Social Security: The World's Biggest Pyramid Scheme

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Chicago—Taxpayers United of America (TUA) have fought against higher taxes, reckless spending, and government largesse for nearly forty years. As we look back at our decades of activism and education of taxpayers, TUA is releasing some footage from our archives featuring our president and founder, Jim Tobin.
“This pyramid [pointing at a dollar bill], that’s the social security program. It’s a pyramid scheme. It’s a legalized Ponzi scheme. And it’s a terrible system for the young people of this country,” said Tobin on the evening of February 20, 1997. He was one of the audience members who offered commentary on the subject of Social Security at a special Chicago Tonight live event at Triton College. The event also included a panel of social security experts and politicians.
Tobin, who holds a masters in economics, goes on to briefly discuss the downsides of the Social Security system, including the shifting retirement age and the tripling of tax rates to fund the program, both of which do great harm to those who can least financially afford the arbitrary policy changes.
“We are not going to get twenty cents on the dollar back, unless we live to be 110,” joked Tobin. Host John Callaway then posed the all-important question, “What do you want to see happen?”
“I want to see the system privatized. I want the Senator from Illinois to support privatization of the Social Security system,” responded Tobin, addressing the host as well as U.S. Senator from Illinois Carol Moseley Braun, who was in attendance.
Tobin concluded, “And I’ll do it on my own. I want my responsibility for my own life and I don’t want to be talked to and told what to do by the U.S. Senate and the U.S. Congress. We want our freedom!”

Prospect Heights SD 23 Teachers: Tone Deaf, Dumb, and Blind?

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Chicago—Taxpayers United of America (TUA) responds to Prospect Heights SD 23 Strike.
“It is incomprehensible that the teachers of SD 23 could actually strike at this time. By no measure are these ‘civil servants’ underpaid in employment or retirement,” stated TUA executive director, Rae Ann McNeilly.
“These teachers are effectively demanding that their neighbors take another pay cut, which will come in the form of even higher property taxes, so the teachers can make more today and in retirement. The reality is that these striking teachers must look their neighbors in the eyes and say, ‘I don’t really care if you can no longer afford to live in your home, as long as I get what I want.’”
“Government school teachers make more than their counterparts in the private sector in both wages and benefits, they enjoy virtually iron-clad job security, and are only active for about 8 months out of the year,” added McNeilly.
“In any case, the State of Illinois is near implosion, financially speaking, and it is just irresponsible for any government employee to expect compensation increases when the taxpayers who fund them can barely keep their own heads above water.”
“The most recent report indicates that the Prospect Heights Education Association, the union at the heart of the strike, expects taxpayers to cough up pay increases of 4.5% for the first two years of the three year contract and 4.25% for the third year. How many taxpayers have received comparable pay increases recently or expect such huge increases over the next three years? Most of our members are worried about hanging on to their homes and keeping up with their property taxes as is, yet Illinois tries to tax its way out of the financial debacle, the same way bureaucrats created it.”
“It’s about time for teachers, and any other government employees, to suck it up and live on the very fair wages they are already getting and give the taxpayers a break.”
“If they really want to do what’s best ‘for the children,’ they will let the kids’ parents keep more of their hard-earned money and hopefully continue to afford their property taxes.”
“The following data shows taxpayers what a few of these ‘poor civil servants’ are making in retirement; we can only imagine what kind of salaries warrant these pensions.”
Click here to see the complete list of SD 23 pensions.
“Although many of the top pensioners retired as administrators, they were all teachers first,” concluded McNeilly.

The Daily Journal | A PE teacher has $102K a year pension?

President of Taxpayers United of America, Jim Tobin, was quoted by The Daily Journal during the pension release of Kankakee County.

A Libertarian organization in Illinois is taking aim at government pensions and is signaling out Kankakee County, particularly its retired educators, noting that more than 1,000 retirees here are collecting multimillion payouts.
Taxpayers United of America released its report today, focusing on Kankakee County retirees, basing its projections on an average lifespan of 85 years.

“While taxpayers struggle to make their property tax payments, working well beyond retirement age, these government pensioners enjoy lavish, gold-plated retirements beginning, on average, at the age of 58,” said report author Jim Tobin.
The report looked at pensions within Kankakee Community College, Kankakee area schools and Kankakee County government.
According to the report, the area’s largest annual pension — $151,441 — belongs to a former school superintendent in eastern Kankakee County. Based on life expediency, this person will collect $4.4 million.
The pensions of several former school superintendents are among the highest with pensions ranging from $151,441 to $122,483.
There is another pension for a former career PE teacher at just more than $102,000 annually or $2.4 million throughout his life. A former top KCC administrator is collecting just less than $135,000 annually. Several retired county law enforcement officials are drawing pensions ranging from the low $80,000 to the mid $50,000.
Tobin called these pensions as both immoral and unethical.
“This is not a retirement system for poor public servants. This system will grind to a halt as more and more of these people retire and draw from it,” he said. “This system cannot continue. Our system will collapse if this continues.”
According to Tobin’s research, there now are 12,154 annual Illinois government pensions greater than $100,000. There are 85,893 annual pensions that exceed $50,000.
“Those are staggering numbers considering the taxpayers who fund these pensions get an average Social Security pension of about $15,000 a year,” he said.
What is even more shocking, Tobin said, is how little the employee puts into their own fund. He said the top superintendent will have contributed just 5.3 percent toward the total payout. The P.E. teacher? 7.6 percent. The KCC administrator just 3.6 percent.
So, what should be done? After all, these are the pensions that taxpayers agreed to, even if unwittingly.
Tobin said these employees should do what most private sector workers do, invest their own money into their own retirement account, such as a 401k.
“You and your employer should be funding your retirement account. It’s not for you to live ‘The Life of Reilly’ thanks to the taxpayers. People are getting fed up with this,” he said.
He said meaningful reforms must be taken.
“… Residents of Kankakee and nearly every other city in Illinois will have to choose between fulling funding the pension systems to pay for the services provided in the past, or pay for the services we need today,” he said.
Tobin helped found the TUA in 1976. He started his career as a Federal Reserve Bank examiner. He was one of the first economic experts to predict the collapse of Continental Bank.