I thought public employee pension reform was needed to save our state and the taxpayers? Please keep in mind here that all public sector employees are also taxpayers.
But yet when you read the statement below, please notice whose names are signed at the bottom:
May 30, 2011
STATEMENT REGARDING PENSION REFORM
We are absolutely committed to reforming Illinois’ public pension system for current employees. It must be done to stabilize our systems and address long term financial issues for both the public employee pension systems and state government.
We believe passage of legislation addressing this issue is essential to the state’s well being.
It was made very clear during the May 26th hearing in the Personnel and Pensions Committee that both those who support pension reform and those who are opposed to Senate Bill 512 acknowledge we have a problem and something must be done.
Our goal is to enact reforms to our pension systems that provide a long term solution for both those who are members of the pension systems and those who fund them.
We will convene meetings over the summer to address the issues and concerns that have been raised and work toward a solution in this year’s Fall Veto Session.
-Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan
-Illinois House Republican Leader Tom Cross
-Tyrone Fahner, President, Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago
Why is the President of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago signing a letter on legislation in Springfield that concerns public employees?
The Commercial Club of Illinois is a regular who's who in big business in Illinois. Not public business but private business. Just look at their membership directory. Every person on the list is part of a multi-million or multi-billion dollar corporation that does not employ a single public sector employee. So why the big interest?
I think I have an idea. If the private sector can get the politicians to do to us what has been done to private sector employees, the big businesses will donate more money to the politicians in return for even bigger tax breaks to the big corporations so the elite bosses can make even bigger bonuses and pensions. Then when the politicians retire from public service they have a great job waiting for them as a lobbyist or a corporate big shot. What a retirement plan.
Think about it! Why else is the Commercial Club interested in public pensions? Because it is their civic duty? Please, these people have one duty - to themselves.
If people were really interested in reforming the public pension system they would sit down with not only the organized labor bosses but the actual employees that these reforms will affect. There is no reason why fair and reasonable reforms cannot be made, except if the employees are cut out of the process.
Step one is the most important step in my eyes. The blame game has to stop. Mistakes were made, that's it. Now it is time to fix them by coming up with a plan that will repay the underfunded billions of dollars back to the pensions. This can only be done by the politicians since it was done on the employer level and not the employee. Once a plan is put into place to repay the missing money and to ensure that all future payments by governmental entities are made in full and on time then we can talk about asking employees to make concessions. Then and only then can we maybe get the job done right.
We have all summer to try and do this right. Why not actually try?