There has been one budget deficit after another - in one state after another due to runaway Pension Debt. And as much as I would like to say that the main problem is abuse, it isn't. Yes it is true that pension abuse is rife in some places including Illinois. But the real issue with Public Pension Systems are that they are unsustainable because benefits are more generous than those received by workers in the private sector.
Why government officials persist on doing nothing is obvious though. They want to protect what they have and let's face it the average career politicians meander in and out of multiple pension funds within the system and that allows them to piggy-back payouts. Regular everyday government workers, however, aren't so fortunate. Especially when they are made to feel as if their pensions are as ill-earned as the those legally gaming the system.
Fair? No and yes!
Why? Because they are aware of those playing the system and instead of voting against them every chance they get they make the mistake that a vote for them is actually helping preserve their benefits. But here's some truth for those people - those officials really don't give a shit about you and are only looking to protect their own stash. You are just a necessary pawn in their scam.
Politicians certainly know how to use the right buzz words in front of their labor supporters, but how many times have they come back asking for concessions over the years? How many raise have they had to forgo? But like the the fools their leadership (who are some of the worst abusers of the multiple pension dip) already think they are prove it by supporting the endorsed labor union candidate.
It's a great con game but one that has finally backfired as public pensions have now become too unsustainable to continue! And if the truth be told the time has come to scrap public pensions entirely. They need to be replaced with a more equitable (to all) plan that requires one last sacrifice. Agree to a guaranteed pension system based on the private sector model.
Look, free health care is great to have but shouldn't be extended to the entire family okay? And quite frankly most people in the private sector contribute something to their health benefits. About the only ones getting off on the cheap are single employees. So that has to be non-negotiable. Pension returns based on the market, whether aggressive or conservative, are also common in the private sector. The more conservative the more secure - but every investment carries some risk. The company (the State) must put in a guaranteed annual contribution and then you will have the option to contribute an additional amount up to the maximum allowed by law - and I don't think that should be negotiable either.
As for double, triple and whatever amount of dipping that can be achieved - time to knock it off! ONE RETIREMENT ACCOUNT per person - no exceptions. State Employees and Politicians (upon election) alike will be given one master account number for the life of their employment and retirement. No piggy-backing of any prevailing benefits and no late career pay boosts to spike one's retirement account mandatory!
Don't like it? Too bad - taxpayers should not have to contribute a dime towards your government job beyond the minimum. What you do with your earned monies as they relate to your retirement are up to you - but don't think taxpayers don't already know that your salaries are probably better than what they get - so don't B.S. them okay! Besides your salaries are public record.
Now I am sure that the People of Illinois are grateful for those who put in the honest day's work. What they aren't grateful for, though, are the piss ants who take advantage of the system day in and day out. Especially some of the mokes in the Illinois Secretary of State's Office who seem to be on a perpetual lunch in their cozy patronage jobs.
And you know who you are don't you?
Matter of fact that's part of the problem isn't it? I just wonder how people like you look around or into the eyes of those colleagues who are plugging away doing their jobs all the while knowing that they know who and why you are there? Maybe one day a few of these co-workers will spill their guts as to why their agency is so inefficient or tire of working two jobs while getting paid for one. I don't know maybe everyone is a patronage hire. Who the hell knows anymore.
But one thing is certain - public pensions are in deep trouble and even the Civic Federation sees sustainability as a problem for the Chicago Public Schools Pension Fund. And they are not an exception to the mess as all the funds are woefully underfunded. Projections for the future aren't any better either.
So while I feel sorry for those workers and retirees who claim they aren't part of the problem and are being unfairly treated I don't think we can ignore the fact that there are those who are in fact part of the problem in a very big way. Such as the Double Dipping Docs at the University of Illinois Chicago College of Medicine.
Sure, abuse isn't the whole story here but it is rife just the same in an archaic pension system that has failed to keep up with the times. It is high time for a major reform of the Illinois Pension Fund Systems.
And the best way to do that is to scrap public pensions!
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Tags: Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Public Schools Pension Fund, Civic Federation, Double Dipping Docs, Gaming the System, Illinois Public Pension Systems, Illinois Secretary of State's Office, Labor, Labor Union, Machine Politics, News and Opinion, Op Ed, Patronage, Pension Abuse, Pension Debt, Politics, Private vs Public Pensions, Public Pension Systems, Unions, University of Illinois Chicago College of Medicine