmakers are doing today further weakens the state's pension system and makes a big tax increase in 2007 -- after the next election -- inevitable."

FightforJustice said...

The Dems sold this as serious pension "reform" yet the unions endorsed it. Does anyone believe the public employee unions would endorse serious reform?

Anonymous said...

it actually IS serious reform. last year, in response to Sun Times expose, Madigan tried to limit liability to the state for end of career salary increases for teachers AND administrators. unions did everything they could to have it apply only to the evil administrators. the bill did not advance.

this year, Madigan ties the extension of ERO to a cap on salaries - teacher & admin salaries. ERO is the #1 priority for IEA. IEA becomes a proponent for Madigan's salary cap, just so they can report to their membership that ERO lives on. THEN, Madigan ties the ERO to the pension holiday legislation, which prevents ANY GOP from voting yes on ERO and pension reform.

Madigan and his democrats get all the credit for accomplishing the #1 IEA priority. He gets his salary cap, which truly will save the state billions of dollars in the future. when his actuaries produce the actual savings to the state, you and the general public will be impressed.

Madigan wins.