Taxpayers United of America’s study was mentioned in a letter by Bill Dietz to the Journal Standard.
Illinois’ public unions need to join the private-sector-style pension system. Normally, we think of teachers, firemen and policeman, but Illinois has 13 public unions — 64,459 workers — that gave $48.5 million to political campaigns.
The individuals are not the main culprits, but the head unions and the politicians that they finance are. Hence, the reason the politicians do not insist on a 401K-style donation pension system rather than the one we have now. With a pension debt of over $100 billion, this must change or Illinois could be the first state to file bankruptcy. The monthly pension obligation is $560 million, which is 20 percent of Illinois spending. Taxpayers United of America study shows there are 12,154 Illinois government retirees collecting over $100,000 per year and 85,893 receiving over $50,000 per year with a 3 percent compounded cost-of-living adjustment increase every year. Most recipients get back all of their input cost between one and three years.
If we could have the state pension and health care reform that Gov. Bruce Rauner and Republicans want, then we would not constantly hear of Highland College’s, Stephenson County’s or Freeport’s needs for more taxes. Most of the private sector is on a 401K-style pension system. Is it too much to ask that new employees of the state be on the 401K system? With all things considered, we the people should now be called the public servants.
— Bill Dietz, Lena