Skip to comments.Blame flies as pension plan stalls (Illinois' massively indebted system $96.8 billion in the hole)
Posted on 01/08/2013 4:32:38 PM PST by Libloather
Others stood against any pension changes. Some who were willing to entertain a new approach criticized the proposal as too harsh on public employees and retirees. Still others contended the proposal violates a state constitutional prohibition on diminishing or impairing public employee pensions, as union officials have maintained.
Rep. Jim Durkin scoffed at the excuses for a lack of action, criticizing lawmakers who raised concerns that the pension bill might not be constitutional.
"I'm perplexed that members of the Legislature now have grave concerns regarding the constitutionality of the pension legislation when they've disregarded the constitutionality of every other bill we've passed in the last 20 years," said Durkin, R-Western Springs.
(Excerpt) Read more at chicagotribune.com ...
Could be sleepin' with the fishes by morning.
These folks could always move to California.... Not much over-sight in the Golden State either...
The Democrats are blaming flies for their inability to reform the pension system? It makes about as much sense as anything the Democraps in Illinois has done recently/
I don't know about you, but my family doesn't have a spare $23K lying around so that Chicago Joe paper pusher can make payments on his BMW. When he retires at 50.
The beast will weaken before long.
Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch...
True story. My mom had a part time job for the city of Chicago working at a senior citizen center handing out meals. She had the job about 20 years.
When she retired her retirement pay WAS LARGER THEN HER SALARY WHEN SHE WORKED. In addition she had free medical to supplement her Medicare , did not have to pay a penny for her health care.
Simple math, there, but realizing how many are ALREADY on the public dole, work for government (I use the term "work" very loosely, there), and with probably 1/2 the population NOT paying taxes, it's more likely that those who actually PRODUCE and WORK and PAY TAXES will be on the hook for twice the amount you cite.
This is just a start. Much more will be needed going forward.
Walker drove the point home when he held up a fistful of pink slips and warned that if pension reform wasn't passed, the slips would go out. The pile of pink slips that would be needed to make IL solvent would reach to the top of the Sears Tower.
I am going to Vegas this weekend and will stop in Ceasar’s to see if they are making bets on which State Falls first, Illinois or California, they both seem to be in a full fledged all out Race to the Finish Line, BANKRUPTCY.
All they can handle is gay marriage & Mexican driver licenses. The Illinois dems have a veto proof majority in the House & Senate. Don't have any idea when it comes to fiscal responsibility.
Bankruptcy law has no provision for states to declare bankruptcy. Municipalities and Counties, yes. But states? No.
However, there is some history here. In the early 1800s, states engaged in frantic canal-building and road-building programs, attempting to gain transportation leadership and thereby attracting businesses and population.
About half-a-dozen states went bust in the process and couldn't pay their bills. Not having access to the courts, the states had to sit down with their creditors and negotiate a payment plan. Further, they had to arrange their affairs so that they could meet the payments -- via increased taxes or reduced government spending (or both).
It took one state (Mississippi, I believe) thirty years to work their way out of debt.
Somehow, I can't see Jerry Brown poor-mouthing California's creditors...
Hmmm, well then it is plan B, No Legislative Body can be bound by the acts of a previous legislative body. VOID ALL CONTRACTS AND AGREEMENTS. Game over. For any Contract entered into by a Legislative body can be nullified by the next legislative body, and with the blessing of the Supreme Court.
Short of a federal bail-out, that is the most likely outcome.
The questions are: Which party is in power at the time? And will they have the courage to do what they must?
The vision of a Democrat governor having to tell the union bosses "TS" would be priceless.
Read that on the internet, did you?
There is a world of difference between saying that one session of the legislature cannot bind a subsequent one, and saying that the State cannot enter into a binding contract. The current session of the legislature may vote to sell bonds, and it is true that it cannot "force" a subsequent session of the legislature to appropriate money to pay those bonds. But it does not follow that it is a not default if the bonds are not paid. It most assuredly is.
This situation is a perfect case in point for why government employee unions must be busted to hell.
For decades the politicians, have met with in the smoke-filled back rooms with the union pinky rings and, with a wink and a nod, offered lavish pension plans and lifetime retirement bennies in lieu of the big pay raises that would have to be covered by immediate expenditures from THIS YEAR’s budget. It’s more convenient to add expenditures to FUTURE budgets and let future politicians and taxpayers deal with the mess.
That is, the politicians kicked the can down the road. “Future politicians and taxpayers can deal with the mess 20 or 30 years from now. It’ll be their problem.”, has been their slimy rationale.
Well, 20 or 30 years are over. Now what?
Scott Walker and some other governors had the guts to put their foot on the can and kick it back.
The cowardly Illinois politicians are not about to do that, so what will they do? What WILL they do?
I am a State of Illinois Retiree. The State of Illinois has a clause in their constitution which prohibits the diminishment of pension benefits. Any law which the legislature passes which diminishes the promised benefit will be ruled unconstitutional by the Illinois Supreme Court. Even changing the constitution will not change promised benefits of current employees and retirees due to US contract law. It is very very hard to change the Illinois Consttution. States cannot file for bankruptcy. Pensioners have first claim on state taxes along with bondholders even if the retirement funds run out of money. Illinois cannot extract itself out of this without raising taxes.
Additionally, Illinois is viewed as a low tax state. Look it up. Illinois income permanent tax rate is 3%. Illinois has the lowest per capita number of state employees in all fifty states. They do not tax pensions 401Ks or any services like haircuts or video rentals. Food is taxed at 1%. Currently Illinois has a temp income tax of an extra 2% which is due to expire next year I think.
govt IS NOT servicing the public....
Just an observation, but it would seem like they’d have to invent thirty or forty new tax situations...against travelers and out-of-state folks who own homes or businesses there. Everything from boat licenses to tire disposal will likely have new fees attached...to somehow continue the trend.
I strongly Disagree, and I believe ANY STATE can Nullify EVERY Public Employee Contract immediately, and when the Union files their lawsuit, the State only has to CONFESS to FRAUD , COLLUSION, and Conspiracy to Defraud. Provide the Court with all documents detailing how Every Last elected official that was supposedly negotiating on behalf of the Citizen Taxpayers, was and is BEING PAID by the parties they are negotiating with. Furnish the Court with a simple document using basic 5th grade math demonstrating that these Contracts are Mathematically Impossible to fulfill, thereby deeming it a PONZI SCHEME, which is wholly Illegal.
I don’t see where the Unions go if this is done. Other than straight to hell where they belong.
You are making two different, and contradictory, arguments. First, that the legislature may unilaterally void a contract that a previous session of the legislature authorized the State to enter into, and second that the legislature can go to the courts and ask them to void a contract on some sort of fraud in the inducement and/or impossible performance theory.
You are also missing the point that while a State's own laws may give it sovereign immunity from suits, in its own courts, to enforce certain contracts, and while the 11th Amendment may also shelter it being sued in Federal Court to enforce those contracts, there is still a default, even if the creditor does not have an effective remedy.
Look at this case about former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach, who lost his employment law suit on sovereign immunity grounds. A Law That Lets the State Decide Who Can File Suit Against It
As the story says, Texas is not in the habit of stiffing vendors, and a (theoretical - he would still have to win on the merits) loss suffered by one football coach is not going to undermine the confidence that vendors and lenders have that Texas will pay. But if a State starts repudiating bonds, or vested retirement plans, it will be a default, and it will shatter the confidence of vendors and lenders, even if the State can somehow show that its actions don't amount to a takings under the U.S. Constitution.
Something HAS to be done with regards to all these Ponzi Scheme pension contracts that ENSLAVE our Children to PAY for what OUR Government is Spending today. We know these Contracts are By Definition Fraudulent and Ponzi Schemes, we Know they are Mathematically Impossible to fulfill, Maybe we should wait til the System collapses instead. At least my way it brings All the RATS out into the OPEN. The system will collapse regardless and I think you know this.
I'm not saying that these pensions are going to be paid, just that it will be a default when they aren't paid.
When a state goes into fiscal insolvency, it should cease to exist as a state and revert to territorial status. Its Senate seats, House seats, and Electoral Votes should cease to exist also. The people of the territory(s) should then be able to reorganize and create new states from the remains of the old states.
Perhaps, it should.
But, to my knowledge, there is no provision in the Constitution or statutory law for any punishment in the event of a state's insolvency.
I am aware, though, that at least one state has a condition on its remaining in the union. The terms for Oklahoma's statehood included a provision that, in the event of impeachment of a second governor, the state would revert to territorial status.
And, in Oklahoma's case, that's one down and one to go...